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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:53 AM
Original message
Democrats need talking points.
One of the things that make the Republicans so powerful is their ability to get out their message -- something they do far better than the Democrats. They do this by providing people with talking points. So I have to wonder, why haven't we adopted a similar strategy?

If I had to decide talking points it would be:

For Bush:
* George Bush has "a dangerous and irresponsible foreign policy."
* George Bush has "lied to the American people about <insert one of his many lies here>."
* George Bush is "out of touch with the values of mainstream Americans."

For Kerry:
* John Kerry is "a strong and intelligent leader who would make a excellent President."
* John Kerry is "in touch with the average American."
* John Kerry can "bring hope, responsibility, and strong leadership back to America."

Those would be the main three I would drive home, with a few minor ones tossed into the mix now and again to add verity (economy, jobs, etc.). Hell with talking points what your saying doesn't even have to be true -- just repeated a lot and only be very thinly based in the realm of fact.

What would you add to the talking point list, or would you have one at all? If not, then why? I'm interested in what people think.
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mermaid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. How About
John Edwards is a living example of the American Dream, coming up the son of a mill worker, and together, Kerry/Edwards can revive the American Dream for ALL Americans...not just the ones who already have it..."
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. How About Visual?


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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. lol...great juxtaposition!
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Aden_nak Posted It As A Banner
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 12:34 PM by Don_G
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. There are plenty of talking points
just not enough dems with backbones. They worry too much how they will be taken.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'm not worried how it will be taken damn it - we don't have a talking
points machine like Shrubco does! THAT's why I don't have good answers and expressions to use. Damn it, who's gonna be our leader on this? The guy that posted had some good ones. WAIT!!! I have a great idea - DU can have a talking points segment EACH WEEK!!! That way they won't get stale. So "Ten most ,,,", "TEN TALKING POINTS FOR THE WEEK" !!! YEAH!! I'll contribute!

Let's go, who's got some spine?
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orthogonal Donating Member (424 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. from an email I wrote in response to some Ann Coulter slams against Kerry
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 12:06 PM by orthogonal
(The Coulter slam invloved a bunch of weapons systems Kerry allegedly voted against.)

Why not ask, instead, why the Bush Administration is strongly advocating cutting veterans' medical benefits even as his ill-conceived war creates thousands more veterans who will be crippled the rest of their lives?

So did Kerry make these votes? Probably. Do they reflect his actual priorities? Probably not: John Kerry has seen the elephant, he has been to war, he knows, from personal experience, what it means to fight for his country. (This was while Bush snagged a cushy National Guard berth.)

Is our military better off than it was four years ago?

Maybe we should ask some Generals, and some Republicans?

* Retired officers like former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki:
http://www.the-hamster.com/mtype/archives/000844.html
* Marine General Anthony Zinni ("I've been called a traitor and a turncoat for mentioning these things"):
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20040416-99...
* Colonel David Hackworth (eight Purple Hearts, nine Silver Stars and eight Bronze Stars):
http://www.rense.com/general45/ahole.htm
* Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (a respected novelist and a columnist for the conservative New York Post):
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/20841....

all of these leaders say the military is worse off after four years of Bush.

* As does the private newspaper written by and for the soldiers, the Army Times ("a failure of leadership"):
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2903288.p...

* Current Republican Senator (and Army sergeant in Vietnam) Chuck Hagel agrees:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/06...

* So does Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Navy (and Marine company commander in Vietnam) James Webb.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-02...

* So do these twenty-seven retired foreign service and military officers, many of them Republicans, and including Admiral William Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chief under President Reagan, and Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of the CIA under President Carter, ("It is time for a change."):
http://www.diplomatsforchange.com/project/statement.sht...
(list of signatories: http://www.diplomatsforchange.com/signatories/signatori... )

But you be the judge -- or I should say, you WILL be the judge, on November 2nd.
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mark0rama Donating Member (930 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. It sucks to have to sink to their level.
Personally, I like that on our side, we don't all sound like we're reading from the same script. But that doesn't play as well as I'd like with our short-attention-span-tuned media.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. We Can't Make Up Stuff Like This
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Oh, I agree.
I hate to have to sink to their level, but in war if your enemy is using a new and powerful tactic you must either mimic that tactic or adopt a tactic which is better than theirs. I really don't think much is better seeing as how this is tantamount to brainwashing. You really can't eliminate talking points without entering the "Free Speech" zone, so we aren't left with much choice but to play by the new rules.

It would be like bringing a knife to a gun fight. The likelihood of you getting in close range to stab your opponent is slim, whereas your opponent has the ability to take you out from across the room.
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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. good idea!
I would edit the second Kerry point, as his wealth and brahmin stature allow that one to be attacked easily.

how about "In John Kerry's America, government works on behalf of all the people, not just the rich and powerful"

As for Bush:

I like those three. More:

George Bush isn't a real conservative. Conservatives don't run up record deficits. Conservatives don't cut the pay of soldiers at war.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I disagree with the "he's not a real conservative" talking point.
I've heard this a lot on AAR and see it written here. People try to insult the Bush administration by claiming that they aren't conservative but are right wing radicals. This I guess, is supposed to convince traditional conservatives to abandon the Bush administration but continue to support people like McCain.

The problem here is that this just validates the conservative movement and supports certain types of "acceptable" conservative issues and candidates. I say we need to demonize the word conservative like they have done with liberal. No "necons" or any of these other euphemisms. The Bush administration and their policies are the logical outcome of the conservative movement and ideologies of the last century. It makes me sick to see liberals showing any respect to the word conservative and using it as though there are ever any good conservative ideas.

Our talking points need to drive the point home that if you're a conservative you support:
- Massive defecit spending that all goes to benefit military contractors at the expense of soldiers pay and benefits.

- An end to each and every socially beneficial program: They want to privatize social security, education, energy, and the airwaves. We can only assume that the logical conclusion of this ideology is to privatize our national parks, our public roadways, the post office, and even the military and intelligence establishment.

- Conservatives don't believe in equal rights. They have never been on the right side of any issue relating to civil rights, womens rights, or religious freedom. Their attacks on gay rights come as no suprise to anyone because bigotry is the very foundation of conservative thought.

- Conservatives believe that the interests of a small elite group of big business leaders outweigh the interests of American workers, small business owners, local entrepreneurs, and the health of the American economy as a whole. Not to mention that these corporate interests outweigh even the lives of American soldiers. Conservatives obviously believe that our soldier's lives are available for their use to further corporate business objectives.

- Conservatives want to reap the benefits of living in America without giving anything back. They'll gladly accept taxpayer's money in the form of corporate subsidies, government contracts to big business, and the benefit's we all receive thanks to America's infrastructure and educated populace. But of course they want to pay no taxes and don't want to give one red cent back to the country and the people that have made their prosperity possible.

These aren't radical positions espoused by "neocons" or "fundies." These are the major platforms of conservative thought that are supported by anyone who votes republican or considers themselves a conservative.
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tandot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
10. I agree. I was wondering why they don't have talking points
like

9/11 only changed things because Bush is totally incompetent

Bush is against all rights women have so hard fought for by appointing extreme right-wing Supreme Court justices:

http://www.democraticwings.com/democraticwings/archives...

James Leon Holmes: Women should do what they're told
A former president of Arkansas Right to Life, Holmes once compared abortion to the Holocaust. Holmes, nominated to the District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, also wrote in a newspaper article that, "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man." Holmes has derided concern for rape victims, writing, "concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami."
<snip>

There are lots of examples. We should use them, too. Those right-wing lies about Democrats just stick because they are repeated over and over by every single Bush supporter who appears on TV.


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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. "I was never afraid of terrorist's before Bush"
"I was never afraid of terrorist's before Bush" or some variant of that is a very strong statement. Things were good AND SAFE under Clinton. All this fear crap started under the evil (and most importantly - INCOMPETENT) Shrubco.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Would be nice if we could....
Some how set this up where we could have "interviews" with people off the streets (average looking Joes -- aesthetically pleasing) who basically said that statement: "I was never afraid of terrorists before George Bush". Staged interviews of course, but still no worse than Bush's phony Medicare Press reporting...

Then we'd just have to find away to get it played over and over and over. Just make the question: "Were you worried about terrorism before Bush took office?" Which makes the answer obvious and the question loaded, most people weren't afraid of terrorists until Bush came into office, and this will set the Right Wing into a frenzy trying to "dispel it". This would cause News Shows to play the tape over and over again... letting them do our dirty work for us. Just have the DNC do it and have Terry take the heat so Kerry doesn't get his hands dirty. ;)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
15. Try to get everyone to agree
I suggested to our LTTE email list that we might not want to incude "bring our troops home" in letters supporting Kerry for President. It gives pro-war people the idea that Kerry is going to abandon Iraq and it's basically a lie to anybody who knows Kerry's policy on Iraq. It totally discredits the letter writer as well. But nope, no one would agree to stick to Kerry's policies when writing LTTE's supporting Kerry. So good luck to you, TP's are a good idea, but discipline isn't something the Democratic Party is known for.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Then what is needed is a heavy hand.
I'd readily admit that I'm not John Kerry's biggest fan, he's done a lot I disagree with, but damnit I sure as hell know he'll be better than Bush will. Someone needs to stand up and say "My way or the highway, and the Highway leads directly to four more years of George W. Bush."

I agree with what you were saying in regards to staying on message, and that is another big problem the Democrats have. I agree with Kerry's policy on Iraq though, so I might be a bit bias. I do believe that seeing as how we tore the place apart we should at least stay and put it back together, not to mention if we leave the damn place would turn into a breeding ground for terrorists. (All thanks to Bush.)

God forbid that happen on a Democrat's watch, if 9/11 had happened on Gore's watch by now people would think that he was the one who hijacked all the planes, personally slaughtered everyone with a rusty knife, including the terrorists, all the while eating babies and marrying gay people. He'd totally have all the blame, and people would believe it too. Why? Because of talking points.

Conservatives have been able to demonize the word liberal so much that even liberals run away from the word! Hell! Some liberals even believe it! Grow a damn backbone and fight back! Give twice as much as you get, that's the only way you're going to win. The alternative is to allow the opposition to pummel you into the ground. Your either winning or your losing, and currently we are losing. There is no reason, absolutely no reason what-so-ever, that George Bush should be as high in the polls as he is considering the things -- the common knowledge things -- he has done during his time as President. His approval rating should be just as low as Cheney's if not lower.

Where are the Democratic Congress people? Where is our organization and leadership? If we are going to be an opposition party then we need a backbone, organization, leadership, a vision, and a clear message.
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Pathwalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. "I'll give up my free speech rights when you give up your guns-
And not one second before." It shut up a freeper who told me I should watch what I say.
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GOPgift Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
18. Trickle Down - The Untold Story
For talking points on economics/ tax policy, please see www.gopgift.com then help spread the word. Thank you.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. good link - welcome to DU
I keep using the one I like:

Bush is bragging about 1.5 million jobs in 10 months, but under Clinton, the average 10 month period was between 2.2 and 2.3 million jobs.

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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I just read it.
Very nice. Welcome to DU. :) :toast: :pals:
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westsidexview Donating Member (144 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. that is tinkle down
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westsidexview Donating Member (144 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
23. IT AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE FOLKS
let the "it ain't rocket science" mantra be interfaced with 2 or 3 major bush fuck-ups and just keep repeating them over and over. for example say millions of jobs lost, then -it ain't rocket science! i think even some republicans think bush is a spoiled, rich, daddy's-boy dimwit. look how he has raised the national debt. some freepers would like to kick W in the nuts. hey some pissed-off freepers just might vote for kerry to spite bush.
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