Moscow Mitch. Just two simple words, but oh, how they warm the heart. Those two words are devastating for Mitch McConnell. They’re simple. They’re direct. They’re catchy. They stick in the memory. And they lend themselves to the kinds of images that the Democrats are putting on t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs and glasses, and billboards, and raising a ton of money off of. And oh, yeah. For a guy in s deeply conservative state that doesn’t like Russians much, has been in the Senate for 35 years, and is running against a former female Marine fighter pilot? Good luck with that one.
And now apparently, while I was sacked out, #LeningradLindsey is climbing up the charts. Again, a deep red state, with a large older population who remember the Cold War, and a candidate with long years in the Senate who panders to a President who has his head so far up Putin’s ass that he can see his lungs, it can be wonderfully effective. And the mere thought that Trump’s bromance with Putin could lead to even the possible removal of two of the biggest thorns in the Democrats side just makes it that much more satisfying.
I hope that the Democrats running for President are paying attention. And not just to the Russian themed hashtags, although the more they use them in their speeches, the more firmly they tie those barbed wire bow-ties around McConnell and Graham’s necks. I hope they’re paying attention to the concept that is turning out to be so wonderfully effective, the quick, catchy, long lasting bumper sticker phrase. Because that can help with something that all of the Democratic nominees are currently struggling with. Messaging.
Just look at the two most recent debates. On Tuesday and Wednesday night, the candidates spent a combined 80 minutes dealing with the healthcare issue alone, more than enough time to make their points. And out of that hour and twenty minutes of talking time, how much of it resulted in a clear, concise, easy to understand and follow discussion about the candidates healthcare plans? I’d say about a buck forty eight. Tops And that’s being generous.
In their quest to savage the other guy’s plans, and to show the brilliance of their own, they got so far down into the weeds on things like “Insurance company greed” this, and “Big Pharma profits” that, and “zones of coverage” the other that it was incomprehensible! And it wasn’t just healthcare either. They did the same damn thing on immigration, the economy, and climate change and global warming.Because their basic plans just aren’t all that different, they tried to differentiate themselves by picking more nits than a mother gorilla with her baby. And it sucked.
Look guys and girls, you aren’t speaking to a convention of climate change scientists, insurance company executives, or immigration attorneys. You’re speaking to the American people, and the American people really only want to know three things about all of this shit: what do I get out of it, what do I lose, and how much is it going to cost me. That’s what you have to concentrate on. Explain your plan simply, stick with the broad concept, what it does, and leave the nuts and bolts to the mechanics to install later. This is something that the Republicans mastered long ago. Be honest now, which of these wold you rather hear?
GOP: We’re going to save your jobs! And even better, we’re going to bring back all of the jobs that have been lost since the end of World War Two!
Democrats: We re gong to leverage a government, public, private partnership to expand cross training to ensure that our idle workforce is adequately trained to maximize their ability to perform the tasks necessary for the high paying jobs of tomorrow.
Are you kidding me? Jimmy the Greek wouldn’t take odds on a race like that. I know that the actual plans are complex, as they have to be, but the concepts don’t have to be. Remember what I said? K.I.S.S. Back in World War Two, the Manhattan Project led to a couple of giant BOOM!s, and led to the nuclear age, and people got that. But that doesn’t mean that they wanted to learn the mechanics of building an atomic bomb. That’s what all of those guys with the alphabet soup of letters behind their names were for. Find the most attractive thing about your plan, and shine it up like an apple for the teacher. But be honest.
A couple of more things. Hey, Bernie and Elizabeth! Do yourselves a favor will ya, and stop lying! The question Tuesday night was not “Will the average middle class family have more money in their pockets at the end of the year under your plan?” it was “Will your plan raise middle class taxes?” Four freakin’ times it was the same question. And the answer s excruciatingly simple, it’s yes. Of course you want people to know that while their FICA taxes will increase, they will actually save money from the loss of insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, but just say yes, and then explain the rest, otherwise it just looks like you’re bullshitting people.
And now for everybody out there whose last name isn’t Biden. You want a legitimate shot at this thing? Then you better quit bashing Obama and his record. Three years after leaving office, his approval rate among Democrats is a stunning 97%, what’s yours? Biden already has 53% support from African American voters, you know, the ones who vote most often. You’ve heard maybe of “souls to the polls?” And those voters have almost universal support for Obama. Not only do you cement them more firmly to Biden when he supports and defends his old boss, but you take voters who might possibly look favorably at you sometime, and turn them away.
The summer recess is good for more than just sitting members of Congress. You guys and gals are gonna be on the road a lot, talking to people, but take a little time to channel your inner #MoscowMitch. Find quick, snappy, positive ways to describe your plans, without getting so far own the detail hole you need a miners helmet to find your way back out out. And stop bashing each other, will ya? If you sell your plans properly, theirs won’t matter.