Understanding the ground game of the opposing side is central to any battle. If one team thinks they’ve arrived on the field for a game of dodge ball while the other side is ready to play tackle football, you don’t need to be a professional sports caster to figure out where this game is headed. That much should be obvious. But for some reason, when it comes to politics, Republicans come out with bouquets while Democrats bring brickbats to the match.
The problem goes back almost to our nation’s founding. In 1800, Federalists pushed harder than they ever had in the three days before the election. But that was no match for the Republican-Democrats, who had campaigned nonstop for an entire year. On the surface, both original parties seem to have more in common with today’s Republican Party (and, truthfully, not much in common with either of today’s parties). But as far as campaign strategy goes, Democrats have inherited the campaign zeal of Aaron Burr, while Republicans are at least somewhat the heirs of those who sat back and thought that their ideas would carry the day by virtue of, well, their ideas. If only the public were that attentive.
Which brings us to the Daily Kos. Their views certainly run counter to the ideals of either Adams or Jefferson, but it is their tactics that we must discuss. When it comes to rallying their base, they have shown a keen ability to run a long and protracted war to win over voters. In the world of politics today, there are few who are better at stealth fighting than the radicals at the Daily Kos.
Republicans can be better. Republicans are smarter. And much more of the time than do they, we have the truth on our side. We can and should be just as relentless in preserving the traditions that have been shown time and again to be essential to the healthy survival of any civilization. We can and should be able to defend the sanity of our side versus the insanity and spin of theirs. Yet we don’t. We won’t. Anticipate? Not us. And so we lose.
Well it’s time for us to say: No more! Democrats have 59 seats. Liberals have a few more than that. We must reverse the trend and the way to do so is to recognize that we’re in a fight, not a skateboarding contest.
The Daily Kos knows that conservative values beat liberal ones hands down, no contest, each and every time. Even California is fed up with the liberal insanity that is their eventual goal for all 50 states. So they spin and distort, they attack relentlessly, they lie and confuse the public and then….
Are they successful? Are the best bartenders (and presidents) Irish? In 2004 the Democratic Party was the clear minority party. People were fed up and downright sick of so many of their antics. And that was with a media that was more in the tank for them then than they are now (as we’re finally starting to call them on it, albeit ever so slightly).
Fast forward to 2006. After unending spin, lie after relentless lie and years of offering up slogans as an alternative to national security, the President and the GOP had successfully been discredited in the eyes of the public. Kos activists had worked with the media to take measures that would have turned the public against FDR during WW2, not the least of which being the coverage of the full life story of every individual soldier that was killed, done on an almost daily basis without ever mentioning the reasons that led to the war (such as the UN weapons reports and the failure of Saddam to open up to inspectors after 12 years of non-compliance and 18 months of constant warning).
Kos and likeminded activists also worked a district by district strategy. They concentrated on developing candidates in each district who would appeal to their local area. Most of these candidates masqueraded as conservatives. Some actually were moderate. Once elected, all went on to vote with Pelosi at least 80% of the time.
We can continue to ignore the strategies and tactics of the left and continue to run races as if we’re the only party whose actions matter. But if we do so, we can change our name to the Insanity Party, as we’ll have fit the clinical definition of the word as coined by Einstein, the act of “doing the same thing over… again and expecting different results.”
Which brings us to Florida and the United States Senate. The fight for Florida’s Senate seat was set to be a battle royale. Three Democrats seemed likely to enter the race. They still might, but if they do, the other two will find out soon enough that only the anointed one (yes, the Obamaesque phrase can be passed on to his disciples too) has been preordained to win.
How was Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Florida’s most well known Democrat (more so than even Bob Graham at this point) outmaneuvered by Congressman Kendrick Meek, a relatively unknown figure outside of Miami-Dade? And it is worth noting that Kendrick Meek also seems to have out maneuvered fellow Congressman Ron Klein, who also has more name recognition and fundraising power.
The answer is simple. Activists at the Daily Kos and Huffington Post recognized that common wisdom is generally folly. They analyzed the race as anyone intent on winning should. Forget the hype. Concentrate on who can win.
And so a few weeks ago, when the race seemed to be headed to be Jeb Bush vs Alex Sink, these online activists yelled out “not so fast!” They touted Meek as a far more viable, easily winnable, candidate.
And they were met with ridicule. But those who scoffed did so in error. Running Meek was a brilliant strategy.
What makes Meek such a formidable opponent? Simply put, he fits in with the very effective Kos strategy: Look to rally the crowd in whatever superficial way possible, usually with intense emotion fueled by ignorance.
Sometimes they instill hatred by politicizing a war or other measures. When there’s no fault or wrongdoing they manufacture it. When both sides fall short they cast all blame onto their opponents. When someone on the other side does something wrong they trumpet it around for years. When ten members of their side all do worse, they fight to silence all criticism.
Other times, most notably in the last campaign, they fuel emotions with baseless appeals to hope and love, turning real politicians into false messiahs in the process. And that is their campaign strategy for the US Senate.
Kendrick Meek is popular among Obama’s strongest base. He’s well known in disadvantaged areas. Activists on the left will appeal to minorities, immigrants and other struggling working people to see in Meek the embodiment of themselves. Their appeals are ludicrous, shallow and should be viewed as insulting. But for far too many, those tactics are effective.
Once their target audience has drunk the kool-aid, Kos activists go on to inspire others to take pride in the false hopes of their initial recruits. They proclaim their candidate of choice as an inspiration to the masses, a man who is the living embodiment of the best that society has to offer.
This is their plan for Kendrick Meek. The fact that his Senate race would make him the first African-American to be nominated as the lead candidate for statewide office in Florida is the fuel they need to put their appeal into motion. It is, in fact, a catchy narrative for all of us who believe in the importance of equality. And while those who truly mean it are concerned with substance and record, not with race, that doesn’t stop the Daily Kos, who are only interested in exploitation, from distorting the issue, turning the Meek race into a fairytale that it is not.
Simply put, Kendrick Meek can rally Obama’s base in ways that no other Democrat can. Once activists have built up hype about Meek to Obama-like levels in their target areas, they will use the mass hysteria that they manufactured to portray him as the hope of the great masses. In doing so, they can rally a large number of voters to “look beyond” (i.e. to ignore) issues and concentrate only on the narrative that they will have successfully invented out of thin air. Their plan, to first galvanize the base and then motivate the masses, is what makes Kendrick Meek so effective.
Jeb Bush understood this. He didn’t run. Now a number of others are rumored to be considering entry into the race, none of which are able to counter the above narrative. If Jeb felt the time wasn’t ripe for him, they’ll be quashed. Even with all the hype, Jeb would have made it at least a 50-50 race in his favor, not odds that would interest him when any other statewide run would be an all but guaranteed win. He has other options.
The Meek strategy has been laid out. Republicans can ignore it, fail to react and lose. Or we can do something about it. And we can actually do something about it, because there is one candidate who can attack the Achilles heel of their strategy and in so doing cause it to be rendered moot. He’s Florida’s past Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Thorpe, Jr. Dr. Thorpe is a true conservative. He’s also an African-American who is widely known and respected in the regions that turned out most strongly for Obama.
Sure, we as Republicans can keep pretending that whoever the Democrats nominate doesn’t matter. All depends on the delivery of our message. But any battle in which the actions of the opposing side are not anticipated is one that is fought recklessly. To win we must analyze the other candidate, see why they’re running him and react accordingly. Democrats are running Meek to build up enthusiasm by using the historic nature of his run. They have nothing else. So Republicans: make sure that their only point, the one they want to hype all the way to the general election, is taken away from them. In this case, the only way we can do this is by nominating Marion Thorpe.
Democrats are counting on Barack Obama coming down to Florida to help rally the crowds to help elect the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction. Neutralizing the race factor and putting up a truly qualified candidate who has tackled the hard issues takes the air out of the balloon that they have come to substitute for real strategy.
The reasons why we must embrace Marion Thorpe’s candidacy are strategic. But that alone does not do justice to his run. Dr. Thorpe is an excellent candidate and leader in his own right.
Marion Thorpe has preached the message of Republicanism to African-American churches. He makes no bones about the moral decay of the Democrats. He also points out their history, how
the Republican Party was the civil rights party for over 100 years, how the NRA was founded to supply weapons to African-Americans for their own protection (and how decades later, Charlton Heston’s involvement in the organization was a natural progression of his strong civil rights advocacy) and how Democrats have exploited the issue of race without doing one concrete thing for African-Americans. More importantly, he paints the contrast between Republican values and those of the Democrats.
In doing all of the above, Dr. Thorpe has brought thousands of youth and minority voters to the Republican fold. And that’s just in South Florida. Running statewide, he can do wonders for our party. As an African-American leader in the Senate and as an active leader on the national level, he can and will be a key voice in building the stronger and more diverse base that is so needed for the GOP in going forward.
Dr. Thorpe is staunchly pro-life. But he’s more than that. Marion Thorpe points to the targeting of minority areas by groups like Planned Parenthood. He points to the moral values that most people recognize as being right and educates audiences on the positions that both parties take on those issues. This may not be news to us, but it is to much of his audience. And few people can grab their attention as can Dr. Thorpe.
He is also a national security hawk and understands the risks that America faces. He also understands economic realities, seeing the economy as being priority number one. To quote Thorpe “without jobs our educational system, our healthcare and our national security fall apart.” He has proposed concrete steps to revitalize Florida’s agriculture based economy. Along those lines, he was one of the first political leaders in South Florida to oppose the bailouts, measures that he finds to be band-aid fixes that will do little for the middle class.
In the area of education, Thorpe supports financial literacy and lifeskills (manners, employment) training in middle schools and high schools so that students graduate with the tools they need to compete in the workplace. He boldly paints the contrast between Republican solutions and those offered up by the Democrats by asking youth whether they’d like to work hard, own a business and pass it on to their children or whether they’d prefer a life of constant dependency, accomplish far less and pass nothing on. When they inevitably choose the former he tells them: “Well I agree, and that’s why I’m a Republican. That’s why you need to be a Republican too.” He then goes on to educate them on policy.
Thorpe is also a staunch advocate for effective healthcare that isn’t government run. He proposes viable solutions that don’t call for all competition, and therefore all quality, to be taken out of the system. He boils down the dangers of socialized medicine in simple terms without detracting from the seriousness of the dangers involved. On the national level he’d be one of the few voices against socialized medicine with the background needed to be able to oppose the issue effectively.
And he makes no bones about some recent Obama picks that few others have been willing to criticize. On the stump, he labels Dr. Sanjay Gupta an “entertainer, not a Surgeon General,” and “someone who knows little about public policy.” He calls the appointment part of the Obama team’s smoke and mirrors tactics and quotes a supporter who said “Dr. Sanjay Gupta; isn’t that like appointing Judge Judy to the Supreme Court?” He rightly adds that he was shocked that Obama was able to find a less qualified Surgeon General than Jocelyn Elders.
But above all else, in the race against Kendrick Meek, the inevitable Democratic nominee (and the strongest Democratic candidate, due to the tactics outlined above), for Republicans, it’s Marion Thorpe or bust. Take your pick.
Here’s what those who want to make a difference need to do:
- Invite your friends to join this facebook group by clicking here
- Tell your friends. We need to familiarize ourselves with the tactics of the Daily Kos and actively prevent them from taking hold
- Anticipate similar tactics in other states and react accordingly