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Birds of a feather generally flock together. Friends usually say a lot about friends.  Groups you belong to usually indicate a lot of what you think about politics.  This is a concept that most people understand, especially "bottom line" emotional voters who simply want you to give them the 30 second cliff note version as to how to vote.  

A photo of Sarah Palin reading John Birch Society magazines will sway virtually any undecided Jewish voter in Florida no matter what he or she thinks on every other issue.  Why?  Because people process in their heads real quickly that if she is reading John Birch Society magazines, then she probably shares those views.

The same holds true for right wing talk show hosts.  Politicians who support Limbaugh are presumed to share his views.  The same holds true for any other right wing talk show host.  You support them, you own them.

And that's why we can take down the entire Republican Party merely by highlighting their associations with certain Fox News personalities and others. Let's look at how this has worked effectively in the past.

Example 1 - Missouri Senate 2006 - Jim Talent v. Claire McCaskill

It was a few days before the election and incumbent Senator Jim Talent held a small but clear lead over Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill.  Talent had previously expressed his support and admiration for right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.  To demonstrate her support for stem cell research, McCaskill released a commercial with Michael J. Fox in it.  Next, Limbaugh goes on the air and mocks Fox's Parkinsons disease.  Thankfully, Claire McCaskill was not a DLC style Chicken Little worried about what right wing pieces of garbage would say about her.  McCaskill released an add attacking Jim Talent for being associated with Rush Limbaugh and played the clip.  Limbaugh whined like the two year old brat he is but McCaskill would have none of it.  She stood her ground and continued the attack.  And she won.  The bottom line is this.  Had Claire NOT attacked Talent through Limbaugh, she would have lost.

Example 2 -  New Jersey Senate 1994 - Chuck Haytaian v. Frank Lautenberg.

In 1993, New Jersey kicked out its Democratic Governor.  Lautenberg was next.  1994 was not the Democrats year as they were in full Chicken Little mode more concerned about what the likes of Rush Limbaugh thought about them than they were with simply just speaking the god damn truth to power.  I remember being frustrated with the Dems but there was one time I saw something on TV and remember yelling out, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" at the TV.  It was when I saw an ad by Frank Lautenberg.  

Lautenberg was trailing Haytaian in October.  Barring an awakening he was going to lose.  But somebody in Lautenberg's campaign had a brain.  They remembered that Haytaian had repeatedly gone on the Bob Grant show on WABC.  Grant is pure scum and both Limbaugh and Hannity consider him a mentor and father figure.  Grant had gone on air and said that "blacks were savages" and "Martin Luther King was a scumbag."  So the Lautenberg campaign released an ad repeating these phrases and highlighting that Haytaian had gone on the show while pointing out that other Republicans had long ago denounced Grant, including then Governor Whitman.  Grant whined and moaned but Frank Lautenberg didn't care.  The Chicken Littles were saying that this wouldn't matter with rural white voters.  But Lautenberg said, and I'm paraphrasing, "I don't care, I'll do what's right even if it costs me the election."  And Lautenberg came from behind and won.  Had he not run the Grant commercial, Frank would have lost.

The two stories above are EXACTLY what we should be doing MORE of.  Any Republican who is on record as supporting Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, or any other right wing nutcase SHOULD be attacked in the same manner.  You simply list the egregious comments or associations, put them in TV ads and radio ads, and take down the Republican politician.  You hold NOTHING back.  You state what the person has actually said and supported.  Swing voters and moderate Republicans will REJECT any Republican associated with these people.

For those who ask why I "specialize" in taking down certain right wing talk show hosts, this is why.  It's not an obsession but a strategy.  And it works too.  

The Chicken Littles don't understand what moves or persuades moderates and swing voters. Thankfully, I do.  They are looking for people who are honest and genuine and they reject politicians based on imagery which is formulated simply through symbolism, short sound bites, and emotional frames like "Oh Talk Show Host A supports him, now I won't.

Ads would take the following form.

Ann Coulter has said, "..........."  Politician A is a fan of Ann Coulter. Does Politician A speak for you?

Or this.

Politician B called Newt Gingrich a revolutionary.  Gingrich is a nasty partisan and extremist who once served his 1st wife with divorce papers while she was in a hospital bed undergoing cancer treatment.  Cancer treatment.  Politician B, who in their right mind could vote for him?

Your thoughts?

Originally posted to davefromqueens on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:07 PM PDT.

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