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Screenshot of U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad against Alex Sink.
It's okay to run this ad, but only if you're a Republican.
Just spare me this kind of ridiculous, false equivalency punditry.
[T]he Democrats' anti-Koch strategy is risky.

The brothers are not a familiar presence to many voters, making it hard to demonize them. Moreover, as Democrats have embraced the new era of big-money donations and super PACs in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, they, too, are growing more reliant on ideological billionaires such as Tom Steyer, the hedge-fund executive who plans to target Republicans over climate change.

While many Democratic operatives say they think the anti-Koch attacks will help mobilize the liberal base, several also said that Democrats must tread carefully.

"If voters see it as an overwhelmingly negative campaign, it'll effectively turn people off and keep them from voting," said Jerry Rephan, a Democratic Party county chairman in Arkansas.

Okay, there's one Democrat. Where are the several others? We've got quotes from  "Republicans," a spokesman for Koch, more "several prominent Republicans," and Mitch McConnell. Maybe they're honorary Democrats for the purposes of dooming.

Beyond that, we're told an overwhelmingly negative campaign, being run from the right, is effective because it mobilizes the base. A negative campaign run by Democrats to point out that a couple of billionaires are trying to buy the Senate—while mobilizing the base—is dangerous.

And the Koch brothers spending millions on telling false "horror" stories about Obamacare is exactly the same as a rich Democrat putting money behind the very real threat of climate change.

It's bad enough that four years into the takeover of the Republican Party by the tea party, pundits are still trying to say that the nihilists are the equivalent of a party that's actually trying to make this government work. But why oh why are there any Democrats still reinforcing that false narrative? Seriously, people, is it that important to get your name in the paper? Snap out of it!

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:02:53 AM PDT

  •  ...but,but....Sink, sank, sunk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, TofG, mjd in florida
    But why oh why are there any Democrats still reinforcing that false narrative? Seriously, people, is it that important to get your name in the paper? Snap out of it!

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:04:53 AM PDT

    •  Everyone acts like Steve Israel sending (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood

      Alex Sink to Pinellas County was our only option.  Unfortunately, that move kicked out our very viable "native" candidate that ran respectably against entrenched Young in his last election. Jessica Ehrlich was born and raised in St. Pete and is a local and likeable St. Pete attorney.  (just like Charlie Crist). She would had had the name recognition this time over the unknown Jolly.

      I hope that Democrats in other elections don't take the wrong message from this race.  Alex was very unlikable with her "austerity" messages and did not reach out to our younger and working class voters which is a good portion of the democratic base on election day.  By the end of this campaign, I didn't trust or like her, so we have to give a pass on election day voters not being motivated.  She sounded like a candidate that supported the wealthy... you know... the other guy... and never confronted him on his anti-populist positions.

  •  They should've talked to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buzzer

    I mean, I'm a Democratic county chair, too.

    ... Or MAYBE dialing up one of the thousands of volunteer county chairs in this country to provide expert analysis on voter behavior isn't a great idea.

  •  Karl Rove's "The Math" will not die nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:33:54 AM PDT

  •  According To "Beltway Wisdom" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kenosha kid, TofG

    America is 75% conservative, right wing, anti Obamacare, anti-choice, pro-military spending......why do they feel this way when polls show the opposite?

    Because the Republican Party, for all of its alleged radicalism, exists to prop up the status quo of "the winners take all", and the sycophantic chattering class likes that just fine.

    NEW SINGLE! http://johnnyangelwendell.bandcamp.com/

    by Johnny Wendell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:35:31 AM PDT

  •  Whichever party says "JOBS" the most times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    Between now and November will win......
    And so far, Boehner is winning......
    It doesn't mean he is actually DOING anything.....but unfortunately, the electorate appears to be that dumb and desperate........

    JOBS, JOBS, JOBS wins in November...!!!!!

    •  Keep the narrative on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida

      If the narrative is OBAMACARE...Dems lose badly...
      That is the Republican dog whistle.....

      •  Jobs, jobs, jobs, is the answer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjd in florida

        to most of our woes.  My take on this is saying the word is not enough.

        Pound out the facts that Boehner has refused to have an up or down vote on jobs bills proposed by the President and presented to the House.  

        Keep pounding out the difference between the Democrats solution:  Infrastructure in building and repair, including our ports, grids, levees, water reservoirs,and transportation systems, etc. NOW. And, R/D to keep us in the 21st Century in all phases of technology, which includes pouring more effort into our children's early education.

        Showing the difference in the Republican "job solution," which is the same old, same old:  Tax breaks for the rich, easing regulatory law and rules, and somehow this will equate to a trickle down of jobs.

        There is a difference between the party's vision, shout it out!

  •  The overwrought reaction to this special election (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, mjd in florida

    Reminds me of the debate the single Romney debate that ensured doom for the President and the Democratic Party for decades to come.

    Sink lost by a few points in an R-leaning district that the Prez won by a few points. There are very few lessons to draw from this local contest.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:41:38 AM PDT

    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

         ...that debate WAS a disaster for Obama, as Romney pulled ahead in the polls for a couple of weeks, but Obama did at least have enough time to right the ship, and he did.

          Sink lost because she ran as Republican-lite, which is the single best way to keep the base home. The Democrats do this so often that it's become obvious that this is by design.

      "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

      by Buzzer on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:44:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe Sink won this district as a Gov (0+ / 0-)

      candidate?  I understand some cause for concern, but Buzzer hit the nail on the head.  Run as a Repbulican-lite at your own risk.

      What does this mean for the progressive wing of the party?  Run strong progressives in the upcoming primaries so that "heir apparent" candidates don't run unopposed.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:26:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One Democrat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, mjd in florida

    "Okay, there's one Democrat."  And that one is from Arkansas.....

  •  It's "Anti Incumbent" all over again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Oh well. With the ridiculously short attention span of your average American, you can fool them over and over again.

    If there were a Liberal Media, there wouldn't be a republican party.

    by ComradeAnon on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47:28 AM PDT

    •  Not (0+ / 0-)

      If you get Democrats out to vote.

      Historically, Dems avoid voting in off- year elections.

      And if they believe the crap the media is expressing, then they deserve the hell in which they will live under Rublican rule.

      We are one national election away from the Hunger Games!

  •  Turn Out to Dem Wins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    I think DC common wisdom is neither wise or based on reality. If turnout is key and it is, then why not concentrate on movement politics. I would use OFA to build by each Congressional District an online network of people within each district. Allow people to dialog and plan to win the vote; not just raise money.
    Build enthusiasm and information from the roots up not the lees effective big money big ads top down. We need youth, women, and anyone not sitting on their old butts watching Fox News listening to Rush and Glenn.

    The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

    by Grey Panther on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47:51 AM PDT

  •  So they had to reach all the way to Arkansas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, mjd in florida

       ...to find a Dem chair willing to succumb to the Post's narrative.

       That actually gives me a bit of hope that most local party leaders aren't idiots.

       Doesn't reflect well on the Post, though...

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:48:23 AM PDT

  •  I happen to think that the less you know about (0+ / 0-)

    the Kochs, the easier it is to demonize them. I mean, what do you need to know about them? Couple of billionaires who were born billionaires who want to buy the government to serve their billionaire wants.

    I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk. - Kasper Gutman

    by rasbobbo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:51:37 AM PDT

  •  We should thank them for their "Concern". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:59:20 AM PDT

  •  So Much Awareness Lacking Here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG
    "If voters see it as an overwhelmingly negative campaign, it'll effectively turn people off and keep them from voting," said Jerry Rephan, a Democratic Party county chairman in Arkansas.
    I have probably received 100 Americans For Prosperity mailers in my life, and 100% of them have been attack ads on someone or--if they are "positive" ads--they do so in a manner contrasting the opponent negatively as in: "Unlike Debbie Wangell, Frank Schnoor doesn't believe our children should be burned for fuel."

    And this guy's saying: "We need to go easy on those Koch guys, because voters don't like negative campaigning."

    Seriously?

  •  Report Size OF Tax Subsidy Kochs Get $88 Million (0+ / 0-)

    Should be part of Ads that they lobbied to get special tax breaks while they are extremely profitable.  They are the true Welfare Queens

  •  The WaPo article is just embarrassing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    as in these piece of circular logic

    Whether the voters will agree, or even care, is an open question.

    The Kochs, for all of the attention they get from Washington politicians, remain relatively unknown to huge swaths of the electorate, according to the few polls that exist about their name recognition.

    A poll of registered voters conducted in January for the Democratic-aligned America Votes found that Kochs had relatively low name identification in five battleground states, ranging from 29 percent to 37 percent, according to a person familiar with the results

    .

    That's WHY Dems are running the ADS, you GENIUS- to inform an unaware electorate

    what is risky about that?

  •  "Leaders" like County Chair Rephan... (0+ / 0-)

    ...are part of the reason the "official" Arkansas Dem position on federal minimum wage to $10.10 is "too much, too fast."

    I'm not defending Mark Pryor here, but it is clear he isn't the only Democratic Leader in that state who thinks "defensive crouch" is the only viable, realistic strategy in any election cycle.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:08:50 PM PDT

  •  And that one Dem was only a county chairman (0+ / 0-)

    They really had to dig deep for this one.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:09:49 PM PDT

  •  And he is from Arkansas (0+ / 0-)

    One thing you can always count on with so called Southern Democrats is there ability to get up and criticize the Democratic Party for not being Republican enough.  The only thing as bad if not worse than a Southern Democrat is a corporate Democrat.  Both types love to talk trash about the Democratic Party whenever it wanders to the progressive side, and both have an agenda to sabotage a progressive agenda.

  •  Bezos (0+ / 0-)

    ...comes to the aid of his billionaires.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:28:20 PM PDT

  •  Well, we may well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    I keep seeing people on this blog who think of themselves as the fan base, and it's party officials who have to do the work.

    If other Democrats act like that, then we are heading for the toilet.

  •  They are assuming the Dem base is smaller than (0+ / 0-)

    the Republican base.  If a negative campaign turns off swing voters, but mobilizes the base, then it only follows that winning Republican campaigns got a big base out to vote.

    Then they warn that Democrats shouldn't run negative campaigns because it will only bring out their base (and then lose?)

    Our base is strong, and we need candidates to understand they must focus on base voter turnout if they are going to be successful in 2014.

    Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

    by cks175 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:29:24 PM PDT

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