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Putting the Fun in Fundraising
March 4, 2010 2:31 PM   Subscribe


 
Strategery?
posted by tmt at 2:34 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


I never get why people act like Ried and Pelosi are scary. Especially Ried. He's just a pushover. He never talks in support of anything unless there are votes for it, and then he's just plain tepid.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:34 PM on March 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


This should be illustrating the definition of "Banality Of Evil" somewhere.
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Scooby Doo is now scary.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:35 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just started reading cstross' The Jennifer Morgue, which features a brain-washing by boring Powerpoint presentation. Right after I read that scene I read this article.

*theremin music*
posted by brundlefly at 2:39 PM on March 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Reid as Scooby Doo? Droopy Dog is surely a better fit.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:40 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's nice to know that in some part of the US mental landscape it's still 1954.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:41 PM on March 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Y'know aside from that one page this is every bit as boring as every PowerPoint slideshow I've ever seen.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on March 4, 2010


I drawed you a Venn diagram:
 ________________________________________
|                                        |
|               ANTISOCIAL               |
|    ________________________________    |
|   |                                |   |
|   |         ANTI-SOCIALIST         |   |
|   |________________________________|   |
|________________________________________|

posted by Sys Rq at 2:44 PM on March 4, 2010 [41 favorites]


[NOT ANTI-SOCIALIST-IST]

I'm sorry.

posted by enn at 2:49 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Droopy Dog is surely a better fit.

(scholarly voice)
Except that I believe Droopy Dog is traditionally employed to portray Joe Lieberman.
posted by theredpen at 2:50 PM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Republicans need to grow moustaches. Then they should twirl them while they spit in the face of the nation.
posted by litleozy at 2:51 PM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]




The phrase "Peer to Peer pressure" gives me headasplode.
posted by mek at 2:52 PM on March 4, 2010


Now I'll add a 5th bullet point to all my powerpoint slides, simply stating:

* Tchochkes!!!!!!!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


The cynicism-bordering-on-nihilism on display in that powerpoint is pretty stunning, even for Republicans.
posted by zjacreman at 2:55 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: cynicism-bordering-on-nihilism on display
posted by hippybear at 2:58 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Republicans: your party leaders are calling you stupid.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:00 PM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Tchochkes!!!!!!!

Note that the major donors get one extra exclamation point with their tchochkes.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:02 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yahoo story here. Fave tidbit: big Republican donors are suckers for tchotchkes.
posted by box at 3:02 PM on March 4, 2010


Wow, great minds.
posted by box at 3:02 PM on March 4, 2010




I realize this is off-topic-ish but I feel compelled to say it.

I was in Lihue airport (Kauai) about fifteen hours ago killing time waiting for a flight and found myself watching Glenn Beck for the first time ever, albeit with the sound off. But even so ... WHAT A HORRIBLE FUCKING PERSON. Can't he be outlawed or something?
posted by philip-random at 3:08 PM on March 4, 2010


"As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish .... The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced." -- Richard Hofstadter, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" (1964)
posted by blucevalo at 3:10 PM on March 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


Who doesn't love tchotchkes? Every time I've gone to an event or whatever where vendors give presentations, I judge them mostly by the quality of their tchotchkes. FedEx is one of the top companies for tchotchkes.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:11 PM on March 4, 2010


Someone needs to use this .ppt file as the backbone for An Inconvenient Truth-style documentary.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:17 PM on March 4, 2010


And they would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that meddling Politico.
posted by Poolio at 3:18 PM on March 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am convinced that the RNC must open meetings with "Gentlemen, how do we kill Superman?"
posted by The Whelk at 3:20 PM on March 4, 2010 [45 favorites]


I'm constantly amazed by the amount of fear mongering pulled off by the Right and the fact that hardly anyone ever really calls them on it; fear of Obama, fear of Socialism, fear of teh gays, fear of health care reform, etc.

It's gotten to the point, when I meet a self identifying member of the right, I want to say "Weird, you didn't strike me as a coward, but ok..."

Just to pick the fight.
posted by quin at 3:23 PM on March 4, 2010 [21 favorites]


The conservatives are trending toward fascism way more than the liberals are trending toward socialism.
posted by Daddy-O at 3:24 PM on March 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


Yeah, Daddy-O, and it pisses me off. I'm tired of envying Sweden!
posted by zjacreman at 3:26 PM on March 4, 2010


Döners are greasy lamb meat coated in ass fat marinated and stacked a vertical skewer in the shape of an inverted cone.

Donors are people who give to political campaigns.

Just in case somebody else also reads the whole story wrong.
posted by srboisvert at 3:27 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know that Simpsons episode where there's a Springfield Republicans meeting? If not, check out the list of those present. Is it art imitating life, or is it life imitating art?
posted by dortmunder at 3:27 PM on March 4, 2010


Is The Evil Empire headed by "The Obama Twins" or "Hope and Progress"?
posted by filthy light thief at 3:31 PM on March 4, 2010


The Democrats should give free campaigning dollars to the real Socialist Party, just to make the public clear on what socialism actually is, and to move the overton window. Liberals are pretty pragmatic, so I see splintering being minimal.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:33 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe they're not selling fear. Maybe they just believe their own propaganda.

Not sure if that's better or worse...
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:35 PM on March 4, 2010


I think I'm going to start printing this ppt out and leaving it around the workplace.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:37 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thing that gets me about this: if this kind of document were revealed in my country there would be such a stinging public backlash that party wouldn't have a hope in hell at an election. But in the States, it seems that people are either unsurprised or unrepentant. That wonderful question, "Have you left no sense of decency?", seems warranted.
posted by Paragon at 3:46 PM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


No, no, their supporters will just think it's shrewd, because it's a fuckwits idea of shrewd and all of their supporters are fuckwits.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]




The thing that really gets me is, the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership are moderate to center-right.

This country is in no way on the road to socialism, and Obama is in no way a socialist. And the RNC knows it, their finance people know it, and Michael Steele knows it too. They're just lying to their own people and raising money off the lies.

What do they hope to accomplish, long term, by misinforming people like this, encouraging them to retrench in their own reality that's not based in fact? It leaves many GOP candidates in contested races pandering to a far-right constituency just to get out of the primary, held to their expectations if elected, and with a harder road to getting elected because they have to talk so differently (sometimes hypocritically) to mainstream for the general election.
posted by citron at 3:57 PM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Note that the major donors get one extra exclamation point with their tchochkes.

"Don't you get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system." -- Al Capone

"That isn't writing at all, it's typing." -- Truman Capote

"Tchochkes!!!!!!!!!!" -- Peter J. Terpeluk, Jr.

"You are a smelly pirate hooker." -- Rob Burgandy
posted by davejay at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2010


dammit, RON Burgandy. fudgecake.
posted by davejay at 3:59 PM on March 4, 2010


I am convinced that the RNC must open meetings with "Gentlemen, how do we kill Superman?"

Remember that episode of Batman: the animated series where all of the major villains are playing poker and swapping their "almost killed the bat" stories? Must be a similar thing
posted by Think_Long at 3:59 PM on March 4, 2010


The donors think their fear is rational, hence it's okay to play to their fear in their minds.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:02 PM on March 4, 2010


That's how stupid it is. Everyone already knows you kill Superman with kryptonite but they still talk it around in circles until agreeing that the way to kill Superman is to lower taxes and reduce regulation.
posted by Babblesort at 4:07 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think I'm going to start printing this ppt out and leaving it around the workplace.

I was thinking of using it to wrap presents sent to my Republican relatives. Or pretending to absentmindedly reply to their forwarded emails with that as an attachment, or even embed the images.

Steele defends RNC ‘fear’ docs depicting Obama as The Joker: ‘It was stuff that was pulled off the web.’

He doesn't understand the notion of public domain. If nothing else, Scooby Doo and Cruella de Vil are not public domain characters, even if the guy who created the Obama Joker image did post it on the internets for others to view (and copy, edit and redistrubute). Also: saying you just found it doesn't mean you should use it. You could also find some hi-larious caricatures of Obama in a number of other roles, but that doesn't mean you should use those pictures. It wouldn't look good in any light.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:07 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's how stupid it is. Everyone already knows you kill Superman with kryptonite but they still talk it around in circles until agreeing that the way to kill Superman is to lower taxes and reduce regulation.

Maybe their opposition to Cap & Trade and global warming is part of their plan. Think about it: carbon fills the atmosphere and evaporates the oceans faster. The increased moisture leads to a permanently cloudy sky which totally blocks the power-giving rays of our yellow sun. How would the Man of Steel fight it?
posted by Think_Long at 4:17 PM on March 4, 2010


Who doesn't love tchotchkes?

Joanie loves tchotchkies!
posted by COBRA! at 4:21 PM on March 4, 2010 [22 favorites]


What do they hope to accomplish...with a harder road to getting elected because they have to talk so differently (sometimes hypocritically) to mainstream for the general election.

Your problem here is you presume a rational and informed electorate.

(I'm not picking on the conservative or uneducated here..."Schumpeter didn’t think that intellectuals understood politics any better than anyone else; instead, he thought they were simply more likely to mistake their own impulsive judgments for reasoned ones.")
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 4:22 PM on March 4, 2010


Plo tchotchkes!
posted by darkstar at 4:26 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Burgundy, even.
posted by lumensimus at 4:29 PM on March 4, 2010


What do they hope to accomplish, long term, by misinforming people like this, encouraging them to retrench in their own reality that's not based in fact?

Power. For the sake of power (or the money the access the golf the cruises the women the the the). It's the only thing that makes sense, and it's the only way that I'll accept "evil" into political discussion. They aren't evil individuals, but they're under the sway of something that is fundamentally at odds with the good and necessary work of building a functional and healthy society.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:35 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Abortions for none, miniature American flags for all!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm constantly amazed by the amount of fear mongering pulled off by the Right and the fact that hardly anyone ever really calls them on it; fear of Obama, fear of Socialism, fear of teh gays, fear of health care reform, etc.

It's because they're selling themselves to people who are already afraid of all those things. The Repubs didn't invent fear; they simply harnessed it.
posted by GuyZero at 4:39 PM on March 4, 2010


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively.

This is one of my favourite sentences in the history of American political discourse. I just love what it implies about the grab-at-anything cluelessness of the RNC's braintrust. It's like it was produced by the manatees in that South Park scene who push idea balls randomly into a tube to write Family Guy nonsequiturs.

I mean, to come up with this, you have to decide to reference Scooby-Doo but not come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi is Velma. You have to instead decide she's best depicted as a rapacious imperial-capitalist furrier.

Then you have to decide that Harry Reid's best understood as an insatiably hungry, easily frightened canine hero. Yeah, so they nailed the easily frightened part, but then they want to use this reference to suggest that he himself is the thing to be scared of. It's like trying to frighten someone by comparing them to a smurf.

(Of course, the truly terrifying thing about this is that in America's current Glennbeckian travesty of a political culture, it might even work . . .)
posted by gompa at 4:41 PM on March 4, 2010 [14 favorites]


(Like trying to frighten someone by showing them a smurf, is what I meant.)
posted by gompa at 4:44 PM on March 4, 2010


Wholly Kos!!!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:44 PM on March 4, 2010


I never get why people act like Ried and Pelosi are scary. Especially Ried. He's just a pushover. He never talks in support of anything unless there are votes for it, and then he's just plain tepid.
...
Also, Scooby Doo is now scary.


They don't think Reid is scary... that's why he's portrayed as Scooby Doo.

He doesn't understand the notion of public domain.

He may or may not, but he's clearly using it in a colloquial sense and not talking about the intellectual property rights, but the offensiveness-level of the images.
posted by Jahaza at 4:46 PM on March 4, 2010


I still don't get this Obama-Joker-Socialism thing. THE JOKER IS NOT A SOCIALIST! HE IS AN ANARCHIST!

MAKES... ME... SO.... ANGRYYYYYY!
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:47 PM on March 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


fear of Socialism

LOL! Considering that the advocates of free market Capitalism just about tanked the world economy in late 2008, Socialism would be a welcome relief.

That socialized health care that the Right is complaining about? It'll save EVERYONE $10k in out-of-pocket expenses if you're out of work and need an MRI and cut BILLIONS from corporate outlays to insurance companies, thus raisin profit quotients across the board.

Socialized medicine will save $$$ for everyone but the vampires in the Health insurance industry, who will still  have customers paying for boob jobs and lipo.

Let's have a series of televised debates on the matter -- it'll be more effective than competing talking points if both sides are required to present their arguments.
posted by vhsiv at 4:50 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was almost hit by a cab with Harry Reid riding in the back, and that was kind of scary. This is just...obvious.

Frankly I'm kind of surprised that Republicans throw the word tchochkes around. It's mishugina!
posted by JoanArkham at 4:52 PM on March 4, 2010


Considering that the advocates of free market Capitalism...

As opposed to, y'know, ACTUAL free-market capitalists ... who were too busy NOT lobbying the government for tax breaks, subsidies and protectionist legislation ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2010


They don't think Reid is scary... that's why he's portrayed as Scooby Doo.

So what's the message then? "Hey, GOP congressional hopefuls, the thing to do is to convince your donors that you need their urgent help or else the ineffectual canine detective will continue to demonstrate the structural weaknesses of any party that would let this gluttonous jackass lead it"?
posted by gompa at 4:55 PM on March 4, 2010


Something tells me they probably closed with the pics of Reid and Pelosi flying around the screen, for extra-scary powerpoint emphasis. But with only the slide printouts, we'll never know for sure...
posted by gueneverey at 5:17 PM on March 4, 2010


Needs moar demon sheep.
posted by qvantamon at 5:23 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Waitaminit. So Harry Reid is *Scooby do*?!? So the Repubs, in trying to defeat Scooby Do, are dirty industrialists who pretend to be ghosts/play on local fear?

Yeah, that sounds about right.
posted by notsnot at 5:24 PM on March 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is what I imagine their meetings are like.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:25 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting part to me: the very end of the .ppt talks about "RNC v. FEC", as in, an election case filed specifically to get Supreme Court review. I'm not familiar w/the law but it looks like the objective would be to overturn laws restricting the expenditures national parties can make in state and local elections.

Kind of funny since the incessant conservative refrain, especially amongst legal sophisticate types, is that the problem with liberals is they're constantly using the judicial system to advance their politics. And here, that exact strategy is in their goddamn fundraising powerpoint!
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 5:29 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If anyone is keeping track, this is the moment the tea party movement began to die. The teapartiers are incoherent, angry, and revolutionary. What they say they want is radically at odds with "the system". As seems ever the case American revolutionaries are co-opted by one of the major parties and the system survives. In this case probably a good thing.
posted by Fiery Jack at 5:35 PM on March 4, 2010


Here is the case referenced in the .ppt. Remember how they said FEC v. Citizen's was no big deal because there were still limits on soft money contributions? RNC v. FEC is about eliminating those restrictions:

On November 13, 2008, the Republican National Committee (the RNC), the Chairman of the RNC, the California Republican Party and the Republican Party of San Diego County (collectively the Plaintiffs) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of the "Soft Money of Political Parties" provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act), codified at 2 U.S.C. §441i. The Plaintiffs state that the soft money provisions as applied to their intended activities are overly broad and unconstitutional under the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and association, and are outside of Congress’ authority to regulate elections. The Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Expedite Summary Judgment Briefing Schedule on November 19, 2008.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 5:41 PM on March 4, 2010


I still don't get this Obama-Joker-Socialism thing.

To be totally serious about this here, it's because the Joker = Obama in whiteface (with smeary lipstick, no less). It's a deeply disgusting image and is just basically a way to point to his race and say that he's effeminate.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:45 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be totally serious about this here, it's because

Why...so...serious?
posted by darkstar at 6:34 PM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


To be totally serious about this here, it's because the Joker = Obama in whiteface (with smeary lipstick, no less). It's a deeply disgusting image and is just basically a way to point to his race and say that he's effeminate.

An interesting thought, but I'm almost certain you are really overthinking it by a whole lot. It's much simpler than that: Dark Knight poster scary! THUH END. If you want to get specific, it is especially scary to old people and out-of-the-loop homeschooling evangelist types who don't know what the heck it is. Incorporate Obama, and bam: Obama scary! Tack on the word "socialism" and boom: Socialism scary! It doesn't need to make sense, it doesn't need to draw cogent parallels; it's just immediately visceral, lizard-brain, gut reaction shit.

Ditto with the Hitler moustache on Obama: Hitler scary! Obama scary! There's really no more to it than that.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:50 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I'm looking over the slides, and other than those two slides -- the ones with all the goofy pictures of Obama as the Joker, and Harry Reid as Scooby -- it's a mundane "Yeah?" kind of affair.

There's no smoking gun, at least not for anyone who's watched fund-raising campaigns at work. Everyone involved is brutally honest about whatever screwed up human frailties motivate the donors.

I can only really see this being offensive to the high-dollar donors who like to pretend that they get calls because they're special snowflakes. The front-line small donors aren't going to parse through this looking for outrage filler, and when told, "The RNC thinks you're angry and afraid!" they will say, "Yes! Yes I am, if Obama isn't stopped!"

Pretending that the DNC doesn't have a mirror image presentation sitting on a hard drive somewhere is unbecoming, I think. Aand over the long haul "They despise you just as much as we do!" isn't going to win anyone over.
posted by verb at 6:54 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know why the LaRouche supporters who hold up Obama=Hitler signs on city street corners are, to a fault, almost all white, well-to-do 20-somethings? Is there some cult thing going on here?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:56 PM on March 4, 2010


Does anyone know why the LaRouche supporters who hold up Obama=Hitler signs on city street corners are, to a fault, almost all white, well-to-do 20-somethings? Is there some cult thing going on here?

Yep.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:04 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


An interesting thought, but I'm almost certain you are really overthinking it by a whole lot. It's much simpler than that

It generally is with the teabaggers, who are a simple people; I'm not saying any of this is conscious on their part, just kinda obvious to anyone else, looking at it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:36 PM on March 4, 2010


There's really no more to it than that.

Maybe so, but there's no meal so fine as a plate of beans. It would almost work if, rather than the Joker, it was the Penguin, or better still, Syndrome from The Incredibles, who have more of a bullied-loser-wants-to-ruin-it-for-everybody vibe.

The pre-Ledger Joker was a fussy dresser, so maybe it connects to being effete?
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:57 PM on March 4, 2010


The modern Joker is a deliberate villain, one with a complex plan who's always out-thinking the good people of Gotham City. And he's also a nihilist: he wants to destroy something good, and even though he'll wrap some pretty words around it, it's all about tearing down what other people have built.

I can't think of a better icon for the COP caricature of Obama.
posted by verb at 8:07 PM on March 4, 2010


Does anyone know why the LaRouche supporters...

I grew up in Northern Va where the LaRouche rabble rousers are a part of ordinary life, especially commuting on the orange line. But for the past ten years I've lived in mostly black and latino areas and haven't seen them at all; I'm a little surprised when I drive out to Loudoun County to visit grandpa and see LaRouche fundraising in the middle of the road. I'd love to know where else they are active... can you hint at a location Blazecock?

I'm embarrassed to say it, but I am fascinated by these LaRouche dickholes.
posted by peeedro at 8:15 PM on March 4, 2010


I have a vivid memory of seeing the prime-time LaRouche infomercial that I think ran the night before some long-ago presidential election ('84? '88?). It was a truly amazing feat of batshit crazy, and obviously so even to the kid I would have been at the time. I watched it, enrapt, much as you young folk might watch your batshit crazy YouTube videos today, and reveled in the deluded madness of it all. I'm a little afraid to find out whether it's on YT.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:27 PM on March 4, 2010


"I'm embarrassed to say it, but I am fascinated by these LaRouche dickholes.
posted by peeedro at 10:15 PM on March 4 [+] [!]"


1) Ain't no dickhole like a LaRouche dickhole.
2) eponysterical!
posted by symbioid at 9:11 PM on March 4, 2010


Re: Fear.

That's the thing, innit? I've always found some strange incongruence between the "tough guy facade" and the knee-jerk fraidy-cat shit.

1) Terrorism? You're so fucking afraid of terrorists that you will do anything to stop them? Have your own fucking dignity destroyed? Full body scanners? (But then again, they've kind of alluded that dignity matters not a whit, only that you're "alive" -- as evidenced time and again by pro-life activists who don't give a fucking shit about quality of life? As evidenced by the comments on Abu Ghraib where such indignities are mere "frat pranks" and "hey, we didn't kill them!")

2) Gun Nuts? (Look no further than chicken shit gun-nuts running around in utter fear that someone somewhere is out to steal, rape and murder them and their family).

After realizing this, this past year, I suddenly realized what Jello Biafra was singing about in the lyrics to "Macho Insecurity" and it's a heck of a lot deeper than just a Jock beating up a Nerd. It goes to the core of our civilization and our attitudes towards the "Other" and our "Enemy".

Note that, while there may be some fearmongering on the left, and some of it may or may not be warranted, the kind of fearmongering is a hell of a lot more legitimate because, on the VERY PRINCIPLES THEMSELVES the left opposes torture (I'm not talking about sellout moderates, I'm talking honest to $DEITY leftists) as opposed to the right who embraces torture heart and soul. So when we, as in that Yahoo article, compare Cheney and Bush to Bond Supervillains, it has a bit of a semblance to reality. They DO tie up their enemies and torture them. It's not just some paranoid metaphor.

But a mass coffin site? Guns being taken away? FEMA camps? Really? Those Black Helicopters never swooped down in the 90s, and they sure as fuck could have if they wanted to.

Same thing with the terrorists. If they really fucking wanted to, there's nothing stopping them from walking into an airport with a few bags of explosives up to a checkpoint in a few airports and blowing the shit up. They don't need to cause a huge spectacle like 9/11, just fear. So you have checkpoints that prevent a plane explosion, woop-de-doo. Just do it at the chokepoint. But they haven't. Why? Are they so fiendishly stupid that they could never even think of such an idea? Or is it something else?

So fear. It is THE ideology of the Right. It is the Reptilian survival mechanic combined with the higher level mammalian false kinship of supposed "nationality" (which is warped by substandard humanoid neo-cortex processing as based on ideological divisions instead of actual national boundaries).
posted by symbioid at 9:26 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


2) eponysterical!

Eat a dick.
posted by peeedro at 10:32 PM on March 4, 2010


Well, symboid, you're right, but you're missing the key ingredient, the bit that makes fear-mongering effective: "Bravery." The Right loves it some Bravery. Can't get enough. It's not fearlessness; it's not conquering one's fears; rather, in the Republican dictionary, it's conquering that which one fears. Being afraid of something, it turns out, is a really great excuse for blowing it to kingdom come.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:44 PM on March 4, 2010


verb.: "Pretending that the DNC doesn't have a mirror image presentation sitting on a hard drive somewhere is unbecoming, I think."

That is such a dreadful argument! "The Republicans are doing a bad thing but I'm sure the Democrats are secretly doing the same."

I'm no great fan of the Democrats but in fact they haven't gotten anywhere down to the depths that the Republicans seem to be happy to plumb.

If you have evidence that the Democrats are doing the same thing, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, you're in the category of "simply making things up."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:48 PM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


What would the Dem equivalent of the joker-Obama picture be? Giuliani in drag? Oh wait, been done.
posted by mek at 11:26 PM on March 4, 2010


That is such a dreadful argument! "The Republicans are doing a bad thing but I'm sure the Democrats are secretly doing the same."
I'm saying that the presentation is not a bad thing. It is a neutral thing, a record of internal discussions had by GOP fund-raising leads. It is embarrassing for them, yes. It demonstrates that they are very clear-eyed about the fact that fear and anger motivate the grass-roots. It demonstrates that they know major donors need their egos stroked. And it demonstrates that at the end of the day, they realize they are selling product.

This is not shocking to anyone who has worked for any organization that relies on donations to survive, any more than it should shock people that accountants are cynical about peoples' greed or lawyers are jaded about peoples' guilt or salesmen are terribly pragmatic about what presses peoples' BUY BUY BUY buttons. It is a profoundly mundane presentation, and the only "Ah-HAH!" moments are subtle references to issues that only wonks and political junkies even know about. ("That RNC vs. FEC bullet point is a reference to this case..." etc.)

If there is anything to find offensive, it is the one throwaway slide with the Joker-Obama photo, and frankly that's weaksauce. It's like complaining that Apple rejects applications from the app store: you can say that it's terrible, but everyone who cares knows.
I'm no great fan of the Democrats but in fact they haven't gotten anywhere down to the depths that the Republicans seem to be happy to plumb.

If you have evidence that the Democrats are doing the same thing, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, you're in the category of "simply making things up."
The Democrats have money. The Democrats are organized, or at least Obama's campaign was. That means that -- to some extent at least -- they are doing the same planning, analysis of their base, and crafting of their internal message to appeal to those donors. That's my point.

Objections to the specific appeals that they make are certainly valid, but those are not really discussed in the presentation. They're touched on, but seriously. Does anyone who is capable of following a Politico link not realize that the Republicans are selling "hold the line against socialism" as their big product? They go on television and say it, they robo-call me and say it, they write it in op-ed pieces and they give speeches and say it.

I say this as someone who despises what today's RNC stands for: I'm not apologizing for them, I'm just saying, "This is mildly amusing, but tactically a waste of time." Pulling a Sam The Eagle face and saying that it's unacceptable to use mean photoshops in internal presentations is not going to accomplish anything.
posted by verb at 11:32 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


What would the Dem equivalent of the joker-Obama picture be? Giuliani in drag? Oh wait, been done.
Is "They laughed at a mean picture" really supposed to be the tipping point for outrage? That's all I'm trying to ask.
posted by verb at 11:34 PM on March 4, 2010


Is "they laughed at a mean picture" really all you're getting out of folks' interest in this? Because I think the larger point was that the optics on this are horrible, regardless of the political pragmatism of fundraising.

Basically, the mean pictures, while trivial in themselves, shows senior strategic officers of the RNC basing their electoral and fundraising strategies on engaging in (barely) junior-high-level taunting to make their case. And that the way they depict their fundraising is explicitly grossly insulting as shallow dupes that can be easily manipulated by preying on their fears or playing to their massive egos.

I mean, sure, that's the way it's tacitly done. But it's supposed to be tacit, you know? It'd be like an Republican strategy document surfacing that said "We must exploit ignorant, authority-loving Christians' beliefs in a God to get them to culturally identify with us, so they send us more money and vote us into office in spite of the fact that we don't really represent them and are just interested in keeping power. So play to their overdeveloped sense of victimhood, their imbalanced sense of moral outrage and their desperate wish to live in a fantasy world of cultural homogeneity where everyone enjoys warm and fuzzy feelings of home and hearth. Because they really eat that bullshit up. Oh, and tchotchkes!"

Everybody knows that's the carny game they're playing, but it just isn't cricket to come right out and explain it all in a document that makes its way into the hands of the marks, themselves!
posted by darkstar at 12:49 AM on March 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


*depict their donors
posted by darkstar at 12:49 AM on March 5, 2010


And just so it's clear before the flames start, I don't personally think Christians are all ignorant, authority-loving, etc. I'm just alluding to the rather cynical game that much of the GOP machine plays to get evangelicals to continue to support them.
posted by darkstar at 12:52 AM on March 5, 2010


"They laughed at a mean picture"

If you think the image of a white-faced Obama is merely "mean" I' don't think we have anything to discuss.
posted by mek at 1:08 AM on March 5, 2010


This is the kind of thing I expected to be running in their heads.
posted by anniecat at 6:53 AM on March 5, 2010


This is what I imagine their meetings are like.

"From all of us in the snake pit, good night, and please remember to floss"
posted by craniac at 7:23 AM on March 5, 2010


The sad thing is that the marks are still gonna trust their Best Friends until they get thrown off a cliff, screaming all the while that it must have been someone else's fault.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


FYI: The Obama Joker image was made by a Denis Kucinich supporter who wanted to try out a tutorial he found online.

Then, some right winger tacked on the word "socialism" and glued it all over DC. Why? I dunno. Either because of racism, fear, or advanced beanplating. Meaning there is a 33.3% chance he is one of us.

Also, quoteth the artist:
First of all, who said being a socialist is evil?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:59 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pretending that the DNC doesn't have a mirror image presentation sitting on a hard drive somewhere is unbecoming, I think.

Pretending that they do is just lazy, kneejerk cynicism. You have no evidence for your belief except the automatic assumption that "everyone does it," but that assumption is plenty of evidence for you, and no lack of evidence will be sufficient to change your mind.

You're a Tea Partier.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:03 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, the Joker image would be way funner to debate here if the guy had chosen "circumcision" as the word. Besides, it's still a scary word.

/brainfart
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:04 AM on March 5, 2010


If you think the image of a white-faced Obama is merely "mean" I' don't think we have anything to discuss.
Okay, it's repugnant and vile and unacceptable for public discourse! Better?

Sorry, I just don't see the racist angle, any more than putting George Bush in a Penguin costume would have been "Othering". I could be wrong, but IMO it's just another tone-deaf case of breathless fearmongering. "Hey he's the Joker" is not race-baiting, it's villain-baiting. And sure, the GOP should be taken to task for that, yadda yadda. But The DNC treats the GOP as 'The Enemy' too. Trying to argue that there's a nuanced difference between the two is a losing issue: the American Public doesn't have the attention span for it, and it "feels" like hypocritical whining.
And that the way they depict their fundraising is explicitly grossly insulting as shallow dupes that can be easily manipulated by preying on their fears or playing to their massive egos.
To summarize the "Motivation to Give" slide:

"Our donors are motivated by the sense that they are True Believers, that supporting us is their Patriotic Duty, that they get privileges for membership in a select circle, and that they are on the front line of an important battle. The grass roots that's targeted by direct marketing is also motivated by fear of Democratic policies, and extremely negative feelings towards the administration. They react to hot button topics and they're very issue oriented. Our individual major donors are motivated by peer pressure from other major donors, opportunities to network with Republican politicians, and access to legislators. It's an issue of pride for them: they want personal connection, they want pictures on their office walls of them shaking the Governor's hand. And here's the funny slide with all the mean pictures of the people we dislike! Our donors dislike them a lot too, and that motivates them."

That, at the end of the day, is what the "Motivation" slide says. Was it written in blunt, crappy powerpoint bullets? Sure. Will anyone who is NOT a bean-plating obsessive parse it for deeper nuance? No.

I'm coming at this from a pragmatic standpoint: I'm tired of the outrage/inspiration cycle serving as the emotional engine for the nation, and this presentation is nothing even remotely earth shattering. It is a mundane fundraising brain-dump presentation with one embarrassingly blunt slide and one very unprofessional slide. This incident will not change anything, and it's not because it won't be "news" -- it's because there is nothing there that can fundamentally contradict the existing narrative that people already carry with them.

It's fun to laugh at the incompetence of a leaked presentation, but that's it.
posted by verb at 8:19 AM on March 5, 2010


You're a Tea Partier.
Really? That's where this is going? If I don't jump onto the masturbatory OutrageFilter, I'm One Of The Other? The irony is awesome.
posted by verb at 8:24 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


But The DNC treats the GOP as 'The Enemy' too.

This isn't the GOP treating the Democrats as the enemy, it's the RNC treating their donors as idiots.

If I don't jump onto the masturbatory OutrageFilter, I'm One Of The Other?

No, if you believe things without any shred of evidence, then you're as stupid as those people with their Obama=Hitler posters. And in the same direction.

"Everyone does it" isn't sophisticated anti-naivete, it's lazy cynicism.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:39 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Verb, though I appreciate your attempt to be neutral and balanced, I think there is something more to this than the imcompetence of the RNC.

To me the ppt seems to be clear that fear, not in any real context but just simply scaring the shit out of people is a major aim of their marketing strategy. Whether its racism or creeping socialism or whatever doesn't really matter as long as people are scared and not making decisions based rational premises.

Though the ppt probably doesn't suprise anyone, I never the less think that it is information that should be disseminated as much as possible and not just to laugh at the incompetence RNC.
posted by freshundz at 8:39 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Verb, though I appreciate your attempt to be neutral and balanced, I think there is something more to this than the imcompetence of the RNC.
Well, sure. We believe they're fearmongers, and the powerpoint says that their donors are motivated by fear. Game, set, match. Is there something more? I'm not being antagonistic, though I have to admit some of the "Traitor! You're a tea partier!" responses are frustrating and annoying.
To me the ppt seems to be clear that fear, not in any real context but just simply scaring the shit out of people is a major aim of their marketing strategy. Whether its racism or creeping socialism or whatever doesn't really matter as long as people are scared and not making decisions based rational premises.
And that's the part that I'm not sure the folks who are pointing at this and shouting get. The people the GOP is marketing to know they are afraid and angry. They are self-consciously afraid and angry. They are telling others they should be afraid and angry. Anyone who needed a leaked powerpoint to determine that they are afraid and angry, and that the GOP recognizes it and plays on it when fundraising, well... They haven't been listening since the Daisy ad.
No, if you believe things without any shred of evidence, then you're as stupid as those people with their Obama=Hitler posters. And in the same direction.

"Everyone does it" isn't sophisticated anti-naivete, it's lazy cynicism.
So, you're saying that there isn't a presentation sitting on some DNC staffer's hard drive that makes a reference to idealistic hippies? That no one in the DNC has ever said, "Our major donors want to have their egos stroked?" For crying out loud, Rahm just caused a controversy by insulting the activist left publicly. And that's the president's Chief of Staff!

That's the kind of shit that I'm talking about. For better or worse, there are ample examples of both Republicans and Democrats treating their base with contempt, ample examples of them fear-mongering, and so on. You can make a case that Republicans are way more guilty of it, but that's an argument that requires much more than "See? They do it! Right here!" to prove. At least, it takes more if your goal is to convince anyone.

If you're just trying to get like-minded friends worked up so you can all share a rant over some lattes, more power to you. 'Cause that's what the conservative base is doing when they talk about how Obama can't pronounce 'Corpsman' and how Climategate will change everything.
posted by verb at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyhow, I'm not trying to flame out, and if anyone things I'm a collaborator with evil or something, we're clearly misunderstanding each other.

The fact that in one discussion, elseweb, I am currently being called a socialist who hates the ideals of the tea party and I'm being called a Tea Partier here on MeFi is simultaneously annoying and hilarious. Ideology blinds people in the same predictable ways, regardless of the specific camp.
posted by verb at 9:02 AM on March 5, 2010


So, you're saying that there isn't a presentation sitting on some DNC staffer's hard drive that makes a reference to idealistic hippies? That no one in the DNC has ever said, "Our major donors want to have their egos stroked?" For crying out loud, Rahm just caused a controversy by insulting the activist left publicly. And that's the president's Chief of Staff!

I'm saying that you are assuming things that are not in evidence. Sure, this can be looked at as business as usual...if you choose not to look at the attitude that's being displayed toward the RNC's victims.

Emmanuel was doing the opposite of this. He wasn't giving directions on how to pander to the base, he was crapping because the base has a different vision of what the administration's direction should be from his.

I don't doubt that there's plenty of discussion of how to pander to the base on the DNC side. I get the blast emails. But there's a contempt toward the party base in this presentation that's so open that it will only be accepted by that base if it is entirely justified...and I predict that the base will accept it. In fact, they will take the media attention to it as more evidence for how they are oppressed and disdained, and that the Republican Party is the only group that shows them true respect.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2010


To be fully fair and balanced we must pretend the existence of gun-totting racist Democratic mobs.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apparently, the Tea Baggers are not amused.
posted by caddis at 9:43 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really? That's where this is going? If I don't jump onto the masturbatory OutrageFilter, I'm One Of The Other? The irony is awesome.

Or, it may have something to do with the fact that you rather vehemently deride folks' interest in this as "masturbatory OutrageFilter". But whatev.
posted by darkstar at 9:45 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm saying that you are assuming things that are not in evidence. Sure, this can be looked at as business as usual...if you choose not to look at the attitude that's being displayed toward the RNC's victims.
Yeah, but that 'assuming things not in evidence' bit cuts both ways. This presentation "displays" contempt towards one and only one group of people: major donors who want "access" and "ego stroking." That's newsworthy, perhaps, because it is a fundraising etiquette gaffe. But the comments about the mass-mailing targeted small donors? Saying that they're motivated by "Fear" and "Negative feelings about the administration?" Putting that on a powerpoint slide implies condescension? It doesn't. It's perhaps slightly embarassing because it's not how all of them see themselves, but it is only "evidence" of contempt for those of us who already believe that the GOP holds its base in contempt.

To put things in perspective, this is a group that still holds a grudge because the President of the United States said that they were "bitter and afraid," and that it explained why they "cling to God and guns." The fact that members of their own tribe said simply that they were "motivated in part by fear" is not going to register on the contempt scale.

As someone who gives a shit about actually communicating with people who don't already agree with me, I see this line of argument as a profound waste of time. it's useful to mention, perhaps, if someone tries to argue that the GOP is a just a bunch of scrappy patriots who want to make a difference (as opposed to a well oiled political machine that can present itself in different ways to different audiences). But other than that? It's smack dab in the middle of 'Palin writes on her hand' territory. Funny for a chuckle but otherwise just part of the noise.
To be fully fair and balanced we must pretend the existence of gun-totting racist Democratic mobs.
Don't worry, you can have the circle-jerk no matter what I say.
posted by verb at 9:50 AM on March 5, 2010


“They don’t get it,” Judson Phillips, a Nashville lawyer who organized the National Tea Party Convention last month, told The Daily Beast. “They freaking don’t get it.”

Somehow this quote sums up the whole thing for me.
posted by freshundz at 9:55 AM on March 5, 2010


Or, it may have something to do with the fact that you rather vehemently deride folks' interest in this as "masturbatory OutrageFilter". But whatev.
I'm sorry if my comments have implied that interest in the document, amusement at it, or curiousity about how it will be received by the GOP's base is in any way "outragefilter".

I thought my initial posts in the thread made it clear that the subject is interesting -- especially the reaction of the GOP's major donors. But when it gets to the 'Obama in Joker-face! OUTRAGE!' aspect of it, I roll my eyes. As I do when someone says that this is 'proof that they despise their base' or what not. If anything, it could insult the base by trivializing their passions, ranking them as just one of many bullet points, etc etc.

I think that turning this into a "Republicans put nasty pictures in their powerpoints, and don't take their donors seriously enough!" thing is fundamentally a losing fight. That particular set of data points has occurred in every organization I've ever been a part of, in one way or another. It's regrettable, and it's embarrassing, but the specific things actually included in the presentation are not smoking guns.

You can think I'm wrong, you can tell me why I'm wrong, but what I hear instead in this thread is "OMGZ YUR A TEA PARTIER!" and "Oh, so Democrats beat gays, too?"

Go team.
posted by verb at 10:03 AM on March 5, 2010


To be fully fair and balanced we must pretend the existence of gun-totting racist Democratic mobs.

*looks in mirror*

Gun-totting? *checks holster* Check.
Racist? *hates humans* Check. (Fuck biologists, it's a "race"!)
Democratic? *checks last election* Check.
Mob... *checks number of voices in head...* Check.

I'm your man.
posted by quin at 10:12 AM on March 5, 2010


Clue number one that you should shut up: The thread becomes about you.
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clue number one that you should shut up: The thread becomes about you.
Respectfully, all you've contributed to the thread is a link and snark. Snark that fundamentally misrepresented the arguments being made, no less. If you're going to be an ass, at least be interesting.
posted by verb at 10:26 AM on March 5, 2010


I think we can safely say you're done.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on March 5, 2010


Artw, you're being an ass.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:08 AM on March 5, 2010


He said be interesting.
posted by electroboy at 11:09 AM on March 5, 2010


I am concerned about the recent level of interest in my ass.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on March 5, 2010




In other "LOLREPUBLICANS" and "Are they racist?" news, Bill Kristol's Foreign Policy is mad at Obama for letting Jay-Z and Beyonce in the Situation Room, and Obama put his feet on the desk in the Oval Office.

As far as I can tell, the desk one is pretty well circulated. I got it from two right wing relatives, although one has a history of saying racially questionable things.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:18 PM on March 5, 2010


I wonder how he feels about Elvis Presley in the Oval Office.
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on March 5, 2010


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