The Wet Machine, a liberal blog
Popping up on Facebook tonight, was an acquaintance flogging his blog. What was fascinating was what the liberals and netroots seem to think about how we on the Right do business.
Consider it, in many ways, a guided tour through a Leftie's mindset. Included is the assumption that the Left can organize via social networks, but apparentely we cannot.
As an EXTRA bonus, he even throws up a link to a group of blogs fighting "climate change" It shows me, how much has changed, and how far Blue America has gone from those of us in Red America.
Anatomy of The Classic Conservative Attack Strategy
For those out there too young to remember the Clinton years in detail, the conservative movement of the time developed an excellent attack strategy to keep the Ds hopelessly helpless and utterly unable to act. It works like this:
1. Find the strongest point in the opponent to convert it into a weakness. This has the advantage of surprise and neutralizes your opponents greatest assets.
2. The attack should focus away from issues of relevance to the technical requirements (e.g., is the person actually qualified, is the proposed bill tailored to the specific problem addressed) but instead on “moral” or “cultural” issues. This has several advantages:
(a) they are non-rebuttable (how do you rebut “radical, not mainstream”);
(b) it can include acts from any length of time, can include friends or acquaintances, former organizational affiliations, and other irrelevancies, because it is designed to resonate on the emotional level rather than the rational level
(I discussed why this works so effectively during the attack on Oprah almost exactly a year ago.
3. Because “there is no man on Earth so righteous that he does only good and does not sin” (Eccl. 7:20), you will always find something you can use. More to the point, because the initial stage of the attack is targeted to the base, not the independents (see below), it is OK to use something that the other side values and use that as proof of the emotional attack.
4. Begin from the ground up by going live in outlets to the base before trying to push into mainstream media nd the general public.
Not only does this resonate the base, it has the positive virtue of sustaining the base. Even in the mid-1990s, the conservative base was always described as “angry.”
It is central to the maintenance of the base to always keep them stoked. Providing them with a new target based on the attack therefore energizes the base and ensures a significant numerical response to your action item.
5. Use the strength of the reaction from the base to prove both the validity of the attack and its “mainstream” nature. Remember, your base is always mainstream, the other side are radical extremists out of the mainstream.
6. This is usually good enough to attract the attention of “mainstream media,” who give surface coverage to the controversy itself and present as a “one side says A, the other B” story.
If necessary, beat up on the MSM for its “refusal to cover the story.” In the 1990s, this was extraordinarily effective. Even if they continue to ignore it, you will win by re-enforcing for your base their status as true heroes and warriors for the Truth, constantly under threat, and ignored by the Liberal Media.
Surface coverage by the MSM is good because for the vast majority of people to believe that there must be something to the attack, especially if the attack is designed well and resonates on an emotional level with pre-existing frames and stereotypes (e.g., “big government,” “reverse discrimination”) that dominate the existing public policy framework.
The happy side effect of this for those who profit from these frames and stereotypes is it reenforces them as the appropriate frames for all issue analysis. By contrast, actual in depth coverage (for example, of the sort McCarthy received once he went after the army), is bad. Happily, due to the state of the MSM as a consequence of various regulatory changes relaxing media ownership rules (see below), surface coverage is pretty much the only thing out there.