Sunday, 14 September 2008

What The Democrats Ought To Do

Whenever I see official Democrat 'I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message' campaign adverts, I am left cold. They are weak, overly wordy, and sound like they are aimed at pundits in the New York Times rather than Mr & Mrs Floating Voter.

The narrative of the election is running away from Obama, the introduction of Sarah Palin has moved the goalposts, and as John Demetriou and I discussed separately last week the Republicans look for all the world like winning a third term come November.

The events of Thursday have, however, given rise to the thought that there could be a way back for the Democrats. An opportunity has arisen, but to take it would seem to go against every instinct of the Obama team. It would require the very opposite of the dry, leaden, economy-centred campaigning of the past couple of months.

What the Democrats must do, if they actually want to win, is to make this election a referendum on war; catastrophic war.

Forget the economy
- people don't have faith in Obama because of his lack of experience, and will vote for the 'devil they know' - also, the Obama = socialist meme is too strong to overcome.
Forget prattling on about lobbyists - only pundits and politicos give a shit, this will go in one ear and out of the other.
Forget 'McSame' - again, better the devil you know and all that, compared to an inexperienced wild-card candidate like Obama.

On the other hand, nuclear war and the draft... Everyone gets it, hardly anyone wants it (and anyone who does wouldn't vote Democrat in a million years)...

Here is an outline of the advert that the Democrats must run if they actually want to win this election and save us from McCain/Palin.

CLIP FROM CHARLIE GIBSON INTERVIEW: Gibson - (...war with Russia...) Palin - "Perhaps so"

ECHOES: "Perhaps so... Perhaps so... Perhaps so..."

VOICEOVER: "Sarah Palin didn't think twice before advocating that the US go to war with Russia.
That's Russia. A country with over 6,000 active nuclear warheads in its arsenal."

CLIP FROM 05/08/07 DEBATE: McCain: "it's naive to say that we will never use nuclear weapons."

ECHOES: "Nuclear weapons... Nuclear weapons... Nuclear weapons..." (show mushroom cloud)

VOICEOVER: "...Even if it doesn't come to that..."

MUSIC (Status Quo - In The Army Now): On-screen war imagery (Iraq War and the Cold War) and text relating to the draft that would undoubtedly be necessary were the US to go to war with Russia over Georgia.
Scare the young with the prospect of the draft, the older with echoes of the Cold War, and everyone with the prospect of nuclear annihilation!

The association in people's minds come November 4 has to be: McCain/Palin = Catastrophic War and the Draft

If the Democrats fail to do this or something very much like it, they will lose the election - and only have themselves to blame.

UPDATE: "A vote for [McCain] is a vote for the draft" - Jon Soltz,

UPDATE (15/09): Developments since this post was originally written mean that 'forget the economy' (in campaign ads) is no longer a defensible course of action for the Democrats. This does not mean that preventing catastrophic war should not be the primary theme of the campaign, however.

This post adapted from comment originally published here


Blogging All Over The World... said...

Status Quo???

And it was such a great post up until that point...

Letters From A Tory said...

They should also be hammering Sarah Palin for being such a fraud. Her lies about foreign policy experience are already haunting her.

QT said...

@lfat: Because Palin has been so taken to heart by large segments of the people you're (the Democrats are) trying to convert, it's perhaps not a very good idea to "hammer" Sarah Palin herself.

They should make it about the issues, of which war is the most emotive issue, rather than the person. Attacking Palin herself is walking straight into the Republicans' trap.