As my readers may remember, yesterday the Democratic party managed to get itself put in a bad place by its own social media squad over ‘ethnic cleansing’ (basically, said squad turned a talk radio caller into the Voice of the Republican Party, because we’ve relentlessly given the Democratic party nothing better to work with this cycle). The Daily Caller covered this as well: it contained the phrase ‘no member of Congress from either party has made that claim or threat.’ When I read that last night, I assumed at first that it was a rhetorical trap, because decided that it wasn’t. Surely nobody on the Democrats’ side would be stupid enough to try to keep arguing that a call-in comment on a radio talk show was actually a statement made by a federal Representative or Senator.
Well, those social media geniuses over at Team Democrat managed to double down on stupid. Here’s Derek Hunter’s update to his post:
One flack said of [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach, “who as you know is a prominent voice in the GOP.” In all honesty, I had to look up who he was, so “prominent voice” is open to interpretation. [*] Finally, the words “no Member of Congress” precede what they’re complaining about. Last time I checked the Secretary of State of Kansas, or any other state, is not a Member of Congress. The DNC asked for an update to this post, so here is their update.
Derek looks forward to using this precedent to justify smacking around the Democrats every time one of their state politicians says something. So will I: but there’s also more that I want to talk about here. This is part of a larger problem that the Democrats are having right now.
The difficulty for the Left right now is that they think that they know how to use social media, but do not actually know how to use it. It’s not entirely their fault: the first real mainstreaming of social media took place during a Democratic peak in our perpetual two-party cycle, so it was legitimately difficult at the time to tell the difference between a legitimately successful political marketing strategy, and one that just happened to be successful because St. Peter and the Apostles would have had trouble getting elected as Republicans in 2006. Fortunately, it’s easier now, because the Democrats haven’t particularly changed their basic rhetorical style since then, and it shows**.
This is relevant because the 2014 election was largely about how the GOP decided to change up its messaging and outreach, while the Democrats continued to use social media like a paramedic uses a defibrillator – and that choice of simile was deliberate. The ‘Republicans are awful and we’re saying that they’re saying bad things!’ strategy worked perfectly well in 2006 and 2008: so would have sending a variant of that message twenty times a day to Democratic email lists. Didn’t work in 2010, but Democrats told themselves that it did in 2012*** …and it went thoroughly pear-shaped for the Democrats in 2014, to the point where they’re no more than two or three more social media disasters away from changing their procedures.
But they’re not there yet, as the above ‘push-back’ from the DNC demonstrates. Professional tip: if your opponent says None of my party’s Congressmen ever said such a thing! and you reply by saying Ha! You fail! It was a minor statewide official from your party who said that!, then you have not actually pushed back on your opponent’s statement. You have, in fact, confirmed it.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: If I thought that the Democrats would listen to me, I wouldn’t actually write anything.
*The snipped part here is of Derek reasonably pointing out that Kobach’s comments were pretty much warped by the DNC, and him providing a link to the original talk radio show.
**One of the nice things about our current power imbalance in the media is that Republicans can never fully relax. This is admittedly stressful, but at least we’re usually at least wary.
***It did not, but that’s a whole other post.