During the 1992 Clinton campaign there was a famous sign hanging in the campaign headquarters exclaiming “It’s the economy, stupid!”, reminding everyone that the focus of the campaign was that the economy (George Bush sr.’s economy) was terrible, and that it was all his fault.
Fast forward sixteen years and Obama ran his campaign on a similar notion, but now, three years into his first term and looking towards re-election, things are worse and blaming George W. Bush just won’t cut it. So, for Obama, it’s all about the politics.
His recent “jobs” speech to Congress was, at its root, about just one job: his own, and his attempts to keep it. The whole point was to have a prime-time TV opportunity to set the lay of the land for the coming re-election campaign. His reading his “plan” from a teleprompter on national TV to members of Congress who are capable of reading it for themselves was neither capable of nor meant to accomplish anything else.
But why the sudden urgency on Obama’s part? That the economy has been awful is nothing new. Quite the contrary, it is something all Americans have seen and experienced first hand for several years (except maybe those who work for the government).
In addition to “death and taxes”, liberal media bias is probably the third “certain” thing in this world. Especially when it comes to conservatives.
Year after year the so-called “mainstream media” seems to become more and more hostile to conservatives of any variety, (be it religious, economic, cultural, etc.).
Dealing with liberal media bias:
The first rule: Don't let them get away with it! Always challenge them.
But the first question is what types of "biased" stories or articles should you respond to? To best answer that question, keep the following in mind:
Was it fair?
If an article or report covers all sides of an issue fairly, then ordinarily there would be no need to respond.
The last week or so we've been going over some tips on how to deal with the media. So far we've looked at the importance of 1) getting to know those who cover your beat, 2) being straightforward with how you deal with them, 3) focusing on your message and 4) being proactive in pushing your message.
Finally, here are two more tips.
Be ready to respond
Mark Twain once said that “a lie can get half-way around the world before the truth can even get its boots on”. The fact that news cycles get faster and faster each year only amplifies the truth of that statement.
If you're gonna' fight, do it right!
Like it or not, confrontation of some type is a necessity in politics.
Instead of maintaining a defensive posture, we must seek out issues
where our opponents are vulnerable and be steady and unrelenting in the
promotion of our agenda.
So what are the attributes that are essential for more effective and successful confrontation?
We have reviewed some of the details previously, but I thought it would be good to put these ideas and links in one handy place.
With that in mind, here they are:
Effective confrontation requires a positive attitude.
Even though you may get dismayed (rightfully so) about the condition of our nation and society, you can’t let that keep you from staying positive.
Remember what you’re “selling”. You’re advocating your principles, and negativity isn’t going to help you “sell” them, because humans are naturally attracted to positive energy and excitement. They want to be a part of it.
People buy in to hope, (many times without thinking... see Obama, 2008). Despair they can get on their own.
As the saying goes, put on a happy face!
By now we're all familiar with the fact that Republican victories on Election Day led to massive gains in Congress. Of course this puts the GOP in a much stronger position to advance its agenda - or at least thwart the Obama agenda for the next two years. Both are crucially important to be sure, but as most of us spend the weekend exchanging gifts, we should stop and consider a few of the other 2010 election "gifts" that are just as important for the long term.
Conservatives are more excited
It’s a basic principle of negotiation in business that you should never to be the first one to name a price. Usually, that person loses.
When you throw out the first offer, you’ve given away valuable information and may be underselling yourself.
You can apply the same principle to the political arena.
Never be the first one to compromise. If you are, you’re probably losing something - and you're letting the opposition know how weak or strong you are. They will also know what you’ve got to give up, and then they’ll want more.
Take your time.
Gather information and carefully asses your strengths and weaknesses. Then see what they’re willing to put on the table.
The aggressor usually shapes the debate.
Whether you like it or not, this is just the way things are. This means that it’s generally best to be on offense so you can advance your agenda in the way you choose.
It’s even better if the opposition doesn’t know what’s coming. The more unprepared they are to respond, the less effective their response will be...meaning you're more likely to keep them on defense.
In American politics, liberals are usually the aggressor
Generally speaking, it's liberals who want to change the pre-existing, more conservative norms of society and government, (you know, "hope-n-change").
This fact has several ramifications:
Most people hate confrontation. But given that “politics is people”, and about people agreeing and disagreeing, effective participation in our political system will inevitably call for confrontation. Bank on it.
In many cases, people are quick to compromise away principle just to avoid having a confrontation. And others may have intially got in to politics as "hard chargers”, with a mind to reform the system or address certain issues, only to find that their determination gradually wanes because of the sluggishness of the process. Before they realize it, they become co-opted into the system and are ready to compromise before negotiating even begins.
The most effective confrontation is persistent confrontation.
Recently we've covered a good bit of info when it comes to grassroots lobbying and having an impact on the legislative process, so now's a good time to summarize some fundamental points.
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