Saturday, April 21, 2018

Do Ideas Matter More than Money In Politics?

Here's the hypothesis:  The reason Donald Trump won the White House and the reason the Republicans swept into power in both houses of Congress was not because they had the upper 1% and all the money but because they had the ideas. They have been the party of ideas--terrible ideas, granted, but ideas nonetheless which appealed to enough people who voted.

See What Sticks

Reading "Dark Money" and a variety of other tomes and sources about the Right, the Koch brothers, Fox News the most striking thing, to Mad Dog at least, is how they invest in ideas, in think tanks, in people who will air their ideas and refine them. 

Right Wing Intellect
Comics do this sort of thing: Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, air "new material" out on small audiences in basement brick-walled night clubs before they take their routines to nation wide audiences. 

Rush Limbaugh, every day, runs various tropes by audiences and, in some way, gets feedback on what of all that stuff he has thrown against the wall, sticks.
Thunder from the Left: The Man with Ideas

Democrats do not do this. They do not assume, as many Neo Nazis and Freedom Forum and Tea Party types assume, that what they are putting out is offensive, or possibly even wrong. Democrats speak from deep conviction; their gospel is received Truth, and they have the self righteous posture which conveys that.

Republicans, at least some, know their bile is offensive, is wrong in the eyes of others and they work on it and refine it. 
Showed Something: The Man is a Pro

New Hampshire Dems held a very useful and well orchestrated forum in Portsmouth last Wednesday. It is a seminar which should be studied by all the local Democratic party groups throughout the state, because it did get at the thinking of at least some of the candidates. Well, actually, what it got at was how well they could present the tropes. To examine real thinking, you have to allow for hard questions. 

It did not do this more than superficially, but it was a start.

Ray Buckley and Co. did not want to allow control of the event to slip from their hands, so they did not allow questions directly from the audience of 150, but they required questions be written down on cards, which they then selected and edited.
Deaglan McEarchern

What Mad Dog would like to see now is a more bare knuckles, slashing approach to the thinking of these candidates.  For example, candidates were asked if they supported a woman's right to choose and Deaglan McEachern, who got the original question said, "Yes, 100%." Every other Democrat echoed his words.

But Mad Dog has asked McEachern the following question, in another setting, "So, you Democrats always say that this abortion question is about the right of a woman to control her own body without anyone else interfering. But what about the baby who is coming down the birth canal and you have a doctor there with a scalpel to meet it's head? Are we now talking only about a woman's right to control what happens to her body? Is there not another body, another person now to consider? Suppose I say life begins at conception? It is not a choice, it's a life."

There is an effective answer to that, but McEachern had not worked it out. He asked Mad Dog for Mad Dog's answer and hearing it, he smiled and said, "Ask me that question again sometime. I think I'll have a better answer for you."
Is this Race Over? If Maura has no ideas, does it matter?

In the setting of the forum at Portsmouth, he did not have the time to get into the deeper answer. Nor did any of the others, but they will have to do this when they debate Republicans.

But maybe, none of this matters. Maybe all that matters is who has the most money. That's who will become the nominee. 

Sad to say, that nominee may then go down to defeat by a Republican who has more ideas, better answers.
Looks Like Hillary: All the Money, Playing it Safe

Hillary Clinton outspent Trump in many of those Rust Belt counties, in some places 9 to one, and yet he won those counties. 

We had better ask ourselves, as Democrats, why?

 Looking at that bar graph, to Mad Dog's eye at least, there is an almost perfect inverse correlation between the height of the graph, the size of the money and the quality of ideas held by the candidate. Terrence O'Rourke, who has more ideas, better thought out, has barely enough money to register; Maura has a ton of money; not so much in ideas.

Are we headed down that same old path as Democrats? Rushing to the person who draws in all the big bucks and shoving aside the guy who has the big ideas?

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