Alison: Your aim is not true

So, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Democrat running for Republican Mitch McConnell’s Senate seat, got hit with this ad for refusing to say if she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012:

Alison, it’s a simple yes or no. If you did, you piss off Republicans who aren’t going to vote for you anyway. If you didn’t, then Democrats should be pissed off because that means you thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be president if the old guy died, or you had no issues with Mitt Romney saying 47 percent of your state consisted of moochers who suck on the federal teat: You know, Republicans on Social Security who attend Sarah Palin rallies tugging oxygen tanks and riding wheelchairs they got from Medicare:

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn’t a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — “Government’s not the solution! Government’s the problem!” — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

“The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.”

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

And for some reason, Grimes thinks running this ad in Kentucky is a good idea:

Look, there are a lot of immigrants in the Bluegrass State who want to support a Democrat because they know the GOP wants to send them south of the border, and that doesn’t mean to Tennessee. So go ahead and write off those votes so you can appeal to the previously mentioned Republicans who aren’t going to vote for you anyway.

Maybe the Grimes campaign is in the midst of some super genius strategy where it is convinced the voters of Kentucky are a bunch of barefoot, one-toothed hicks in bib overalls and straw hats who are easy to outsmart on Election Day. Maybe this is the path to a landslide victory for the Democrat.

I doubt it.

But, Alison, you have to know you are really pissing off registered Kentucky Democrats who were fired up about the possibility of getting rid of Mitch. Instead, you’re pandering to the cowards who say they’re “Independents,” the 2014 political designation for humiliated Republicans who don’t want people to know they voted twice for George W. Bush (the dumber).

As I’ve said before: If you’re going to run on a Republican platform, you should have challenged Mitch in the primary.

You might think a Democrat running as a conservative is a good idea. But the only Blue Dog in Kentucky that a rational person needs is the bakery and cafe on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville.

We don’t need a Blue Dog Democrat in the Senate who’s going to undermine everything progressives are trying to achieve. If you’ve paid any attention, you know that most Blue Dog Democrats have been voted out of office in recent elections. There used to be conservative Democrats in Kentucky’s congressional delegation in Washington. Do you want me to count how many there are today?

Zero.

Wait a minute, let me do a recount.

Yep. Zero.

Time to appeal to your base. Start acting like a Democrat.

The GOP rebranding strategy for 2016

It’s 2014, which means we’re gearing up for the 2016 presidential election. (Yeah, we have the midterm congressional elections coming up, but now is when the messaging for 2016 actually begins.

So which Republicans are among the likely presidential contenders, and what are they doing?

From the Washington Post:

Since giving up on cowboy boots (the arched heels agitated his back) and wearing hipster glasses, [Rick] Perry has a look more bookish than buckaroo — and more in keeping with his attempt at intellectual reinvention.

What was it that Rick Perry did that made him look dumb, anyway?

Yeah, glasses. That’ll fix everything. Because we all know that people who wear glasses are smart. Here’s what the site Eye Candy Optical says:

Scientific research has shown that we do perceive people who wear glasses as more intelligent when compared to those who do not wear glasses (As an aside, we also view people who wear glasses as more competent, and more industrious according to a recent article in Psychology News and Reviews).  Count me in!

Although perception is not a reality, you may give yourself a leg up just by putting on a proper pair of specs.  Let’s face it….it couldn’t hurt! In today’s competitive world anything that gives us a little extra boost (real or perceived) is worth a try.

Rick PerryNow there’s a smart looking man!

And since looking intelligent is part of the strategy for potential Republican presidential candidates, what other ways will they present themselves to the American voter?

Again from the Washington Post:

The last time Republicans began running for president, there was a race to be the most confrontational, the most unbending. Mitt Romney said he was “severely conservative” and got caught mocking the “47 percent.” Rick Perry called the Federal Reserve “treasonous.” Rick Santorum said he was “for income inequality.”

What a difference a disastrous election, two years and terrible polling make. If 2012 was a contest to be the toughest, the 2016 presidential Republican primary is likely to include a competition to appear the most compassionate.

The rebranding effort is taking center stage this week with pleas for more compassion from four potential GOP presidential candidates: Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The Republicans are working to redefine the GOP as kinder, more connected to the daily economic anxieties of poor Americans — and better able to win national elections.

Remember the last compassionate conservative?

But how do you look compassionate?

image11406142490That’s Paul Ryan on the right at a heroin clinic, looking compassionate. The GOP message had been, “You use heroin, you go to jail.” Now, let’s pull a gem from the past, quoting George Bush (the smarter): “Message: I care.”

We are not dealing in substance anymore. This is all about illusion. Nobody is going to read these guys speeches or cross reference their statements in newspaper articles. This is the first step in the Fox News election strategy.

We know what the message will be, and how they’re going to present it. So what can we do?