Is “These people could be in charge” the winning message for Democrats?

This promises to be a tough electoral year for Democrats, given the anti-incumbent mood that seems to be prevalent across the nation, and on a national level, Democrats have been searching for an effective argument to bolster their case that Republicans shouldn’t be allowed back in control of Congress. Democrats have used the terms “Bush Republicans” and “BP Republicans” to attack members of the GOP, but neither attack really seemed to gain any traction. Late last week, the DNC rolled out a new message to attack Republicans, and the DNC’s message isn’t very subtle: Republicans aren’t just wrong – they’re actually kind of crazy.

Last week Democrats unveiled a video, titled “These People Could be in Charge,” which highlights a variety of high-profile GOP candidates, all of whom appear to be, to varying degrees, stark raving mad.

The point isn’t subtle — voters are supposed to start connecting “Republican” and “crazy.” This is a party that doesn’t just want to turn back the clock to the Bush/Cheney era; this is a party that wants to scrap New Deal-era pillars of American society, repeal constitutional amendments, eliminate cabinet agencies, purge the GOP of moderates, etc.

That this effort is being launched the day before right-wing, anti-government zealots gather at the Lincoln Memorial is not, I suspect, a coincidence.

What’s more, the larger significance is very likely intended to push back against the very nature of the cycle. For months, the Republican plan has been to make the elections a referendum — if you don’t like the status quo, vote for the GOP. The Democrats’ task has been to present the midterms as a choice — you can choose to move forward with Dems, or you can go backwards with a radicalized Republican Party.

It’s a direct response to the best scenario Democrats could have hoped for. The GOP brand is still deeply unpopular, but presented with a key opportunity for massive gains, the party has nominated some real nutjobs. Voters who may have been inclined to vote Republican this year may think twice when they consider the weirdo whose name is on the ballot.

Here’s the video the DNC put out in conjunction with their new strategy:

As I noted earlier, there’s no denying 2010 is going to be a rough year for Democrats. With an economy that’s still struggling to recover from a nasty recession, folks are looking for someone to blame, and while there’s plenty of blame to be had by both parties, Democrats will bear the brunt of the frustration and anger that many across the nation are feeling (frustration and anger that no doubt have been fanned by Tea Party movement).

Given the difficult political climate Democrats are facing, their best bet might be the very strategy they’ve employed. Tying Republicans to the most far-right fringe elements of their party will only serve to remind the electorate just how far the Republican Party has veered away from the center in its journey to the far-right fringe of the political spectrum.


Related Articles

4 thoughts on “Is “These people could be in charge” the winning message for Democrats?

  1. The idea is good. What could be more important than to remind everyone how badly they wanted CHANGE from the Republican ways. Nothing.
    Of course now they have to pay the price of deflated hops since they promised the goddam Moon. Yeah, no one saw that coming at all. But anyways, here we are.

    However good/important the message (and I am very happy to see the Dems do exactly what I hoped they would)- this video is way too awkward. It isn’t an easy enough Watch. We should be sliding along like greased pigs, not working hard to keep our attention on the point.
    The graphics are harsh in a way that doesn’t just make the Republicans look unpleasant – it’s hard to keep watching at all, tires the eye. Black BG- very bad.
    TOO MANY WORDS. Somehow needs to be whittled down. Way donw in some spots, Esp that first spot, too long winded for an Intro person. You need to be really hooked immediately, doesn’t happen here.
    Needs to keep moving, just too much work to watch. I didn’t keep on till the end.
    !!!! You should feel some perverted pleasure as you watch, it should be a glorious invitation to enjoy hating on these Baddies. The way we felt watching all those slam videos and JibJab cartoons of Bush/Cheney. This is lifeless.
    So IMO – Message excellent, style bad.

    1. I agree that the message is good but the execution could have been better, but remember, this was an ad specifically geared towards the internet. Hopefully it’ll be much better once (if) it’s reworked for TV.

      1. yeah but… Internet attention span is even shorter than TV. Eye fatigue is accelerated by the fact of the glowing monitor so…
        and back around 2001 the tested “patience” level for a page load was 10 seconds max, and that was back when most ppl were on dial-up still. It has to be much shorter now. So while I don’t know the official attentions spans for videos are(I mean change/movement within the vid, the pacing etc) I’d say they are correspondingly short too.

  2. I would much rather they had just done the right hing the last two years and be sailing towards reelection, but there is no denying that many of the republicans running for office this time are insane…

Comments are closed.