Two Parts of the Con

I’ve always thought that there was something fishy about the GOP’s GOTV and advertising operations. We’d hear every cycle that a massive, highly effective GOTV operation was cranking up to make the big difference in the election, but I never saw clear evidence of what, exactly, that operation was. Ads are a little more transparent. From the financial disclosure forms I’ve seen, it was clear that Republican consultants bundle charges for making and placing ads, while Democratic consultants make the ads and then the candidate pays for airtime in a separate transaction.

With GOTV, I suspected that the Republicans mainly relied on the long-true fact that Republicans are more likely to vote on their own than Democrats. With ads, I thought that there was a huge incentive for consultants to crank out formulaic crap ads and place them indiscriminately to pocket as much money as possible.

Unless the Romney campaign is far less competent that previous ones, my suspicions about the GOP GOTV operation were right and then some. This post by a Republican poll worker (via OTB) is just a catalog of failure at every point. Lists were emailed as 60 page attachments the night before the election, poll workers weren’t certified for their precincts, a mobile “app” that was supposed to revolutionize the operation didn’t work, and the net result was this motivated poll worker couldn’t work on election day.

As for the consultants, even a writer at the conservative Breitbart says this (via Jay Rosen):

[…] The left thinks the Republican party is beholden to its billionaire donors. Actually, the Republican party treats these donors as easy marks. The party is actually beholden to a small cadre of political consultants and media buyers who exert total control over the party’s messaging and outreach.
All institutional arms of the Republican party have lists of “approved” vendors and consultants. If a campaign doesn’t use someone from this list, the party will threaten to withhold financial support. If consultants on this list were competent, it wouldn’t be such a problem, but the “approved” consultants tend to produce generic, cookie-cutter campaigns. Can anyone remember a single memorable ad from a SuperPAC or GOP campaign this cycle?

Rove’s SuperPAC spent a bunch of money in my House district (NY-25) on the most weak-ass, bog-standard anti-incumbent ads I’ve ever seen. In a D+5 district, the well-known, fairly moderate Republican candidate, Maggie Brooks, lost by 14 points to Louise Slaughter. I think part of the reason is the PAC ads, because they are so obviously Republican that they reinforced Slaughter’s contention that Brooks was a standard-issue conservative Republican.

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107 replies
  1. 1
    Mark S. says:

    All institutional arms of the Republican party have lists of “approved” vendors and consultants. If a campaign doesn’t use someone from this list, the party will threaten to withhold financial support.

    FREE MARKET, BITCHEZ!

    Seriously, the idea that the GOP has any relation to laissez-faire economics is every bit as much bullshit as the idea that they’re good at reducing the deficit. The GOP stands for crony capitalism and nothing else.

  2. 2
    amk says:

    Can anyone remember a single memorable ad from a SuperPAC or GOP campaign this cycle?

    Yes, jeep, jeep ad which backfired miserably on the lying ratfuckers.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    So, there’s a downside to ignoring reality. Also, doing infrastructure correctly really does matter. Funny, that.

  4. 4
    Dennis G. says:

    What could possibly go wrong with a GOTV system you’re beta-testing on Election Day?

    Just more evidence of Wingnut magical thinking.

  5. 5
    fuddmain says:

    In addition, they just don’t have enough jackboots on the ground. In 2008 and again this year, I have yet to run across a GOP canvasser. I remember in 2008 driving by one of the big republican campaign offices in Orlando and it was dead. This was close to the election at a time when it should have been buzzing. In contrast, every Obama office I’ve been to has been bristling with activity no matter the time.

    Clown shoes.

  6. 6
    Todd says:

    It’s all easier than that – the billionaire donors got Bained, the campaign staffers who needed cab fare got Bained, and the American public got to see CEO culture up close.

  7. 7

    I have long believed that all of this Superpac money had nothing to do with electing people but had more to do with lining the pockets of a handful of favored political consulting firms.

    The story of course confirms it, but what will the billionaires think when they discover that they are just marks being fleeced and that the consultants had no intention of working towards their favored outcome but instead had only their banks accounts in mind?

    It reminds me of the 2007 primary, Mark Penn had to be the worst political consultant in the world and yet he made millions off Hillary, which she spent months if not years paying off.

  8. 8
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    “Why Romney Lost”
    An E-Book by
    Arguingwithsignposts

    Chapter 1:
    Mitt Romney received fewer votes in both the popular and electoral totals than President Barack Obama.

    The End

    (Maybe I should pad a little?)

  9. 9

    @Dennis G.:

    On the other side OFA had a training weekend prior to the election and a dry run on Monday.

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    Post election. The disloyal opposition of the Weimar Republican, declares total and permanent war on liberals America.

    Watch the video.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    That story about the GOP’s GOTV system was just amazing. Total fail from start to bottom, covered thickly with “some consulting firm was paid big money to shit this system out”.

    And remember, Romney’s whole argument for voting for him was that he was some uber-competent management genius who would turn the country around.

  12. 12
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    CSPAN2’s AEI “Election Analysis” Q&A.

    Cracker, cracker, cracker, cracker!

    And they wonder why they’re losing.

    When the Great Black Hope of the election is a conservative black Mormon immigrant winning election in UTAH! you’ve got problems.

  13. 13
    mainmati says:

    ” If a campaign doesn’t use someone from this list, the party will threaten to withhold financial support.” The GOP has long been a corporatist, authoritarian party basically contemptuous of its base or at least complacent about it. And the predictable result of such an attitude is what we have here.

  14. 14
    SpotWeld says:

    All institutional arms of the Republican party have lists of “approved” vendors and consultants. If a campaign doesn’t use someone from this list, the party will threaten to withhold financial support.

    Okay, here’s the follow up homework.
    How do active Dems work on thier party to prevent that stagnation from setting in?

  15. 15
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Unless the Romney campaign is far less competent that previous ones

    Is this even up for debate?

  16. 16
    anthrosciguy says:

    The story of course confirms it, but what will the billionaires think when they discover that they are just marks being fleeced and that the consultants had no intention of working towards their favored outcome but instead had only their banks accounts in mind?

    Who cares? The con men got their money, tens of millions. The worst case scenario for them is they only get to make tens of millions of dollars once. History shows, however, that they will get to do it again and again. Newt Gingrich has been doing this sort of election scamming for decades now.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Shame that Gore Vidal didn’t live long enough to see what transpired this week.

    “It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.”

  18. 18
    Alex S. says:

    Also, the republican message has become hollow. How could the republican message be made memorable? It’s been the same for quite a while now. Karl Rove has controlled their game for 12 years. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes have been at this game even longer. These people will leave now. Rove deserves to be fired. Murdoch is discredited and very old.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    I think maybe this time, CU worked to our advantage by playing into the GOP mentality that lots of money will help you win, and unlimited cash guarantees it. They got gold fever and focused on the visual aids for relentless propaganda. Instead of building a nuts and bolts operation for getting out the vote. I doubt they make the same mistake again, at least so egregious. But they still need to put up a candidate that is fully integrated with their party message. And likely as well, a a new party message that includes someone other than Stay Puft marsh mellow men.

  20. 20
    Steeplejack says:

    @General Stuck:

    Man, that video comes across as a vanity piece for the Heritage Action CEO, Michael A. Needham. It’s basically just him spewing boilerplate with some stock footage thrown in. And he’s not very telegenic.

    The GOP is so out of touch. On YouTube this video already has 1,369 dislikes vs. 241 likes. Over 5:1 against. What’s that phrase I’m searching for? Oh, yeah: keep fucking that chicken.

  21. 21
    nominus says:

    IOW the campaigns are just another grifting scheme for the Republicans. The vendors and consultants will just close up shop, shuffle personnel around, then reopen under new names and slightly tweaked leadership. Let’s hope the closed feedback loop continues for a few more cycles.

  22. 22
    rlrr says:

    @NotMax:

    Which explain why fundy Christians believe there must be a Hell.

  23. 23
    Tom65 says:

    @fuddmain: That’s been my experience as well. It seems all the money raised goes into paying for consultants and ad time, and virtually none of it is spent on ground-level GOTV efforts.

  24. 24
    Raven says:

    @Dennis G.: Did you see the list of write-in’s against Broun?

    The write-in votes were a hodgepodge of hundreds of often-misspelled real local residents, celebrities, fictional characters, inanimate objects and abstract concepts. A few examples: Bacon, Batman, Bertis Downs, Beyonce, Big Bird, Bill Nye, Brian Brodrick, Burning Bag of Dog Shit, Captain Jack Sparrow, “Carl” Marx, Darth Vader, Democrote, Doc Eldridge, Doritos, Doug McKillip, George Bush, Guy Fawkes, Gwen O’Looney, Jarvis Jones, Jay-Z, Hugh Acheson, Led Zeppelin, Michael Stipe, Randy Macho Man Savage, Ron Paul, Russell Edwards, Satan, Science, Spongebob, Stephen Colbert, Taylor Swift, Vermin Supreme, Yoda, Zelda and Zell Miller.

  25. 25
    General Stuck says:

    @Steeplejack:

    It just screams out anti American anti democracy, only a few days after a national election they lost

  26. 26
    jibeaux says:

    These guys spent massive, massive amounts of money, and have nothing to show for it. I think that’s great.
    And it’s possible that there may be no amount of money and messaging that will polish the turd that they’re trying to sell. It may be simply impossible to buy enough votes without changing the product. I think that’s fantastic.

  27. 27
    Splitting Image says:

    I think it’s a combination of the two. The G.O.P. has been using churches as a get-out-the-vote engine for decades. They’re heavily reliant on it and haven’t developed much of a system to supplement it, which means their GOTV effectiveness will likely decline as churchgoing becomes less common. It was smart and clever to infiltrate the evangelical churches this way, but relying on that is going to look less and less clever as time goes on.

    Basically it’s just another proof that Richard Nixon was a goddamned genius and that most of the acolytes he left behind are morons who are convinced that they are geniuses themselves because they keep doing what worked last time. (cf. Strategy, Southern)

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @Alex S.

    Murdoch is discredited and very old.

    And hedged his bets.

    His Times of London endorsed Obama.

  29. 29
    piratedan says:

    @General Stuck: never mind the men behind the curtain that put is into this debt… never mind that history has shown that the only way out of a crippling recession is for SOME entity to begin spending to turn the economic wheels again…. never mind that instead of Congress (who you have some electorial control over) makes health care more affordable we’d prefer to have your employer and their insurance company choice (lowest bidder prevails) they get to decide whether or not you get treated if you get sick.

    jaysus those poor deluded rubes are gonna keep falling for this shite

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @Splitting Image:

    It wouldn’t hurt if the GOP nominated someone the fundies din’t consider a cult of idolators. Most of them voted for him this time, but obviously did not work the GOTV like they did for GWB.

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    @SpotWeld: yes! 10000 times this!

  32. 32
    Robin G. says:

    I’m not sure that the inherent problem was grifting (though lord knows it was going on). I think it’s that they’re dealing with a bunch of people who truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that they can buy anything. Throw enough money at what you want, and you’ll get it. It doesn’t matter if your product isn’t as good. Quantity will always win out over quality. And that may have helped us as much as anything — they signed checks and didn’t bother with a real strategy, because they didn’t think they needed one.

    We’re celebrating the teabaggers self-immolation this election, but I think the “People Can Be Bought” thinkers may have taken it in the teeth even worse. It’s not just the money loss. It’s the discovery that those dollars don’t trump everything.

  33. 33
    Ash Can says:

    In 2008 I was laughing heartily at the incompetence of the GOP ground game. This time around, I’m still laughing and happy, but I’m also gobsmacked at the extent of the incompetence. Going back to Nixon and Humphrey, I don’t recall seeing nearly as incompetent a ground game as Romney’s. And I’ve definitely never seen one that ignored the polling. I’ve been under the impression the last couple of months that the Romney people, even at the top, were saying to each other in private that things weren’t looking too good. The thought of them being as surprised as they were by the outcome blows me away. The entire idea of a political campaign ignoring the polling, even making up their own numbers, just leaves me speechless.

    I just hope they don’t wise up about it, at least for as long as the lunatics are in control of the party.

  34. 34
    Cassidy says:

    I loved their strategy. I hope they continue to use it for the next couple of cycles.

  35. 35
    General Stuck says:

    @SpotWeld:

    How do active Dems work on thier party to prevent that stagnation from setting in?

    More circular firing squads

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @Mark S.:

    Seriously, the idea that the GOP has any relation to laissez-faire economics is every bit as much bullshit as the idea that they’re good at reducing the deficit. The GOP stands for crony capitalism and nothing else.

    So, so true. If you want to know what a Republican/wingnut/conservative is doing or thinks, listen to what they’re accusing the Democrats of doing. The Republicans are a classic study in projection.

  37. 37
    Suffern ACE says:

    @General Stuck: well it also didn’t hurt that Obama had shitloads of money, too.

  38. 38
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    So I was right – Republicans handle *everything* the way they handled the Iraq war. Charge enough to build the Taj Mahal, give KB&R a no-bid contract to build some substandard shit that electrocutes your own people, then pocket the difference.

    (ETA: Oh, and fire Gen. Shinseki for saying “your battle plan is never gonna work.”)

  39. 39
    fuddmain says:

    @General Stuck:

    I thinks that’s one of the big differences. I get the sense that so many supported Rmoney because they hated Obama. While most Obama supporters and volunteers certainly had a strong dislike for Mittens, they really like Obama. They wanted him to win, not for the other guy to lose.

  40. 40
    Mark S. says:

    It’s kind of worth it to read the poll worker post:

    At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly.

    So he ended up doing nothing all day. Also, I’m still laughing at how Mitt was so confident of victory (thanks to unskewed polls!) that he tried to make a play for Pennsylvania in the last days.

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mark S.:

    So, the whole gottamn party is one giant grift?! I knew the slime like Rove and Newt were but it never occurred to me the whole f’ing party has become a welfare operation for the benefit of a few.

    cool!

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    @Robin G.

    I think it’s that they’re dealing with a bunch of people who truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that they can buy anything.

    And that wealth equates to moral worth.

  43. 43
    Suffern ACE says:

    @General Stuck: laugh. But I was thinking-send known losers into the republican mouse machine. Thank you Dick Morris and Pat Caddell. It is true. You didn’t leave the party. Lets keep penn and Schoen working on their Americans elect grift. We don’t want them back.

  44. 44
    Legalize says:

    I guess that explains while we saw zero GOPer observers at the polls in Hamilton County.

  45. 45
    General Stuck says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    well it also didn’t hurt that Obama had shitloads of money, too.

    The point is how it was spent.

  46. 46
    Schlemizel says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    You’ll never get any of that sweet, sweet, wingnut welfare unless you can do better than that!

    Gotta say somthin’ bout the bit-ches, the coloreds, the fruits, the takers. Then you could be on the gravy train for life!

  47. 47
    fuddmain says:

    @General Stuck:

    Exactly, but volunteers don’t get paid and Obama had shitloads of them. Rmoney? Not so much.

  48. 48
    Punchy says:

    Speaking of elections, apparently the “say anything to get elected” has infected Sean Hannity. Yes, faced with devestating minority voting patterns, suddenly Mr. Racist/Sexist/Homophobic Shitheel Douchebag(TM) lubs himself some Brownies.

    Go fig.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Robin G.:

    I’m not sure that the inherent problem was grifting (though lord knows it was going on). I think it’s that they’re dealing with a bunch of people who truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that they can buy anything. Throw enough money at what you want, and you’ll get it.

    I think you’re right. The ultra-rich are accustomed to getting what they want when they want it. And then when they don’t, it turns out they’re nothing but a bunch of whiners.

    They really are the Emperors that Had No Clothes. There is no there there.

  50. 50
    artem1s says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    that was my reaction this morning listening to NPR interviewing yet another GOP hack about what lost the election for Mitt.

    WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR YOU! I yelled at the radio…

    HEAVY emphasis on the WE.

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Schlemizel: Yep. And they had a chance to start breaking it down. But no. They pardoned Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist. Why would anyone change? Everyone likes a comeback story. Everyone will be rehabilitated.

  52. 52
    General Stuck says:

    @fuddmain:

    Exactly, but volunteers don’t get paid and Obama had shitloads of them. Rmoney? Not so much

    Yup. More evidence money can buy you diamond rings and things, but not love.

  53. 53
    rlrr says:

    @Mark S.:

    So he ended up doing nothing all day. Also, I’m still laughing at how Mitt was so confident of victory (thanks to unskewed polls!) that he tried to make a play for Pennsylvania in the last days.

    This demonstrates as much as anything how terrible a Romney Presidency would have been. Not only was he confident of victory because of bad polling, but his campaign’s allocation of resources was also based on the same polling. Imagine a President making crucial decisions based on bad data.

  54. 54
    Schlemizel says:

    @SpotWeld:

    SHHH! don’t talk about it. Even as we speak there could be GOP agents who actually have a clue looking for ways to actually improve. Never interrupt your enemy when they are continuing to make the same mistake they have been making for years – don’t give them a clue either!

  55. 55
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: Looks like “revolution” is the new con.

  56. 56
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Robin G.: I think the “People Can Be Bought” thinkers may have taken it in the teeth even worse

    I hope so. Ain’t it beautiful?

    I think that the Belligerent Magical Thinking principle took some punches, too, the idea that was so popular in the Bush years, because it worked then, that if you just shout about how liberals are wrong enough, it makes you right.

    How do you like the reality-based community NOW, Karl?

  57. 57
    Violet says:

    @Punchy: If Hannity is saying it, it’s because he got talking points from the GOP. They’re going to start pushing immigration reform in hopes of grabbing some of the sweet, sweet Latino vote. They need their talk radio guys and Fox News and so forth to get the rubes comfortable with the concept, so that’s what’s happening with Hannity.

  58. 58
    Lisa says:

    I’m in the same district as you and it was obvious to me after seeing the first ad from Rove’s Crossroads that it wasn’t going to work and might in fact lead to a big Slaughter victory. People here know Louise Slaughter and the ads were clearly made by outside funders that had not a clue of that and were as teabagger as you can get. I had a friend who was voting for Obama but didn’t know much about local issues and she asked me to go to a non-fundraising coffee with Maggie Brooks to find out about where she stood on some of them. I told her no thanks, but to tell Maggie that her political junkie friend said that those SuperPAC ads were going to do her in if she didn’t tell them to stop spending on her behalf. So glad I was right.

  59. 59
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @rlrr: Imagine a President making crucial decisions based on bad data.

    I don’t have to see it, Dottie. I *lived* it.

    /Pee-wee

    I too am glad the Bush years are over.

  60. 60
    Robin G. says:

    @Violet:

    The ultra-rich are accustomed to getting what they want when they want it. And then when they don’t, it turns out they’re nothing but a bunch of whiners.

    It’s not even just that, you know? It’s that they really think money is all they need. Like, there’s no need for a plan, or a product.

    Step one: Write a check.
    Step two: ???
    Step three: Profit!

    You still have to have something to sell and a way to sell it. The fact that the entire non-teabagger GOP establishment seemed to not realize this is staggering. (The teabaggers, for all their flaws, understand that they have to offer a product. They just can’t seem to understand that no one wants to buy it.)

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @rlrr: yeah. I can imagine a president just like George Bush 2. Surrounded by the same people.

  62. 62
    chicken says:

    Please, please stop. It hurts.

  63. 63
    Ash Can says:

    @Mark S.: At the time, I figured he was just stopping in PA for the hell of it, on his way back to Boston, maybe as a favor to a staffer. Also, IIRC, he made a late stop in MN, which baffled me. Now, in light of the fact that he apparently honestly believed those two states were in play, it finally makes sense (while still being ridiculous, of course).

    And all the while I’ve been thinking Reality Whiz was a spoof, most likely DougJ in disguise, holding up all the best and most prominent right-wing/GOP tropes for us to point and laugh at. Now, though, I have to wonder. If the idiocy and incompetence and out-and-out denial of reality went all the way to the top of the Romney campaign, I suppose it is possible that Taco Cheese was authentic.

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: yeah. But rush isn’t on board. He’s still screaming about amnesty. Once you label any attempt at reform as amnesty, you aren’t trying very hard.

  65. 65
    fuddmain says:

    My hometown keeping things classy:

    Bar buddies upset about Obama win stole signs, yelled racial slurs, FHP said

    Three men were arrested Wednesday after they drove through Holden-Parramore stealing street signs and Obama campaign signs and yelling racial slurs in the primarily black neighborhood of Orlando, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    They have the dash-cam video in the article. Funny hearing this jackass have to tell the officer he just came from the Stagger Inn bar. Heh.

    These guys are hosed since they stole street signs, including stop signs. That’s a felony. Not to mention the DUI.

  66. 66
    Decreae Mather says:

    Maggie Brooks wasn’t a bad candidate. Multiple times Count Executive, not known for being partisan. But they brought in Ann Coulter to fundraise for her.

    I don’t remember any of Maggie’s ads, though I still remember “jeez, Louise” from a decade ago.

  67. 67
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    This thread dovetails neatly with the previous one. The grifters, AKA the “approved” vendors and consultants, have to ensure that their marks believe that Romney’s defeat was due to anything but their lack of competence. The Republican leadership has to ensure that their base believes that Romney’s defeat was due to anything but the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Republican party.

    You can bet that both the leadership and the “approved” will work hand in glove in the coming weeks and months to make certain that anyone but themselves gets the blame for four more years of Obama. Fortunately for both, the media and the Village will repeat their rationalizations with the same mindless gusto that they repeated Romney’s lies.

  68. 68
    NonyNony says:

    @Schlemizel:

    SHHH! don’t talk about it. Even as we speak there could be GOP agents who actually have a clue looking for ways to actually improve. Never interrupt your enemy when they are continuing to make the same mistake they have been making for years – don’t give them a clue either!

    A GOP agent who suggests taking advice given by a Democrat?

    Yeah … I don’t think that would go over so well.

    In fact, something that might help the Democrats for another decade or so would be if someone high profile (let’s say Bill Clinton) sat down and cataloged all of the ways that their party apparatus was screwing them over. What do you think the reaction would be?

    I think the reaction would be “OMG! BILL CLINTON THINKS WE’RE WRONG! LET’S DOUBLE DOWN ON THE STUPID THING WE’RE DOING SO WE CAN PROVE HIM!”

    There are some smart people left in the Republican Party. Watch closely – they’re the ones who are using a shovel to load their cars up with the money being thrown at them by the rest of the party at this point.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    @Robin G.: Yep. They are that deluded. It’s really bizarre because not all of them inherited their wealth; some of them earned it. How can they forget the work they did to get them where they are? How can they think that in politics somehow all you need is to open the bank account? Bizarre?

  70. 70
    chopper says:

    @Schlemizel:

    it’s grifters all the way down. nice work if you can get it.

  71. 71
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: The churches have generally served as the GOP base of operations for GOTV. It was having a Mormon atop the ticket that neutralized that. Actually, I suspect even a Catholic would have had difficulty on the GOTV front. Because of the churches, Bush had a very good GOTV operation, better than either Gore’s and Kerry’s. With Palin on the ticket, McCain could have had an excellent GOTV, but the man (or rather those he hired) did not understand how to harness the power of organization.

  72. 72
    Scott S. says:

    @Schlemizel: I gotta admit, I’ve been dealing with some of my Republican Facebook friends the same way. Let ’em rant, let ’em fume, I don’t say anything to question them, just as long as they don’t learn from their mistakes.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @Suffern ACE: I haven’t been listening to Rush or any wingnut talk radio (although I’ve been meaning to because I figured it would be entertaining to witness the meltdown), so I’m not up on all that.

    However, I’ll note that Hannity has both a radio show and a show on Fox News, whereas Rush is only on radio. I think Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes or someone has decided they need to appeal to browns, probably in conjunction with the GOP, so Rush doesn’t have to be part of the initial roll out.

    The tell will be if they shake up their lineup of newsbabes and/or show hosts and get some Latinos in there. I’d expect to see that in the next six months or so. A gorgeous Latina woman spouting GOP talking points. That kind of thing.

  74. 74
    chopper says:

    @Violet:

    which is great, obama and the dems can just preempt them. and it’ll drive a huge wedge regarding the anti-immigrant teabagger base.

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    @chopper: Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of opportunity there for the Dems if it’s played right.

  76. 76
    Elie says:

    @dmsilev:

    I tell ya, I knew that was going to be revealed as a sham. My everyday life in “corporate” America lets me know what that “reality” is — ossified group-think with no one telling anyone any “bad news”. That is a prescription for ongoing and deep fail and is emblematic of many of our corporate giants — including the once vaunted Microsoft.

    BTW – great article in Vanity Fair: “Microsoft’s Lost Decade” that spills the beans on this corporate “success” mythology. Of course, its just one example and there are many.

    Here is the link for anyone who is interested:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/busi.....ve-ballmer

  77. 77
    Robin G. says:

    @Violet: These days most of them made their money on Wall Street. When your power in the world came entirely from moving piles of money between different accounts at certain times, well… it might give you a slightly skewed perspective on how the world works.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    Citizens United SCOTUS ruling was, IIRC, Jan. 2010.

    Expect the grifters to plead behind closed doors that not having a full 4 years to operate unfettered limited their effectiveness, but next time will be different.

  79. 79
    Elie says:

    @jwb:

    It is more difficult to organize grass roots type initiatives than it looks. You have to have real people in touch with real communities and they have to stay in touch. Then, they have to not only work, but listen to the community leaders who know their communities and what is needed. And then, they have to do some work. Its not a “buy it and mail it in” type thing. Its work to connect, to listen, to pull more people in through well thought through messaging and again, real connecting.

  80. 80
    jibeaux says:

    @Mark S.: I have to say, I love how they called their rallies Victory Rallies and their field offices Victory Offices and probably their web app that no one could download because it wasn’t an app was probably called Victory App…

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    grifters gotta grift..

    but the marks need a payoff in order to continue paying

  82. 82
    Schlemizel says:

    @NonyNony:

    My fear is, that even as stupid as they are, they may one day accidentally figure it out

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement. In fact, check out my “checklist” from my ORCA packet:

    You know, one is not supposed to register as a poll observer and use that seat in the polling place to run the political operation. They’re not supposed to be combining “credentialed poll observer” with “GOTV person who creates and manages strike list”. You can’t run a partisan operation from INSIDE a polling place.

    They misrepresented what they were doing when they filed for credentials, if this guy is accurate. They said they were going in to observe and look for voter fraud. If they were actually in there to create and transmit lists of voters who hadn’t come out to vote, well, they aren’t allowed to do that. They have to stand outside and wait for the poll workers to post the information.

    Democrats have two distinct and separate groups: election observers (inside polling place) and GOTV (outside polling place). If Romney combined these two functions, they should probably be happy they never got inside a polling place, because they’re not allowed to do that.

  84. 84
    Schlemizel says:

    @chopper:

    But there has to be a dwindling pool of marks with enough money to make the grift worth the effort. At some point even the dullest teabagger has to pull their head out long enough to get air & realize they have been shafted by these clowns. HAS to happen, right?? Even as low as my opinion of them goes to be that stupid you would need instructions to breath

  85. 85
    redshirt says:

    RE: CU Money. I see a lot of emphasis on how much money the Repukes spent for nothing (or little), but this strikes me as pretty much meaningless. Much like the Yankees or Red Sox in MLB, money is no object. The Yankees can afford to spend 100 million over 5 years on some fat shlub, just as the Republicans can easily afford to spend billions on getting Wingnuts elected.

    Think the money Adelson spent means anything to him? He’s got plenty more where that came from. As do the Kochs and the Waltons and all the rest of the Wingnut Royalty.

    They won’t ever lose for lack of money, but we can – the Dems are the Oakland A’s in this baseball metaphor.

  86. 86
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @rikyrah:

    but the marks need a payoff in order to continue paying

    Only if the marks wise up. The GOP has been playing the antique bait-and-switch on the fundies for decades. As long as the grifters can persuade the marks that they’re victims of vast conspiracies, cheating, and bamboozling by the other side they’ll still be marks. The tone of the RW responses has been that of total victimization and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  87. 87
    chopper says:

    @Schlemizel:

    yes, but it dwindles infuriatingly slowly.

    peak wingnut is like peak oil. it isn’t really so much a pointy peak as it is an ‘undulating plateau’ for a while. once the demographics really start working their way through another generation, the numbers and dollars start to really drop off.

  88. 88
    charon says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Not!

    I’ve been talking to my wingnut brother, ther is no way they ever get clue one.

    The GOP is not a conventional political party any longer, it is now an ideological movement. Idealogs never wise up.

  89. 89
    smith says:

    @Decreae Mather:

    I think that hurt Maggie Brooks a lot. Bringing in trash like Coulter to try and bolster her campaign. I may be naive, but I genuinely believe Maggie Brooks is a moderate Republican – she might not have beaten Slaughter, but if she told the crazies to stay away she might have made it closer.

    That and the fact that her entire campaign was “Louise Slaughter has been in Congress too long”. That’s it. Brooks said little or nothing about what she would do in Congress.

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    I can’t believe they were going to enter as “poll watchers” and then sit there with a voter list and check off names, whether they call it “ORCA” or not, whether it’s electronic or not, it’s a voter list and they can’t sit IN a polling place and run their GOTV.

    I mean, Jesus Christ. They sent them in there not knowing that?

  91. 91
    aimai says:

    @Kay:

    Is that really true? Everywhere? Because we were “poll watchers” who did the strike lists from inside the poll. We weren’t allowed to talk to the voters at all but we had letters allowing us to do so and were given chairs next to the table. It freaked people out, actually, because they wanted to know who we were. Some people assumed that because there were two of us we were one for Brown and one for Warren but there was no Brown person and certainly no Romney person.

    aimai

  92. 92
    Roger Moore says:

    @SpotWeld:

    How do active Dems work on thier party to prevent that stagnation from setting in?

    Make sure the party is genuinely open to insurgent candidates. Remember that Obama and his team were the bold outsiders daring to take on inevitable Hillary Clinton, but they had a plan to beat her and executed it. We party rules that ensure that kind of thing remains possible, and then listen to the newcomers who have proven their competence by beating the establishment.

  93. 93
    Josie says:

    @Kay: Actually it isn’t so surprising. These seem to be mainly people who don’t do their homework and who think the rules are not made for them. It’s a dangerous combination for a political campaign in today’s climate. Too many people who have done their homework are watching and are willing to call them on it.

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    “Formulaic” describes the GOP efforts lately. Palin, Romney, etc.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @redshirt:

    The Yankees can afford to spend 100 million over 5 years on some fat shlub, just as the Republicans can easily afford to spend billions on getting Wingnuts elected.

    And the Yankees still have just 25 spaces on the active roster, so overpaid shlub is taking up space on the bench and occasional batting opportunities that could be used by somebody productive. Similarly, there’s only so much ad time on TV and so much attention voters are willing to pay. If you saturate the voters with bad messaging, any good messaging you have will have a hard time competing.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @aimai:

    It’s true in Ohio, and ORCA was supposed to be a national system. I was sitting inside a polling place watching the OFA GOTV people outside the polling place waiting for the poll workers to post the lists of people who had voted. The lists go up at 11 AM and again at 4 PM.

    I could have waved hello at them:)

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @aimai:

    Maybe he was a “poll watcher” and not a credentialed observer, we don’t have that distinction in Ohio. If you’re inside a polling place in Ohio you’re a credentialed observer, and you can’t conduct partisan activities like making strike lists.
    True the Vote got booted in Ohio as credentialed observers because they didn’t have a Party or candidate endorsement on the credentials they submitted to the BOE’s. The system is supposed to provide accountability (liability for fines if the observer violates the rules). If you’re going in under The Ohio Democratic Party, then the ODP is on the hook if you break the rules.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @jibeaux:

    I have to say, I love how they called their rallies Victory Rallies and their field offices Victory Offices and probably their web app that no one could download because it wasn’t an app was probably called Victory App…

    Their app was called ORCA. When the Outlaw Jersey Whale bailed on them, that should have been a clue how well it was going to work.

  99. 99
    nemesis says:

    You dance with the girl who brung ya.

    The party is full of grifters. Its always about grifting, whether its conning America, conning evangelicals or conning low-info voters, its always about the grift.

    Now they want to piss and moan about processes that dont work and faulty poll numbers and failure to GOTV. Those things were never meant to work for anyone other than those folks who are running the grift. Its standard wingnut welafre.

    Its akin to a snake devouring its own tail.

    Now, the fiscal cliff looms. Note how the media wants to run a quick misdirection, lest we rubes decide to take note of their mendacity toward calling the election a dead heat for months on end.

    Look! Shiny object (fiscal cliff)! Fuck said cliff. It doesnt exist. Its simply more gop alternate reality. Funny, the gop lost badly with an alternate reality strategy.

    What happens immediately following the election loss? Double down on alternate reality and the media is more than willing to follow along. Mandate? Nah…

  100. 100
    redshirt says:

    @Roger Moore: True, and a good point. But that’s an argument about quality, not quantity. The Repukes could have spent 5 billion dollars on this election and it still would not matter – they’ll spend that much and more the next time.

    Their wealth is so obscene that it is not possible to outspend them. We’ll have to outthink them, outplay them, outhustle them time and time again. It certainly can be done (we just did!), but we start at a disadvantage every time.

  101. 101
    Maude says:

    Lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.
    You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.

  102. 102
    nemesis says:

    @rikyrah:

    Not so sure. Where else are the “marks” going to go? Form a 3rd party? Persuade the Dems? For the “marks” the gop is the only game in town.

    The party will not change. They will simply increase and improve their subversive actions, like winning state level jobs where they mess with voting and work to change the EC to reflect individual districts instead of entire states. Its coming. We best be ready to fight it.

  103. 103
    aimai says:

    @Kay:
    Oh, here in ma the clerks/wardens don’t “post a list” periodically. We were not permitted to look at the list, which remains taped to the table–but we could listen to the names called out. Different law. But its weird–I like your way better, actually.

    aimai

  104. 104
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @nemesis: Where else are the “marks” going to go? Form a 3rd party?

    It could happen – that Internet-based Broder party, whatever the hell it was called – that kind of idea might be able to fleeced a few MM.

  105. 105
    Steve Finlay says:

    That poll worker deserved better from his own side. He clearly had more management experience than Romney, judging from the questions that he wasn’t allowed to ask. If Romney had ever actually managed anything, rather than merely playing the LBO game, he would have gone through systems blowups like this in the past. Most of the rest of us have, either as the managers running it or the workers suffering from it.

  106. 106
    Steve Finlay says:

    That poll worker deserved better from his own side. He clearly had more management experience than Romney, judging from the questions that he wasn’t allowed to ask. If Romney had ever actually managed anything, rather than merely playing the LBO game, he would have gone through systems blowups like this in the past. Most of the rest of us have, either as the managers running it or the workers suffering from it.

  107. 107
    Pope Ratzy says:

    Karl Rove is the Super Dave Osborne of Politics.

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