Back in January of 2009 the Republican Party was in absolute disarray. Barack Obama had just won the election, putting an end to eight years of disaster under George W. Bush, where the country was barely teetering on the edge of the cliff that the Shrub had driven us to as he jumped out of the car and fled the scene of the crime. What he left was perhaps similar to the child’s prank of leaving a certain type of package on a doorstep, ringing the doorbell, setting the package on fire, and running before the door was opened. When Obama opened this door, Dubya was gone, and without even so much as a “Well, heere ya’ go! Heh, heh!” Of course, the GOP offered the rest of us no help to clean up the mess. Besides, they had their own sack of…well, their own mess to deal with.
Fast forward to March 2010, and how do we find the GOP? About the same. They’re still in disarray, and they have offered no ideas to help deal with the mess we’re in. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to make sure the mess never gets cleaned up under Obama’s watch. They’ve devoted all their time in the past year trying to game the system to get back in power. Of course, if they carry out that goal, they’ll have a mess on their hands as well, but no ideas on how to deal with it. I guess their platform of “Magical Thinking” will make them all go away.
Basically one year later not much has changed for the GOP. Except that they put this guy in charge:
Yes, the “genius” of the GOP is Michael Steele, chosen from a group of candidates so bad they couldn’t get enough votes for any one person. And since they thought they could win the Presidency just by picking any woman, like Sarah Palin as a VP candidate just because the Democrats had a woman candidate, perhaps the same logic was used to settle on Michael Steele? See? The GOP is just like everyone else! There’s room for an african american in the GOP tent too!
So as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael “What Up” Steele has made a few blunders as the GOP chairman, to put it mildly. He created a new website for the GOP that resulted in a series of embarrassing missteps, then he wrote a book behind the GOP’s back, spent and made lots of money on a book tour, and because they were strapped for cash he scrimped by holding their meetings in places like Hawaii. He’s also toured the country running up huge bills for airline tickets, wining and dining, and gaining all that “fiscal conservative cred baby!” Because “that’s how he rolls!” Now he’s made another really BIG blunder to add to the list.
The Grand Obstructionist Party has had a little difficulty raising money of late, so they’ve gotten a little desperate. Steele’s most recent, and desperate big idea to raise cash was to send out some fundraising letters and surveys. Since so many people in their own party are wary of giving them money, he tried something new. He made these letters and surveys look like they were Census forms to perhaps trick people into sending them in, since the 2010 Census is fast approaching. We’ve gotten several here in Florida, at east four rounds of them at last count, and they’ve sent them to Democrats as well as Republicans.
They have all sorts of scary questions about Obama and the democrats. They also make absolutely no sense. Because they’ve sent so many, and because they look like real Census forms, people started filing complaints. But the GOP merely did a little creative editing. They still continue to arrive in mailboxes in spite of all that. I received one myself just two days ago.
The latest thing the RNC has tried in their quest to get back in power is to capitalize on the formation of the “Tea Party.” This new third-party of sorts doesn’t like Obama and the Democrats. But they also don’t care much for the GOP. They’re an angry group, their numbers have increased, and some are disgruntled former members of the GOP that have splintered away. Because of this, Steele and the GOP have tried to appeal to them while pretending to embrace their views like no taxes, and no big government, which can prove a bit difficult when you’re a party that prefers tax cuts only for the rich, and really big government. It’s an idea that’s been used in the recent election of Scott Brown as a Tea Party candidate in Massachusetts, and in Florida, where Marco Rubio is pretending to be a Tea Bagger to drive a wedge between Charlie Crist and GOP voters.
The GOP knows that a little sleight of hand is in order if they are to be successful in hijacking all those Tea Party voters. But fear not! As Michele Bachmann would say, Michael Steele “Be Da Man” and “Da Man” has a plan!
Steele’s newest trick of fundraising brilliance comes with a twist, that Markos Moulitsas from Daily Kos said “made it look like the RNC was run by third graders.” Steele sent RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at an RNC retreat, this time in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18. Bickhart gave a “Tools For Success” Power Point presentation to explain these newest Republican fundraising methods that capitalize on fear of Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism” to sway voters, like those in the Tea Party crowd, along with the usual major donors. The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchotchkes.” The first slide says:
The Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of RNC Finance
Putting the Fun Back in FUNdraising a.k.a. RNC Marketing 101
Followed by (Oops, someone forgot to use spellcheck!) this one:
I guess the fake Census forms and surveys must fall under mail and list tools in both the “Direct Marketing” and “Major Donor” methods. So far no “tchotchkes” in Florida though.
For small Tea Party donors: “VISCERAL GIVING”, for big $$ donors: “CALCULATED GIVING.”
“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”
Again, spellcheck would have helped here. It’s “Cruella De Vil” (why does the GOP hate Disney?) and “Scooby-Doo.” Plus, I’m not sure what “American Gothic” has to do with anything, unless they’re confusing “Regionalism” with “Socialism” or they just found portraying Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as farmers a real knee slapper? And last, but not least, they forgot the Hitler Poster!
The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn & Club. Sources at the event said the presentation was delivered by Bickhart and by the RNC Finance Chairman, Peter Terpeluk, a former ambassador to Luxembourg under President George W. Bush.
The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.
The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.” Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.” Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.” The slide also allows that donors may have more honorable motives, including “Patriotic Duty.” A major Republican donor described the state of the RNC’s relationship with major donors as “disastrous,” with veteran givers beginning to abandon the committee, which is becoming increasingly reliant on small donors.
So I guess Michael Steele’s version of “RNC Marketing 101” goes something like this:
Steele comes up with a brand new idea for fundraising that both mocks and insults the very donors he is trying to woo. Those giving the presentation of his new ideas then leave a copy of that presentation just lying around after they’ve finished. The copy is picked up by a Democrat, and the embarrassing evidence is passed along to the media for the rest of us, not to mention potential donors, to see. When asked about it, the RNC claims “The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele did not attend, nor had he seen the document.”
Or, as Michael Steele would say: “I don’t know anything about it! Honest injun on that!”
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