I and many of my liberal/progressive friends have been pretty pissed off by the disparity between Republican officials and Democratic officials on the talking head shows of late. Now mind you I for one acknowledge that the Democrats themeselves are at least partly to blame because they haven't been pushign hard enough to get on these shows. But the networks should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to become the de facto mouthpieces of the GOP in an effort to make the story about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into a "horserace". Thankfully the bill still passed and most of the country still supports it but this is not a good sign with more partisan fights on the horizon. Universal healthcare, Social Security reform, cutting defense spending, investing in green energy and the employee free choice act are just a few of the issues that will have to be addressed that may similarly be framed almost solely by the opposition if the current trend holds. Well I have come up with a solution to our messaging problem. Its time for the Democrats to take a page from hip hop and start putting up youtube diss tracks.
What do I mean by that? Well nowadays instead of just limiting their beefs to mixtapes, rappers have started throwing up youtubes to disparage a rival. Whether it be to actually rap on the youtube or to talk shit about another rapper or to even in a few cases put up a cartoon to make fun of an adversary, rappers have changed the game using youtube. And really the reasons why they use youtube mirror the reasons why the Democrats should. For one its basically free aside from production cost so you can throw up as many as you want. For two you get direct access to your target audience without any kind of filter. Third and maybe most important is that just by using youtube you raise your profile and present yourself as someone who is up to date and not living at all in the past.
President Obama's team made very efficient use of youtube during the campaign, often making sure to put up any and all attack ads there so that even people who might have missed them when their air on Tee Vee could go there and see them. Also by putting them up on youtube it allowed many bloggers to embed them and spread the message across the intertubes. Now Obama and his team have transitioned well to life in the White House by putting up the Presidential radio address every week on youtube as well. Again you go an a lot of the bigger liberal and progressive blogs and you will see his address every week. For that matter many of the MSM folks post them as well at their websites. It makes the message so much more accessable and pretty much ensures that everyone who is interested gets a chance to see it and hear it. Well similarly if there is a message that needs to be delivered by the Democrats to combat lies and smears by the GOP/conservatives youtube can be masterfully leveraged to go around the media.
One of the problems with the stimulus bill argument wasn't just that Democrats were denied a voice but also that out of the few times Democrats were interviewed several times they were ambushed by lies. In the face of these attacks many of them wilted or came off as evasive and ultimately that was unproductive for our side. Now imagine for a moment that the day after John Boehner came out and made fun of the family planning provision in the bill that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz appeared in a youtube video explaining in very clear terms exactly why the provision was in the bill and how it would help stimulate the economy and then turned around and made fun of man with the last name "Boehner" getting it wrong about how stimulative the provision was. How quickly would that have lit up the interwebs? How fast would it have been picked up by CNN and MSNBC? Or imagine that after John McCain made fun of resodding the National Mall Dick Durbin had put out a youtube of him talking to an owner of a landscape company talking about how many people a job like that would employ and then turned around and wondered aloud how many people it took to resod the lawns at all of McCain's houses. Now its not like the House Dems aren't already positioned nicely for such such a media strategy. We already have househub up over at youtube giving a channel to all of the members of Congress But its no use having it if you aren't going to use it. And as we have seen several times lately the Republicans are lost when it comes to using technology so we need to be taking advantage RIGHT NOW while we still HAVE the advantage.
So anybody who knows somebody who knows somebody who KNOWS somebody that talks to our Democratic leaders, please pass on this message so we can prepare to fight the pr wars that are sure to be coming as time goes on.