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Author Topic: DNC Campaigning across the nation.
Daruma28
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So I've just gotten back from an 8 day business trip to Philadelphia, in which I made several stops across the country.

As my wife works for Hawaiian Airlines, I was able to strike a deal with my company - I could bring my wife to the conference and they would pay for the hotel room since she was able to get us standby tickets for $60 a piece. Originally I was supposed to share a room with my boss, but since they didn't have to cover my airfare, my wife and I got our own room.

Anyhow, flying standby, we went from Honolulu to Los Angeles, than to Houston and finally to Baltimore. From Baltimore, we drove to D.C. to see the Capital, than we drove through Maryland to visit Gettysburg, PA. My wife and I have never been to the East Coast before, so we went several days early to do a little sightseeing.

After spending two days in Gettysburg visiting all of the famous Civil War battlefields and monuments, we drove across Pennsylania to Philadelphia to attend the three day business conference for my franchise. I must say, the East Coast during Autumn is a true wonder of nature!

During the part of our trip, we spent a lot of time in the various airports watching the TVs in the terminals, as well as the TV in the hotel rooms in Maryland and Pennsylvania. I haven't watched this much CNN since Gulf War I.

Anyhow, the point of my thread is to simply make an observation on the Democrat TV Campaign strategy that is being employed nationwide. I say nationwide because they come from my observations based on seeing commercials here in Hawaii, in LA, Houston, Maryland and Philadelphia.

In every case, the various local Democrat campaigns for the Senate and the House all seem to be coming from the same playbook - namely, they are not campaigning against their opponent...they are all running against GEORGE BUSH.

Here's the typical script with similar variations I saw in campaign commercials in cities all across the country last week:

"{Democrat Opponent's name} stands with George Bush and Big {industry, i.e. Oil, Pharmaceuticals, etc.}. {Democrat Opponent's name} voted with Bush and Cheney to benefit {industry}. {Democrat Opponent's name} also voted for Bush's failure in Iraq. This November, elect {Democrat Candidate's name} and help stand up to George Bush!"

The Republican ads in contrast seemed to be entirely focused on their respective opponents and their track record, all focused on local issues, with no seeming thread of similarity from State to State.

Personally, I think the decision makers for the DNC are making a big mistake. They semm to have this idea that everyone in the country hates George Bush as much as they do and that campaigning against him is going to help them win big. Though negative campaigning can be successful to a certain point, I did not see a single DNC sponsored ad that gave a reason to vote FOR the Democrat candidate, but rather to vote AGAINST George Bush.

I think that if the Democrats fail to capture the House Majority (a scenario that they seem to be taking for granted at this point...) I would say their failure to campaign on why the voters should vote for them instead of voting against Bush will be one of the biggest reasons why.

If they win, well, than I guess I'm wrong (wouldn't be the first time).

I'm curious to see if any other Ornery members have seen the same sort of commercials in your respective areas? And what do you think of this strategy?

[ October 26, 2006, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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KnightEnder
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I see the same thing you do. But I disagree. I think the DNC is equating Bush with Iraq, and Republicans with Foley and corruption and lumping them all in the same ball. And I think it will work.

You should hear the conservative talk show hosts like Rush and Hannity pleading with Republicans not to take out their disappointment with Bush on the GOP. They do it everyday, all day.

How long were you in Houston? I would have driven to the airport. Even George Bush airport just to meet you for a few minutes? Please tell me it was just a connection?

KE

[ October 26, 2006, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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LoverOfJoy
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I haven't watched tv but I imagine Utah is so right wing that most of the ads are between the republicans and the constitution party. [Wink]

But I'm guessing that the Bush approval ratings are so low nationwide that the democrat strategy may work this time. I'd agree with you if that's what they were doing in 2004 but now I'm not so sure about how much they need to even bother with anything else. *shrug*

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Daruma28
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Yep. I actually thought of you while I was there, but I was in Houston for only a couple of hours at most both ways. [Smile]

On the way their, Houston was covered in fog, so I didn't see much, but on the way back, I must say Houston is quite green! My preconcieved image of Texas was all desert like Nevada and Arizona.

BTW, what's the name of that river that winds through Houston?

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DaveS
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Bush has been the leader of the Republican Party for 6 years, and has had a very successful run getting his Congressional stooges to push through legislation he wanted, to forgive boneheaded mistakes he has made, as well as quite simply cover for him. Why shouldn't they be equated with Bush? How do you differentiate them from their mentor?
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Daruma28
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Well Dave, it's quite obvious you think the strategy is a good one. I, on the other hand, think that the old maxim, "ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL" to be true -- especially when it comes to Congressional elections.

I think these DNC commercials are playing to the base and giving red meat to the blue crowd, but not doing a damn thing to sway the swing voters. I think this kind of campaigning doesn't convince or motivate people to go out and vote for any particular Democrat candidate. It's only appealing to people that HATE Bush and the Republicans. That kind of campaign will never appeal to a majority of people.

That's just my opinion.

If you look at the last opposition/minority party's successful mid-term campaign, it was the '94 Gingrich Republicans and their Contract With America - a comprehensive list and campaign strategy for people to vote FOR Republicans to put them in congress rather than against Clinton and the Democrats.

The current message appeals to guys like you - but than guys like you had your minds made up on this upcoming election long before you saw a single commercial.

Elections are won when the base shows up and the undecided are convinced to vote FOR a candidate.

Right now, these commercials are focused on whipping up the base to go and vote - but guys like you don't need that already. I don't see this strategy working on convincing a majority of undecideds and independants to vote for the Democrats.

As I said, I could be wrong, but I don't think this kind of campaign is going to work as well as the DNC leaders think it will.

[ October 26, 2006, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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DaveS
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Daruma, I wasn't commenting on their strategy as much as on the reality. The Republican incumbents will have a hard time distancing themselves from Bush, given their lockstep support of his domestic and international policies. Not to mention that the biggest reason why politics this year aren't local is Iraq. If they go down in flames, that will be the primary reason.

[Edited to correct mistype and expand a rationale...]

[ October 26, 2006, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]

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philnotfil
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The Democrats know that they and the Republicans have brainwashed everyone into thinking that a vote for a third party is a vote wasted. Voting against Bush is the same as voting for a Democrat.
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Haggis
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quote:
If you look at the last opposition/minority party's successful mid-term campaign, it was the '94 Gingrich Republicans and their Contract With America - a comprehensive list and campaign strategy for people to vote FOR Republicans to put them in congress rather than against Clinton and the Democrats.

Not to mention the commercials morphing democrats into Clinton and back again. The dems are using the exact same playbook the GOP did in 1994. So quit ****ing whining.
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Adam Masterman
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I agree. Democrats should take the high road, and tell everyone that muslims fanatics will kill them if they vote the wrong way. [Roll Eyes]

Adam

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Daruma28
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So Haggis, who's ****ing whining? I was making an observation based on my experiences in seeing TV commercials in 5 different States all across the country in the span of a few days and noting their similarities...how is that whining?

As for "the exact same playbook" where's the Democrats version of the Contract with America?

Far be it for me to get upset about snide quips to substantive posts (I do them all the time [Smile] ) but I don't see how your observation carries any weight at all - I'm talking about a national campaign strategy for local elections. In 94, there may have been a few ads that I personally don't recall that were in effect campaigns against Clinton, but I recall the overriding theme was the Contract With America, not "Running against Clinton" as the current DNC Campaign is focused on running against Bush.

I'm sure my reputation here precedes me, but some of you seem to have taken this as a post by myself as some sort of attack...

If this were posted by a well known Liberal/Democrat supporter here, I doubt you guys would be so sarastic or hostile towards a post that was merely observational and had ZERO attacks So [Roll Eyes] yourself, Adam. [Razz]

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Funean
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Dagnabbit, Daruma, you KNOW I live in Philadelphia!!

I am most heartily offended.

Please, resume your sniping at one another. Don't let my crushed feelings interfere one bit.

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Jesse
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Daruma-

A HUGE part of the 94 win was a "throw the bums out" meme. You're roughly the same age as me, you've got to remember how it went down. Race by race, Republican politicians brought up Democratic scandals stretching back to the early 70's. They went to six degrees of seperation to link their opponents to folks like Ted Kennedy.

A HUGE part of the Contract with America was "this is how we'll fix the mess these 'Washington Insiders' made". Remember all that stuff about term limits? I mean, none of the people who signed it seem to, but I know you do.

Today, Democrats are saying "We aren't aligned with Haliburton and Exxon" exactly the same way Republicans twelve years ago said "We aren't aligned with NOW and the ACLU".

To call the Gingrich Revolution a huge wave of positivism requires extensive use of the good old fashioned memory hole. (Yes, I'm exaggerating your contrast, I know, bad Jesse no biscuit)

This late in the day, Democrats aren't trying to bring over more Swing Voters. Them what ain't convinced by now ain't gonna be.

Instead, they are trying to p**s off Democrats, because Democrats only show up to the polls when they're p***ed off, and to make Swings who aren't with them and moderate Republicans too disgusted with the system to show up.

It may work, it may not, we'll know in a few days.

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Daruma28
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All that you say is true Jesse, but the Contract was STILL a point by point plan on why voters should vote FOR the GOP (cut taxes, etc.).

I didn't call the Gingrich Revolution a huge wave of positivism, only that it was based on a platform of issues to vote FOR rather than solely based on voting against the Democrats...surely there is a difference there no? Or do you think the current Dem campaign has exactly the same strategic emphasis?

Fun - actually, I didn't know you were in Philadelphia, but the fact that you are has given me a little bit of the benefit of the doubt for your city and it's people, because by and large, most Philadelphian's were rude, self-centered, impatient, aggressive and unbearable....

Anyhow, there were some nice people I encountered, but I was for the most parts in meetings the whole time I was their, and only escaped during lunch breaks to go sightseeing with my wife. We didn't do that much, just went and saw Independance Hall and the Liberty Bell, and than going to the Eastern State Penitentiary - now THAT was an awesome tour!

Anyhow, I do wish I could have visited with you and KE and anyone else I may have had the chance to be in the same vincinity as other OA members...the next time I take a trip to the US Mainland, I'll be sure and try and find out who/where/when will be in that area!

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Storm Saxon
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I don't see the strategy you're seeing being used in Florida, Daruma--at least on the television ads.
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
A HUGE part of the 94 win was a "throw the bums out" meme. You're roughly the same age as me, you've got to remember how it went down. Race by race, Republican politicians brought up Democratic scandals stretching back to the early 70's. They went to six degrees of seperation to link their opponents to folks like Ted Kennedy.

A HUGE part of the Contract with America was "this is how we'll fix the mess these 'Washington Insiders' made". Remember all that stuff about term limits? I mean, none of the people who signed it seem to, but I know you do.

Today, Democrats are saying "We aren't aligned with Haliburton and Exxon" exactly the same way Republicans twelve years ago said "We aren't aligned with NOW and the ACLU".

I agree with you 100% that newcomer minority party member republicans are just as likely as newcomer minority party member democrats to use the "throw the bums out" idea extensively in their ads.

There is a subtle difference between incumbent congress in general and the president specifically, though.

I don't remember the contract with america candidates focusing on Clinton specifically. It was more about congress in general and the particular old timer incumbent specifically that got focused on. Perhaps that's only because Clinton had higher approval ratings at the time but I do see a meaningful difference there.

To say, this is one of the guys that voted for bad bill X or is part of the congress that's been screwing up extensively is a lot different than saying this guy is a republican just like Bush and didn't do enough to stop him.

Both may be fair complaints but I'm guessing Daruma thinks the first one would be more persuasive to the swing voters.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
going to the Eastern State Penitentiary
And you were surprised to find the people there, "rude, self-centered, impatient, aggressive and unbearable"? [Big Grin]
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Daruma28
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lol

The Eastern State Penitentiary is basically a ruins of the nations first building with running water and other modern amenities we now take for granted. It is supposedly haunted and is full of interesting exhibits. We took a 90 minute audio headphone tour, similar to the one they have at Alcatraz.

The only thing was the tour took up my entire lunch break, so I was hungry that day until dinner.

Saxon - thanks for reporting on Florida. Perhaps the Dems are not focusing on that State because Bush might be popular their? (Just guessing on that...) but I DID see the exact sort of ads at the Houston airport, and that was surprising to me. I thought Texas was solid Bush country, despite the fact that KE lives there, of course. [Big Grin]

[ October 26, 2006, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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Jesse
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The thing is, Daruma, that the Contract has been done. It would be seen by most as "copying".

Personaly, I think the Democrats blew their real shot at a massive turn-over (although they MAY take the house) late last winter. They ignored way too many districts and didn't event attempt to field and support good canidates, only to suddenly find that could be in a position today to take the Senate and 40 House Seats if they had been thinking bigger.

In a lot of districts considered solidly Republican, there was no thought to supporting moderate Democrats who had a shot at actually winning, or of recruiting experienced canidates. Now, they're stuck with Johnny Do-Gooder who "ran to make a point" trying to take down an Incumbent in a tight race.

Now that this underdog is finally getting funding, way too late in the game, what can they do? It's too late to build much name recognition, they haven't got a record to run on, they can't explain every detail of their positions.

What they can do is say "My opponent supported these actions that ticked you off, so don't vote for him."

To me, this is the best evidence that Foley wasn't a suprise plotted by the DNC. [Wink]

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Jesse
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BTW-

I'm seeing no ads for any National Canidate here in Los Angeles. My State is so heavily friggin gerrymandered they aren't even bothering.

It's all State Offices being fought over.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
It is supposedly haunted
Well, now you know. Ghosts aren't polite...particular during lunch break. [Wink]
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DaveS
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quote:
... because by and large, most Philadelphian's were rude, self-centered, impatient, aggressive and unbearable....
That makes sense, they're DEMOCRATS [Smile]
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Daruma28
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I know you're joking Dave, but please understand that I live in Hawaii. This state is as Democrat as it gets. Most of my friends, acquaintences, co-workers, bosses and family members are all Democrat.

Political affiliation has nothing to do with things like courteous driving, patience while standing in line, or being imperiously demanding to service workers and storeroom clerks.

In my limited 3 day experience, a lack of general manners and courteousness were endemic to that city.

And I also noticed that East Coast Drivers use their horns for the slightest provocation and EVERYBODY tailgates.

Here in Hawaii, you could go almost an entire year in bumper to bumper traffic and NEVER here a traffic horn (unless of course it's an East Coast Tourist driving a rent a car...).

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
If this were posted by a well known Liberal/Democrat supporter here, I doubt you guys would be so sarastic or hostile towards a post that was merely observational and had ZERO attacks So yourself, Adam.
No offense intended, apologies for any taken.

That said, it IS asking a lot to have us believe that there was no implied criticism in the observation that democrats "have no message and are simply attacking Bush for political gain". Coming from you or anyone else.

Adam

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Daruma28
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Ah...but that was not my observation!

My observation was simply this: It seems like the NATIONAL Democrat strategy for LOCAL elections is to run against Bush.

I never even came close to your interpretation , Adam...where did I post "attack Bush for political gain?"

This is exactly what I meant by my reputation preceding me...as soon as I post what I really thought was a neutral observation, it is immediately translated into yet another attack on Democrats by myself.

I will definitely concede that I DESERVE that reputation...just understand that in THIS post, I was only pointing out what I thought is a recognizable strategy employed by the Democrats and why I think it is not a good one. The fact that a self-ascribed Democrat like KE noticed the same thing, so it's not as if I'm just making this up.

I could DEFINITELY have worded my post differently to fit the mold that would make your criticism valid, but I purposely did not do that because I honestly wanted to see what guys like you and other DNC supporters thought of the strategy.

In other words, for once, I wasn't baiting Ornery Liberal/Democrats...but you immediately responded as if I were. [Big Grin]

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DaveS
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quote:
Political affiliation has nothing to do with things like courteous driving, patience while standing in line, or being imperiously demanding to service workers and storeroom clerks.
To paraphrase a well-known east coast Republican Senate candidate, "Say hello to Daruma, welcome to the real world" [Smile] . Seriously, though (?), I grew up in the east, and you don't get much of a break in any of the big cities. My favorite memory of NYC civility from when I was a child was when a cabby got out of his taxi after letting a fare off and threw a coin at the guy, yelling "You keep it, you probably need it more than I do!" My father laughed and explained to me that he threw the tip. I've never been to Hawaii, but I expect everywhere you go, people do hula dances instead of shaking hands.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
I could DEFINITELY have worded my post differently to fit the mold that would make your criticism valid, but I purposely did not do that because I honestly wanted to see what guys like you and other DNC supporters thought of the strategy.
In other words, for once, I wasn't baiting Ornery Liberal/Democrats...but you immediately responded as if I were.

I don't think you can re-word away the criticism, but whatever. If you want to know what I think about the strategy, it this: I'll tell you in two weeks. But I suspect that its the right tack. People aren't happy with Bush, and thats totally valid. He has been a bad president, his policies have hurt this country and the world,and the GOP is just as guilty of that harm. The man and his party need to be stopped, as soon as possible. Thats my motivation for voting, and I won't apologize for it. I'm his boss and I want him canned. America finally agrees with me. Ain't democracy great?

Adam

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
I could DEFINITELY have worded my post differently to fit the mold that would make your criticism valid, but I purposely did not do that because I honestly wanted to see what guys like you and other DNC supporters thought of the strategy.
In other words, for once, I wasn't baiting Ornery Liberal/Democrats...but you immediately responded as if I were.

I don't think you can re-word away the criticism, but whatever. If you want to know what I think about the strategy, it this: I'll tell you in two weeks. But I suspect that its the right tack. People aren't happy with Bush, and thats totally valid. He has been a bad president, his policies have hurt this cou
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Funean
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Adam? You okay? Not dragged away from your keyboard by NSA goons, I hope?

Daruma: Sorry you caught us on a bad day. See? Shoulda called me. [Big Grin]

Eh, big city folks. They're tough nuts, but I'll tell you that I've encountered more real kindness in the big city than I ever did in the small town south where I grew up. Grumpy, but real.

Oh, and:

quote:
...but you immediately responded as if I were.
Points for using the subjunctive!

[ October 26, 2006, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: Funean ]

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Daruma28
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quote:
I don't think you can re-word away the criticism, but whatever.
You're still not catching my drift.

What I said: "In every case, the various local Democrat campaigns for the Senate and the House all seem to be coming from the same playbook - namely, they are not campaigning against their opponent...they are all running against GEORGE BUSH."

Where's the attack? That's a straight up, unbiased observation.

What I COULD have said:

quote:
The Democrats are issuing talking points memos to campaing coordinators across the nation to implement a losing strategy for the upcoming mid-term elections. Instead of focusing on running against their particular opponenets, all campaign focuses must be on tying the opponent to the Bush administration and protray a vote for the Democrat as a vote against Bush.

This strategy is stupid and bound to lead to Democrats proving yet again that they are clueless when it comes to building a true majority and winning elections decisively. What losers.

The second would definitely be worthy of your sarcastic reprimand...but I don't see where what I initially posted is biased, subjective or attacking.

Anyhow, thanks for at least coming back with your opinion on the strategy. You are correct in that we are going to find out real soon here. [Smile]

Peace be unto you, Adam.

PS - Just out of curiousity, are your fellow disciples of Bhuddism also Democrats? Afterall, it was the Bhuddist temple in CA that acted as an illegal campaign contribution laundry machine for Clinton/Gore...

Is it the default political persuasion for your fellow Bhuddists?

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
Adam? You okay? Not dragged away from your keyboard by NSA goons, I hope?

Daruma: Sorry you caught us on a bad day. See? Shoulda called me. [Big Grin]

Eh, big city folks. They're tough nuts, but I'll tell you that I've encountered more real kindness in the big city than I ever did in the small town south where I grew up. Grumpy, but real.

Oh, and:

quote:
...but you immediately responded as if I were.
Points for using the subjunctive!
Don't get me wrong, I met a few nice people. A lot of my observations came from watching other people interact with others rather than personal experience.

Than again, I am coming from a place where we take pride in our "Aloha" Spirit...where letting a slower driver merge or treating fast food clerks with basic, courteous dignity rather than talking down to service people is the norm.

I can't believe how "stand off-ish" everybody was.

I asked a young girl what the local area code was and she told me "whattyamean, everybody knows it's 215!" Like I was a bloomin' idiot for not knowing the local area code, and I had only been in Philly for an hour at that point! Or the cashier at "The Talk of the Town" Cheese Steak stand..."Ya wanted onions on your steak? What, you didn't see that sign over there sayin' ya gotta tell us if ya want onions or not?" Sheesh.

That's the kind of mentality I'm talking about.

It figures that you're not a native born Philadelphian, because your online persona is nothing like I encountered... [Smile]

BTW - all of the Haitian cab drivers and doormen I met and talked to were all very nice, courteous and well mannered!

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Funean
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I'm completely unreasonable in person. [Big Grin]

Say, I'm kinda starting to worry about Adam...bad sentence to disappear in the middle of...

Adam? You there, buddy??

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javelin
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That WAS in the middle of a double post, Funean... if that makes you feel better. [Big Grin]
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Funean
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What, now there are jackbooted tackiness police?

Now *that* I can get behind!

Hey, guys, there's a pair of white shoes over there!

(with sincere apologies to Daruma for jacking his serious thread! It's because you let me get away with it, you know)

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LoverOfJoy
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Fool the NSA once, shame on you. Fool the NSA twice, shame on th

[ October 26, 2006, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: LoverOfJoy ]

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Funean
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[Eek!]

[LOL]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I'm curious to see if any other Ornery members have seen the same sort of commercials in your respective areas? And what do you think of this strategy?"

I close my eyes in horror when they come on. But I think their strategy is sound, judging from what I hear doing political polls on the phone.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"All that you say is true Jesse, but the Contract was STILL a point by point plan on why voters should vote FOR the GOP (cut taxes, etc.)."

Basically, it was point-by-point What Dems Don't Do and Undoing What Dems Do-Do. (The 'doo-doo' joke's for you, daruma, in tribute to your healthy disprespect for Democratic decisions.)

Today, the Dems' plan is undoing damage done by a Rep administration and driven by Reps: rich man tax cuts, messed up Iraqi invasion, stifled civil liberties.

Same basic plan (as '94). Probably same result as '94, except in reverse. We survived Reps; we'll survive Dems.

Really, for a libertarian you do get caught up in shades of kettle versus pot black.

[ October 27, 2006, 12:40 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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What you experienced on the East Coast is mostly the results of a few generations' over-crowdng.
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KnightEnder
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Armond Bayou, Daruma. I don't think it's big enough to be a river so we call it a bayou. Although it's pretty big to be a bayou. They just fixed it up a couple of years ago so it should've looked pretty nice.

They have this race with yellow rubber duckies, you sponsor one and they number the bottoms, then they let them go down the bayou. The winning duck gets a nominal prize and the money goes to charity. It's pretty funny to watch thousands of yellow rubber duckies floating through the middle of the city. [Smile]

The only other 'river' I think you might have seen was "The "Ship Channel". It is as big as a river, but man-made and lined with chemical plants. It winds from downtown through Galveston Bay and out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Next time you're here let me know and we'll have lunch or something.

I was in Boston twice and missed Ev both times. [Frown]

But, don't worry, I'll be rich soon and we are all coming to see you in Hawaii. [Smile]

KE

[ October 27, 2006, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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