Sep 16 2010

more enthusiasm, yay

As I noted last night in Prime Time, I had to turn Joe Biden’s interview with Rachel Maddow off because I can’t really afford a new TV.  I wondered if others noticed the savage disconnect between the Institutional Democrats and reality.

Well, Gregg Levine at Firedog Lake did.  I’ll spare you the embedded video because I don’t want responsibility for your monitor either, but I’ll quote extensively as it’s a long piece.

Biden Scolds Dem Voters for Enthusiasm Gap; Tells Progressives to "Get in Gear"

By: Gregg Levine, Thursday September 16, 2010 7:00 am

Vice President Joe Biden made room in his busy schedule Wednesday to appear on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to address the much-reported enthusiasm gap between fired-up Tea-publicans and a disappointed Democratic base. How do I know that was his reason? He said so…

Biden then launches into a list of Democratic accomplishments-tobacco regulation, hate crime laws, insuring kids (SCHIP…)-none of them, as best I recall, ones that were first enacted during the Obama Administration…

Actually, Mr. Vice President, you didn’t mention a single thing that your administration or this Democratically controlled 111th Congress has gotten done. You are just telling progressives out there that they “better get energized,” that they “get in gear,” that they “should not stay home” come November.

Why? Because. . . because. . . Pete Sessions!

Joe Biden is not saying Democrats need an excited progressive base to win in November, and here is what the administration is going to do to excite them; Biden is saying Dems need an excited base-so the progressive base damn well better get excited. Period.

He (Obama) brought us goals? Obama gave us the goals? Progressives haven’t been articulating goals since. . . when now? 2006? 2002? 1932? 1916? . . . 1899? OK, maybe Biden just phrased that badly-but still, Joe, what goals have been met, exactly?

(T)he progressive base hasn’t been warning about the opposition? It has been the progressive blogosphere, far out in front of any Democratic Party organ, that has been telling the establishment that they had created space for the Tea Parties by aligning the White House too closely with the banksters. It was progressives that begged for a bigger stimulus, a jobs agenda, and health care reform that actually helped people and did so before the midterm elections.

Make no mistake, what Joe Biden was doing last night was blaming progressives now for Democratic losses later.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, I was a consultant-of the branding and marketing variety-and Biden’s performance reminds me of some of my worst clients from those days. These guys (and gals) would sit behind the two-way mirror watching focus groups, and they would deride the respondents and curse about how their stupid target consumers were wrong-wrong!-about their product. It was the consumer who was doing a bad job of understanding the product. It was the consumer that was not paying attention to the right things. It was the consumer that had failed to understand the benefits of these clients’ brands.

Those were not successful brands. And without a change in their point of view, they didn’t become successful brands.

(B)enefits were not what Vice President Biden was selling to Rachel Maddow and her presumably progressive audience on Wednesday. Biden went with fear and loathing, blame and bluster. That strategy didn’t work for my clients in boom times, and it won’t work for Democrats now.

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