Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brain Drain ? Brain Strain ?

Politicians have always gamed the system for the advantage of themselves, their districts, their party or their ideology.  This is nothing new.

What is new is the intensity and sophistication of the gaming of the system.  What we have seen in 2009 exceeds anything that has gone before.  Why and how are important.  And, the why and the how are frighteningly simple to see.

The folks who brought us the off-balance-sheet entities and securitized mortgages and other toxic financial innovations have come to Washington.  That's the why and the how.

New levels of sophistication are required to understand what is happening.  Clever columnists write of double-accounting and hidden costs and postponing consequences.  This is complicated stuff.

New dimensions of memetics are required to convey this phenomenon to the electorate.  This is easy, in a way, because the financial damage done by these people and their mindset is clear and palpable to nearly all Americans.  Is the GOP exploiting this opportunity?  Not yet. 

 Now is the time, folks.  Now.

The GOP should not be misled by what it does well . . .

The GOP are excellent in-fighters. They may yet finesse this ObamaCare revolution.

The GOP may also exploit voter fear and anger to great advantage in 2010.

Now is the time for the GOP to cultivate finesse!

We must not permit our strengths to prevent our overcoming of our weaknesses. We must learn to do better at the memes - at the framing of political issues so that voters {especially The Good Folks in the Middle) will understand our positions and support us.

The RNC should be ashamed of their attitude and behavior

On Thanksgiving Weekend, I received an enthusiastic email from an executive at the Republican National Committee in Washington.  "Please let my secretary get me some time with you," is how he wrote to me.  I was in Manila, on another job.

I spent a week in discussions with the RNC about who would pay airfare and when we would meet.  The 13-hour time difference, the 27-hour 4-airplane trip and the International Date Line were novelties to them, making planning difficult while airplanes were filling up for the holidays.  Skype conferences were promised and then postponed due to other meetings in-house at the RNC.  Eventually, I flew back at my own expense, eager to pursue this expression of interest before Christmas and New Year intervened to cool the RNC's enthusiasm.

After the 27-hour, 4-airplane, 10,000 mile trip, I called the man at the RNC from Reagan Airport to be put off again.  Eventually, a telephone conference time was assigned to me.  I could have done this from Manila.
The telephone conference was cordial.  I declined to disclose my fundamental ideas without recompense.  RNC told me that they had no budget for some of my ideas and were staffed up for other of my ideas.  I was offered nothing but the promise of some further leads that have not yet been sent to me.
The RNC abused and attempted to exploit my patriotism  They cheerfully led me to expend thousands of dollars only to offer me a telephone conference and no work.
The RNC should be ashamed of their attitude and behavior.
Based on my discussions, my opinion is that the RNC is using The New Media to replicate the work that has been done for the past 30 years by "the old media."  Not much new is in the works.  The 51/49 world that we have been living in is both cause and effect of these "old media" methods of segmenting the voting public into narrow cells and motivating them by wedge issues.  

The New Media permit different tactics.  The New Media also permit/require that we work around the liberal bias of television and newsprint.  However, vested interests and old habits will not permit us to achieve the dominance that our principles and our times deserve.  If old habits and tactics abide, there isn't much chance of a radically different outcome - at least, not in our favor.

My Washington friends have laughed at my naivete, explaining that - inside The Beltway - both parties want everything for nothing and seldom offer work to anyone who isn't already firmly connected.  And, everyone outside The Beltway wonders why nothing seems to change.

Meme of the Week - Thursday, December 31

TARP, ObamaCare, Cap&Trade . . .Democrats . . . Tools of special interests at YOUR expense!

Really, who do you think wrote those bills?  Who magically produced 1,000 pages or 2,000 pages on short notice.  Did Barry or Nancy or Harry stay up all night?  WHO wrote those bills?

Hard-working, conscientious, self-serving LOBBYISTS wrote those bills.  The hard-earned money of selfish, vested interests (like labor unions and pharmaceutical companies) wrote those thousands of pages that magically appeared on the House and Senate floors.  That's why no one in Congress has read them.  Those laws are basically compilations of special favors, drafted by lobbyists working for special interests.
Democrats . . .tools of special interests . . .
Thousands of pages of new laws . . .still unread by anyone who voted for them.

A Good Meme is a Battle Hymn for our Republic

David Limbaugh had a good column on Tuesday, entitled “It’s Not the Economy, Stupid; It’s National Survival.”  I’d call it a good overview of the status of Our Republic.  There is not one word or phrase in that article, however, that the voters can hum, whistle or remember for 15 seconds. 

  • That’s how the GOP fails to win by a mile.
  • That’s how American elections are reduced to 51/49 contests – by the Democratic agility that transmogrifies mendacious boilerplate into boredom. 
  •  Voters buy the Democrats lies because buying the lies is far easier than unraveling them to induce the truth. 
  •  The purpose of memetics is to eliminate this lies-to-boredom-to-acceptance by providing a simple unit of cognition (not one single unit; not always the same unit; just an appropriate simple unit) to disarm the brazen lies of the other side.

·         Put that phrase (What Good is Obama?) in the headline of David Limbaugh’s article.
·         Put that phrase at the beginning or the end of every paragraph of his article.

And then, Mr. Limbaugh, you have a new Battle Hymn for the Republic!

Being right isn’t sufficient, we must be right in a manner that is easily recognizable by The Good Folks in the Middle, where elections are won.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meme of the Week - Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009

ObamaCare – 
     2,000 pages
          written by lobbyists
               for lobbyists . . .
                     Change you can scarcely imagine!

Après eux, le déluge

The ObamaCare Battle Now Moves to . . .
The Parliamentary Infighting that the
GOP does as well as the Democrats.

That’s the good news.

I hope we win here.

While the front-loading of taxes and the delay of implementation was probably done as a cynical method of distorting the costs of ObamaCare, . . .

. . .there are other effects:
  • The issues of government control, escalation of costs, higher taxation and loss of freedom – all of these – are very difficult to make real to the people watching the evening news. 
  • The media for reaching the electorate are limited and prejudiced.  In order to prevail in anything/everything ever, we must change this.
  • Campaigning on the issue of ObamaCare in 2010, 2012 and 2014 is made much more difficult because the implementation of the take-over of healthcare is delayed and obscured.  
  • The GOP will be attempting retribution and reform upon Democratic candidates for a dramatic socialization of American society that is almost entirely intangible for five more years - until Obama is re-elected and until   current senators and congressmen are re-elected or retired.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Key is The Good Folks in the Middle! Have I Said It Before?

The GOP may have lost the battle for the soul of this nation in the form of ObamaCare.  Why have the Democrats persisted in ObamaCare in the face of 56% disapproval?  Because the Democrats think they can reclaim the middle,  the independent voters, in time for the 2010 election.  They don't believe they will pay a price.  How can they not believe they will pay a price?  Because the GOP has been fighting the good fight inside the Beltway.  But, both inside and outside the Beltway, the Democrats just see business as usual.  WE have failed.

A great deal of recent blogging here has been to coax the GOP to try new means and new modes to reach the The Good Folks in the Middle.  Firing up the base doesn't do it, isn't doing it and hasn't done it.

A little confidence in conservative principles and a little testing of new techniques is what is - was - will be required.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tired,Worn-out and Self-fulfilling Burlesque

Hey GOP!  Why all the fear?
Get Some NEW On!

The word of the day is: PARALLEL !!!

If the vested interests are prudent (not to say panicked) by new media possibilities, the answer is to try something(s) in parallel - modest budgets, defined objectives.

Politics-as-usual strikes me as resembling the death throes of  Burlesque, as radio and motion pictures were overtaking the medium.  And, politicians resemble nothing so much as burlesque acts with worn-out jokes and worn-out props and  worn-out costumes.  The whole thing is pathetic.

One shouldn't underestimate the efficacy of the disgust factor.  Many reasonable people reasonably ignore politics because the same old families and the same old tricks and the same old nonsense are well-neigh impermeable, inured to change and reform.

The GOP's ideas are sound but how does the party overcome habits and vested interests?  Politicians, pollsters and pundits are like old burlesque actors - old habits, old acts, tired,worn-out and self-fulfilling 

Simply put:  If the GOP wants to win - if the GOP wants to win by a mile - then some fresh words, fresh presentation, fresh faces are the order of the day.

Attention politicians, pollsters and pundits! Why all the fear?   Your ideas and principles are sound.  A little innovation . . .a little trust in your own ideas . . .and you can win by a mile!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The "Old" is getting REALLY OLD !

WARNING:  The Quantum Leap is Still Ahead of Us!

These past six weeks I have been doing corporate consulting.  Hop-by-hop, I have flown around the world, west to east.  What have I learned?  
  • Consumer marketing is a lot more fun in a booming economy.
  • Booming markets are very forgiving.  Contracting markets are both unforgiving and capricious.  You can fail through no error or fault of your own.  Life is sometimes very tough.

Back inside the Beltway, again, I am struck by the extent to which "New Media" are being used to replicate "Old Media."  It’s human nature to adapt to innovation this way.  My point is that, as much as our lives have been changed by the internet and cell phones, the quantum leap is still ahead of us.

There is a lot to be written about this, but I’ll note now that, in the trenches of political warfare, “New Media” is being utilized to do what “Old Media” did for the past 50 years. 
When the grey-beards finally let go, the world will be a different place. 

  • ·        51/49 elections are both the result of and the cause of the “Old Media” method of targeting isolated segments of voters – not just “soccer moms” but suburban Asian households with two cars and . . . (you get the point).  This process of narrow segmentation both exploited and caused single-issue voters.  It expended absurd amounts of money to move small segments back and forth.
  • ·        “New Media” is being adapted to the same system of targeted segmentation by means of compiled email lists and "cookies."
  • ·        Eventually, there will be new applications of “New Media” that will either thoroughly insulate voters within their comfort zone or permit more people to be exposed to a broader swath of fact and opinion.  My guess is that the trend will be first to narrow and then to broaden most people’s exposure.  I can’t offer an example or proof, at this moment, but I think that is how these media tend to work.

The result will be:

  • Ø  60/40 elections – broader swings.
  • Ø  The pace of elections will change. 
  • Ø  The Feiler Faster Thesis is that voters process information faster – making the last three weeks of an election the determining factor.  The election expenditures in that three-week period will soar from already surreal levels.  And that three-week period will contract.
  • Ø  The beginning and base/background level of a campaign will change, making a sustained background-level of campaigning almost constant.  This campaigning will be (or can be) relatively inexpensive - utilizing volunteers, less expensive media and targets of opportunity.  National campaigns will be pervasive and constant.
  • Ø  The party that first realizes that the 2012 election has already begun will gain a huge advantage.  The Democrats have put themselves on the defensive for 2010 and, probably, for 2012.  It remains for the GOP to either smarten up now or have the Democrats seize this high-ground later and teach the GOP what they couldn’t learn autonomously.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One reader asks:

I trust that no one finds offense in this photograph. 
 It is the funniest example of one beast trying to be another.

Can the GOP be changed?

I don’t think that the GOP needs to change anything more than its methods of communication – how it conceptualizes and conveys its policies.

Politics will never be nice.  Politicians will never be perfect.  Power corrupts.  America is exceptional – a beacon to the world.  The GOP is the proprietor of the best system of government for America.

The GOP doesn’t need to change more than its memes.  There is more magic in the GOP than the GOP even imagines.

Flip! Me, flip?

One attentive reader emailed to call me flip
I think that the terms of American political discourse  can be changed, so that a large portion of the middle can be won over.  I don't think a lot of tinkering, fine-tuning, pandering and pussy-footing is necessary if the memes are established in advance.

I think that US elections can become 60/40 affairs, rather than 51/49.

But, I’ll work on my fliphardiness and flippitude.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meme of the Week - Thursday, December 3

This meme is courtesy of Sarah Palin:

Cheap & Plentiful Energy

That’s our goal.  Sarah is credited with “Drill, Baby, Drill!” but, in her Wall St. Journal op-ed of July 14 on the subject, she created an eloquent and eminently useable meme in Cheap & Plentiful Energy.

The Democrats and the One-Worlders and the Greenies seek government control or high taxes or impoverished citizens.  Cap&Trade or carbon-taxing is a pre-text for bureaucratic control.

Freedom and innovation can provide solutions.  Democrats think that government control is the answer; it isn’t.  Government control makes problems worse by creating distortions and vested interests.

Unfettered markets can provide guidance by means of real prices, as opposed to government-mandated distortions

The goal is cheap and plentiful energy.  That means more ease and happiness and wealth and health.  That means new oil refineries (most recent oil refinery built in the US was in 1976, in Garyville LA), new nuclear power plants, new ideas.

Recently, Texas refused to join the unified US electric power-grid for a surprising reason: the unified power-grid is grid-locked by regulatory conflicts.  Gov. Rick Perry declined to tie his state to red-tape (source:   Government control makes every innovation slower and more difficult.

Freedom and innovation can provide solutions!

M&M introduces the World’s First ANTI-MEME

Never before seen on this planet: the concept of the Anti-Meme. 

If a meme is a unit of knowledge, then an anti-meme is an unit of ignorance – perhaps a substitute for knowledge, perhaps an agent of active ignorance.  This is going to be fun!

Here it is for your delectation and delight!

The World’s First Anti-Meme . . .

How did a pathological behavior –
previously associated exclusively with doomed marriages –
become the paradigm for American Politics and American Political Reportage ?

How does putative indictment from a list of offenses to political correctness replace:
v  facts,
v  issues and
v  balanced judgment

My usual digression to the DSM . . .paranoid transference.  301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder   301.7 Antisocial Personality Disorder; treatment for this disorder is very rarely sought.

ABC News provides a particularly pathetic example of GOTCHA with this soul-stirring headline:
 What can one say about such a thing, except, “Oh, my! Get a life."