Sunday :: May 25, 2003

More on the “Lies Bush Tells Us” National Tour


by Steve

While gone over the weekend, I spent some more time thinking about the concept I outlined last week about a “Truth Squad” to follow Bush around and set the record straight on his lies as he tells them. I also read many of your comments and suggestions for improvement, and I am very appreciative for the kind words and ideas.

I believe this concept, as part of an overall plan of attack and organizational improvement strategy by the Democratic National Committee can pay big dividends in 2004. The national party as many of us know is at least a decade behind where it should be in terms of technological prowess and outreach. Some of you have commented on the need to make better use of the technology available through email to build donor lists, interested voter lists, press releases and overall activist network development. All of you are spot on in this matter. You will see other candidates copy what the Howard Dean campaign has done with email to get the word out, build a donor base, and sign up activists. This is something that the party should have been already doing across the country.

Having seen the comments and suggestions from you on improving upon the basic idea, let me politely disagree with those of you who think the effort should be undertaken by those other than the national party. I think it would be very hard to get a consortium of interested parties together and coordinate their activities to develop and implement this idea. I think it would be even more difficult for that outside group to keep this effort going with conviction and get the press coverage over a period of time. And most importantly, there is no guarantee that the groups suggested for the effort could afford to do it on an ongoing basis, whereas the national party could make it one of their major efforts and use it to raise funds to keep it going. Also, one the possibilities I saw in this idea remember was to provide a way for the national and state parties to reinvigorate alliances with these groups as Bush was “outed” issue by issue, and perhaps make some new alliances while doing this. If the groups mentioned undertook the effort, then the party gets no benefit from this at all.

Some of you mentioned that the benefit of putting this in the hands of the outside groups would be that the charges made against Bush would be free of a partisan taint, especially if Democrats were called on the carpet as well. First, the Party needs to do this and not be afraid of the mudslinging from the White House about this being a partisan hatchet job. The Party needs to show some backbone and show the base as well as those who have given up on the Democratic Party that it can get off the carpet and go toe-to-toe with BushCo without fear or backing down. Second, I really don’t care if BushCo or anyone else tries to deride the press conferences as partisan events. Of course they are partisan events, just the same way as any White House press conference is a partisan event. The most important difference between their press conferences or Bush campaign stops, and our “Lies Bush Tells Us” appearances is that our events present the facts on his actual record and broken campaign promises. As such, we should not be afraid at all of the smear coming from the White House or the initial reaction from the Mighty Wurlitzer. If we give them a fight to cover and don’t go away, trust me they will cover it. Lastly, I see no need to worry about bringing balance to this effort by targeting Democrats as well. The media already does that enough while holding Bush to a lesser standard. I’ll be damned if I am going to make it any easier for the GOP by having outside groups slamming Democrats every now and then in the name of even-handedness.

Again, we are talking about facts here and his actual record, not about a political spin job of our own. We should have no fear of doing this, and not be cowed by the White House reaction. And if you want to treat this as a true litmus test of how much people are committed to getting rid of Bush and willing to stick their necks out to do it, let’s put this out as a challenge for the entire Democratic/progressive spectrum to roll up its sleeves and take this on. I still think it should be an effort led by the DNC, but I think it would be a true test of commitment if this was done with the assistance of the Greens and the Democratic Leadership Council, as well as the AFL-CIO as well. There will be no more “Bush-Lite” approaches here, or no more “let the house burn down so we can save it” approaches either. All of the parts of the Democratic/progressive spectrum should be committed to clearing up the record of lies and distortions on this guy, and all parts of this spectrum should also be committed to holding the media accountable. This should be a joint effort of all these groups to pool resources and build bridges, and the “Lies Bush Tells Us” campaign is a good way to do that, while showing voters that the Democratic Party is willing to compete once again.

Steve :: 10:59 PM :: Comments (17) :: Digg It!