Filed Under: Politics
Look! Meg Whitman's campaign! All that ivory down the toilet. What a waste. Oh well! At least 5,760 consultants get to send their kids to college, and Mike Murphy can build himself a palatial mansion!
Dude! Put those away at the dinner table! We don't want to hear about why midgets shouldn't walk around in public and why only gay people want to be in the movie business. Just put it the hell away.
Kevin McCarthy says: "It is written, El-Lawrence! Certain districts in California are unwinnable for the GOP! We must surrender them to the Democrats for the good of the country as a whole, and for my political consultant buddies in Washington D.C. No I won't return your call if you're running for Congress in CA. Not unless you manage to raise $250,000 while I am poaching for donations in your district. And oh yeah. Buy my book Young Guns."
Listen Church Lady Republican: if you have a problem with Bacchanalian wet T-Shirt contests, then you shouldn't try to run in California. It's the freedom, stupid, and freedom also involves tolerating this. Or revelling in this, if you are so inclined.
Hey Meg and Carly: People pretend to like you. They don't really love your requests to work on the weekend. You're actually not terribly charismatic.
Note to conservative media: If all you talk about is Michael Moore, guess what you'll get more of? I know you can figure this one out. Come on. You can do it.
Didn't these obscure guys write a song about money and love or something? I forget.
Pay fealty to my greatness, you peon! For I am all powerful! Also, buy some blog ads. My investors are killing me right now.
Now that we're under attack by the Romulans and the Klingons, what this ship really needs is about 500 consultants from Washington D.C. to advise me on how to win the battle. That will scare the crap out of them! They will grovel at the size of my consulting team! Yeah, ok, we can't fire any photon torpedos because all the consultants are arguing over who gets a drink in ten forward. But we'll kick ass when we fire off direct mail that doesn't make any sense.
He's got tons of money and name recognition. Let's give him the nomination and throw the full weight of the GOP, The NRCC, and the NRSC into his campaign! Also? Karl Rove will kiss his ass on the Sean Hannity show, because his numbers are great. And if you thought "Demon Sheep" was some kinda amazing ad, just wait 'till you see the one Fred Davis will make for him! "I'm not a witch-terrorist!"
Talleyrand. Turncoat advisor to Napoleon and... Oh, just Google him. Putting his picture here is funny. Trust me. I'm a campaign consultant and everything I say has authoritay. Just go ahead and laugh before you Google it, it's that good of a joke.
So the rest of the nation went red in a big way November 2nd, but California sat out the wave. Meg Whitman lost to Jerry Brown in the Governor's race. Carly Fiorina lost to Barbara "Call me Ma'am" Boxer in the Senate. In Congress, it was a clean sweep: John Dennis lost to Nancy Pelosi; Mark Reed lost to Brad "Who me?" Sherman; Star Parker lost to "Foreclosed Queen" Laura Richardson... and so on.
You could blame the voters of California as being freedom-hating monsters, but you would look like King Lear screaming into the storm. Sure, some Californians love the government and would happily exchange their freedoms for free-but-crappy healthcare. But that's not why most people in California vote blue.
Victory has many parents, failure has none. Let's add to that cliche this caveat: failure has many reasons. Here's my top ten, submitted for your approval, from The Twilight Zone.
1. It's the Liberty, Stupid
Everywhere I went in California, I would say this to a progressive or a liberal who didn't know that I made crazy viral ads for evil Republicans...
"I want the government out of my bedroom and out of my wallet."
Based on the strong positive responses I got, I can tell you with fairly strong certainty (albeit anecdotal) that California is not Rachel-Maddow-Keith-Olbermann-Saul-Alinsky progressive.
It is Barry Goldwater conservative. It is, in fact, libertarian.
And, like most libertarians, California doesn't know she's libertarian.
Look. California doesn't give a rip about the social issues that the Red-State GOP constantly obsesses over. Gay marriage? Don't ask, don't tell? Prayer in school? Abortion? The war on drugs? Put those away. You come across like the old geezer who loves to show off his dentures and only ends up grossing out the other dinner guests.
Let's quote Barry Goldwater, that bastion of conservatism that birthed Reagan conservatism. A few nuggets for you in the Land of Red to ponder:
"It's wonderful that we have so many religious people in our party ... They need to leave their theologies in their churches."
"Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar."
"You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."
"To my mind the single essential element on which all discoveries will be dependent is human freedom."
So the bottom line on Item 1? If the Republican Party is to survive in California, it's got to focus like a laser on individual liberty and freedom. If this gets you to some unpleasant truths like, gee, maybe the government shouldn't be telling us what leaves we can smoke or gee, maybe the government shouldn't have carte blanche ability to wiretap its citizens, then too damned bad.
Forget the national GOP thrust that social and fiscal conservatism go hand in hand. While this is true in Texas, Alabama and Wyoming, it is poison in California.
Think libertarian, not conservative. It's the liberty, stupid.
2. It Is Never "Written."
The National Republican Congressional Committee's behavior in California towards its own candidates was beyond atrocious. Like the hapless Anthony Quinn in Lawrence of Arabia who constantly carped that "it is written," the NRCC and GOP played favorites with its candidates in some instances and actively torpedoed the chances of others simply because they "felt" that one candidate or another didn't have a prayer.
Most egregiously stupid and evil was the "Young Guns" program of the NRCC, a blatant effort to ensure that Kevin McCarthy's stupid book got maximum exposure at maximum detriment to votes in California.
Let's take the case of John Dennis, who was running against Nancy Pelosi. The NRCC and the national GOP spent a lot of resources floating the advertising meme of "retiring Nancy Pelosi" and got lots of donations and traction from it. Did the NRCC help out John? Did they give him a database of people to call for donations? Did the "Retire Pelosi" bus tour ever make it to San Francisco?
I think they were pissed off that he was raising money that could have gone to what they saw as "viable" candidates across the country.
While California candidates were busy scrambling for funds and data after they won their primaries, the NRCC's chief morons like Kevin McCarthy were busy book touring and appearing on Sean Hannity. Oh, and not returning phone calls from candidates in his OWN FREAKING STATE.
Way to win, Kevin. Way to angle your way into trying to be House Majority Leader. Boehner has it, buddy. Not you.
And let's take the case of Star Parker. $1.4 million dollars and endorsements out the wazzoo from the GOP establishment, running around complaining about gays making AIDS babies.
Loses by 40 points.
Compare and contrast Star's "stellar" performance with Mattie Fein.
Roughly $50k spent over the general election, skimping and scraping for every last dime. Kevin McCarthy and the GOP bringing other candidates like Van Tran and Star into her district to fund-raise without nary a "how do you do." No endorsements except for Ambassador John Bolton and the CA Small Business Chamber of Commerce. The cold shoulder from the "Conservative" New Media. She still loses, but she gets one of the best margins of the season at 14 under.
14 under against Jane Harman, the third richest candidate in Congress, who by the way owns Newsweek and is beloved by Fox News for some incredibly brain-dead reason.
Van Tran did better than Mattie but he had NRCC support, Rudi Guiliani, New Media support from people like Michelle Malkin. And oh yeah? Over a million dollars to spend.
He lost by 9.
3. California is High School, Only More Vicious
The average political dinner debate in California is like "The View," only with more clucking. It's all about your brand and appearance. Cliches rule, and if your cliche is that you are a fascist old white dude yelling at kids to get off your lawn, you're toast.
But you can get far by sitting down and explaining that you want "the government out of your bedroom and out of your wallet." That you are for freedom first.
Moment of truth, Church Lady: are you for freedom or not? Can you tolerate sybaritic parties? Bacchanalian feasts? Nude prances fueled by cannabis rex? Wet T-Shirt contests?
Don't show up to the dinner party screeching about school prayer and how gays are trying to push their homosexual agenda in the public schools. That may sell you books, Newt Gingrich, but it won't win you California.
4. Conservative California Media, You Suck Balls
It's beyond sickening that, in order to get some earned media for candidates that I worked for in California, I had to import conservative bloggers from the east like the grand old gentleman Robert Stacy McCain. Here's a man who believes in the cause of freedom and understands that you can't just surrender when the odds seem long. But are you telling me there aren't any people like that in California?
With some notable exceptions like Stephen Kruiser from PJTV, Little Miss Attilla, Gay Patriot West, Three Beers Later, and Joe Fein, California's new media community was zonked out during the election. Maybe they'll wake up from a pot-induced haze next election cycle.
One of them only returned my email when I mentioned the possibility of purchasing advertising on his site.
What a tool. At least flirt with me first before busting out the vaseline. Show me that your new media channel is worth a crap first with a mention or an article, then I'll consider plunking down money.
Look, I know that blogging doesn't earn much. I know it's a thankless job with little money and even less glory. But for the love of God, put country first beyond your own ego. And if money is your first love, consider getting into derivatives or something (Red County, I'm looking your way). Or better yet?
Be a Democrat and get the government to bail you out.
I mean, for Chrissake, I managed to get The Freakin' New York Times to write a positive article about making a viral video poking fun of Barney Frank. But I couldn't get some of these New Media guys on the phone?
I am also fairly certain that some in the New Media refused to cover certain candidates like Mattie Fein because their opponents placed certain phone calls. This is beyond reprehensible if true. I am currently investigating.
Conservative media (not just in California but across the nation): if you guys are serious about billing yourselves as the "alternative" to the main stream media, then be the goddamn alternative. Quit navelgazing, and quit spending all your time bitching about the liberal main-stream media. Make some of your OWN news once in a while and quit spending all of your time linking to someone else's links about someone else's link. Give us information on the candidates. Quit talking about yourself and the latest outrage committed by Michael Moore's jockstrap.
Interview a candidate once in a while. If you don't get through the first time, try it a few times. Don't give up in an egotistical tizzy saying "no one takes you seriously." PJTV managed to do interview candidates all the time in CA. There needs to be more of that.
In the end, you perpetuate what you give air time to. Give all your air time to the evils of liberalism on the Huffington Post, then what will you get? More liberalism on the Huffington Post, and fewer successes out in the real world.
And by the way? If you try to make a Big story about how ABC is caving in and backtracking on their agreeing to have you on their election night coverage, and taking away media attention on the candidates who are running, then you are a self-interested a**hole.
5. If You're The Boss, People Are Inclined to Love You
A note to rich business-world candidates like Meg Whitman. Just because you can give speeches that get a good reaction at a company meeting, it doesn't mean you have unnatural powers of persuasion. Your signature on paychecks is the source of your charisma. Learn it and live it before you consider running.
6. Money Can't Buy You Love
$190 million plus dollars and you lose to Jerry Brown? Jerry Brown? Are you f'ing kidding me? Are you?
Tip for you, Meg. Hire one consultant who thinks unconventionally instead of 56 consulting firms. For that kind of money, I could have printed 190 million posters with your face on it and paved the entire state of California with your mug.
Look. When a blow-dry politician like Mitt Romney tells you he'll put you on the Vice Presidential slot if you win the California governor's race, it's probably not because he thinks you're the prettiest date at the ball. It's probably because he thinks you'll put $190 million dollars into his presidential bid. Sucker. And hey, if you lose, he'll find someone else with $190 million dollars under the mattress.
California thanks you for your contribution to its elections, Mitt.
Meg Whitman dragged the entire GOP ticket down in CA by at least ten points.
7. Death By Consultitus (A Term Coined By the Great Robert Stacy McCain)
56 consulting firms? Really, Meg? Really?
C'est tout, c'est vrai.
8. Fifth Columnist Candidates
The national GOP should spend a little more time thinking about the philosophy, and a little less time being impressed by the wallets of, potential candidates they will throw their weight behind. Quick thoughts on Carly Fiorina. Her company HP sold technology to Iran and outsourced high-tech jobs to China. Her best buddy in Congress is the uber-rich Democrat Jane Harman, whose company Harman Industries also sold technology to Iran and outsourced jobs to China. With friends like that...
Carly Fiorina was not a Republican, any more than Jane Harman is a Democrat. They are instead members of the Shakespeare Theater Donation Big-Wigs in Washington D.C. They run for Congress like the Jersey Housewives show off their cleavage on t.v.
They need something to do.
Next time, Carly, consider getting a makeover, or collecting bottle caps, or something else innocous that won't harm the freedoms of millions of Americans.
9. Fifth Columnist Consultants
You're running for some office in California as a Republican, and some big-wig from the GOP comes to you and says, hey, you should use this here consultant and this here database. It's called PDI, and it's the cat's meow. Never mind that it's run by Willie Brown people, and we *might* give all the data you generate to your Democrat opponent. And oh yeah, we *might* give you second-tier information to work with. Never mind that. We've drilled our data down to who buys diapers in California. Our data is awesome.
You deserved to lose if you listened to this a-hole, like Meg Whitman did; and you doubly deserved to lose if you let Meg Whitman force you to use the PDI database for your own campaign.
10. Liberty is Sexy, And Eric Cantor Isn't
The reason the Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, and all the rest in pop-culture have so much sway in blue states is because they align themselves with Bachanalian freedom and snark. They gloss over the fact that progressive policies take away your freedom and your money. You know what was a pretty sexless and grey culture? The Soviet Union. You know where you can't be licentious and individualistic and crazy-party-time? Modern day China.
Hey GOP! You want to know why you keep losing in the blue states? Because in the topsy-turvy world of freedom vs. liberty, the party ostensibly for individual liberty has been painted as the stick-in-the-mud racist Church Lady. So quit acting like what you've been painted as.
Look, folks, it's time for the California GOP and even the national GOP to recognize that Miss California is sexier than Ralph Reed. Otherwise Rush Limbaugh would be vacationing in some Baptist church retreat in Alabama as opposed to the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Bob Dole's Viagra. We need a little more rock and roll and a little less country in the California GOP.
Here's the equation in math-terms, for those of you who are left-brained:
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com