Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Show me, don't snow me...

Digby has a great post up about how the democrats communicate and why they're so fucking bad at it. Process Talk I'm going to quote at length so bear with me:
Via Armando over at Kos I see this statement from Tom Vilsack today:

Gov. Tom Vilsack said Monday that Democrats risk political backlash if they object to the Bush administration's wiretapping but cannot show that Americans' civil liberties are at risk.

The Democratic governor, who is weighing a 2008 presidential bid, said the party will suffer if it continues to be perceived as weaker than Republicans on national security.

. . . "If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters. "And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe."

There are many things about this statement that are bullshit. I don't have to lay them all out for you. But I would like to expound on one aspect of this statement that drives me crazy: it's a process answer.

A process answer is saying what "we should say" instead of just saying it. Nothing drives me more nuts than a politician who talks process instead of engaging voters directly. In this instance it's a backstab equal to anything one of those run-at-the-mouth strategists says to the NY Times to boost his cool factor among the mediatarts. He's positioning hemself as a "reasonable" centrist on national security, but he clearly has nothing to offer on the subject at hand so he just talks about what "we should be doing."

A fucking men. Go read the rest, it's brilliant.

Let me just add that any good writer what the key to great prose is - you never want to tell your reader (or your listener) anything. That's doubly true for politicians.

Have something to say and say it clearly and directly. Quit fucking around. And STOP stabbing us in the back with this "dems are weak on national security crap." It's not helpful.

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