Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

It wasn't long ago that I was attending gatherings of frustrated liberals wondering when oh when we would be delivered from the wilderness and how we could possibly emulate what the Republicans did best: messaging, defining their brand, riling up (and embracing) the base and, well, winning. It sounds funny now but just a few years ago Republicans were at the top of their game. Now the roles are reversed and it's the Republicans doing the soul searching.

Take for example Dick Morris's new column, which, on its face is a call to action to Republicans to save the Georgia Senate seat and hence block Barack Obama's "radical agenda," but really is the sort of Republican Party reformist manifesto that so many of us used to write about the Democratic Party (pre-Dean.)

If there is one lesson that is plain from the election, it is that conservatism is too important to trust to the Republican Party! A runoff election is a get-out-the-vote contest, and the Republican Party has proven woefully inept at such matters. In the election, the proportion of the vote cast by Republicans dropped from 1.3 percent above the Democrats to 2.6 percent below them.

The Democrats won the election of 2008 because they got their vote out and the Republicans lost it because they did not.

The same thing can happen in Georgia.

Sound familiar?

Morris also takes what the opposition did right and suggests they emulate it:

The Obama victory really started with the organization of Moveon.org in the bitter climate of Clinton's impeachment. Since then, the left-wing cyber-roots groups have amassed millions of e-names, piled up hundreds of millions in contributions, and mobilized and expanded their base. It is through groups like GOPTrust.com that we, conservatives, must go through the same process if we are to take our country back.

"Cyber-roots" and "e-names"? Okaaay. But you take my point. Morris is promoting GOPTrust.org (aka The Republican Trust PAC) as their version of MoveOn. And who are they exactly?

Only a group like this one, The National Republican Trust PAC, which sponsored the Rev. Wright ads that delivered all the undecided vote to McCain in the election, has the flexibility and focus to do what the Republican Party should be doing on its own. And we cannot sit back and let complaisance and over confidence lead us to another election day debacle.

You see, those Reverend Wright ads are where true conservatism is at.

I don't know what the saddest thing about this organization is. The fact that they brand themselves using the very name of the entity that they claim to want to reform, the fact that their website features a tab labeled "TV Videos" or the fact that the organizing principles laid out on their About page are the very things repudiated in dramatic fashion just 8 days ago by the American people.

But as scary as it is, as I read Morris's column, I felt a sense of empathy with his goal. I'm fairly confident that this organization has about zero chance of achieving the success of Moveon.org but it's worth tracking the GOP's attempts to come out of the wilderness as the effort enters its nascent stages as we don't want to write them off as quickly as they did ours.

Tags: Dick Morris, goptrust.org, Republican Party (all tags)

Comments

16 Comments

Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

The GOP has been behind technologically for ages... Just take a look at Drudge, Redstate, or FreeRepublic...  It's like going back in time!  Redstate was complaining that there was some sort of conspiracy that prevented tech savvy people from helping him improve his site.  The reality is that the tech savvy people in the world tend not to be Republicans...  Just take a look at their nominee... John McCain doesn't even know how to use a computer!

I imagine that there are many more Republicans who are technologically challenged than there are Democrats with the same problem.  It's hard to organize people online, when they don't even have access to email.

The GOP has tried to emulated Howard Dean before... After 2004, they tried to increase their Internet and technological presence, but failed pretty badly.  They have been behind the curve every step of the way, and it's hard for me to see that changing.  Technolgy is inherently progressive... backwards thinking folk tend to shun it.

by LordMike 2008-11-12 06:10PM | 0 recs
How can they be good at

the thing they want to kill?

The whole reason the big ISPs and the backbone providers have been trying to kill Net Neutrality, is to kill off the last free and open voice and conduit of information ... the internet.

They control the airwaves, the media, and almost all forms of information. They don't own or control sites like MyDD, Dkos, TPM, etc.

We all need to stay focused on keeping the internet NEUTRAL.

by kevin22262 2008-11-12 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

I seem to remember that just four years ago we were all rolling in ashes and wearing sack-cloth over the GOP's 21st-century voter contact machine which drew heavily from the Credit Card industry's microtargeting strategy.

Maybe "web savvy" is the term you're looking for?

by the mollusk 2008-11-12 07:30PM | 0 recs
How dare you!

The GOP has been behind technologically for ages

How dare you, we are aware of all Internet traditions!

by Tiparillo 2008-11-13 09:37AM | 0 recs
The first thing that hit me was

TV Video?  hahahaha!

Do they also have Radio Audio?

They are soooo cutting edge that even the picture of saxofbs shamebliss's picture, on the front page, is of the highest republican quality.

Do we still wonder why they ran this country INTO the ground?

pathetic.

by kevin22262 2008-11-12 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The first thing that hit me was

I have it on good information that they will also soon be releasing a section titled "Internet Text."

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-12 06:19PM | 0 recs
hahaha!

good one!

by kevin22262 2008-11-12 06:36PM | 0 recs
That's why we've got to troll their blogs!

Mwahahaha!

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-12 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: That's why we've got to troll their blogs!

you gotta handle, partner?

by the mollusk 2008-11-12 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

The real problem with this effort is that it doesn't have a unifying cause.  The Left was going through similar turmoil just a few years ago.  Moveon.org really crystalized its presence over the issues of war and peace.  I don't remember Moveon.org from the Clinton years.  But I do remember it very vividly from 2001-2003.  It was the only refuge for the 14 % of the country that never really liked Bush (George W.).  The anti-war constituent may not be the primary force anymore, but that was the seed-germ of the movement, I believe.

I wonder what it will (would) be for the Right?  I wouldn't underestimate the ability of them to organize very quickly if the opportunity presented itself.  The problem is, they've had their way for eight years and it has totally sucked.  So what's their beef, exactly?

ps- I know, I know "seed-germ".

by the mollusk 2008-11-12 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?
What I see is that Dick Morris, another old white guy, who obviously knows nothing about the internet, is going to try to use the internet to repeat the success of the Democrats.
Without an internet savvy base to attract, I don't see how it's going to work.
by skohayes 2008-11-13 01:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

The reason that it will be difficult for regressives to create their own "moveon", or to ever have a presence on the net larger than that of progressives is because regressives don't do "decentralization." That defeats their psychological purpose. If they, as individuals, aren't giving orders or taking orders, then they suffer from apoplexy.The internet, by it's very nature, almost demands participation and intellectual engagement by the individual.

by onlinesavant 2008-11-13 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

I can't believe that any real conservative would buy into anything that Dick Morris has to say.  There is just something to creepy about a turncoat, Benedict Arnold like him for me to ever trust with the future of my party.  And anyway, wasn't he wrong on almost every prediction that he made during this extremely long campaign?

I know that there is most definately a technology gap between "conservatives" and "liberals".  There is also no denying that the Democrat's general election candidate was by and far more savvy using the web.  That being said, let's not forget where the Republican youth flocked.  I think that Ron Paul showed that there is a market for conservatism, with strong Libertarian leanings, among the American youth.  His campaign demonstrated a level of online fundraising never seen before in the GOP.

If the GOP really wants to achieve meaningful change with a youthful movement they are going to have to become more Libertarian and less Corporate.  There is a market in that type of constitutional, individual freedom driven message that can pull voters from all across the diverse spectrum of American demographics.  If they can craft a message with a charasmatic messanger with these leanings I think that we can put up a real fight in 2012.  (That person will not be Sara Palin!)

by snoop275 2008-11-13 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

Only a group like this one, The National Republican Trust PAC, which sponsored the Rev. Wright ads that delivered all the undecided vote to McCain in the election, has the flexibility and focus to do what the Republican Party should be doing on its own. And we cannot sit back and let complaisance and over confidence lead us to another election day debacle.

Or, presumably, to spellcheck mishaps such as this one. I think they meant complacence - though it's not beyond their alternate reality to consider themselves complaisant.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-13 11:44AM | 0 recs
AM Talk Radio works for these minions.

They need to hear their master's voice bellowing over the airwaves before they're goaded into action. It's been particularly effective with book sales, for example.

Unfortunately their fuhrers aren't into sharing their wealth with causes - conservative or otherwise. Nor apparently are their corporate benefactors - not without the quid pro quo, anyway.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-13 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?

I think that Morris is more impressed with the success of moveon.org than I am. They got the attention of right wing media but I do not think they got the attention of main stream Americans. You have to believe that this election indicates a movement in sentiment of America to the left to think moveon.org made a significant difference. I do not believe that.

This election represented a movement towards political rhetoric being more consistent with the reality of our times rather than  rhetoric being the spin of the political leaders. Obama seems to draw strength from what America already believed. Dick Morris on the other hand feels he has to tell America what to believe as does moveon and that has partisan appeal but not true political weight.

For all we know America chose the candidate it liked best or maybe trusted more and it had less to do with the policies he favored.

by Ron M 2008-11-13 12:27PM | 0 recs

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