By the way, just to be clear, I'm arguing here against a "conventional wisdom" developing over what happened to Hackett, that I think is just divisive and serves no purpose. I really like Hackett, and I really like Brown. But we all have to keep in mind that what we really want to accomplish here is sticking together to defeat the Republicans and literally save democracy and the planet. Keep our eyes on the prize.
"If you ever find yourself frustrated that the Republicans seem to be better tacticians than Democrats, you should know that ALEC is one of the reasons why."
Let me add something here. We all find ourselves criticizing "The Democrats" for one thing or another. And it's usually in contrast to the way "The Republicans" are doing something - messaging, jumping on an issue, strategerizing, etc.
But I think it's a key to understanding how to fix the problem, if we realize that ALEC isn't "The Republicans" at all. And it's almost always the ALECs -- Heritage Foundation or CATO or AEI one of those hundreds of non-Party organizations -- that we are talking about! ALEC is legally a non-partisan organization. Same with Heritage, etc. But these organizations, all part of the "conservative movement," all largely corporate-funded, have really taken over the Republican Party. It is THESE organizations, not the Repubican Party, that are out there talking to the general public, publishing books, paying pundits and geting them on TV and the radio, and all the other things that we credit "The Republicans" with doing so well.
The Democrats don't have an infrastructure of similar organizations employing an army of operatives. And this is why "The Democrats" are not responding to events as effectively as "The Repubicans" are able to do.
What this means to us is that we need to understand the need to build up an infrastructure of organizations designed to reach the public and persuade them that progresive values are better for them than conservative values, and that a progressive approach to issues and progressive candidates are better for them than conservatives. (If you have read Crashing the Gate, you'll recognize this idea.)
This means sending money - real money - to PLAN and other organizations that are trying to counter this Republican machines. (Commonweal Institute is another such organization.) Start donating money to these organizations and you'll start seeing a difference.
Now if Hillary becomes the candidate, it certainly counters your argument that "the Democratic Party made it clear in her early years that she wasn't popular at all." If that's the case you don't have to worry about her becoming the candidate, right?
You seem to be saying that because the Republicans smeared the Clintons, Hilary shouldn't run. Well they smeared Carter, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, etc. IT'S WHAT THEY DO. Remember how Kerry would be a better candidate than Dean because he was a war hero?
So this is just not relevant to Hillary's qualifications to run. There is NO DIFFERENCE in their use of smears on her or anyone else.
You appear to be misundertanding Chris' point. He is saying criticize fairly and honestly, for real things, and be factual, but don't just echo Republican criticisms. And it's not smart to tear her down in ways that hurt all of us if she becomes the candidate. Republicans winning again hurts all of us.
Berman is involved in a string of corporate-front attack organizations. They "attack the credibility" of the tobacco opponents, animal rights proponents, environmentalists, nutrition proponents, and others who try to fight for a better, safer, more humane America.
Paul Krugman wrote about the Center for Consumer Freedom here.
This is worth studying up on, because of the way this kind of propaganda works. Outlets like FOX echo this stuff, and it spreads. WHenever you hear the "fat isn't really bad for you" or "PETA is a violent organization" it is likely coming from a well-funded "credibility attack" front-group like this.
3. In political wars, the aggressor usually prevails. ... By striking first, you can define the issues and define your adversary. Definition is the decisive move in all political wars. Other things being equal, whoever winds up on the defensive will generally be on the losing side.
If you read the whole document it is a good idea to keep in mind that the author also advises (in previous documents) playing the victim as a strategy of persuasion. So THIS document is written as if "the left" does all these bad things, therefore Republicans should to, which is just nonsense but which works to persuade Republicans they are justified in engaging in such tactics.