It's called a primary for a reason. You highlight where your opponent contraticts themselves or is weak. All my "attacks" were based on things Duckworth said in the press or in public.
And what exactly was your positive contribution to this race? Pointing out how bad the candidate I was supporting? What did you get out and do in IL-06? I did plenty, and I'm still doing what I can for other candidates. If standing up for a candidate in a primary is negative, then why bother have primaries?
I've had plenty of people thank me for my coverage of the race and the work I did. If the only thing you saw was negative, then you weren't paying attention or you are against strong primary races. You also haven't talked to anyone who knows me.
Roskam has had Cheney, Laura Bush and now soon to be George Bush out here. The guy's campaign must have a death wish. He is handing this to Duckworth on a silver platter. That's why I'm so frustrated with ads like this.
I agree that you have to inspire activits. But I keep reading this idea that if we're not volunteering for Duckworth (ala Big Dog to me on this thread) then it will be our fault if Democrats like her lose because we'll be sitting at home.
Guess what? I don't know anyone around here (IL-06) who's sitting this election out. But believe it or not, there are many races in this area that people can work on. And guess what? They are all helping Democrats.
Just in IL-06 there are two Illinois General Assembly candidates to work for (Here & here.). There are several County Board races (DuPage has an all Republican county board). In the area there are even several house races to work for (For example here & here.)
No body I know is sitting home. They are all working. So if there is any blame to be given out for a loss (or a win), it should go to each individual candidate and the campaign they run, not the volunteers their campaign didn't turn out.
If Democrats running House races in Illinois don't win, it won't be the fault of the grass roots in Illinois. It will be the fault of the candidates and how they run their campaigns. Their ability to turn out voters and GOTV efforts is their responsibility. If they can't energize their base, then it's the fault of their campaign, not the grassroots volunteers, the ones I know who are all working on campaigns for some Democrat (or two) somewhere in the state.
I'm seeing this argument being thrown around now and again and it bothers me. This thread is an example. The critique was of Duckworth's ad - not Duckworth. There's a difference between attacking the Democratic nominee at this point in time, and attacking what in many people's eyes is a poor ad.
The idea, at least for me, is to be proactive and bring some heat on her media people to get on the ball. That's called wanting to win. I can volunteer all I want (ala Big Dog's taunt above) for her campaign, and if her ads surpress her base, give Roskam ammunition to attack her (he'll lie about anything??), and cost her votes among the growing minority population in DuPage, then I could volunteer full time and then some and I'd be wasting my time.
If you all want to believe that we should do what we always do and fall in line and shut up, and allow campaigns to drive themselves into the ground, then I question how much people want to win. Doing things as Democratic conventional wisdom always has in the past - saying nothing but positives about everything a campagn does during the race, then bitching about everything they did wrong after they lose - then you're just looking to repeat our losing ways.
I want to win. This ad, in my opinion, is going to do more harm than good and that pisses me off.
Nope. I guess my critique of Duckworth's ads must be because I'm still pissed over the primary, right? Couldn't be that the ad is that bad or anything... Got any other defense for this POS ad than attacking the messenger and telling everyone to fall in line or they're a bad Democrat. If not, go to hell.
Oh, and believe it or not, there are other Democratic candidates in my district (and state) I can and am do work for.
I've posted the NRCC ad somewhere in this thread so you can contrast the two mailers.
I understand your concern about bashing Republicans not Democrats now. But I disagree with what you are calling "self-loathing navel-gazing."
Critiquing GOP ads would be a wast of time. We have no influence there. Fact checking, great. But there is no point critiquing any ads but those of our own party.
Although our critique may not have the weight you'd like, the weight of the netroots is growning. We want to win, and the only way we are going to do that is to challenge the way things are done. By calling out ads for their strengths and weaknesses we provide feedback, reflection, and many minds on each problem.
Sure this may not be embraced. Yet. Ripping candidate's to shreads after they've lost is what we always do. I'd rather take this approach and be proactive than reactive and try to influence the race before it's lost.
We do have to make our course as strong as possible. That means calling out ads like this early, before a theme develops and more ads like it are produced. How a message is presented is fluid, not locked in stone, and can have a course change on a dime while mainting the same overal message.
While we strengthen our borders, we also need to pursue realistic and effective policies to deal with those who are in our country illegally. Much as some would like, we cannot wave a magic wand and deport the 11-to-12 million illegal workers currently in this country. We need a more realistic and orderly approach. I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. The immigration reform proposal that I support does not provide amnesty. Its lead sponsor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has been adamant on that point. Instead, it requires fines, criminal background checks, and that all back taxes must be paid. Immigrants would be compelled to learn English and take courses in American culture and civics. If -- and only if -- an immigrant meets all of those requirements while continuing to be gainfully employed, he or she would be allowed to pursue legal status. Even then, these applicants would have to go to the back of the immigration line.
I agree with you Jerome that this ad is probably targeted to Republicans. But with immigrants moving to DuPage in large numbers, this ad will be used by Roskam against Duckworth.
He'll make her defend her position by obfuscating it, and get her to say repeatedly that she's against amnesty. He'll hammer her on this, and she'll have to repeat that statement over and over.
While this might help her with Republicans, they still have Roskam to chose, as he is solidly in the Republican "punish the illegals" camp. But when Duckworth starts defending that she's against amnesty, she's going to turn off a good deal of the independents and immigrant population in DuPage.
Do you want to be loyal or effective? I want to be effective. Questioning who the nominee is and who to support is not productive at this point. I'll swallow that.
But tactics and crap like this needs instant feedback. Inneffective and outright bad ads can hurt. Ads that don't contrasts Democrats and Republcans can hurt. Ads that turn off your base or use Republican talking points can hurt beyond the race they are used in.
Feedback is necessary to be effective. Especially in key races like this.
And to use your own advice: How is this ad anti-Republican? I completely agree with you. But where in this ad does it mention Duckworth is a Democrat and Roskam is a Republican? Where does it contrast the Democratic postion on immigration with the Republican position on immigration? Where does it call Roskam a Republican and tie anything to his Republican record?
This has nothing to do with the primary. The ad is bad on a number of levels. I do know the issues in this race, and I live in IL-06. This has nothing to do with Cegelis. This is a bad ad on many levels. Here's what I wrote on Soapblox Chicago:
These ads don't work on several levels in my opinion, and actually worry me. Although I like calling out Roskam, and the GOP in general, I'm probably not the target of these ads. I think these ads will hurt more than help:
1. The attack is personal. This is politics as usual in most people's minds. By calling Roskam a liar ("he will lie about anything"), she opens herself up to attacks that she is mud slinging and going negative by personally attacking Roskam's character. She goes negative first in a big way with this ad.
2. The defense is personal. Rather than clarify her position, contrasting it with Roskam's position, and standing strong for what she believe, she raises the standard "he's attacking a vet theme" in spades. She refers people to her website to learn more about her position, and never really calls Roskam on what he does actually say about her position specifically. There is little contrast between what Duckworth stands for and what Roskam stands for in this ad.
3. He said, She said. By not clarifying her position by contrasting it against Roskam's statements and position on immigration, she opens herself up to the "walks like a duck" line of attack. Roskam will still be able to distort her position on immigration by obfuscating the specifics of her position, devolving the argument into a he said, she said, debate, rather than one on the actual position or record.
4. Target Audience. This ad to me reads as though targeted at Republicans. The strong graphic and language that Tammy "opposes amnesty" may be viewed by Democrats and minorities negatively. No matter what her true position, this allows Roskam to again attack Duckworth in a way that puts her in a no win situation: He can confuse her true position as noted above, and the more she defends that she opposes amnesty, the more she will hurt her own base among Democrats and minorities by driving a Republican wedge into her own campaign.
5. Using GOP "new McCarthyism." No one is questioning anyone's patriotism at this point. Yet in this ad Duckworth clearly states that Roskam is questioning hers. This is an overreaction at best, and a complete duplication of the GOP's use of 9-11 fall in line questioning of the patriotism of anyone who dissents. This is a red flag to me personally, and again gives Roskam a line of counter attack. It angers me when Republicans do this, and dissapoints me that our own nominee would use such tactics.
6. Which party? There is no party identification in this mailer (correct me if I missed it). Again, this povides little contrast with Roskam, and none between GOP and Democratic parties. This misses several opportunities. It does not help any downticket races by contrasting Democrats with Republicans. This approach does not incorporate the anti-Republican sentiment in the electorate. This does not tie Roskam to the Republican party in any way.
I would have rather Duckworth took a statesmanlike approach to this, called Roskam's attacks distortions, then contrasted her position (and those of the Democratic party) with Roskam's record and that of the Republican party. This would have blunted his attack, kept the debate on the actual position and record rather than estimations of others character (lead the voter to these conclusions rather than say them outright), not allowed Roskam to claim Duckworth is mudslinging, and not potentially alienated a good chunk of Duckworth's base.
I'm not arguing not to be aggressive. But in doing so, Democrats need to be careful not to give their opponents plenty of opportunity to counter attack as this ad does.