"I happen to believe in the people and believe that the people are supposed to be dominant in our society. That they, not government, are to have control of their own affairs to the greatest extent possible with an orderly society." - Ronald Reagan

Controlling the narrative.

Posted: August 12th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I wonder how many people citing this memo from the Right Principles PAC as evidence of Republican thuggery have read this memo from Health Care for America Now. Let’s compare:

Maligning the opposition

The Right Principles memo speaks of “socialist agendas” and “deceptive, Orwellian” statements and accuses the legislators of “acting against our founders’ principles“.

The Health Care for America Now memo speaks of the “radical rhetoric” of “right wing extremists” and accuses the opposition of being “far right-wing ideologues recruited by paid organizers” who are “held together by a common vision of the world that centers on defeating Obama and his agenda“.  It goes on to warn of “the irrational tone and militancy” of right wing demonstrators.

Encouraging recruitment and preparation

The Right Principles memo advises organizers “alert as many potential supporters as possible” and suggests that “the voting record and questions and any relevant articles which would be place the Congressperson on the defensive should be distributed to all indicating a willingness to attend“.

The Health Care for America Now memo advises organizers to “contact friendly members of congress and let them know [they] are coming“, “inoculate [their] staff and [their] volunteers by telling them what to expect“, “bring more people than the other side has” and “have a real plan for the media“.

Encouraging visibility

The Right Principles PAC memo recommends that “people should be asked to meet in of the a half hour before the scheduled start” and says the goal should be to give the impression that they are “a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience“.

The Health Care for America memo recommends that demonstrators “arrive earlier than the other side” and says the goal should be to “visually out-perform the other side” and make it “obvious to everyone—including press—that you represent the majority“.

Engaging the press

The Right Principles memo suggests that “should you seek visibility for your group voicing opposition to the Rep’s voting record and agenda, you could schedule a press conference 20 minutes before the Town Hall is scheduled to begin” and recommends you “write and distribute a press release to local newspapers and TV” and “have someone available to read a prepare statement and answer questions“.  After the event it is recommended “those who asked effective questions should seek out any press remaining in the hall, proving their names for attribution”.

The Health Care for American Now memo recommends you “have a real plan for the media” including “3-5 people to speak with the reporters who attend” who should “approach the reporters and be assertive in shaping the narrative that they write“.

Getting the message out

The Right Principles memo suggests “questions should contain facts and numbers (which are embarrassing and damning to the Rep and his voting record)” and watching for “an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early“.

The Health Care for American Now memo suggests organizers “must bring enough people to drown them out and to cover [their] our bases” and that demonstrators should “Interrupt [right wing demonstrators] when they get disruptive and refocus the meeting“.  The memo further warns: “Do not debate on [right wing demonstrators] “policy” points” and suggests that “rather than try to reply with the truth (which won’t move them anyway) we should respond with our message and at every turn re-focus the agenda“.  It is recommended that “when the other side gets too loud, we should shut them down with chants“.

Urging restraint

The Right Principles Memo cautions: “Don’t carry on and make a scene – just short intermittent shout-outs“.

The Health Care for America Now memo cautions that “You don’t want to get into a screaming match“.

The section in the Health Care for American Now memo on organizing an event with a legislator is an interesting read, but has no analogue in the Right Principles memo.  Neither really strikes me as particularly extraordinary or damning, to be honest.

held together by a common vision of the world that centers on defeating Obama and his agenda

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