Remember the MyGOP fundraiser that was so popular it lost money? Remember when the RNC blog went weeks on end without being updated in the middle of the 2006 election season? Ever notice how Act Blue has raised more than 50 times as much money for Democrats as Rightroots has raised for Republicans? Well, Republicans aren't letting these past netroots bellyflops deter them. Yesterday, the NRCC announced a contest soliciting 60-second campaign spots on why Democrats Congress
|are viewed significantly more favorably than Republicans in Congress suck, or something:
Well normally we'd all sit around and complain about Congress' lack of movement on the issues important to us. But not today. Thanks to the second phase of the NRCC's user-generated contest which asks users to take the slogan, create a YouTube video, and submit it to the NRCC via www.YourDirectionContest.com - there's something more effective and better we can do: We can participate in the national discussion.
Now, unlike everything else that has happened for the past two years, maybe this will end up being a big success for the cash strapped NRCC. However, I think we might be seeing a repeat of one of the great performances listed in the first paragraph:
One YouTube search for "Has the Democratic Congress Worked For You" found one entry (well, two versions of the same video) from user RCRUSA.
It starts off with text imposed upon an old-fashioned T.V. - complete with knobs - that says, "OK, America, it is time to ask the question, has the Democratic Congress worked for you?" Cut to a quick-fire series of rather unflattering photos of liberal members of Congress like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, to name a few.
Next, viewers hear several sound bytes of top Democrats - including Ms. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - denouncing the Iraq War. The original question is posed again, and it's answered with an "Apparently not!"
Another search, this one for "Your Direction video contest," brought up a low-tech rant from "Enrique the Angry Atheist," who sets up his Web camera to capture only his South Park hat. In a matching cartoon accent, he lambastes universal health care and suggests that the United States is winning the Iraq War. There's bad news for Enrique - his entry will be disqualified because it's 70 seconds longer than the time limit.
Two entries, including one that is totally insane, huh? Admittedly, the campaign is only one day old, but I'm surprised there haven't even been more joke entries by now. An inauspicious beginning, to say the least.
Actually, considering that attacking liberals and the media, rather than Democrats, is actually the bread and butter of conservative activists for two generations running, I doubt that this contest will draw much in the way of conservative activist talent. Now, if there was a contest to explain why liberals hate America, or to attack MoveOn, then you might actually draw real conservative interest. A larger prize than $500 might help, too. These are conservatives, after all, and they know that it costs a lot more than $500 to produce a quality 60-second video.
Then again, maybe the entire concept of self-generating activism doesn't work as well among conservatives as it does among progressives, considering that progs continue to hold a huge advantage in online activism (something that many conservative bloggers regularly lament). For one reason or another, it just doesn't seem like Republicans have the same lack of confidence in their leaders as Democrats do, and as such don't feel the need to take matters into their own hands. While Democrats in Congress were never really that popular among Democrats, a supermajority of Republicans still approve of Bush in most poll. Perhaps the best thing that ever happened to the progressive movement is that we lost faith in our leaders. After all, if you think your leaders are doing just fine, what would be the point of doing something different which they refuse to do? The perception of necessity is the mother of all political invention.