04 March 2010

You Knew The GOP Was Cynical, Manipulative, And Did Not Respect You. Leaked Documents Prove It.

Politico: Exclusive: RNC document mocks donors, plays on 'fear'

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

The presentation explains the Republican fundraising in simple terms.

"What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate...?" it asks. The answer: "Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

Manipulating donors with crude caricatures and playing on their fears is hardly unique to Republicans or to the RNC – Democrats raised millions off George W. Bush in similar terms – but rarely is it practiced in such cartoonish terms.

The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.

The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”
Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”

The slide also allows that donors may have more honorable motives, including “Patriotic Duty.”

A major Republican donor described the state of the RNC’s relationship with major donors as “disastrous,” with veteran givers beginning to abandon the committee, which is becoming increasingly reliant on small donors.

The party’s average contribution in 2009, according to the document, was just $40, and the shift toward a financial reliance on the grassroots may help explain Steele’s increasingly strident tone toward the Obama Administration.

More here from the Daily Beast: The secret GOP memo calling for Obama fear-mongering is sure to backfire, alienating GOP donors at every level.

These excerpts show that the RNC misleads its donors, ensconces itself in the trappings of the cultural elite, and treats the conservative base with striking condescension.

The rank-and-file will raise eyebrows at leaders who cast the GOP as the home for regular Americans while the party formulates its fundraising approach at $2,500-a-head golf course retreats. Is it any wonder that the resulting strategy calls for courting big donors with special access, overseas trips, and pricey entertainment

The most damning part of the PowerPoint, presented under the headline "RNC Marketing 101," lists the GOP's assessment of what motivates its small donors: "fear," “extreme” anti-Obama sentiments, and being "reactionary."

It's the most revealing gaffe since President Obama condescended to rural voters, calling them anxious economic losers who bitterly cling to guns and religion. The noteworthy difference: In this case, the reductionist rhetoric caricatures fervent supporters rather than staunch critics.

Why willingly fund the people most adept at deliberately exploiting your ignorance

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or middle class: the prudent course is to treat national political parties with the same cynicism they display toward you.

If you call yourself a Republican, I have to ask, "Why?"

Because you are looked down upon, belittled and despised by those whom you are putting into power. Why are you rewarding these people with your support?

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