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I Can Haz Slogan

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This new slogan by House Democrats is terrible.

The campaign arm for House Democrats on Wednesday tried out a new slogan: “I mean, have you seen the other guys?”

The sticker slogan, one of several floated as part of a fundraising effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), caused a stir on social media, where many wondered why the party would try out such a self-deprecating campaign line.

“Not exactly the most inspiring slogan, @dccc,” wrote ProPublica reporter Derek Willis.

“Dems are asking people to vote on a new sticker and I’m not sure anyone in history has been as bad as this,” tweeted Adam Serwer, a senior editor for The Atlantic.

Or as someone tweeted to me:

As Willis and Serwer note, this is pathetic. Hell, as Serwer notes, all their ideas are terrible.

It’s possible that “not being Republicans” might be enough to win the House in 2018. But if it is, it won’t be because of that slogan. It will be in spite of it. If Democrats want to convince people to vote for them, “We aren’t Trump” is not going to be enough. There has to be leadership, ideas, and vision. I’m not saying that everyday voters follow position planks on platform, but as Trump showed, they need to believe that the party they are voting for will appeal to their lived experience. Democrats clearly have not figured out how to do that yet. Maybe a national $15 minimum wage would be a start. Or, I don’t know, Medicare For All. That seems good and relevant. Anything is better than what the DCCC proposed today.

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  • DN Nation

    I did a low-key lefty-causes 5K last weekend, and the random local guy who gave a speech beforehand about what he believed about America was about 67,000 times more impassioned than this over-consulted snarky crap.

    “She persisted.” About what? Maybe people would like to be reminded.

    • wjts

      I don’t think “Resist and Persist” is the worst slogan ever. It’s not great, mind, but it’s not bad.

      • DN Nation

        I like resist more as a personal-level lefty ethos and less as a party slogan; I do assume the Democrats would entertain notions of being the party in power again…

        • wjts

          Sure, but in the short-term, I think it’s OK.

          • tsam100

            Should certainly be a major part of the stump, I think. And defending progress from retrograde bigots should always be part of the message too.

            • wjts

              As a practical matter, yes, of course. As a question of sloganeering… I dunno. “Let us, if nothing else, make sure things don’t get any worse!” is a very good principle, but leaves something to be desired as a rallying cry.

        • Hob

          It’s not being proposed as a “party slogan” in the sense you mean. They’re choosing a slogan to print on a sticker in fundraising campaigns for 2018.

      • zoomar2

        “Resist” is fine for resistors. That kind of message puts perception of Democrats in the permanent minority.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Also, “resist and persist” is too vague. Still leaves the question of “what do we stand for, exactly?” completely open.

          I mean, Donald Trump is an evil moron, but ask any of his supporters what he and they stand for, and they’ll all give you the same dumb but concise answer: “Making America great again.” That shit is effective.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      I wouldn’t know how consulted this stuff was but it does show there are limits to how useful snark is

      • zoomar2

        Exactly. They don’t sound serious at all here.

  • Other possible slogans:

    Trump? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Monkeys would be better than this.

    Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself.

  • LosGatosCA

    We hired Comey, they fired Comey!

    We may be stupid, but at least we’re not evil – on purpose.

    ETA – Not raising unreasonable expectations since 1968 – vote for the Democrat(ic) Party!

  • Nathan Goldwag

    I mean—I think ‘Make Congress Blue Again’ is fine? Not as a flagship slogan, but I wouldn’t blink if I saw it on a bumper sticker.

    • stepped pyramids

      And it is indeed a bumper sticker. I think it’s fine for the people it appeals to. Bumper stickers aren’t meant to persuade other people, they’re meant to allow you to identify with the party. I guarantee you that the number of votes that have been directly affected by bumper sticker messaging in the entire history of American politics would not be enough to flip Michigan in 2016.

      • ColBatGuano

        Yeah, as I said to Sewer on Twitter, leftists trashing the DCCC about a slogan contest is surely the route to progressive victory.

    • elm

      This is what I was going to say. Make Congress Blue Again is a perfectly cromulent bumper sticker slogan, which is what this was outreach for. If these are the campaign slogans in commercials and whatnot, then there’s problems. But what are most political bumper stickers? The candidates names and the year?

      • yet_another_lawyer

        Building on my above comment, the (NAME) (YEAR) bumper stickers are a billion times better than all but one of these candidates, because they tell people who you would like them to vote for. If your political bumper sticker does not do that, then it has failed at the one thing it is trying to do.

        • Name/Year stickers would have to be printed by the individual campaigns, though. Doesn’t make sense for the DCCC as a whole.

    • yet_another_lawyer

      You wouldn’t, but you are politically informed enough to be reading a (mostly) political blog.
      Some subset of the voters you want to reach don’t know which party is the blue one or which party controls Congress now. Your slogan should, at minimum, reference the party you would like people to vote for, because a non-trivial portion of the potential electorate will be unable to make that determination if you do not tell them directly. As bad as it is, the “I mean, have you seen the other guys?” sticker at least tells potential voters who you would like them to vote for because it also says “Democrats” on it.

      I know it sounds silly, but keep in mind that Coke and Pepsi spend billions just to put logos with their names on them that say “COCA COLA” and “PEPSI.” Getting your name out there and forming positive associations matters.

    • BloodyGranuaile

      Not to get all George Lakoff on people, but I despise riffing on Trump’s slogans and think people should knock it off. I know it feels clever but a) it’s not and b) it continues to make him the reference point for everything.

    • zoomar2

      “Make Congress Sad Again” is fine?

  • wjts

    “Where’s the Beef?”

    ETA: “Mais où sont les bouefs d’antan?”

    • MacCheerful

      Et Hillary, la bonne dame
      Que le Comey brule sans raison,
      Où sont-elles, Vierge souveraine ?
      Mais où sont les neiges d’antan ?

      • The Declaration of Independence would have been even cooler if they’d thrown in a grievance about Jehanne, la bonne Lorraine, qu’Anglois bruslèrent à Rouen.

        Just because now we can.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Walter Mondale famously torpedoed Gary Hart’s 1984 campaign with his “Where’s the Beef?” line in one of the Democratic debates.

      • wjts
        • Judas Peckerwood

          Sorry, your topical humor eluded me.

          • wjts

            Given the number of jokes this comment section has seen about Philip the Fair (i.e., more than zero), I figured a Walter Mondale reference would be cutting-edge.

            • firefall

              too avant-garde

            • mds

              Hey, Philip the Fair went after the “state within a state,” or “deep state,” of his day (i.e., Jews and Templars). So that guy’s actually relevant.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Might I suggest “Democrats: We are definitely better than Hitler!”

    • wjts

      An acquaintance of mine once told me that the slogan of a private Russian airline in the post-Soviet era was “Guaranteed no worse than Aeroflot.”

    • LosGatosCA

      ‘Definitely’ ? Sounds a bit polarizing to me.

      MIght be better with a 3/5 dentists agree – Hitler much worse than the Democratic Party.

      Or for crossover appeal:

      Now that you’ve tried white supremacy, maybe you’re ready for some Liberal Fascism.

    • Stella Barbone

      One of the electronic medical record companies has the internal slogan “We suck less.” This seems reasonable for the Dems.

  • King Goat

    I think they want the broadest slogan possible, one that a Democrat in Montana and in California could run on. I’m not sure this one is so bad. I mean, wouldn’t you vote for anyone vs. a Trumpista if that were your two choices? The more specific you get, the more you risk peeling someone off.

    • rm

      You and I would, but to young Democrats in a midterm election this slogan means “nothing much is happening you should get excited about,” or perhaps “we won’t really fight for you.”

      • King Goat

        Hmmm, that’s a good point about the youth vote…What would appeal to them while not turning off older centrists who can’t abide Trump and his running buddies shenanigans?

        • rm

          What about we’ll fight to protect Medicare, or get rid of student debt, or demonizing Ryan? Anything with some emotional punch and actual practical value.

          • Erik Loomis

            Right–even a slogan openly making fun of Trump would be better.

            • tsam100

              TRUMP SMELLS OF ELDERBERRIES

              • Every Vote For a Democrat is a Fart in Trump’s General Direction

                • tsam100

                  Now we’re getting somewhere. This sloganing business ain’t all that hard.

            • Dems Yes, Dumbs No

          • King Goat

            Not everyone is on Medicare or has student debt. Many of those will say ‘well, how does that benefit me?’

            • rm

              Medicare is a big part of this thing we have where old people don’t usually starve or lack medical care.

              Student debt is crippling the future of generations of younger adults.

              FInd big problems and promise solutions. Fight for the solutions people want to keep and that Grinch Ryan wants to take away. Our side doesn’t even have to lie. But they have to have a goddam motherfucking pulse.

          • stepped pyramids

            Kind of wordy bumper stickers, though.

          • mds

            Okay, now get it onto a literal bumper sticker.

            • rm_rm_rm

              Democrats: Save Medicare (“. . . from Billionaires” if you want to get really wordy).
              Democrats: End Student Debt

      • FlipYrWhig

        Have young Democrats EVER voted in a midterm election?

        • Yes

        • King Goat
          • FlipYrWhig

            Touché

            • King Goat

              I was actually surprised when I found it…

        • JDM

          If so, who’s fault is it they weren’t interested enough to vote?

          But is the falloff in voting at midterm really that much less for young voters as opposed to other ages, who also vote less at that time? Don’t they?

          • FlipYrWhig

            My impression — I admit I don’t have numbers to back it up — is that young and minority voters turn out to vote for president but don’t get nearly as involved in any other race. I remember it being discussed as something Obama would have to reckon with after the excitement of ’08 wore off. But then we’re in Chicken v. Egg territory: if those potential voters don’t vote, is the task to invest in getting them to vote, or in getting the people who already vote to switch? Good arguments could be made on either side.

          • mds

            If so, who’s fault is it they weren’t interested enough to vote?

            The civics teachers who didn’t beat it into their heads hard enough that we actually have a thing called Congress, that state governments also exist, and that all government power does not in fact flow from a farcical aquatic ceremony?

        • everstar

          I’m not a young Democrat any more, but I’m pretty sure I’ve voted in every federal election since I was eighteen. Then again, my dad actually goes to our local Senate district meetings.

  • Davis X. Machina

    What’s wrong with “All Power to the Soviets of Soldiers, Workers and Peasants”?

    Too long? “Expropriate the Expropriators”.

    Should draw the economically-anxious WWC like flies.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      I’d just go with Stalin’s “Not one step back!” Much punchier and to the point.

      • wjts

        “¡No Pasarán!” is even pithier.

        • Davis X. Machina

          It’s in Spanish, though. The all-important WWC don’t even like to hear Spanish on their phone trees.

      • elm

        How about follow Mao and go “Death to Capitalist Roaders!”

        • david spikes

          Defeat the running dog lackeys of capitalism.

          • wjts

            “Don’t blame me, my cadre voted for the Great Leap Backwards.”

    • Linnaeus

      The Red Menace never sleeps.

    • Nathan Goldwag

      #FuckRealAmerica

    • 1. Vote Democratic to Impeach Trump
      2. In your guts you know Goldwater was a lot less nuts than this guy
      3. A return to normalcy

    • tsam100

      I like your previous slogan: Get the Politics out of Politics.

    • David McWilliams

      I’m a big fan of “Eat the Rich”, myself.

  • LosGatosCA

    The Democratic Party – not trying to manipulate you emotionally, or any other way for that matter.

    Who says oatmeal mixed with pablum and chalk dust isn’t spicy? Vote Democratic and you (probably) won’t get colon cancer!!

  • rm

    Slogan McSloganface

    That’ll get ’em to the polls.

    ‘Cause nothing says “voting makes a difference” like lame-ass fifth-rate snark.

    Even the least stupid of these amounts to “Yay Team!”

    WHAT ABOUT PROMISING RESULTS PEOPLE CARE ABOUT

    We live in an Onion article and I want out.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Rather than lighting your money on fire/sending it to the DCCC, please consider sending it directly to the progressive candidate of your choice.

    I speak as someone who has worked with and around the national Democratic Party in various capacities for the past 30+ years.

    • King Goat

      If the progressive candidate of your choice isn’t part of a Democratic majority in Congress, she/he won’t be getting much done.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        If the progressive candidate of your choice is running against a Blue Dog in the Democratic primary, she/he probably won’t be getting the support of the DCCC.

        • Davis X. Machina

          There are no more blue dogs. They’re dead. As dead as Reagan Democrats, or soccer moms.

        • King Goat

          Yes. The DCCC has a duty to pick who they think is most likely to win, because as I said no one is better off when there is no Democratic majority.

          • Judas Peckerwood

            You’re assuming that the Democrat “most likely to win” in a general election is the more conservative choice.

            • Davis X. Machina

              You’re assuming there’s going to be more than one candidate for the Democratic nomination in any given race.

              How many people are there who are going to court bankruptcy, lose a year out of their lives, blow up their family, and in this climate — hello Rep. Giffords — face a non-zero chance of getting killed, anyways?

              • Judas Peckerwood

                “You’re assuming there’s going to be more than one candidate for the Democratic nomination.”

                You do know that that Democratic primaries are often contested, especially when there’s an open seat at stake, right?

                • Davis X. Machina

                  Contested, in the sense of more than one person taking out nomination papers, or contested-contested? “Often” here would mean once a decade.

            • King Goat

              I’m not assuming that always, but surely sometimes that will be the case.

          • Sebastian_h

            You’re assuming that the DCCC has a particularly good idea who is more likely to win.

            • King Goat

              I’m assuming they have a better motivation for discerning that. They care about winning over everything else, or so I perhaps naively think.

              • Sebastian_h

                For the Democratic Party? No. They care about preserving their position in the Democratic Party at least as much as they care about the Democratic Party succeeding. I’m not at all sure those are closely related things.

              • usagi

                Considering their track record, I’d say very naively.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Progressive alternative candidates could try, you know, winning anyway.

          • King Goat

            In an era where Trump is the alternative I just don’t think we can hold out for progressives all around. The best way to empower progressives is to have a Democratic majority in Congress, even if some of them are not progressive themselves.

    • gwen

      Local party organizations also need help. They actually do quite a bit of the leg work and its also a durable investment… the team will be there the next time and the next time and the next time.

  • Lougle

    I recommend blue MAGA hats and leadership doing nothing but responding “I know you are, but what am I?” to every Trump tweet.

    • I’d respond “No puppet. No puppet. You’re the puppet!” instead, and I’d make sure “Vote Democratic” was on the MAGA hats, but other than those small changes, I think I could get behind this. They’ve spent so long engaging in projection against our side; it’s time to call them on it and use their own words against them.

  • Joe Paulson

    In 2006, the basic message was anti-Bush & probably something about getting out of Iraq.

    Guess not Trump and get us back our health care might work.

    ETA: The current senator of Minnesota had a major message back then that Democrats controlling the House meant subpoena power. At least one house controlled by the Democrats would be pretty significant in checking Trump to some degree at least in that and other ways. Figure many voters would be enthused about that. Sure, need positive policy stuff too. But good enemy good too.

    • DN Nation

      General exhaustion with GOP Congressional corruption, too.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Hastert was worth a few seats.

        • DN Nation

          There was one presser Hastert did where after getting one Mark Foley question, he waddled off the podium like an ogre going to go clobber some bones. A yeah, they’re screwed moment if there ever were one.

          And the guy played the “yep, I know he’s a sexual deviant and I’m only bothered about it because you know” Penn State routine to a tee (and we know even more now why).

    • FlipYrWhig

      Was there a single sticker or slogan that was supposed to capture that message? I honestly can’t recall any attempt by Democrats to nationalize a midterm election with a unifying slogan. Typically they barely even say they’re Democrats.

      • stepped pyramids

        Republicans do the same thing, though. The last time they made a serious attempt at that was in 1994. It’s extraordinarily difficult to get that level of messaging cohesion in American politics, because there’s tons and tons of different actors involved, most of whom don’t exist in any kind of hierarchy.

  • FlipYrWhig

    Trump appealed to people’s lived experience? His whole campaign was “Hillary’s a bitch and there are too many brownish people around.” I don’t know where this comes from that campaigns need to center on promises or policy. Obama emphatically did not, and Bill Clinton definitely did not, and I was young for Jimmy Carter but I don’t think he did either. Reagan didn’t. Bush and Bush also didn’t.

    • Erik Loomis

      He made people feel good for being white. We don’t have to make people feel good for being white. We do have to make them feel good for something.

      • Well, there goes my suggestion “Fuck Your WHITE BUTTHURT.” It’s not the slogan that’ll work, but it’s one we Americans deserve.

      • FlipYrWhig

        That’s a lot to ask of a sticker. Especially when the sticker is not attached to a candidate.

        • Philip

          I dunno, I feel pretty goddamn good about “a hot lunch for every child” personally.

      • stepped pyramids

        You don’t think being part of a “resistance” makes people feel good?

        • Erik Loomis

          I think everyone who cares about that is already 100% voting for a Democrat in 2018, outside of Socialist Alternative types on the left.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Now the sticker is supposed to persuade people who wouldn’t be voting without it? That’s some sticker.

          • stepped pyramids

            People who are already 100% voting for a Democrat in 2018 are the audience for bumper stickers. Have you ever, in your life, ever even imagined the possibility that you might read a bumper sticker that changed your opinion on anything?

            • People who are already 100%

              looking forward to getting a brick or a bullet through their windshield

              in 2018 are the audience for bumper stickers.

              I don’t wear text, and I don’t drive around in it.

              • stepped pyramids

                Me neither. But we’re talking the kind of people who actually went to pep rallies and liked them. People who are fucking on board.

              • Davis X. Machina

                Ι don’t — not after Thanksgiving ’04 when I got a cantaloupe-sized rock through the back window of my minivan (Kerry, anti-war x2). Still finding little cubes of safety glass in the driveway.

                The local police — state police, no town cops or even a rented sheriff’s deputy here, we’re that cheap — laughed when I asked them to come take a look.

                • Dr. Acula

                  There’s someone near where I live in the Bay Area who likes to slap racist bumper stickers over the Obama ones on my car while it’s parked in the driveway. Also had someone cave in the back window with a golf club once.

                • Stella Barbone

                  I got keyed for “Liberals protest war and intolerance, conservatives protest healthcare”. Presumably because it was too wordy.

      • “YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT,
        BUT IF YOU TRY SOME TIME AND VOTE FOR US
        YOU CAN GET WHAT YOU NEED”

        (for maximum Baby Boomer penetration)

        • david spikes

          mmmmmmmm-maximum penetration.

        • firefall

          ideally with the corpse of Kevin Costner as a backdrop …

      • tsam100

        How about feeling good about jabbing Trump in the eye with pencil? Let’s run it by the focus (lol because pencil in eye) group.

    • King Goat

      I agree. Modern ad campaigns seem to focus on a feeling, not rational claims. Levis doesn’t make claims about the durability, price or ethical making of their jeans, instead they show Brett Favre in them doing backyard rough and tumble football. A message is sent, but a cultural one.

  • Because what was more than sufficient for Edwin Edwards will work for 2017 and beyond, as the events of last year have shown.

    These are truly terrible slogans, and I prefer “Spread Love Not War” as an alternative myself.

  • CP

    “Down with this sort of thing!”

    • wjts

      “Careful now!”

      • CP

        I was honestly not sure anyone would get the reference.

        • wjts

          I would also accept, “How did that gobshite get on the television?” or “The Democrats: a great bunch of lads.”

          • CP

            “Feck! Drink! Ass! Girl!” is vaguely tempting, but I believe Trump’s taken it.

            • wjts

              “Nancy has a lovely bottom. Of course, they all have lovely bottoms.” is probably a non-starter.

              • CP

                As, in a post Obergefell v. Hodges world, is “fecking Greeks! They invented gayness!”

                • wjts

                  “The Republican Party is as big as four cats and it’s got a retractable leg so’s it can leap up at you better. And you know what, Ted, it lights up at night and it’s got four ears, two of them are for listening and the other two are kind of back-up ears. Its claws are as big as cups and for some reason, it’s got a tremendous fear of stamps! Mrs Doyle was telling me that it’s got magnets on its tail, so’s if you’re made out of metal it can attach itself to you and instead of a mouth, it’s got four arses!”

        • Dr. Acula

          “Chairs! Curtain! Floor! Gobshite!”

          • wjts

            To be Scrupulously Fair, “There’s always time for a nice cup of tea” is, in fact, a slogan I can get behind 100%.

      • sibusisodan

        “Vote Democratic: go on! Ah, go on. Go on. Go on…”

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “Up with People!”

  • stepped pyramids

    These stickers, and the contest to design them, exist primarily to appeal to the hardcore partisan joiners who do all the boring, tedious work involved in having an actual party. These are earnest, hardworking, bland people. If they like these stickers, good for them.

    I’m already sick enough of everyone micro-analyzing every tiny bit of messaging Clinton had during the campaign, and may I say I am just fuckin’ thrilled that we’re already getting the ball rolling on the next round.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      we are not the only customers the store has, you know?

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        Actually, I think we might be.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          Please lock the door and turn out the lights when you leave.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            [furtively looks around room, pockets a few stickers, turns off lights, leaves]

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              goddamn it, who turned out the lights? I can’t see a thing now!

              (this must be what it’s like to write slogans)

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “These stickers, and the contest to design them, exist primarily to appeal to the hardcore partisan joiners who do all the boring, tedious work involved in having an actual party.”

      No, it’s a fundraising effort aimed at every person that the DCCC can connect with, just like every petition, pledge, survey and other fundraising gimmick you’re bombarded with through snail mail, email and social media. It even says so right in the story that Erik references: “The sticker slogan, one of several floated as part of a fundraising effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)…”

      • stepped pyramids

        That doesn’t seem inconsistent with what I said. The kind of people likely to donate to and volunteer for campaigns, especially this far away from an election, include a lot of the people I’m talking about. How many swing voters donate to the DCCC?

        • Judas Peckerwood

          With electronic solicitations, which are dirt-cheap to send, the DCCC and the other party committees (and other political groups and nonprofits) cast as wide a net as possible. Snail mail and telemarketing are different, as the contact cost is much higher, though they still cold-call/mail people who they deem to be prospects to become donors. Trust me, this is a classic fundraising pitch that the DCCC sent to everyone they possibly could.

          • stepped pyramids

            I still don’t understand how/whether this is is contrary to my argument. Of course they send it to as broad a mailing list as they have available. The number of people who are going to have horrible piss fits over the insufficiently aggressive messaging are a tiny minority, and all of those people are already Democrats. This shit is harmless; it’s kind of like making a big deal over those emails which claim to be from Joe Biden that have “Unbelievable” as the subject.

            This is part of an ongoing fundraising/organization process, not the decision that will choose the Democratic “message” for the next two/four years.

    • mongolia

      so you’re saying that a bumper sticker design contest in a dccc fundraising email 16 months before an election isn’t a preview of all the messages that will be used in each of the 435 congressional elections?

      • stepped pyramids

        Clearly this is impossible. At the very least, this is Symbolic, as I’ve read. It’s Symbolic of how the Democrats are worthless assgrabbers who should basically just kill themselves, because what’s the fucking point, we’re all doomed, right? We’re all doomed. The Republicans are so much smarter than us and they have all the money and let’s just start gouging out our genitals with icepicks right now.

      • ColBatGuano

        Inconceivable!

    • ColBatGuano

      Snarky takes on bumper stickers is surely the winning message for 2018!

  • Karen24

    My suggestion: “Democrats: we’ll keep your asinine relatives alive so they can ruin more major holidays!”

    • N__B

      You’re re24ed! Who did Jack Bauer torture for you to get the number back?

      • Karen24

        I threatened him with having to spend Thanksgiving with family members who 1. voted for Hillary and 2. like the rivals of his favorite sports team.

  • Joe Paulson

    A cat in charge of the slogan … well that would make sense with President Rat.

    (Pearls Before Swine / this week’s anti-press stuff hits a bit too close to home.)

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    I could see someone who was a liberal political junkie and was into that whole “she persisted” thing wanting that sticker.

    I guess one question is whether this was meant for a general audience to persuade or only for strong Democrats. The other is whether those kinds of distinctions can or should be made in the current social media environment – it’s going to get out no matter what. So now it’s portrayed as the DCCC’s new slogan contest. I don’t think it was intended that way.

    Nonetheless, they’re not very good stickers.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “I guess one question is whether this was meant for a general audience to persuade or only for strong Democrats.”

      It’s a fundraising gimmick aimed at every person that the DCCC can vaguely identify as a Democrat.

    • stepped pyramids

      Bumper stickers go out pretty much exclusively to dedicated partisans. I think it’s best to think of this whole thing as akin to the “vote for the theme to our quarterly meeting” type things that happen in corporate America. Most of the rank and file couldn’t give a shit but there’s that subset of people who really have Spirit and have since it was School Spirit and now it’s ConHugeCo Spirit and also Democratic Spirit, and this is for them, and a good thing because those people do a huge amount of work even if they’re also a little annoying.

      • King Goat

        They go out to the faithful, but the good one’s 1. don’t alienate those who see it much and 2. might make them go ‘hmm.’

  • Davis X. Machina

    How many people who thought “Stronger Together” was the worst slogan everrrrrrrr can also sing
    La puebla unida jamas sera vencida?

    • stepped pyramids

      A few months ago I was talking to a guy who knew Why Hillary Lost, and it was because the slogans “I’m With Her” and “Ready For Hillary” were bad, and Clinton’s slogan should have been about a common American-ness, something positive about becoming a stronger nation by healing divides, etc. etc. So I said “something like ‘Stronger Together’?” and dude says “Exactly!”

      • N__B

        “America. Because all of us together are dumber than any of us.”

        • wjts

          I believe the canonical formulation is, “None of us are as stupid as all of us.”

      • Did you point out the irony? If so, what was his response?

        • stepped pyramids

          I’d think anyone could basically fill in the response:

          “Well, obviously it wasn’t good enough! Instead she was campaigning in GEORGIA yadda yadda”

  • rfm

    “Dogpiling on marginal Democratic engagement/merchandising efforts” Twitter is the worst Twitter. People who whine about slogans are the fifth column.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      we’re on the internet. the whole point of *that* is to show off how smart we are by pointing out how stupid everyone else is

      and yeah, somewhere Al Gore is weeping and Mark Zuckerberg is still talking to people in the sticks trying to figure out why so many people are willing to be complete goons under their own names

      • we’re on the internet. the whole point of *that* is to show off how smart we are by pointing out how stupid everyone else is

        Someone is right on the Internet: me.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          “Someone is right on the internet: me”

          hmm… personally, I wouldn’t want to go *that* far

    • mongolia

      messaging in dccc and campaign emails is why dems lose. it’s why we need to fire all dnc consultants and replace them with berniecrats

      • BloodyGranuaile

        Fire all DNC consultants and replace them with literally anybody else.

        There was an article in this month’s Harper’s that reported that when the DNC seized on the Ossoff race as the one that was going national, they sent him consultants who told him not to attend the Women’s March for fear of pissing off Republicans. He ignored them, but I think it’s clear that these folks shouldn’t be allowed within five miles of a Democratic campaign.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    To be sure. But to be fair:
    1) Unless you can name a previous, more effective DCCC umbrella slogan, it probably doesn’t matter either way, right? Consider: “Man, that snappy DCCC slogan really made a difference in those tight midterms!” This was probably the result of a process that relied heavily on interns forced to work a 4-day weekend.

    2) The only other time I can remember either party doing something like this, it was the Republicans doing stunt like this along a theme of like “Young Guns” or something, and it involved staged photos of Paul Ryan and a few other pasty goobers posing in khakis in a Home Depot, and Lizz Winstead had a field day with it on Twitter and then the world just kept on exactly as before.

    3) Remember a few years ago when the Dems announced their dumb/ boring/ pointless new logo (squarish D inside blue circle) and everybody crapped all over it and laughed? And now Donald Trump is President and lol nothing matters?

    My grandfather used a have a saying about things like this: “It’s like peeing in a blue Serge suit: it gives you a warm feeling, and no one notices.”

    • LosGatosCA

      I’m totally down with the Democratic idea that nothing ever really matters so why put any thought into it.

    • catbirdman

      The point, for me anyway, is that this idiotic slogan represents their level of consciousness about the pot of boiling piss we’re all sitting in. It’s symbolic. And their choice indicates they STILL have no idea how fucked we all are. Like you, we all could give a shit about the slogan itself.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        Agree that Democrats winning or losing is the important thing. But since I have yet to see any evidence that a DCCC slogan ever remotely mattered to that outcome, I just can’t see why this is worth more than a shrug. In some ways, I’m reassured that they they *didn’t* put more effort into it, bc that would definitely imply their priorities were misplaced. If more significant choices by the DCCC turn out to be this bad, I’ll be concerned. But we’re not there yet.

  • LosGatosCA

    Maybe they should try to come up with slogans for the GOP:

    Vote Republican to keep your elderly Alzheimer’s patients at home!

    Vote Republican – we guarantee you’ll never have to join a union or have any dignity on the job you’ll have to steal from a teenager working after school.

    Jay Gould needs you! Don’t let the libtards make you go PC to get health insurance.

  • randykhan

    I get the sticker email every year, and they’re always horrible. And I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the winning sticker from any year on a single car.

    It’s not a contest for a campaign slogan. It’s a fundraising campaign.

  • Sebastian_h

    The worst thing is they chose this slogan BECAUSE IT IS THEIR STRATEGY!

    Argh.

  • NeonTrotsky

    Isn’t that an Age of Empires 2 taunt?

  • keta

    “Help us choose the winner!” is the best of the bunch.

    What’s that? That’s the instruction? Oh…

  • catbirdman

    “Democrats. We fight for YOU.” Jesus, how hard is this?

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “Make America Proud Again!”

      • That is actually good
        MAPA on a blue hat
        or
        Make America Respected Again MARA

        • Charles P. Pierce reminds us of Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America Be America Again” (which I don’t think I’ve ever read, even though Mr. Hughes and I both came from Cleveland; I will remedy that today) , and ends that column with the (somewhat muted) hope that “We could Make America America Again.”

          Make America America Again on a blue hat or t-shirt wouldn’t be bad at all.

          • LurkinLongmont

            Sounds too much like “Maaa, the bad man is beating me up again!” whine.

        • SNF

          Am I the only one who thinks it’s stupid to use modified versions of MAGA?

          Like, do we really need to copy Trump’s slogan?

          • BloodyGranuaile

            You are not the only one; this is a giant pet peeve of mine.

            Granted, I’m extra peevy about it because my day job involves the casino business, which has seized on this in all the dumbest, most pointlessly divisive ways you can imagine (gaming industry folks who are not gaming lawyers are… not politically savvy).

    • everstar

      I seem to remember some guy here in Minnesota doing all right with the slogan “We all do better when we all do better.”

  • Davis X. Machina

    Whatever they pick won’t be half as popular or effective as “Don’t vote. It just encourages them.”

  • D. C. Sessions

    What’s wrong with “We’ve got your back?”

    • Major premise: “We’ve got your back!”
      Minor premise: “Baby’s got back!”
      Conclusion: “We’re your baby!”

  • Renfrew Squeevil

    Agh! Democrats need to get themselves a fucking story. Jesús Marimba, this isn’t so fucking tough to figure out. Parties and candidates need a pithy, identifiable story when they run. Everybody knew what Trump’s story was, it was, “The elites are screwing you, and I’m going to upend the whole thing and clean the scum out!” That wasn’t his only story, but it was his big one, and, amazingly, it worked. Maybe that’s because, whatever other manifold skills she had, telling a simple story everybody can understand, everybody can grasp in a few seconds, was not one of Hillary Clinton’s. I think she suffered because of that.

    Sometimes people dump on me for this, but I was a big backer of John Edwards in 2004 and 2008. I still think he might have won in 2004 if he’d gotten a few thousand more votes in Iowa and come in ahead of Kerry. Everybody understood why he was running. Everybody understood the story: Two Americas. It was pithy, and had the benefit of being true, too. Instead we got Kerry, who had no coherent story.

    We need a story. i still think Two Americas is a good one. It works. It’s still true today, and we can turn it against Republicans and Trump himself viciously, and with great effect. I know that isn’t the last word, but it’s worth taking this and tinkering with it, to bring it up to speed for 2018.

    But this is really the Democrats’ big weakness, I think. They don’t, as a rule, do stories. I think far too many Democrats think we don’t have to do this. Our policies should be enough for anybody, right? It’s why they often don’t answer Republican lies quickly or harshly enough, they just think it should be self evident that there weren’t any death panels. We saw how well that worked.

    Telling a good story isn’t oversimplification; it isn’t talking down to voters. Most voters don’t follow politics the way I do. They don’t always know what somebody’s platform is, or how it’ll help or harm their lives, or the lives of those they know. They get a feeling for who’s running, and a story, a short, quick, easy to understand little story is the best way to get an understanding, a feeling, for which party they’re going to vote for. If one party doesn’t put out its story, believe me (to quote Dear Leader), the other party will be only too happy to do it for them.

    • stepped pyramids

      What’s the Republican Party’s story?

      • Davis X. Machina

        We hate the same people you hate.

        • “We screw Them, and pass the savings on to Us You!”

      • Renfrew Squeevil

        Indeed it is. “1: Elites think you’re stupid, and, 2: We hate the same people you hate!” are highly effective stories.

        • wjts

          Also, “Fuck paying taxes.”

          • Renfrew Squeevil

            Yeah, that one works, too.

        • stepped pyramids

          Do the Republicans actually coordinate that messaging, or is it just part of their belief system? Certainly the official position of the Republican Party remains that black people are OK, civil rights are good, etc.

          I feel like it’s easier to perceive an overall Message from the outside looking in than when you’re actually in the mucky mess that is a political movement. Everything I’ve read here is the perspective of people opposed to the GOP. What do actual GOP voters think their message is? What do swing voters think the GOP stands for?

        • BloodyGranuaile

          The core coordinated message on economics, dressed up for polite company, is roughly “Unleash the power of American business.”

          In practice, this comes down to “everything can be fixed with moar tax cuts!” and ignoring that the power of business is basically a giant dragon that will eat all of us if left unchecked, but that’s just details that only politics nerds care about.

      • N__B

        “Kneel before your betters.”

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          now I have Nine Inch Nails playing in my head

          somewhat preferable to having them driven into my head

          • reattmore

            Bow down before the one you serve–you’re going to get what you deserve.

      • rm

        “The blacks and Mexicans are living easy with your hard-earned money.”

        “Slavery is freeeeeeedooooooooom!!!!!”

      • gepap

        Life rewards good people and punishes the bad – why should you suffer to help bad people when they deserve it and you don’t?

      • WinningerR

        Government is inefficient and hapless. Rather than using it to solve your problems, the Democrats just take your tax money and hand it over to undeserving minorities to buy their votes. If you got rid of their corruption and all that Big Government waste, you could dramatically lower taxes and still have better education, better healthcare, better everything.

        They’ve been using that same story pretty successfully for almost forty years now. The obvious counter has always been: the rich are playing you all for fools and have been ripping you off for decades, but the general consensus is that antagonizing the moneyed class isn’t a very effective political strategy (and not without some justification).

        • stepped pyramids

          This seems accurate enough. It might extrapolate to “we hate the people you hate” after being filtered through Fox News enough time, but I think this is basically what the GOP is saying in their actual policy statements.

          It’s also a huge horsefucking lie. Can we counteract that with an enormous goatfondling truth? Truth is harder to sell than lies.

        • everstar

          I can’t figure out how to turn “government works when you don’t elect people who break it” into a slogan.

          • WinningerR

            In all seriousness, I think the “era of big government is over” is the most serious mistake Clinton made. He and the Dems essentially conceded that the Repub’s central premise is true, and ever since, there haven’t been many Dems willing to offer a full-throated defense of the government’s unique qualifications to solve big problems. The government worked our way out of the Great Depression, won World War Two, put a man on the moon, and created the Internet. Of course government is capable of delivering universal healthcare, ending poverty, and curbing global warming. Shut the fuck up, do your goddamn patriotic duty, and start working with your fellow citizens and their government to solve these problems. *That* might be the Dems effective “story.”

    • gepap

      ‘two Americas” won’t work because to many of the swing voters open to messaging immediately identifies that with ‘Us’ v “the Others”, the others being ,minorities and the “cultural elite”. The Democrats need to be the party of ‘oneness’ in that sense – create a narrative that unites all in a common purpose. The brilliance of “Hope” in 2008 is that not only did it point past the troubles, but is a universal theme.

      • So let’s refine and repurpose it: “HOPE, not the DOPE.”

    • DrS

      If you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    • tsam100

      “I was born a poor black child…”

    • zoomar2

      I think you’re on to something with having a story. Martin Longman (Booman) is refining the story he thinks will resonate which is Monopolies are strangling the country. Lack of choice in every aspect of living. Aim it at rural communities who have lost all their small businesses.

  • Davis X. Machina

    You want the WWC, you need something like “We don’t like Them either, but we can’t talk about it here.”, just short enough for the bumper sticker.

    • Linnaeus

      No, that’s for the more “genteel” folk.

    • mongolia

      how to peel off wwc: remember how you voted “fuck the Other” last time, and now you get paid less for overtime and your health care premiums are through the roof? well, vote for the dem the next few cycles so that they can fix the economy so you can then start bitching about the blacks/gays/mexicans/terrorists and start voting republican again cuz you hate the same people they hate

  • hellslittlestangel

    It’s worse than terrible. It’s stupid.

  • rlc

    I agree with every word of this post. Thank you Loomis.

  • GeneralLerong

    Resist. Oppose. Propose.

    • gwen

      Assist. Bros. Prose.

      • Sarah Swift

        They emerge with a compromise, having opened doors that were previously closed. Bros.

      • N__B

        Sit. Spaghetti-ohs.

  • gwen

    I think it’s OK to have a slogan that is a barb at Trump but it needs to be tied to a bigger story.

    “Democrats: People First.” — How many times has Trump said “America First”? But of course he doesn’t mean America, he means certain well-heeled Americans.

    “Democrats: For A Stronger Tomorrow” — A lot of Trump’s nonsense #MAGA nonsense is either backward looking with no benefit whatsoever, or (at best) short-term solutions to long-term problems. How many billions of dollars in economic damage will climate change be allowed to cause 50 years from now, as the cost for creating a few dozen or hundred coal jobs today? How much reputational and soft power damage is Trump doing when he moans about “bad trade deals” or fails to support NATO? Trumpian populism is at it’s core not about strength but about hedonism.

    “Democrats: Even Stronger Together” — sort of an Obi-Wan Clintnobi “if you strike me down I will be stronger than ever” taunt.

  • gwen

    We could go full Blairite Labour and just steal “Forward. Not Back.”

    • wjts

      “Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom.”

      • gwen

        “Abortions for some, tiny American flags for others” was basically the entire theme of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

    • Linnaeus

      I really wish we could use “Selling America by the pound”, but it just doesn’t fit.

      • wjts

        I remember a Thatcher-era (possibly Major; during Delano’s run, at any rate) Hellblazer panel showing a Tory billboard that read “Vote Tory: We’ll Put the Pound Back in Your Pocket” with the graffitoed addendum, “by taking it out of mine.”

      • Some pot in every chicken

    • BloodyGranuaile

      I like current Labour’s “For the Many, Not the Few,” but that might be recent enough that people remember it.

  • Cheap Wino

    Get rid of / Remove / Trash / Eliminate Trump’s GOP.

    We’ve got to tie Trump and Republicanism together, make them intertwined. Also, I’m not suggesting choose one of those options, I’m saying use all of them.

    • tsam100

      TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE. (In movie trailer guy voice)

  • Suggested GOP slogan/band name:
    Putin & the Ritz Crackers

  • tsam100

    “She persisted: We Resisted” sound like you resisted her persistence. PHRASING.

    • GoBlueInSF

      Its worse than that. The whole “resistance” thing is simultaneously the worst kind of liberal self-aggrandizement AND entirely establishmentarian at the same time. It allows comfortable liberals to wear the cloak of the heroic “resistance fighter” while at the same time effectively arguing in favor of the status quo.

      To “resist” is to suggest that the everything was hunky dory as is and we need to “resist” the efforts to change it. And if we just “resist” the forces attempting to change things, and go back to “the way things were before”, it will all be just great.

      When the reality is, there is a significant majority of voters out there that are NOT happy with the way things are. Which is not surprising since we’ve spent the last 20 – 30 years shoveling all the wealth of the nation ever upward to the rich and the upper middle classes. Over 2/3’s of voters are dissatisfied with EITHER party.

      We don’t need a “resistance”, we need a rebellion. We need an up-ending of the status quo.

      • Dr. Waffle

        Lead the way! I’m not sure why you’re waiting for us feckless libs to lead your glorious revolution.

      • tsam100

        I think you’re missing the point of what resistance means in this context. Mass deportations, jailing journalists, taking the ability to get health care away from millions…the status quo was inarguably better before. But that’s not to say that if we all got our way, Wall Street wouldn’t be the real center of government and we wouldn’t be sending 20-somethings over to the Middle East to die, and we wouldn’t be bombing all the shit out of everyone who lives anywhere near a terrorist. So calling what people are calling resistance useless and self-aggrandizing is kinda bullshit.
        I should point out that watching lawyers go to ports of entry and volunteer to help travelers sort out visa issues is a first class example of what resistance really means. There has been numerous examples of people doing just that, and even if it doesn’t look like a rebellion from the outside, it’s a real, tangible thing that helps real people, and nothing compares to that.

        • Hob

          I don’t think GoBlue’s comment is a case of missing the point so much as not caring about the point. The thought process there wasn’t “I wonder what is really meant by the word ‘resist’, maybe it’s not such a good thing.” It was “A bunch of people I don’t like, who I consider to be squares, are now using this slogan. Therefore it is bad and whatever they’re doing is bad.”

          • GoBlueInSF

            No, its about the fecklessness of the Democratic Party’s current “strategy” and about the whole “resistance” thing being something that gives comfortable middle class tote baggers the tingles but leaves a large swath of the voting public looking at it like its just another liberal circle-jerk.

    • wjts

      …shit, you’re right.

  • epidemiologist

    This slogan repulsed me too when I first saw it but I have to say, after a few minutes to think on it, it’s kind of grown on me.

    I think shaming and ridicule can be important parts of the response to Republicans today, if you accept (as I think most of us do?) that this is a tribal affiliation. People will skip doing things they want to do, saying things they really think, and even change their opinion, based on what they think others’ opinion will be.

    The challenge is really delivering the scorn straight to them and getting them to doubt the security of their reputation among people they see every day. We won’t turn these sick fucks into good people who can act right independently even with a Goofus and Gallant a day in their lunch box every day for the rest of their lives. But they can get demoralized, confused, and less likely to flap their jaws in favor of evil at every barbecue till the Medicare runs out.

    I take it as a given that this is not the only slogan, just what might be printed on this particular run of bumper stickers. We have plenty of other positive messages about persisting or something that I personally hate.

    • Jon Hendry

      It may be a handy line for, stickers or buttons. But I think it’d be a mistake to ever use it when speaking or in commercials. It’s too much like a cheesy sitcom catchphrase.

  • GoBlueInSF

    Its almost as if the hippies who criticized the Democrats for not standing for anything were…right.

    * We now return to our regularly scheduled hippie punching. *

    • wjts

      Its almost as if the hippies who criticized the Democrats for not standing for anything were…right.

      And yet, I seem to remember someone with a very similar user name recently saying:

      Corbyn’s muddle on Brexit – and focusing on how Brexit is going to affect workers – is likely the best possible position to take given that fact.

      Democrats could learn something from this in connection with free trade and immigration.

      • GoBlueInSF

        On that issue, yes. There’s a LOT of disagreement over immigration within the base of the Labour Party AND the Democratic Party. It is NOT an issue to organize around, regardless of how many metropolitan elites think it is.

        This is in contrast to a host of other issues on which commonality with various elements of the base can be found, as long as the party leadership wakes the F up and recognizes it needs to stop serving capital, and start serving labor. There’s already a Capitalist Party in the U.S. – the Republicans. (and likewise, the UK, with the Tories). And that include civil rights issues on which commonality can be found.

        That the Democratic Party consistently fails to grab at a very easy & cost free issue – free trade agreements – and bash them till kingdom come tells you everything you need to know as to why Democrats are so completely lost in the desert of their own making.

        • wjts

          There’s a lot of disagreement over free trade in the base of the Democratic Party. So why is Corbyn’s “muddled” position on a economic issue that divides the party base an indicator of his uncompromising leftist principles and a brilliant electoral strategy that the Democrats should emulate while, say, Hillary Clinton’s “muddled” position on an economic issue that divides the party base is an indicator of her neoliberal perfidy that has doomed the party to the electoral wilderness and that the Democrats should abandon?

          • GoBlueInSF

            Because the Brexit issue is an issue that involves both trade policy (vis a vis members in a common market) AND immigration policy (vis a vis free flow of EU citizens across borders) tied up in a single international agreement, which is almost impossible to untangle, as the EU won’t let the UK untangle it (which the Tories are finding out to their chagrin). Its a heck of a lot broader in terms of issues and the potential hot buttons that can burn in either direction (immigration). So yes, in that context, Corbyn’s muddle is the smart choice. Let the Tories jump on that grenade that they pulled the pin from.

            U.S. policy w/ respect to its free trade agreements is entirely confined to policies around the flow of goods (which is mostly about the tariffs assessed on those goods) and does involve at all immigration policy (flow of people). As such, there is a much easier and clearer path for Democrats. You leave immigration policy alone (as it involves a lot of ‘no-win’ electoral choices between constituencies). And you bash the holy hell out of free trade agreements – which matters materially to working class members of the VOTING electorate, and frankly does not matter all that much to the professional class that Democrats keep chasing in terms of actual VOTING. Because when it comes to voting, upper middle class professionals who may vote Democrat don’t list that shit on their Top 10 list of reasons to vote, but Rust Belt working class votes most certainly would.

            • wjts

              U.S. policy w/ respect to its free trade agreements is entirely confined to policies around the flow of goods (which is mostly about the tariffs assessed on those goods) and does involve at all immigration policy (flow of people).

              Do tell.

  • Dr. Acula

    I noticed that Ghostshit has snuck back onto the site in the Rahm Emanuel thread. Is there a way to flag a comment to say “banned user sneaking back onto the page”?

    • Jon Hendry

      Flag as inappropriate is about the best you can do. It’s in the dropdown to the far right of the name on a comment, along with the block function.

      Presumably flagging it that way causes some notification to go to the mods.

    • It may be worth just emailing the FPers directly when that occurs. There’s a link at the top-right of the desktop site (“administrative and other inquiries” or whatever). I actually just sent them an email, but forgot about this particularly note, so maybe you’ll want to do it yourself.

  • Jon Hendry

    “DEMOCRATS: WE HAVE THE MEATS”

    EDIT: Or maybe “YOU’RE WITH US, LEATHER”

    Sadly, the one that would really work best would be “MAKE OBAMACARE BETTER BUT WORSE FOR BLACK PEOPLE”.

    • tsam100

      FTW

  • Adam

    Show some pictures of disabled people being arrested trying to save there healthcare, at the end just show If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  • SatanicPanic

    I dunno, not the worst ever.

    • GoBlueInSF

      True. That prize would probably go to Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now”.

    • GoBlueInSF

      Thought Hoover’s 1932 re-election slogan of “We’re Turning the Corner” is running as a close second.

  • Darksnark

    Vote for America, Not For Trump.

  • Gromet

    I’m curious what the process was. I’ve worked in advertising, and I think before posting options for the public, they would have worked a team of professional writers for a week, then subjected the top results to focus groups comprised of the target demographic in cities in 3-5 different regions — then tweaked the slogans some more. And when I say “demographic,” I don’t mean “women age 25-35,” I mean reeeaaaal specific stuff — like they have figured out the consumers they need to win over are “women age 25-35, HHI $32k-$50k, renting, childless, some college, who consider themselves adventurous and take pride in discovering new bands before their friends.”

    So when the resulting campaign is as brain-dead or repellent as these are to me, it means one of two things:
    1) The team botched the process.
    2) They nailed it, but the target demographic is not me.

    I have no idea which this is. (But I’d lean toward 1.)

    • I think option 1 is the most likely.

    • the team is probably five interns and their 25yo supervisor.

    • sharonT

      There was no research. There were no surveys. There was, “Our caucus is split. Let’s keep doing the same thing that we’ve been doing the last 5 election cycles.”

  • DocAmazing

    “You’ve tried stupid. How’d that work?”

    “We have nothing to fear but dumbness itself.”

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