Monday, December 01, 2003

Be a source of hope, not despair

Digby quotes heavily from this Washington Post article about the GOP plans for getting out the vote in 2004 and then goes on to say:

I don't want to be the blogosphere's Cassandra about this election. I do believe that the Democrats can win with a smart campaign. But, I am going to keep reminding people of what we are up against.

These guys are desperate to erase Junior's court appointment and win an election legitimately, thereby sealing what they believe to rightly be a permanent majority begun by St. Reagan. They are very, very rich and they are very, very organized. Their plan is refined down to the precinct level and it is nationally coordinated. They have no primary opposition so they will spend the next 9 months concentrating on nothing but the general election. Most importantly, they observe no limits and no rules.

If events of the last few months have taught us anything it's that starry-eyed faith in the cakewalk fantasies of true believers are very dangerous, indeed.

We can win, but we'd better be smart, agile, and prepared to wage this battle with our eyes wide open.

Digby is right in every way about this. We must not be fooled into thinking the task ahead of us is going to be easy. BUT, neither should we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by Republican propaganda about how strong their organization is.

The Post article Digby quotes relies heavily on Republican's estimates of their own strength. In other words, if you feel overwhelmed by what that article says, remember that the Republicans want us to feel overwhelmed and have every insentive to over-estimate their organizational capability.

The 6 million volunteers is a prime example of this technique. They compare it to the 500,000 that Dean has signed up and make it sound like they are way out ahead of us. However, that 6 million number is one they have been throwing around for several months now and they provide no details about where that number comes from. The history of Dean's 500,000 is very clear. We saw it develop over the last twelve months on his blog. We know it is essentially an accurate representation of his level of support.

Where does Bush's 6 million come from? Are they people who have signed on to the campaign specifically in the last year or so? Or is it just an amalgam of email lists the campaign has built up over the last 6 years?

Remember that these guys are very good when it comes to lying with numbers.

They brag about have $200 million to spend. Yet all the Democratic candidates combined have raised more money than Bush has so far this campaign season.

They brag about institutional support from other organizations. But the Democrats are doing a pretty good job making up for lost time with groups like MoveOn and re-invigorated labor organizations.

They are attempting the political equivalent of shock-n-awe. They are hoping to instill in us a sense of despair and doom by overwhelming us with these numbers. But we have numbers on our side as well.

Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking the battle will be easy. But don't let yourself be fooled into thinking it will be impossible. The minute we believe it is hopeless is the minute we lose.

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