Politics, which I don't talk about on this site except when I do


If there wasn’t so much at stake, I’d be tempted to vote against Martha Coakley just to punish her for her unbelievably inept marketing material.

The special election for Kennedy’s seat in MA is next Tuesday. So far the Coakley campaign has robocalled our house once, which, ok, fine, at least they remembered to mention what day we’re supposed to go vote.

The next day I answered a live call, where a breathless and very confused-sounding volunteer — seriously, it sounded like she was jogging on a treadmill while speaking to me, and had lost her reading glasses or something so couldn’t read her notes, so she muttered something about “smears, lots of smears going around, we’ve got to fight the smears, oh BTW CAN YOU GIVE ME $150?”

Which if I hadn’t already been paying attention to the race my reaction would’ve been, first, who are you and why are you asking me for way too much money for a cold call? And second, what smears? Why is that the only thing you’re telling me about your candidate? Doth protest too much, etc.

It was badly enough delivered that I was half wondering if this was some kind of reverse-psychology effort from the Brown campaign, except that they would at least have explained what the smears were. But ok, fine not every phone bank volunteer is going to be an expert; maybe this is really a well-organized fundraising effort and we just happened to get called by the one volunteer who skipped the training session.

Then today we got this gem of a mailing.

I’ll just stipulate right up front that the thing that most immediately pisses me off about this is that they don’t know how to use Photoshop, like, at all. That they didn’t bother making the guy’s face the same color as his neck is bad enough, but there’s a cutout of GW Bush on the other side of the page which looks like it was done with safety scissors. Enough fringe to bring the 70’s back in style. Plus he’s standing at a partially-transparent lectern, because it was apparently important that we be able to see “Brown“‘s belt buckle behind it.

Design wankery aside — is this really the message that they’re running with? A dire warning that the Republican candidate once voted against closing a corporate tax loophole you’ve never heard of? Really? A Republican did that? You don’t say!

From the mailing: “George W. Bush opposed repealing the same kind of tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas as Republican Scott Brown does.” Can somebody diagram that sentence for me? And then explain how it’s relevant to this election?

Still, it’s not like there’s any other issue they could’ve based their campaign on. Nothing that would be more relevant than vague and muddled appeals to xenophobia, or more timely than references to a guy who got voted out of office two years ago. There’s no particular reason this campaign is of national importance, for example, and there isn’t any particular issue that differentiates the candidates currently in the public mind, and which shows clear support in MA for her side. No strong, simple message they could’ve OH WAIT IF WE DONT VOTE FOR HER HEALTH CARE REFORM IS DEAD IN THE WATER MY GOODNESS HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN. SHEESH.

January 19th. I hope she’s better at governing than she is at campaigning.