It’s Possible for Democrats to Manufacture Issues

Over the weekend, Dante Atkins had a very good thread about how Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman is running circles around Republican and health fraudster Mehmed Oz in Pennsylvania by slamming Oz for not being a ‘real’ Pennsylvanian (Fetterman’s campaign is now calling Oz a ‘tourist’). It seems to have garnered a lot of media coverage, and if nothing else, has switched the subject to Oz’s not-deep in-state roots and away from Fetterman’s recovery from a stroke.

As Atkins notes (boldface mine):

…[Fetterman] has taken one issue–the issue of Mehmet Oz’ residency–and crushed him with it across every possible communications channel. From flyovers to trolling with Snooki, to more traditional communications, he has taken one particular point and hammered it… that issue isn’t a kitchen table issue, social issue, or a legal issue. It’s not a policy issue at all! But it is an issue that speaks to authenticity and character that serves as a direct contrast to Fetterman himself. Oz is a multimillionaire Hollywood celebrity from New Jersey who parachuted across the river to run for Senate, and Fetterman is an authentic blue-collar Pennsylvanian…

What Fetterman understands, and something that Republicans figured out a long time ago, is that policy is DOWNSTREAM from values and character. Policy is complex and can be obfuscated in most cases. Character is much harder…

If Lamb were the nominee, he would probably be running a traditional suit-and-tie campaign messaging around gas prices because that’s what polls show the “voters care about.” Fetterman has made that an irrelevant issue and has Oz chasing his own tail. If you polled Pennsylvanians before Fetterman’s general election campaign, would anyone have told you they care that Oz is from across the river? No. But Fetterman made it an issue, one that plays to his strengths.

To flip this around, does anyone think the asshole Chris Rufo, who is largely responsible for the ‘critical race theory’ (CRT) panic, looked at Gallup polling numbers to develop his effective, if evil and false, political strategy? Professional Democrats can use this for good, but only if they recognize the limits of polling and start creating issues, both ‘character-‘ and policy-based. Of course, if they were smart, they would tie the two together, even if that were uncivil. But even baby steps in this direction would help a lot.

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