Advice to Democratic hopefuls

From blogger Digby:

We could try doing what the Republicans do. Say the words fraud, Enron and Bush in the same sentence over and over and over again until they are inextricably linked in the minds of half of the population. It worked with terrorism, Saddam and 9/11.

Try it, it’s fun: Fraud, Enron, Bush! Fraud, Enron, Bush!

(Update) More suggestions, from Michael Tomasky.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee made an announcement on April 21 that is in every way more offensive and shocking than any idiocy that tumbled out of Santorum’s mouth. For the entire history of the two-party system in this country, the parties have had a gentlemen’s agreement that the conventions will take place before Labor Day, with the real, head-to-head campaigning to commence thereafter. But as we know very well, we are no longer dealing with gentlemen. So now the Republicans announce that they are going to meet in New York City about three miles from Ground Zero as near to the anniversary of the tragedy as possible. And they in essence acknowledge, discreetly but quite openly, that the purpose is to squeeze as much political gain out of the attacks, and the national-security issue, as they can.

— snip —

Here’s what the Democrats could do, but probably won’t:

One: As many Democratic senators as possible — and it has to be senators; House members don’t get press coverage, so they don’t really matter — stand together at a press conference and denounce this rancid politicization of tragedy. Maybe Hillary Clinton can round up that guy from the international firefighters’ union who has become such a supporter of hers, and she and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) can persuade some survivors of 9-11 victims to join them. Fifteen senators and a half-dozen family members would amount to a critique of a different order than a press statement you have to seek out on the party’s Web site.

Two: Announce that, because the Republicans have tossed 150 years of history and decorum out the window, Democrats are reconvening their own convention committee and exploring the possibility of rescheduling their convention for late August.

Three: Get really creative and declare that the era of the convention is over — which is something we’ve all known to be true for about 20 years anyway — and then announce that they’re not even having a convention in the traditional sense. Maybe a mini, two-day gathering, so the nominee can make his speech with network coverage. But otherwise, take the money saved and spend it more wisely on other things, especially as they’re running against a guy who destroyed another agreed-upon tradition (albeit only 30 years old this time) by refusing to abide by established spending limits and who will therefore have “more money than God,” as the Republicans have lately become fond of saying. (Odd locution for such pious types, no?)

Four: Plan, or encourage others to plan, a serious, thoughtful, humble, dignified series of counter-events for the week the Republicans are in New York that show how real Americans — Republicans who wish to participate included — commemorate somber occasions.

I’m pretty sure some variation on that last will occur whether the Democrats have anything to do with it or not. By holding their convention in New York City near the anniversary of 9/11, Republicans are quite clearly exploiting gruesome tragedy for partisan political gain, and I do not believe this will go unremarked upon. New Yorkers are not known for keeping their opinions to themselves.

In short, Karl Rove’s brilliant convention-in-New-York strategy could backfire, especially if enough people focus on the heart of the matter: the Republicans are coming here to dance on the graves of three thousand New Yorkers.