In a normal, practical world, after getting bludgeoned upside the head, smart people usually step back, appreciate their “teachable moment,” and ask, “What can I learn after this particular disaster to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” And so one would think it should be after the RNC and the Romney campaign . . . and Karl Rove’s Crossroads group. . . and the Koch Brothers. . . all combined spent several bank vaults of money on television ads, mail and phones, only to lose virtually everything in 2012. For those with a practical view of wanting ROI for money spent, this would be zero return on investment. Well, one would think perhaps lessons were learned from this. Certainly, in a practical, real world environment, behavior would be forced to change. But here’s our first lesson: GOP and center-right politics do not operate in the real world. It is something of an alternate universe.
After the Great and All-Knowing Oz, I mean, the Powers That Be, i.e. the consultant class, spent a bajillion dollars on paid media in a relatively close Presidential election (the difference between Obama winning and Romney losing was 66 Electoral Votes, or roughly 500,000 votes, spread out among four states), and very little on GOTV and grassroots in comparison, perhaps something constructive could come out it. We did conduct “autopsies,” right? And if you weren’t smart enough to figure it out with a little deductive reasoning, you could always read what the Obama team did, as they’ve been quite open about their winning approach to GOTV, grassroots and technology. I wrote about that here.
Unfortunately I’m here to tell you today that I’m pretty sure nothing was really learned from 2012. At. All. And by that I mean no wisdom was gained from the proverbial second kick of the mule (after the first one in 2008), this time again directly to the heads of both wealthy donors and the volunteer grassroots, which respectively fund and provide warm bodies to numerous entities on the Right. What comes to mind is a conversation earlier this year with someone who consults with large conservative and Republican donors, who confessed to me that most of them simply don’t have an inkling as to how it all works: the creative fees, the commissions of TV ad buys, social media buys, etc. Like late-night viewers picking up the …read more