Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Darcy Burner: "A Progressive Prescription for the Post-Election Hangover"

Darcy Burner (Progressive Congress Action Fund):
While we’re not going to duplicate the capacity of Fox News overnight (nor are we going to match the Heritage Foundation’s $38 million/year), we could do a lot more to leverage progressive members of Congress and the soapboxes they have by:

* Making sure they have top-notch research on issues and messaging;
* Ensuring that members and progressive spokespeople get top notch training and practice for media appearances and public speaking;
* Having people whose job it is to book progressive members of Congress and spokespeople into the press;
* Building new distribution mechanisms for content and information, whether by radio, on TV, over the Internet, in print, in person, by text message, by iPhone app, or some other way;
* Coordinating messaging so that different people are saying things that reinforce each other; and
* Insisting that progressive leaders use communications best practices, such as telling stories. Saying that “women should have access to abortions” is not going to work as well as talking about the woman who showed up at a Catholic hospital late in her first trimester of pregnancy suffering from pre-eclampsia which would kill her if the pregnancy didn’t end. The nun in charge got permission to end the pregnancy to save the mother – and then was excommunicated. The next woman who shows up in that emergency room with pre-eclampsia will die. By eliminating coverage for medically necessary abortions, we’ve ensured that similar stories will play out all over America: women will die because a bunch of lawmakers didn’t understand why what they were doing was a problem.

There is plenty for progressives to do post-election both inside and outside of Congress. Act as if the future of the country depended on it. Because it does.

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