The Predicted PR Battle Happens

Claim Chowder

Ready… Aim… Fire!

Over the weekend, as you may recall, I suggested, meekly, that by voting to call witnesses and then abruptly not calling witnesses was a confusing strategy and would be a PR problem for The Team Who Herds Cats. Friends on Twitter in our chat room dragged me for it.

I submit into evidence this list of headline curated by our pals at Electoral-Vote:

  • Democrats had the power to call key witnesses and then backed down. (WaPo)
  • Democrats let Trump off the hook by not calling witnesses. (CNN)
  • The Senate was surprised to get a request for witnesses (ABC)

I had some headlines on GoogleNews, Yahoo, and the AP but lost them in a browser crash; but I would say that the three above are representative enough. (Another headline that survived the crash: “Offered an opening, Democrats let Trump off” – CNN)

I will also note that most of the PR puff pieces following the acquittal are about the brave, brave seven Republicans who stood up to their party and up against Lord Damp Nut, and not about the incredible job that the House Managers did. They are not in any headlines today.

Here’s the thing: the Dems didn’t explain the strategy before-the-fact and after-the-fact they tried to justify/rationalize it. 

(You can try to tell me all you want that it was eleventy-dimensional chess to get the statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler about McCarthy’s phone call with Trump into evidence, and it might be true, but it was not explained beforehand and it was not explained well afterhand that this was the goal. I maintain and the headlines above are proof.)

To the base (which does NOT include the media) it looked like surrender, and as Lord Damp Nut was acquitted, it has take on the stink of surrender.

This is what I meant with the passage about the Chris Matthews oeuvre: “Did the strategy work?,” and the answer in all measurable ways is NO.

(And no, I am not blaming the Democrats and especially the House Managers. They did a spectacular job. The blame is squarely on the shoulders of the cowards in the Coup Klux Klan who put One Man over Country, not even the party.)

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15 Responses to The Predicted PR Battle Happens

  1. laura says:

    The Democratic party has long lacked an effective messaging component / cohesive narrative so on the rare occasion when one IS present (Amanda Gorman) you’d think that finally some such role would be considered and adopted. Truly it is a glaring weakness. I’m still willing to trust the actions of the impeachment managers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. osirisopto says:

    And now they can blame the D’s for everything that happens in the next coup attempt.
    At least I hope it will only be another attempt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sos says:

    Didn’t the freak show defense team threaten to call hundreds of witnesses? Yeah, that backed down the Ds. But they have pretty big legislative fish to fry with respect to pandemic relief and all the rest e.g. HR1.

    This relief was needed YESTERDAY.
    The best perhaps only) chance to survive the midterm election is to show progress.

    I was also gutted when the word came down that Ds bailed. But I got over it. ‘Battle v War’ and all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      Then the strategy should have been to say, “Guys, we need to wrap this up, so we’re not calling witnesses.”

      Nope, it’s after-the-fact justification and rationalization.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ten Bears says:

      This is exactly right, the optics will be ugly no matter what. There are more important things to do than be jerked off by a bunch of cro-magnons with no intent of cooperation. We all knew where it was going anyways so why waste any more time on it, shut it down, turn your back on it and walk away in disgust, in contempt. Move on.

      Do not forgive. Do not forget.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Time to impeach Trump again, and call a shitton of witnesses. Hell, impeach the asshole every goddamn week.

    Go ‘full Benghazi’ on his ass.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Jimmy T says:

    I’m of the opinion that the videos and their effective presentation by the House Impeachment team speaks for itself. I do get what you’re saying, but the videoed horror screamed loudly and painfully. America will not forget who betrayed us and the Constitution. That is why the GQP checkout line exists. Even lifelong conservative Republicans (of the sane variety) are streaming to the exits…

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      Totally agree, Jimmy.

      I must not be making my point clearly: the problem was demanding witnesses and then not calling them.

      They could/should have left it at the videos.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        I still haven’t really wrapped my head around the fact. The temptation is to grub around in this muck looking for a diamond, a pearl, a lump of coal, something positive to take away from this.
        I’ve got other things to do, though rather than try to figure out the real reason for the capitulation this looks like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jimmy T says:

        You were clear. It may have been a mistake to dangle witnesses out in front of everyone and then backing out. Reading between the lines I got that there was disagreement amongst the managers in this approach, but the end product was damning in its entirety. Let us hope the dissolution of the GQP is the end result. We don’t need to go through this again…

        Regards and congratulations on an informative and fun website…

        Jimmy T

        Liked by 2 people

      • MDavis says:

        Do you refer to that canard about committees?
        You set up a committee to build a horse. When they are done, you get a camel.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. StringOnAStick says:

    Calling witnesses that you have not previously deposed is incredibly risky, you have no idea what they are going to say; ask any trial lawyer. Also, impeachment is a political process, not a legal trial. The show is over, the legal system gets It’s shot now and that’s where real consequences happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      I agree, both my parents were trial lawyers, so I know this.

      All the more reason why the strategy was puzzling.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Like

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