July 17th, 2008
Ever wonder why Republicans are so good at staying on message? At Netroots Nation, the DNC’s training director Parag V. Mehta explained one reason — when he was staying with a Republican friend once, he happened to see an email sent to his host containing the Republican talking points of the day. Apparently, these messages go out pretty much daily to activists at all levels of the party, from local organizers to pundits and elected officials, and they’re remarkably simple: three or four bullet points, which represent the message that the party wants to get out that day.
Wonder how the phrase “cut and run” popped up everywhere all at once during the Iraq War debate a few months back? Email talking point. Ever seen the Daily Show edit clips of a bunch of Republicans saying the exact same words in separate interviews all over cable news? Email talking points. Repeat ad nauseum and you get consistent wording across many media outlets, helping to ram home the party’s message even to casual viewers who barely pay attention to politics. Yet another reminder of how the ‘net infiltrates its way into every angle of the political process, often in ways that are invisible to outsiders.