It's Not the Message, It's the Messenger

I've worked on many political campaigns and supported many more. Often, I lose. It's on the day after that I look back and reflect on why we lost and what it all means. Actually, I'm pretty hung over the actual day after. Then I'm angry. Then I throw things. Then I like to rent some great action films like “Ronin” or “Die Hard” and “Die Hard 3” to forget everything. But then, on the metaphorical if not actual day after, I reflect.

My conservative friends are in the weeds right now. It's been rough. They bear the familiar signs of late-night benders fueled by rage, whiskey-and-cokes and editorials from The New Republic. As a survivor of what I'll generously term a "down cycle" I was going to dedicate this column to helping those poor souls by sharing a few things they should avoid doing. Then I realized I wanted them to lose. So here are a few steps they should take if they want to continue to take it on the chin during the next few election cycles:

1. Blame the Media

For the period between the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the 2006 election, the media was actually the big, bad "corporate media," more concerned with making a dollar than reporting what was happening. And by "what was happening," I of course mean what I believed. Thankfully, the "corporate media" magically became the "liberal media" and we started winning elections. It's awesome.

What you need to do more of is blaming the media, and not just on your own programs. It's easy for Sean Hannity to blame the liberal media shutting down the conservative voice on his nationally syndicated radio program or television show. That's preaching to the choir. What's really required is to go to a network, say MSNBC, and remind the people who choose to watch that network they're morons and being lied to. Big props to the first person who will go on “The Rachel Maddow Show” and remind the pixie-ish host that the only people who watch her show are angry lesbian pinko leftists who love Tegan and Sara and hate freedom.

2. Remember You're Actually Much Cooler Than Everyone Else

The big CPAC get-together over the weekend was a great reminder of how cool the Republican Party and conservative movements totally are. Did you see how big of a tent it was? It wasn't all old white men. There were at least two white women speaking. There was the older white woman and the other one, who yelled out, “You be de man” to the new, black Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman. It's important to remember, in the midst of major setbacks, to look to the strong leadership that got you here in the first place.

I think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it best, though, when he asked: "Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, when you can be with Rush?" Truly. Robert Reich may drive a Mini Cooper and tell great stories about going to see Antonioni films with a butter-obsessed Hillary Clinton, but Rush could very well have drugs on him. Super cool!

3. Bicker, Bicker, Bicker

Speaking of Rush, nothing says "Grand Old Party" like a big old fight, and nothing inspires hope like an organization struggling to find a leader, which explains the recent popularity of Van Halen. The Steele v. Limbaugh spat is great for you guys. People like choices, and this particular row gives party members a real choice.

On the one hand, you can follow Michael Steele, the de facto leader of the Republican Party (we know this because he told people "I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party" on the news). His position is that Rush fans are being led around by an ugly, incendiary entertainer. Rush's position is that Steele and RNC Republicans are incompetent. It's so exciting! You can be a tool or a moron!