03.06.16 Undeserving candidates in MD-8

I have to thank Jonathan Shurberg at Maryland Scramble for serving once again as a perfect foil. Today, he writes about Jamie Raskin’s fabulous “Because” video:

Raskin’s gotten more than a little carried away. How much? So much so that he gushes “seriously, you can’t buy this!” right under the word “sponsored” on the Facebook post. . .Seriously, you CAN buy this. And you just did. Seriously? “My money good, theirs bad” remains a remarkably bad persuasion technique. Seriously.

Shurberg is correct in his reaction to Raskin’s “you can’t buy this” statement. It’s cheesy  and not exactly accurate, since Raskin paid to have the video made and again to have it promoted on Facebook. But (as I just posted on Scramble):

Shurberg consistently misses the point: it’s not that some money is good and some bad. One can’t run a modern campaign without cash. It’s that any candidate (Trone) who is only about money is bad. A candidate (Trone) who has been paying bad guys for access is bad. A candidate (Trone and Matthews) with no record of working for the public good (in a legislature or elsewhere) is bad. In Shurberg’s efforts to set a level playing field between Raskin/Barve/Guitierrez, on the one hand, and Trone/Matthews on the other, he obscures not only decades of accomplishment, but also the importance of likely outcomes in Congress.

MD-8 has the luxury of having good guys to choose from who will actually make a proactive positive difference in Congress. Neither Trone nor Matthews fit into that category and, therefore, neither deserves serious consideration. Seriously.

©2016 Keith Berner

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3 Comments on “03.06.16 Undeserving candidates in MD-8”

  1. kenfx0 Says:

    Shurberg is upset because Jamie “hurt” his feelings.


    • Keith Berner Says:

      Thanks, Ken. I’m not going to go ad hominem on Shurberg, even though I think he is consistently giving short shift to the essential question of which candidate(s) will do the most good in office. In fact, he and I have had a very good email exchange today in which we focused on the effectiveness of Jamie Raskin’s messaging. Shurberg writes (and this is public on his site, so it’s fine for me to quote him):

      “Is it enough, on its own, to win? I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. That’s why I’m critical of the persuasion effort – good, broad-based persuasion uses various means to approach different groups of voters in ways that those voters are likely to respond positively to. “Truth” in politics is a slippery concept – what is gospel to one voter doesn’t even get a twitch out of another.

      I wish I was seeing less “you can’t buy this” and more varied ways of reaching voters who aren’t in the bubble, who aren’t already predisposed to vote for Raskin, and who need a different approach. . . .

      What matters now, 51 days out, is not what you think or I think about the relative merits of the candidates, but what the enormous mass of undecided and often low information voters out there are thinking, and what’s being done to persuade them. ‘You can’t buy this’ is just not going to work, IMHO, and I’ve heard similar thoughts from dozens of people over the past couple of weeks.”

      Raskin’s messaging is not as clear or persuasive or informative for low-information voters as it could be and needs to be. Whether or not Shurberg is right on everything or is the best messenger for this, I am hoping that the Raskin campaign is paying attention and devotes serious attention to making the case outside the natural base. Seriously.

      PS. While you and I agree certainly that anyone to the left of Atila the Hun needs to suck it up and vote for Clinton in November, your pro-Clinton hagiography and attacks on Sanders are a bit much for this progressive to swallow.


    • Jonathan Says:

      Amazing how someone who doesn’t even know me can claim to be so knowledgeable about my motivations. And yet have no idea what he’s talking about. Twice now.

      Has it occurred to you that if I actually thought as you so ignorantly claim I do, it would be far easier for me to just sit in silence and let it play out? That by speaking up, I’m actually trying to communicate my concerns?

      You like the way Jamie’s persuasion efforts are going? Defend them then, and we can have an honest debate.

      But stop questioning my motives. All that says is that you’re afraid of a real debate. At least I’ve got the guts to come out and state my opinions plainly. Which is more than can be said for you. You just want to shoot the messenger. Yeah, that’ll help a lot.

      Mindless cheerleading doesn’t get your candidate elected. It just makes you mindless.


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