Matt Towery

Sometimes I am just plain amazed at how corporations, various industries and certainly political parties and their numerous affiliate groups prefer to cry in their coffee, curse the darkness and cede public opinion when it is being manipulated against them. Instead of marshaling their huge financial resources and using tried and true methods that really could change momentum and move opinion in their direction, they try to move the opinion ball in small increments with muted and wasteful tools.

Let me give a perfect example of what I mean and how, specifically, those who so oppose Obamacare and many policies of the Democrats could start countering the president's "bully pulpit" and start to create messages that could be momentum-changers in the coming year.

In late 1993 and much of 1994, television ads featuring a couple known as "Harry and Louise" flooded the airwaves in opposition to then-President Clinton's proposed version of health care reform. It was produced and funded by a health insurance industry lobby group. In the ads the couple lamented the "bureaucracy" and lack of flexibility in the Democrats' then-proposed requirement for mandatory health care for employees through heavily regulated HMOs.

The ads cost some 24 million dollars and ran throughout the year, leading up to the 1994 elections. Taking nothing away from Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America," I think it is fair to say that even Newt gave great credit to the impact the "Harry and Louise" ads had in turning disgruntled and confused viewers into a surge of GOP voters. Gingrich himself was shocked to learn just how quickly the last few days of the 1994 campaign turned in the direction of a Republican majority in the House.

It's ironic to consider that nearly twenty years later, in an age in which social media allegedly molds opinions and moves voters, that this old play from an old playbook is not being revisited.

Of course, we must be mindful that "Harry and Louise" themselves are likely of no value, since the two have resurfaced in numerous ads since then, including one in support of Obamacare.

But who says it has to be the same names or even on that one subject?

What Republicans lack is a counter to the endless dribble of pro-Democrat, or to be more specific, pro-Obama news stories which gloss over so many facts and issues.

It's fine to debate on conservative-friendly networks and talk shows, but that's really preaching to the choir. President Obama and the media are beating Republicans to the punch over every issue in the medium that they generally control -- television.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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