Back on LI Live This Week

This Wednesday, August 10 I’ll be speaking on “Building Your Winning Coalition” for the Leadership Institute’s LI Live Lecture – part of a free online training series they’ve been offering for conservative activists.  If you aren’t celebrating a birthday that day (as both my brother and my father-in-law are) feel free to log on.

Governing Is Campaigning by Other Means

Earlier this week, I pointed out in The Daily Caller how much the new website for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks and operates like an advocacy campaign site.  The Obama Administration can use the recently launched ConsumerFinance.gov to identify potential grassroots, third-party supporters.  Since the agency will undoubtedly be targeted for being both a regulatory behemoth and a waste of already-scarce money, there’s a good chance it will need such supporters.

It’s actually quite a smart move – and the left side of the aisle isn’t the only place you can see it in action. ClickZ points out that a new video from the New Jersey’s Governor’s office looks an awful lot like the type of video a political candidate might use:

And they’re right.  The ad wizards who came up with this one – just like the ones who built the CFPB website – understand that winning public opinion while in office is just as important as winning public opinion on the first Tuesday in November.

Coffee or Tea?

In an upcoming appearance on the Matt Lewis Show, Matt and I discuss the Coffee Party – the ragtag band advocating for the expansion of government in opposition to the Tea Party’s ragtag band advocating for less government.  The American electorate has therefore been delineated into two camps: “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, I Need, I Need!” and “Relax, I Got This Under Control.”  “Democrat” and “Republican” have run their course.

I mistakenly thought the Coffee Party was a clever invention of DailyKos or some other established leftward organization, but the Washington Post proved me wrong – it was a clever invention of a grassroots activist.  But the main challenge they face is evident in their name.  They have defined themselves more through who they are not than who they are.

“The conservative answer to [BLANK]” has been the movement’s white whale for years.  “Conservative answers” to Facebook, YouTube, DailyKos, the Barack Obama Campaign, the New York Times, Digg, and countless other online and offline institutions have been launched and, at best, met with limited success.  In contrast, groups like the Tea Parties and Top Conservatives on Twitter have used existing infrastructure to accomplish something unique.

If the Coffee Party seeks to be the liberal answer to the Tea Party, they may be mimicking the conservative movement more than they know.