TMV’s first Foot In Mouth Award for 2010 goes to…the Republican National Committee, which saw a fundraising presentation leaked to The Politico — a presentation that used caricatures and cartoons more befitting a segment of Glenn Beck’s TV show or Rush Limbaugh’s failed TV show of some years ago than a political party. And here’s what’s worse: it showed virtual contempt for the people from which the RNC was hoping to extract money by mocking them and displayed a seemingly cynical attitude about playing the fear card to raise big bucks.
Why did this presentation prove to be foot in mouth? Because:
And most importantly:
And the most significant part about the latter development is this: the (former) donor’s response suggests that there are some Republicans who are not going to go along with the party if it leaps full throttle into the talk radio political culture as this memo suggested it was going to do using caricatures, clear attempts to push the fear button, and demonization. (There are some GOPers who can’t get enough of the demonizing, exaggerating talk show political culture style of politicking and will attack all and sundry who dare criticize this approach, but at a time when the Democratic party seems to be SHOOTING itself in its foot, the GOP would do better to try to keep to a standard that maximizes donations and enhances its image as a “more adult” party rather than coming across as a little kid throwing sand in pre-school sandbox):
A prominent Evangelical figure and Republican donor says he will end his contributions to the organized Republican Party in reaction to the leaked fundraising presentation that advised using “fear” to solicit contributions and displayed an image of President Obama as the Joker from Batman.
Mark DeMoss, who heads a major Christian public relations firm in Atlanta and served as a liaison to the Evangelical community for Mitt Romney in 2008, wrote Chairman Michael Steele yesterday that he was “ashamed” of the presentation, calling depictions of Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid “shameful, immature and uncivil, at best.”
“I’m afraid the presentation is representative of a culture and mindset within the Republican National Committee,” DeMoss, a past member of the RNC’s “Eagle” program for top donors who gave the party $15,000 in 2008, wrote in the letter to Steele, which he shared with POLITICO. “Consequently, I will no longer contribute to any fundraising entity of our Party—but will contribute only to individual candidates I choose to support.”
The letter was copied to House and Senate Republican leaders, whose campaign committees DeMoss said he’d also stop supporting.
DeMoss, whose causes include a project devoted to civility and who is the scion of a major Evangelical family, concluded:
“Mr. Chairman, I love giving money to candidates at every level who I believe in and want to see elected. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to consider making a contribution to the Party itself. The sort of behavior displayed in Boca Grande only contributes to the widespread cynicism of politics in general and our Party in particular. It is, in my opinion, indefensible and destructive.”
For its fundraising plan that has already hurt fundraising, the RNC receives the first TMV Foot in Mouth Award for 2010. We’re sure some Democrats will win it in the future as well…
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.