A Summary of Dick Morris' new book, "2010 Take Back America."

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Targeting Vulnerable Incumbents & Harnessing the Internet:

Lessons from Dick Morris

We want to recommend to you the new Dick Morris book, 2010 Take Back America, A Battle Plan. In this book, Dick Morris sets forth the best targets to take back the Senate and the House from the Democrats, and he actually gives a battle plan. He also discusses the importance of harnessing the Internet for political campaigns.

RetakeOurGov has built a database of targets based, in part, on the assessments made by Morris. We have updated his targets, though, because his book is already a little bit out of date. For example, it doesn’t reflect the most recent resignations or primary election results.

We are also comparing his suggested targets to assessments made by others of the likelihood of defeating various incumbents. These include sources such as the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato, among others. We’re doing this so our PAC can assess which Senate and House races we may become involved in. Of course, as Michiganders, Michigan races are important to us, but we still want a broader focus.

In addition, we are looking at vulnerabilities, especially of incumbents. How did they vote on key issues such as ObamaCare, the bailouts and other recent legislation? Are they vulnerable because they are freshmen members of Congress so that they are less entrenched and perhaps less powerful?

We’re not just focusing on freshmen, though. We’re also looking at those we call The Titans—you know, those who have been there for many, many terms—the ones who really need to go. The ones who have steadily built this mess we’re in over the course, sometimes, of decades. We’re looking at going after them, too.

We are also looking at prior election results, especially how the various congressional districts voted in prior presidential elections. A Democrat member of Congress, who was elected at the same time that voters in his district highly favored McCain or Bush, is arguably an anomaly and is vulnerable. He or she should be ripe to be booted out. Republicans, however, aren’t safe either. Their records will also be scrutinized.

So, as RetakeOurGov compiles all this information, we’ll be picking and prioritizing the races where we may deploy funds to oppose incumbents or to support their challengers. Sometimes that means we will cut a check to send it to a candidate, even if it’s a modest one. Other times, it means we will make independent expenditures to defeat our targets. Independent expenditures such as running radio or newspaper ads, creating YouTube videos, and the like. Radio ads like the one we are running against against Gary Peters (D).


(click on small triangle above to hear the radio ad)

In terms of strategy, Morris details quite a few. Some are worth pointing out.

Morris spends a fair bit of time discussing how, in the upcoming elections, we have to make it all about Obama. One of his key points, however, is that we can’t be limited by ideology. And here, we think he’s on to something.

The key is to attack Obama, and thereby his minions who seek re-election to Congress, on his fundamental failures—Obama’s failure to lead, his failure to follow through on promises, his monumental failure to listen to the People who simply do not want much of his agenda—and, thereby, also attack the incumbent congressmen & women who ignore their own constituencies.

Remember, Obama was elected on a platform, but he hasn’t followed through on many key aspects of it. Now, as people who want to see the Constitution upheld and a return to the limited government our Founding Fathers intended, we might be glad Obama hasn’t been able to achieve some of his goals. But the fact that Obama hasn’t is a failure crying out to be told.

Consider these:

Obama promised to get us out of Iraq, but . . .we’re still there.

Obama promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, but . . . he has.

Obama promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans, but . . . he hasn’t.

Obama promised to preserve Medicare, but . . . he cut it by $500 billion—that’s Billion, with a B!

Obama said he’d bring down the deficit, but he has more than tripled it—and he is going for more.

The list goes on and on and on—and Morris provides many examples of such broken promises that you can use.

Morris doesn’t just provide a litany of such facts, though. He even suggests scripts for television and radio ads and gives permission to use them. These could easily be used to create YouTube videos. And we encourage like-minded Americans to do so.

He also provides scripts for ads about specific issues, such as unemployment, spending, the deficit, and health care. But Morris urges that it’s not enough to just refer to these issues generally.

And this is very important: He argues that we need to hang the details around a candidate’s neck. In other words, the attacks have to be specific, not just that “so-and-so voted for ObamaCare.” Instead, we have to point out that Medicare has been cut and medical devices now face a tax; that we will be fined for not having insurance and that our premiums are going to go up; that doctors may prefer to retire rather than have their professional medical judgments on behalf of their patients second-guessed or controlled by unelected, unaccountable Washington bureaucrats who probably don’t even have medical degrees!

Now, we in the Tea Party Movement or those of us already involved in campaigns, we are all rather knowledgeable about these issues and many of the specifics. But the average person out there is not paying as much attention yet. They hear about “health care reform” and sort of assume that’s a good idea. But when they hear they will be fined if they do not buy what the government says they must, they are appalled. So, we have to get the word out on such specific details.

Morris finally points to Obama’s failings as Commander-in Chief, in the conflict with the Taliban in Afghanistan, especially. For example, Obama waffles and flip-flops—to the detriment of our military men and women on the ground. He sets a withdrawal date as he signs an order for troop deployment. Obama makes decisions suggesting he is weak and malleable, and more concerned about political matters than Victory. So, as strategy, it’s a matter of exposing the deficits in Obama’s character, strength and decisiveness, or lack thereof, and tying those personal deficits to his Congressional puppets who are seeking re-election. Because, by sending them back to Congress, we’ll just be furthering Obama’s policies and his ways of doing the Country’s business.

Now, the last part of Dick Morris’s book he calls The Electronic Precinct. Here, he’s advocating that we all act as our own publishers, that we act as our own campaign managers supporting our own favorite candidates. That means don’t just do the old-fashioned campaign techniques, like calling your friends and family or sending written notes—all of which are very nice things to do—but, use your email, your FaceBook page, your Twitter account, create YouTube videos, and use anything else out there in the social media realm of the Internet, because it is such a very powerful tool.

Morris traces the rise of the use of the Internet in political campaigns—from Howard Dean’s very successful fundraising, to the Swift Boat Veterans campaign against Kerry, to the rise of MoveOn.org, actblue.com and other PACs, especially those on the Left, all the way to the last presidential campaign.

As an aside here, we want each and every one of you to visit www.actblue.com. This is the internet fundraising machine of the Progressive Left. Actblue is a PAC, like RetakeOurGov—but they are raising millions upon millions of dollars for their leftist agenda. This is what we’re fighting against—and you will be more scared once you’ve spent a little time surfing that site. Now, let’s get back to the internet stuff.

Make no mistake about it. Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the primary because he harnessed the power of the Internet to mobilize citizens to volunteer, to vote, and most importantly, to contribute financially, especially raising very enormous sums from many, many small contributors. After beating Hillary in the primary, Obama then went on to do the same thing to defeat McCain.

In other words, the Internet nominated Obama and then elected him. As Morris notes, a close examination of political races shows that victories usually come not because the loser lacked political viability, but because he or she could not raise any more money. To get your name out there and your message out there, a candidate simply must have funds for ads and campaign materials and get out the vote drives.

Yes, there are examples of candidates who ran low-budget campaigns and won—but they are the exception. We cannot rely on that happening.

Finances drive out the losers and coronate the winners. It is for this reason that Dick Morris, as do so many others who are getting involved in these important mid-term elections, advocates the need for us to open our wallets. We have got to compete financially with the Left’s ability to raise enormous funds.

In this vein we also want to mention another book: Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation, by Jason Mattera. This is written by a young guy and he covers a lot about Obama’s use of the internet to reach out to the young voters. He also talks about opening our wallets. He says “Donate that money!” “Get your wallets out and put your money where your future is.” And he’s right about that.

I want to end with a couple of thoughts, one of which involves my own personal story.

From the time I was pretty young until quite recently, I was rather adamant that we don’t need campaign finance reform so much as we need individuals to support only those candidate who are their own representatives and to otherwise stay out of other races. In fact, I always thought that it was rather unethical for candidates to take money from people they don’t represent.

But, my views have changed. I’ve done a complete 180-degree turn. Our country and our lives are just too important not to be more broadly involved. I cannot sit by and just let all these politicians vote for legislation such as ObamaCare. So, and this is before RetakeOurGov organized as a PAC, I’ve actually given modest contributions directly to candidates who do not represent me. I wouldn’t have done that a year ago. But, it is now my way of standing up—just as when I use my physical presence at a tea party or rally.

When we go to a tea party or rally, we use our bodies, our physical presence, to Stand with other like-minded people to demonstrate our solidarity of purpose. Well, I cannot fly all across the country to use my physical presence in other congressional districts. But, I can send a check, even if it’s small. And, doing so accomplishes the same thing as attending a rally.

It shows:

I am here, I exist.

I am listening,

I am watching, and

I’m putting some skin in the game, because it is that important.

Just like my presence at a tea party or a rally, contributing financially sends the implicit message that I can and will contribute elsewhere if the candidate, once elected, fails to deliver.

And, this brings me to my final point. RetakeOurGov, as a PAC, is your conduit to stand up and be counted by the conservative, constitutionally minded candidates you want to support, financially.

It is our hope that if you have made up your mind who to support in various Congressional races, that you write out your check to your favored candidates but send it to RetakeOurGov to be bundled with others. Your voice will be amplified by being in solidarity with others financially. And, if you have deeper pockets and have already given the maximum to support your candidate, you can contribute to RetakeOurGov, as well, so we can oppose the incumbent in that race or support a challenger with our independent expenditures.

If you cannot afford to contribute financially, we hope you contact the campaign of your favored candidate to volunteer to contribute your time, because it is just as important that we also have boots on the ground.

Together, we can do this. We can change Congress before they do further damage to our country. Together, we can bring back some sanity to our Country’s governance. Together, we can retake our government!



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