Marketers Don’t Get It

snake Scott Goodstein, CEO of Revolution Messaging, has an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times. Mr. Goodstein, who fancies himself a rebel and sees his work in helping reduce politics to marketing as somehow liberating, says “[i]n future campaigns, Democrats will need to devote even more resources to social networks than they did in 2016.” So, yeah, wow, very deep, Scott.

Meanwhile, Goodstein asks us to “Imagine if Mrs. Clinton had ditched the script, the teleprompter and the overproduced videos and posted a cellphone video telling America that she was fired up on an issue.”

Earth to Scott: Not only was/is Mrs. Clinton mega-obviously not fired up about anything but her own social climbing and power-seeking, but what, pray tell, would be left of her without all the political marketing? Again, mega-obviously, the answer is “nothing.”

Your industry — political marketing — is, despite your self-serving fantasies, inherently and fully part of our mounting crisis. Telling better lies is not the way forward.

It takes this kind of cluelessness to do what Goodstein does, despite it all.

Don Drumpf as an Object of Shame

As usual, reading the big business marketing press is more helpful than most regular journalism. Seems that the main cause of the unusually big errors in the marketing research tools used to conduct and predict the gigantic 18-month marketing operations we perceive as political elections was the fact that a significant number of Drumpf voters are ashamed of themselves:

How did so many pollsters get the presidential election so wrong? The answer may involve shame, some of which belongs to research organizations themselves.

The other part of the shame belonged to Trump voters, many of them unwilling to admit, particularly to live human beings on the other end of the phone, their plans to vote for the president-elect.

That was an effect that Trafalgar Group, a small Atlanta-based Republican-affiliated polling firm, began noticing during the Republican primaries. So it developed a system to counteract the effect. Trafalgar started asking voters not only who they planned to vote for, but also who they thought their neighbors would vote for. The latter percentage consistently came out higher number than the former, said Robert Cahaly, senior strategist.

“On a live poll, the deviation was that Trump was understated probably 6%-7%, and on an automatic poll it was probably understated 3%-4%,” Mr. Cahaly said.

Quite comical and telling that the elite hacks running Brand Klinton seem to have utterly missed this aspect of reality in their pathetic efforts to peddle an even more pathetic product.

The answer to the errors, as always, is to better reduce politics to marketing:

Political polling may be more closely watched and higher profile, but in many ways it needs to catch up with brand market research, said Simon Chadwick, founding and managing partner of Cambiar, a consulting firm for market-research agencies and their investors.

“What’s happening increasingly in marketing is that survey research is being used to complement other forms of data,” he said, be it transactional data, social-media listening, ethnography or neuroscience. “People increasingly are synthesizing those other forms of data,” he said, “but in politics it doesn’t seem to have happened.”

Busted!

race-bottom The New York Times frequently provides the valuable service of unintentionally tipping the hand of conventional (overclass) ideologies. Applying simple reason to the NYT‘s usual reportorial contortions, it is often possible to find important admissions of core brainwashing stratagems.

And so it is today regarding the core American political insistence that this is a “middle-class” society. Turns out that the experts in charge of managing this untruth are pretty keenly aware of their own bullshit:

“It used to be ‘middle class’ represented everyone, actually or in their aspirations, but now it doesn’t feel as attainable,” said David Madland, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Clinton campaign. [emphasis added]

The entirely logical reality is that, in the Times‘ phrasing, “[e]ven if families fall in the middle in income distribution, they cannot afford many of the necessities, much less the luxuries, traditionally associated with being middle class.”

The balance of the story reports on how politicians are now scrambling to coin new ways of refusing to talk realistically about social class while suggesting they actually care about the class fates of ordinary citizens.

But it is official: “Middle class” has always been a diversionary tactic, a way of using aspirations to prevent the truth from surfacing.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Killary Klinton
Killary Klinton
Politics in the United States is marketing. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, here comes Killary, as reported by The Washington Post:

Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew? As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers. Their job is to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace. In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the “H” in her future campaign logo.

“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist.

As always, spending will reach new heights, and choices and democratic responsiveness will be even closer to zero.

It’s going to be a long winter, friends.

Obamanocchio: “Papa, I Want to be a Real Banker-Boy”

The proof that Brand Obama is merely a re-labeling of Brand Clinton and Brand Reagan could hardly be coming harder and faster.

The latest revelation is the new-and-not-improved economic give-away, which is as venal as it is hopelessly, laughably, moronically, decrepitly ill-targeted.

The great Doug Henwood puts it this way:

They’re worse than I expected, and I wasn’t expecting much in the first place (see: Obamamania, a febrile disease).

[I]t looks like the Treasury and the Fed will pump up some $250-500 billion to help hedge funds buy bad assets – with the FDIC guaranteeing the buyers against losses.  In internal administration battles, Geithner “successfully fought against” stricter rules on executive pay, and beat back the attempts to replace top maangement.

Of course, to say that Geithner won these battles is to say that Obama agreed with him. Once again, the embodiment of hope and change went with the status quo when he didn’t really have to. There would have been little political price to pay for putting the screws to the banksters.

This is looking more and more like Japan’s disastrous indulgence of their “zombie banks” in the 1990s than Sweden’s successful bailout, the model for the “nationalize them and clear the decks” approach. Instead of a few rough years, we’re likely to get a miserable decade.

For what it’s worth, my own view is this:

The problem is that making new loans is not only not the right answer, it’s not even possible. The Reagan Revolution /Great Restoration/New Democrats strategy of relying on credit expansion to fill the demand hole caused by heightened fucking of the working class is now at its final — and completely logical — end.  Either we start to reverse the basic class-fuck from above, or this depression continues to deepen.

Meanwhile, it’s important to ask:  What’s the dream outcome of what’s being attempted by Obama?  Another six month round of credit card balance transfers and fever-brained real estate bidding wars?  Based on what underlying new real production and income?

Ah, Love Those Market Reforms…

Remember “welfare reform?”  You know, the capitalist’s wet dream it took a Democratic Party regime to deliver?

Guess what?  Yep:

WASHINGTON — Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years.

The trends, based on an analysis of new state data collected by The New York Times, raise questions about how well a revamped welfare system with great state discretion is responding to growing hardships.

Michigan cut its welfare rolls 13 percent, though it was one of two states whose October unemployment rate topped 9 percent. Rhode Island, the other, had the nation’s largest welfare decline, 17 percent.

Of the 12 states where joblessness grew most rapidly, eight reduced or kept constant the number of people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the main cash welfare program for families with children. Nationally, for the 12 months ending October 2008, the rolls inched up a fraction of 1 percent.

The deepening recession offers a fresh challenge to the program, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 amid bitter protest and became one of the most closely watched social experiments in modern memory.

The program, which mostly serves single mothers, ended a 60-year-old entitlement to cash aid, replacing it with time limits and work requirements, and giving states latitude to discourage people from joining the welfare rolls. While it was widely praised in the boom years that followed, skeptics warned it would fail the needy when times turned tough.

Makes one eager for the coming Democrat-mandated glories like calling still more semantic tricks “health care reform,” including the open possibility of making it illegal to not purchase private “health insurance,” and “finally” getting down to “reforming” the utterly functional, distinctively non-broken (except for the regressiveness of its dedicated tax) Social Security system, doesn’t it?

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