J's Notes

Email Fundraising and the Fine Art of Shaming


There are a lot of factors that go into why Democrats seem to be better at email fundraising than Republicans.

Personalities matter – it’s easier to fundraise for a rockstar (Obama) than a perceived run of the mill candidate (Romney).

Audience matters – Republicans just think and give differently than Democrats.

Issues matter – emotionally driven politics that appeal to a lowest common denominator see better success than something you have to think about to really grasp and care about (also why Democrats have cooler bumperstickers).

But the biggest issue is really the same battle that Republicans and Democrats have been fighting in inboxes, on the airwaves, in mailboxes, door to door, and face to face:



Social Media Spending in the Presidential Election


One graphic really says it all:

10-1. Barack Obama didn’t just lap Mitt Romney in online spending, he clobbered him.

$47 million compared to $4.7 million.

But, hey, that’s gotta be an improvement over 2008, right? It sure is!


He’s On A Boat (Or How James O’Keefe Didn’t Do It Right)


So it seems James O’Keefe got busted trying to “punk” CNN by attempting to seduce anchor Abbie Boudreau with some sort of elaborate ruse involving fruit, sex toys, and a boat.


He’s on a boat!

Oh, where to begin on the absurdity. The plan itself is just full of issues left and right, reading like a Mary Sue CNN fanfic where everything will go so exactly to plan and the liberal media empire will crumble at their might.

But at its core O’Keefe’s largest issue isn’t the need for a bigger boat but the characters involved.


Exhibit A: James O’Keefe


Exhibit B: Way out of Exhibit A’s league

The idea that, one, the liberal media was sending attractive reporters after him to seduce him is hilarious. And well played, CNN. But that the tables might be turned, well, c’mon, really?

Besides, the idea is so crazy that there’s absolutely no way Bourdreau or CNN could possibly fall for this. I mean, we’re talking about the kid that pretended to be a pimp and brought down ACORN in the process. Been there, done that, were there t-shirts?

It was juvenile.

It was disgusting.

It wasn’t nearly as good as my idea.

You see, about a year back I presented Bearing Drift Head Poo Bah Jim Hoeft with a BRILLIANT idea to not only expose the liberal media as a bunch of hacks but also get so much attention for Bearing Drift and myself that it’d just be crazy delicious all up in here!

CNN Caper

Getting CNN to report on a fake story and then spoof them the same day


Jason, Jim, Brian

Technical people needed:
Photographer, stenographer, Thomas Kincaid, Kitty Kelly

Written by:
Jason S. Kenney Esq.

The idea was pretty straight forward.

Bearing Drift would invite CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau to a secluded getaway to have a one-on-one meeting with me. The idea would be that we’d discuss matters of the day and I’d be pretending to be crazy and right wing and she’d use her powers of Liberal Bias to spin me into some sort of right wing monster and utterly destroy me and Bearing Drift with it.

Well, once Ms. Boudreau arrived, a dastardly villain would smash through the window and kidnap her!


Psst… It’s really Jim!

This evil villain would spout off socialist and communist rhetoric and pretty much make himself out to be a left wing nut (it’s a set-up, you see…) as he tied Ms. Boudreau up and left her lying on train tracks where the 4 o’clock Roanoke Express was always on time!

Knowing how these things usually ended up, evil villain would have his henchman watch over our helpless captive to ensure the full evil plan came to effect. Really it would be Brian Kirwin making sure she didn’t get away so the best part of the plan could happen.

You see, cause right as the train was sounding in the distance I’d show up with a broadsword and no shirt and do battle with evil villain henchman. Through the genius placement of my sword between Brian’s torso and arm and timely pressure on ketchup packets, the henchman would appear to be slain and I would rescue Ms. Boudreau before the train arrived. I’d be her hero and she’d fall madly in love with me.

Saving the day would then lead to an amazing CNN story about this heroic hero who also happened to be a Republican! Lefty heads would just explode! My awesomeness would change minds because anything Jason Kenney is associated with would automatically be more awesome than the alternative. People would flock to the Republican Party. The GOP would have a 434 seat majority in Congress come November. Rocky Road would sell out everywhere!


More awesome than other ice creams

CNN would suddenly realize the error of being part of the evil liberal media empire and rebrand itself. Anderson Cooper would even become the president of my fan club.


Answer: Very.

I’d be invited to appear on Rush, Beck, Hannity and even Maddow would want to talk to me to bask in my greatness. People would ask about the day and what happened after and I’d talk about how Ms. Boudreau and I are happily married and expecting twins.


Jason Jr. and Jason Jr. II

World peace would be achieved in our lifetime and everyone would life happily ever after.

Unfortunately Jim nixed it.


Never gonna happen now. Thanks, Jim…

So the liberal media continues to exist and I will not be a hero of the right. Yet. But I’m not done with absurd ideas. I’ve got bunches of them. Now I just need a boat to do them on.

I wonder if James will lend me his…

Promoting The Right Online And The Negative Value Of My Thoughts


NOTE: I have no idea why this post is suddenly current. It was originally drafted in August, 2007. Why it’s here now, I dunno. But as it’s out there, no point in pulling it down. But do keep in mind all thoughts are in the context of 2007. Then again, how much has really changed in almost three years?

James Durbin at TechRepublican laments on the lack of any real organizationlike MoveOn or DailyKos on the conservative side of the web:

The sad thing is it wouldn’t take that much to build a solid organization. There are probably 5,000 blogs nationwide that could be organized into a conservative community and propped up with a Conservative Advertisers Network where politicians could buy geo-targeted ads and in-text ad links. For say, $500,000 total, we could work with one of the existing communities and grow it into a conservative powerhouse.

Any conservative George Soros out there want to pitch in some cheddar? Think of it this way – you’ll make more in a business-friendly environment then you will under a socialist one. I’m willing to give the set of plans to the right people, if anyone is interested.

And right there we see the problem with many people trying to play catch-up on the political side of Web 2.0.

It’s all about the money.

But it shouldn’t be. As I say in the comments:

Are we really just a bunch of mercenaries willing to go out of our way to advance the Conservative cause on the internet only if it pays well? Creating the “next big thing” or even utilizing what’s already there for the cause doesn’t take a lot of money, it simply takes time and a willingness to make it happen. Yet too many people are thinking in terms of dollars and seeing this as a money making opportunity. We’ve got to get past that if we can even hope to begin to compete on the web. Once you build something, once you have a model that works, then you can ask people to invest in it.

The reader generated value of my comment? -1 points. So is the comment of Brian Edwards who uses a comment to hype GOPHub which is an actual effort to create a Digg for right of center blog content.

So a comment that talks about what is being done (and without a half a million dollar investment) and another that points out that money should not be the issue aren’t worth noting. They’re worth less than that. Good to know.

The problem is that the right is trying to create the “next big thing” right away. And while that might not come cheap, it’s a flawed approach at the issue. MoveOn had some big backing, sure, but DailyKos, ActBlue, these sites started as activist driven, grassroots organizations that have grown through the years. If DailyKos and ActBlue have made their organizers money, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t their intention and has become a delightful perk. It’s also ignoring the existance of sites like RedState which act as hubs of conservative thought without large financial backing.

Let’s look locally. Virginia Political Blogs and Richmond Sunlight are two projects from Waldo Jaquith that show what one can do if they simply have the desire and the time. While money might have been nice, Waldo didn’t need a big chunk of cash to provide a great political service. Either of these projects could have been made to target one political side or another if Waldo were so inclined, and at the same low cost and great service.

So the question becomes, are folks on the right really seeking the next big thing that will drive conservative activism or the next big thing that will make money?

Ultimately it comes down to the line that still holds true: if you build it they will come. You can’t just ask for a chunk of change upfront and promise to deliver some amazing product that will be the answer to everyone’s prayers. You have to have a product that’s already doing something, a working model that shows potential that only needs a little boost to dominate. GOPHub is a good service in its infancy. If it just had a bit more backing, not just financially but among the blogs, it could go a long way to act as a clearing house for the national conservative blogosphere. That they have a working model shows that it can be capable of and that’s a better thing to look to than so far empty promises and hype that smacks more of panhandling than actual substance.