Democrats Fire Back with 'Firewall' Direct Mail
The 2010 election was not a great one for Democrats, as scores of candidates were defeated in a Republican wave. Their control of the U.S. Senate was maintained, though, and 2011 saw several direct mail efforts by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to see that it stayed that way. Centering on the theme of "I Am The Firewall," the mailings tried to energize Democratic supporters, to make certain that nothing was being taken for granted.
The initial mailing, from January, set the tone. Noting the threats to the large number of Democratic incumbents, the letter warns the supporter: "We must build our 2012 firewall twice as tall and twice as strong." In a rare move for political fundraising, it also offers a tried-and-true premium - a tote bag, proudly emblazoned with the slogan "I Am the Firewall" in big type, followed by a dig at the opposition: "Stop The Radical Right In 2012."
Efforts bearing the signatures of Senators Patty Murray and Chuck Schumer continued along the same line, attacking "the GOP's radical agenda," and reminding the member of the value of their support: "For the first time in eight decades, the House switched party control without the Senate following suit - and that's directly attributable to ... individuals like you."
But for sheer ability to issue a "call to arms," there is still no other figure in politics today like former Bill Clinton strategist James Carville. His personality - wily, bombastic, no-holds-barred - comes through loud and clear in a DSCC effort that dropped in July. "Dear fellow Democrat," the letter begins, "Finally, the political outhouse has been knocked over and the Republican Party's lies are hanging in the wind for everyone to see."
After throwing out a few charges against the GOP, Carville makes his first warning: "It's beyond idiotic - it's downright scary. You'd better be prepared, because those same Republicans are about to start knocking on your door ... pushing their way into your house and telling you how to live your life." He goes on, ramping up the fear, and the anger, at corporate influence following the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and what that could mean: "privatizing Social Security and dismantling Medicare, defunding Planned Parenthood ... total repeal of health care reform."