Tuesday, October 6, 2009

3 lessons the left can learn from Levi Johnston

Well don't ask him directly, because then the answer is probably, "Not much." But the former paramour of Bristol Palin has shown surprising resilience of late, the current capstone being an acting debut in a Wonderful Pistachios commercial:

Who would have thought that former electrician's apprentice could get his still nascent model/actor career back on track just as America had finally forgotten about him again.

The lessons the left could learn from Levi are all about positioning:

1. You can't win 'em all Fathers who split are just about the least sympathetic characters in modern reality theater. They can make a comeback, but the Tsk'ing could well last a lifetime. See: Jon Gosselin. Everyone in America who watched TLC felt for the brow-beaten schlub, but when he ditched the kids to go galavanting, he lost all the public goodwill he'd built up over the years.

Levi was smart: He realized he'd burned some bridges (maybe even some $315 million ones), but rather than complaining, he set up camp and let loose on the Palins. Bully: If you can't join 'em, beat 'em. This sort of methodology worked wonders for the Bush administration (in terms of achieving its agenda), but the Democrats have taken some sort of high road to ruin, pledging and delivering on bi-partisan discussion.

What has that gotten them? Glenn Beck's controlled the conversation from Day 0 with bizarre rhetoric about Czars and Death Panels. For universal healthcare, it's a no brainer to say that if you're against it, you're against babies, old people and Apple Pie, so go for the jugular. Glenn Beck wouldn't have been any more pissed off and some actual reform might have happened.

2. Keep it simple Universal healthcare, as proponents like to explain it, is about as basic a right as they come. It's even (kind of) one of only three constitutional inaliable rights! So ramp up this "right to life" rhetoric and raise hell against the insurance conglomerates, which nobody likes anyways. This is a steak-and-potatoes sort of thing: People have a right to live, and that requires medical care.

Keep it as simple as possibly (don't worry, I'm sure it'll grow more complex to fit every special needs group over time anyways), and be up front about that: This is not the ideal we had hoped for, you tell people, but this is a deal we need. Plain, homespun talk thay says it's unacceptable to have people out on the street because they can't even get insurance for a pre-existing condition that they bear no fault for.

3. Get crackin'. Ok, so it's less Levi than Wonderful Pistachios, which is bouncing back with a fun, cheeky ad campaign to help people forget that the a million pistachio nuts were recalled earlier this year (none Wonderful, apparently) But it's working! And sure, Levi Johnston protection jokes are an easy play, but it's a quick victory that gets measurable results.

Comprehensive reform sounds great in textbooks and think tank journals, but it's generally where overly sweaping plans should stay. Be like Levi and go for the easy gigs that will give you high profile exposure while putting you on your way towars your ultimate goals: In his case, a credible modeling/acting career; in the left's, universal healthcare coverage.

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