Anyone paying attention to the news knows that 2010 is shaping up to be a Republican year. A growing grass-roots backlash against the Democrats is reflected in both election results and polls. But one should never underestimate the ability of the GOP to blow an advantage, and here’s an example of why — they don’t understand the power of narrative. The left is expert at setting up narrative lines that provide the structure for media coverage of events. Facts that play into the narrative get picked up, repeated, elaborated. Facts that run counter to the narrative are ignored, suppressed, abandoned. And the narratives are almost always ones that benefit the left and damage the right.
One of the narratives the left has been setting up recently is the classic “conservatives are just a bunch of racist rednecks”. They’ve been particularly anxious to set this frame up around the Tea Party movement in the hopes of scaring off and/or driving away the independent voters who have been attracted by the Tea Party’s message of fiscal responsibility, but they’ll use it on mainstream Republicans too. It never gets old. Now, if you want to fight a narrative line, you must not do anything that feeds into it and gives it credibility. Any fact that even seems to support the narrative may be seized upon, repeated endlessly as ‘proof’ of its accuracy, and used to cement its power in the upcoming news cycle.
In light of the above, I now present to you Bob McDonnell, the recently-elected governor of Virginia.