The Unity08 corporation was founded and is staffed by people who have made their careers as media consultants to political campaigns. Traditionally, such campaigns have been marked by the presence of a candidate, with the associated platform and policy ideas and all that substantive baggage. The Unity08 corporation has no candidate or policy ideas or platform, and so it is free to practice a Plug-and-Play sort of political communication in which complaints are trotted out to fit the situation. Whatever is happening in politics becomes a problem that Unity08 is going to fix.
A classic example of this approach was the shift in Unity08′s complaint about how presidents are currently nominated. Back in 2006 and the first quarter of 2007, Unity08 complained that only a few states got the early vote to determine a presidential nominee, and that the new Unity08 was here to address that problem. But as the months passed in 2007 and it became clear that a majority of states would have votes early enough in the process to determine the presidential nominee, Unity08 couldn’t name that as a problem any more for Unity08 to fix, and so… it switched its argument completely, now complaining that to have all these states voting early and being part of the process was just plain “stupid,” a pileup to be fixed by, why, surprise surprise, Unity08! Unity08 is the snake oil of 2008, promising to fix whatever ails the nation, even if some of those ailments are the exact opposites of one another.
The latest evidence that substance is secondary to Unity08 comes in a charming holiday e-mail from Unity08 cofounder Douglas L. Bailey who, observing the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, asserts:
Unfortunately, it is the same old Politics-As-Usual that has not given us a very warm feeling. The candidates are actively pointing fingers at each other which they simply can’t resist doing.
Oh, that nasty finger pointing! Oh, the evil of criticism! Bailey goes on in the very same e-mail to share a poem he’s written as a holiday gift for all us li’l drones, in which he observes the following:
Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter might have a problem with his illegal immigrant lawn boy.
John Edwards and Mitt Romney are obsessed with their hair.
Alan Keyes is scary.
Fred Thompson is lethargic.
Maybe Barack Obama is still a drug user.
Bill Richardson is fat, and Mike Huckabee used to be.
Rudy Giuliani has dressed in women’s clothing.
Oh, that finger pointing sure is nasty, except it seems when Unity08 is pointing the finger.
Look for more political comedy to come from Unity08 in the next year. Watch especially as the corporation shifts its message again to fit the message of the latest thing that the Democrats and Republicans are not, or in the attempt to gain the patronage of a candidate who peskily did not gain a party nomination but who handily has a lot of campaign cash. I’ll give you a hint: this candidate’s name rhymes with Wan Crawl.