Some things transcend sad so much that they are funny. Some things transcend funny that they are bizarre. And then there are Democratic attempts to put on a press conference.
This is one of those Good News/Really Bad News thingees.
For many weeks now (months? years?), a growing wing of the Democratic Party has called for its leaders to present an outspoken platform, providing reasons to vote for the Party, other than "Not Bush." (Which remains both the #1 and #2 reason in bi-partisan national popularity.) Sitting back to let Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot (and higher up in the case of hunting trips) with headline-numbing news has its advantages, but at a certain point the partying has to end, and the Party has to begin.
On Wednesday, Democratic leaders including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi made that leap and held a press conference outlining a Democratic platform. That's the bad news.
The good news is that no one saw it.
Why was the press conference bad news? Because it was held at the exact same time as a speech given by the President of the United States at an organization founded by Eleanor Roosevelt!
In other words, when saying that "no one saw it," we're pretty much talking the literal meaning of the words "no one." (More on that in a moment.)
This isn't to say that what the Democrats spoke about wasn't good and true and Wonderful for America. Just that...well, no one saw it. The really big event that you've been planning for Just the Right Moment -- and you have it at a time when it is guaranteed to be totally missed??? That's just not bad timing, that's "George McCovern Giving His 'Come Home America' Democratic Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech at 3:00 in the Morning" bad.
Okay, surely some people are saying now, "Oh, obviously people saw the speech." Well, yes, that's true. But only if you count staffers and family.
How "no one" was "no one saw it"?
I had only caught it in accidental passing and wanted to check details for accuracy. I did a search on Google News. Put in the search terms, "Pelosi Reid Democrats platform 'press conference.'" Pretty darn generic.
Oh, okay, it did get some hits. From Zee News, India. noticias.com, Spain. And CNSNews.com. Hardly the same level of coverage for that strange Britney Spears statue.
So, I did a wider search. I looked on the full Internet and included a noteworthy phrase from the event. "Pelosi Reid 'state of the art military'" This did get lots of hits -- just nothing I could find about the Democratic press conference. The whole Internet. If you searched the Internet for "toenails sucking moss pizza lichen fishwife mitochondria," you'd get 244 hits. I know, I just tried.
(By the way, just so you know that this is not some early April Fools joke, here's a link to a story I finally did track down.)
What is "no one saw it"? There's no mention of it on the homepage of the Huffington Post. There is no mention of it (and I swear this is true, check it out) on the homepage of Democrats.org!!
Will Rogers once quipped, "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." That was 75 years ago. Some traditions are good to break.
The thing is, the press conference itself got even worse, so it may be good no one saw it. At one point, Nancy Pelosi held up a map. The anchorman noted that it was upside-down. I can't swear to this, I was trying to fact check it, but...well, you know. I couldn't find much of anything about the press conference.
Lack of coverage isn't the fault of the media. It sits on the plate of the Democratic leaders. When you schedule a big press conference, make sure it's not opposite "Lost." Or you will be.
But perhaps mostly, what was ridiculous about the press conference is that these leaders brought out...yes, a contract. When you're this serious, don't ape those you're criticizing. The image was that these leaders were directly copying the Republican "Contract with America" and couldn't come up with a better way. It was "Me, too!" politics. The little brother trying to catch up to his big brother. The image should be been trying to catch Big Brother.
The thing is, what the Democrats were saying was good. It was a platform. It did explain what they wanted to do to benefit America. It was a good start. But none of that matters...because it was a Really Pathetic Press Conference.
Keep in mind, a Really Pathetic Press Conference is only that, nothing more. It's proof merely that they can't give good press conferences. Far better to have no clue how to put on a press conference than no clue how to run a government. P.T. Barnum put on a great circus, but you wouldn't want him as ringleader for the three-ring country. Unfortunately, it's come to that.
Western Union recently shut down its telegram division. If the Democrats want to get their message out, they've got to figure out a better way.