It's gotta suck to be Allen Alley.
Imagine: It's your first political campaign. You're running for state treasurer. The only meaningful experience you have in public policy and politics is being the deputy chief of staff to the Governor. Obviously, his endorsement (call it a reference from your former boss) is going to be important.
But you don't have his endorsement. He's endorsed the other guy. In fact, he's helping the other guy raise money for his campaign.
What do you?
If you're Allen Alley, you fake it. You pretend you have the Governor's endorsement anyway.
From Alley's website:
“He is someone…who has a proven record of leadership, innovation, and a commitment to Oregon’s future,” Kulongoski said at the announcement of Allen’s appointment.
After all, if you muddy things up a bit, maybe a few Democrats will get confused about which candidate is the Democrat in the race.
Unfortunately for Alley, while he's pretending to have the support of the Democratic Governor, his campaign is too incompetent -- too stuck in the right-wing mindset -- to even get their pitch to Democrats right.
Check out the pablum from this recent campaign email.
Allen is committed to making life better in Oregon through public service. Whether it was serving as the Chair of both OMSI and the Oregon Business Plan, or serving two Democrat Governors in leadership positions, he has shown that he shares the Oregon values of volunteerism and community.
Yeah. "Democrat Governors."
Mr. Alley, if you're trying to pitch Democrats, let's not use the right-wing insult version of the name. It's "Democratic Governors". This is the Democratic Party, and we're Democratic voters.
Yeah, it's not a big deal gramatically. But, as TPM's Josh Marshall points out, it's infantile and disrespectful:
The whole issue of 'Democrat' party -- other than as an example of Republican infantilism -- is an issue of respect or rather intentional and repeated expression of disrespect as a means of asserting dominance.
The Atlantic Monthly's Matthew Yglesias goes further - explaining the deliberate strategy at play here:
The key charge against liberals is that we're weak. Weak on Communism. Weak on crime. Weak on terrorism. Weak-minded, soft-hearted, weak, weak, weak. Well, what's the key sign of weakness: a person who won't stand up for themselves.
To call someone by something other than the name he wishes to be called by is rude. To make a mistake is forgivable, but to persist -- deliberately -- in declining to use your adversary's proper name is rude and insulting. It's not a big deal unless you take standing up for yourself to be a big deal. When Democrats go on TV and let a conservative get away with the phrase "Democrat Party" it's signaling that Democrats are weak. They're too weak to stand up for themselves. They're too weak to have a sense of group solidarity or party loyalty. They're inclined to let things slide. They don't want to make a scene. They don't like to have a fight. They're weak. Is a political party that can't even protect its own name really going to keep America safe?
Mr. Alley, if you really want to win the votes of Democrats, you're going to have to do more than manufacture fake endorsements from our Governor. At a minimum, you're going to have to tell your staff to stop launching gratuitous insults.
I'm looking forward to your next email.