Something is wrong on the Internet, and a pro-Clinton Super PAC intends to fix it. Specifically, Correct The Record has pledged to spend up to $1 million to push back against anti-Hillary messaging on Facebook, Reddit and Instagram. What could possibly go awry? Plenty, as anyone ever caught up in an online sock puppet war can tell you.
At the very least, putting up Clinton-friendly messaging in response to negative posts about her is perfect troll-bait, encouraging even more attacks. The comments themselves will almost certainly be held up for derision, particularly on a site like Reddit, where conversations veer into dark corners of the human psyche at the drop of a hat. God help the commenters if they try to hide the fact that they're working with the PAC, too – online lynch mobs would form as soon as they were discovered (and discovered they would be).
Besides the risk of blowback, also note that Correct The Record seems to think that it's immune from the normal rules about PACs and campaigns collaborating. Since their activities are online, they claim that a loophole allows them to coordinate their actions. This sounds fishy to me, but with the FEC largely paralyzed, they may be able to pull it off this year.
Trump & Cruz: Hurting Republican Field And Digital Infrastructure?
It's no secret that many Republican big-money donors aren't happy with the most likely Republican presidential nominees (even Charles Koch may prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz). Now we have evidence that the resulting poor RNC fundraising is hurting the party's attempts to build infrastructure in battleground states. The party is lagging behind in its grassroots staffing, for example, with scores of planned positions left unfilled.
If Trump or Cruz is the eventual nominee, one option may be to set up a dedicated fund for Senate races, specifically to include field, grassroots and digital help. Even if their White House hopes seem to be doomed, watch for big Republican donors to funnel their money to congressional and state-level races.
Blowback Alert: Sanders Superdelegate Edition
More fun on the grassroots front: as has been reported, Sanders supporters have been publicly posting contact information for Democratic superdelegates and encouraging people to help “persuade” them to endorse the Vermont senator.
I spoke with a superdelegate recently who's publicly backing Clinton and who's been hearing about it from the Sanders grassroots. Activists have sent her harsh condemnations via email and Tweets that include things like "traitor" and "bitch", plus a four-letter word that rhymes with "stunt". Her point, besides annoyance and disgust: why would calling her names possibly convince her to change her position? If anything, Bernie's over-zealous and self-selected "ambassadors" may do him more harm than good.
Email Subject Line of the Month: "Bootlicking Wannabes"
Those words appeared at the top of a recent fundraising message from Kay Daly, a Republican House candidate in North Carolina’s 2nd district. A strict conservative, she takes aim at "Republicans In Name Only" and pledges a RINO hunt that may or may not be entirely metaphorical. Daly preaches a pure strain of the faith, placing her hopes in "voters who are sick and tired of political correctness and overly sensitive homosexuals and pro-abortion feminists and gun-grabbers and Mother Earth worshippers and overspending and over-regulation and endless taxation.” Now that’s a mouthful.
The "Bootlicking wannabes" in her email are other candidates who "vote how they're told" by corrupt party leaders who've apparently knuckled under to our PC overlords. Other recent Daly subject lines include "I'm not going to Washington to make friends” and "Do you think I was too blunt.” For making my inbox a more interesting place, I'll award her the full 10 points for style. You be you, girl. Just please, not in a position of public trust.
Colin Delany is founder and editor of the award winning Epolitics.com, a fifteen-year veteran of online politics and a perpetual skeptic. See something interesting? Send him a pitch at email@example.com