An email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) suggested a few different bumper sticker slogan options for donors to choose from on Wednesday — and the reactions online were decidedly uninspired. Among the options sent by the group, whose aim is to to get more Democrats elected, the one that was probably the most talked about — read: mocked — on Twitter was a sticker that read "Democrats 2018: I mean, have you seen the other guys?"
While the slogan was undoubtedly meant to be tongue-in-cheek — offered up alongside others like "She persisted, we resisted," and "make Congress blue again" — many on the receiving end of the email, after realizing that, yes, they were real, were unimpressed. Within a few hours, disgruntled Dems and some critics from both sides of the aisle had taken to Twitter, calling the suggestions "embarrassingly bad," reminiscent of satirical sign gags on The Simpsons (not in the good way), and arguing that they were a tone-deaf move representative of an out-of-touch Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the organization's Republican counterpart quickly took this apparent gaffe as an opportunity to raise funds from its own base. On its website, the National Republican Congressional Committee encouraged its donors to "Get ready for 2018 Democratic failures today!", along with its own parody sticker that says "Democrats 2018: We win moral victories, not elections."
it's very real, just arrived in my inbox pic.twitter.com/FKJmwHXR83— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) July 5, 2017
For some, the reaction to the stickers was overblown, making what might've been a glib one-off joke into a full-out messaging crisis.
Robert W. Howard, the communications director for the North Carolina Democratic Party tweeted that "the collective hyperventilating over some @dccc fundraising stickers today is the internet at its stupidest."
Other Twitter users shared similar sentiments, calling for attention to be paid to more important issues.
I'm glad we're all properly mad at the Democrats (DNC? DCCC? Unclear!) for the real crime, coming out with some shitty stickers.— Rebecca Schoenkopf (@commiegirl1) July 5, 2017
Expressing some concerns over the priorities, shortcomings, and future of the Democratic party — especially after a devastating performance in 2016 — the reaction to the stickers was overwhelmingly critical. But those online critics certainly didn't lack a sense of humor.
The parodies — featuring Looney Tunes characters, Tumblr fandom favorites and, of course, some good old fashioned desperation — employed some cringe-worthy Microsoft Paint skills to take aim at the tone that seemed to miss the mark for so many.
not sure what everyone’s complaining about with these new DCCC bumper stickers pic.twitter.com/5mdzqRIQ4x— Debussy Fields (@shakespeherian) July 5, 2017
Regardless of how the DCCC's stickers fair, both parties will undoubtedly be under increased scrutiny heading into a pivotal year for elections. And, if the reaction to these stickers are any indication, for Democrats, there's little room for sloppy slogans or uninspiring messaging.