Social case study: The government shutdown? Democrats fight back online #EnoughAlready

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In September 2013, American politics exploded onto the web with a partial governement shutdown, and digital marketers got tough and took the fight to Twitter, email and beyond. And they made it personal with a massive campaign to hold Speaker John Boehner “responsible” for the shutdown. Here’s what they said…

Sector: Politics | Country: US | Objective: Petition, Social media followers | Format: Email, Twitter, Social media

Millions of people were mailed by the Organising for Action campaign who run, with a simple call to action: target one politician and hold them to account.

The message was clear enough “@SpeakerBoehner, you've lost control of the House. You can stop this -- end the shutdown. #EnoughAlready”


It’s one of the first times such a directly pointed attack has been made by a political group to target an individual beyond the opposing running mate team in an election, and as we were writing this story the traffic was already enough to swamp the politicians Twitter page.

At a glance summary:

• Direct emails to millions of people
• Strong call to action
• Pre-completed Twitter message
• New Twitter hashtag #EnoughAlready

The message was simple:

Friend --
They actually did it.
Because an extreme group of House Republicans refused to pass a real budget, the federal government has shut down.
These aren't just games. Speaker Boehner is letting one faction of one party in one chamber of Congress sabotage our economy. They shut down the government, and now some of them are ready to push us past the brink by refusing to do something every American does -- pay their bills.
If this makes you angry, that's because it should. This behavior from some Republicans in Congress is as irresponsible as it gets.
This fight just got a whole lot more real and a whole lot more urgent -- right now, we need to know who's going to help hold these Republicans accountable. Say you will:
Thanks -- more as we know it,
Jon Carson Executive Director Organizing for Action
P.S. -- If you're looking for somewhere to direct your frustration online, there's only one man who can stand up to this irresponsible behavior -- that's John Boehner. Tweet at him right now, and let him know you're holding him responsible.

View a screenshot of the letter below:


The campaign has already sparked fierce debate on Twitter, with many people who oppose Obama and his health reform plans using the #Enoughalready hashtag to voice their criticisms.


The President had tweeted shortly before the funding deadline: "A group of extremists in the House is hours away from shutting down the government. Tell them #EnoughAlready," and posted a link to an online petition in support of Obamacare.

Shortly after the deadline passed, he tweeted: "They actually did it. A group of Republicans in the House just forced a government shutdown over Obamacare instead of passing a real budget."

View the live Twitter updates for the #enoughalready hashtag here:

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