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Archive for October, 2010

It is a phenomenon all women experience sooner ot later, married or single,  with a brood or childless.  You say (or think) a sentence, and you realize that your mom has just popped out of your mouth.  It has happened to me before, and this morning, on opening my email, it occurred once again.  There was this compelling product of wordsmithing:

Still4Hill — (My real name here)

We all have a choice to make in the next seven days.

It’s not just a choice to vote, or a choice to knock on one more door, make one more call, talk to one more voter.

Together, the choice we must make is to continue what we started.

The outcome of this election will determine not just who holds power in the halls of Congress. The decision we make in this election is going to set the direction of this country for years to come.

I need you fired up in Metropolis. (My real city here)

Still4Hill, I need you to give it everything you got. And I need your help to power our work until we reach that finish line.

Democrats are running the most ambitious get-out-the-vote program ever attempted in an election like this. Every dollar you can give today will be put right to work to get our message out, to provide the tools our volunteers need.

And every donation will be doubled because it will be matched by another supporter who is giving what he or she can afford.

Will you donate $3 today — and fund the final push?

I know this is a difficult election. It’s because we have been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation, and many are still hurting.

But our opponents in this election are some of the very people who got us into this mess — some of the very people who stood on the sidelines while we worked to clean it up. Now they are promising to pursue the exact same agenda that led us into this crisis.

It’s an agenda that was written by and for the special interests that have fought this movement at every turn. Worse, these groups that stand to profit from the Republican agenda are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence this election — flooding the airwaves with misleading ads to attack our best allies.

It’s up to each of us to raise our voices to beat them back.

So if you care about the critical reforms we made to a broken health care system, I need your voice.

If you care about fighting for middle class families, and building a country where opportunity is shared by everyone — I need your voice.

If you care about climate change — and a future where clean-energy technology is built right here in America — I need your voice.

If you share a vision of America that says I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — I need your voice.

I did not run for this office for the sake of winning an election. And you did not join me in this fight two years ago to quit now.

I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the last few months. You have come through time after time. But I can promise you this: There is one week to go — what all of you do right now will decide this election.

So, if you believe in the change we have made together, I need you to stand behind it. If you believe we are not finished seeking that change, I need you to choose to fight for it.

Please donate $3 or more — and let’s finish strong in the last seven days:

http://my.democrats.org/FiredUp

Thank you,

Barack

“Lord give me patience!” Voice of mom came out of my mouth.  Of course I had not expected that the previous post here about the lost art of etiquette would change the insistently rude and ignorant path these folks have chosen, and I was floored to see, in my own mailbox, a request like the one Uppity Woman referred to in the comment thread on that post: Three ($3) dollars?  Seriously?  Can he BE any more pitiful?

First, let’s take a look at the vehicle, and you need a little history here.  I joined Moveon.org in 2004 and never bothered to rescind my membership since they promised when they endorsed Obama that they would leave me, a Hillary supporter, alone.  Weeellllll (voice of Lucy Ricardo) not really.  They did bother me again after Denver, and they gave my email addy to Organizing for America the agency serving as the collection arm for my requested $3.

Moveon.org served as the vehicle to deliver my invitation to Obama Camp in 2008.  They seemed to think I had the mentality of a fifth grader (a male one, at that, based on some Ralphie Parker prototype) who would be impressed by having the title “Field Organizer,”  and there was a not-so-veiled threat of ominous consequences should I accept this weekend of training on their dime,  and then go AWOL when ordered to my assigned battleground state.  Just charming.  How could  possibly resist?

I should not be surprised if they now think I am in Middle School and can scrape together $3 somehow.

Secondly, let’s take a look at the content.  I need to get this one off my plate ASAP:

“I did not run for this office for the sake of winning an election.

Really? Somehow that does not quite jell with the fact that  Obama has spent months (I have not been counting, but the past 18 is a conservative estimate), not weeks, Rachel Maddow, months “campaigning” which often consists of barking and yelling at the American people. Once again, charming.

As Hillary Clinton departs again today and enters her 22nd month of tireless travel signing treaties all over the globe,  her administration does not lift a single pinkie-finger to push those treaties through Congress.  Monumental among these is the New START Treaty which Hillary and Sergei Lavrov and their teams hammered out over a long series of months and meetings.  Obama was happy enough to fly off to Prague to sign it last April, but where is the follow-up?  (I won’t bother you with his picture here.  I didn’t save any.  Hillary was radiant at what she and Lavrov had accomplished, and for my $3 … or more, she is MUCH easier on the eyes.)  Vital here is the protective nature of this treaty.  But, of course, I suppose it is too much to expect START to get in the way of campaigning.

The Obama administration has the worst record for treaty ratification in fifty years.  The president has been so busy campaigning and telling us we have to “do better” that while he had a majority in both houses, he failed to use it to the advantage of his supposed platform

Now, I receive these marching orders.  Before I jump ten feet in the air, what does his platform consist of?

  • Shared opportunity
  • Climate change
  • I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper. (Wha’?????)

I have no idea what that last is supposed to mean,  but as my sister’s keeper, I would like to see something on there about how her hard work COULD be protecting us IF he would just mount an effort to push START through.

If anyone thinks it will be an easier push after November 2, dream on.  That is when he will likely try to call in Big Dawg to get a bipartisan approval of Hillary’s treaties.

Third, and finally, there is grammar.  It is bad enough that the niceties of correspondence are once again ignored.  I thoroughly understand politicians using colloquialisms on the (flawed) theory that it better frames their messages to “the common man (and woman).”  I fail, however, to understand why a supposedly well-educated official would write a sentence like this:

Still4Hill, I need you to give it everything you got.

Everything I got? Got from where, from whom?  As a member of the Nitpicker Society I would have preferred “everything you’ve got” or even the more British “everything you have. ”   But “everything I got?”  So far, I got nothing except a bad impression from a man who purports to stand as a role model for youth.  If these folks really do think I have a seventh grade mentality,  it would be exemplary of them to mind their tense usage in writing to such simple and immature recipients as me (and Ralphie Parker).

Finally, about this upcoming trip to India:  It is rude not to sample the food in a country you are visiting.  The chefs  and owners take great pride in having served you well.   Your Secretary of State knows this very well, not from her whirlwind months of zipping around the globe for you, but from many years of experience in D.C.  Of course I should know better than to expect better since I know what I “got”:  a rude and arrogant POTUS who is the polar opposite of the populist he makes himself out to be.

So Lord, give me patience, to accept the things I cannot change.  Do not make me go down there!

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I have written on this subject on these pages in the past, and as the runup to the mid-terms foreshortens, the subject rears its exasperating head once again.  Party leaders and functionaries are rattling off emails at an amazing rate in efforts to collect funds for battleground contests.  In the process, they have allowed common manners to fall by the wayside.

The character of communications from arms of the Democratic Party went through a transition that I noted long ago,  specifically in August 2008,  when the leadership of the party changed.  The morning after Michelle Obama spoke at the convention (and apparently to the writer, less notably, Teddy Kennedy who appeared despite disapproval from his family and doctors), I received an email from Barack Obama addressing me by my first name with no salutation asking me if Michelle was not the most electrifying speaker at the convention thus far.  I was appalled!  First by the lack of regard for Teddy’s gallant gesture (even though I disagreed that he should ever have endorsed Obama) and secondly by the shameful lack of etiquette. I was more accustomed to the courteous ways of the Clinton campaign.

Well, the behavior remains intact.  While Gentleman Bill is out there trying his best to set an example of how to approach voters, the Democratic leadership continues on its insistently rude path.  Here are three examples of communications in my inbox over the past two days.  There were many more, but these three are sufficient, I think, to make my point.

First this, from I-am-the-POTUS himself.  N.B. This is edited to break the links and a live-linked graphic has been removed.  If being addressed in this way motivates you to contribute, you will have to seek out the website.  I will not provide the link here.

Still4Hill — (of course my real first  name was here)

Two years ago, you joined millions of Americans to assemble a grassroots movement to move this county forward.

Even though we’ve made extraordinary progress, entrenched power concedes nothing without a fight. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, the very same special interests that we are finally holding accountable are now spending unlimited amounts of money on political attack ads to try and take our country back.

That’s why we’ve got to fight their millions of dollars with millions of grassroots supporters who are ready to finish what we began in 2008.

Right now, my Democratic allies in the House are preparing for the final days of this campaign. Your support to help them raise $1 million before Tuesday will determine how many doors they can knock on, how many phones they can dial, and how many Democratic voters they can get to the polls.

Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of my great Democratic partners in the House. Your support will be matched by a group of generous Democrats.

My partners in the House led by our remarkable Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have done extraordinary work to get our economy back on track and clean up the mess left over by the other side.

But rather than remind ourselves of all that we have accomplished, now is the time to recognize all of the things that will remain undone unless we are just as focused, just as energized, and just as excited as we were in 2008. That is what will make the difference in the days ahead.

Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of my great Democratic partners in the House. Your support will be matched by a group of generous Democrats.

If you can dig a little deeper, knock on a few more doors, talk to a few more of your friends and neighbors, we will be successful in this election and continue working to reclaim the American Dream for the next generation.

I am grateful for all that you’ve done already in this election. But now I need you to do a little more. When polls close on Election Night, we cannot have a single regret, not when the stakes are this high.

Barack Obama

P.S. Right now, my Democratic allies in the House are preparing for the final days of this campaign. Your support will help to determine how many doors they can knock on, how many phones they can dial, and how many Democratic voters they can get to the polls. Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts.

Then there was this charming piece of correspondence.

hey everyone- the great polling we’ve seen this week had an inevitable consequence. Karl Rove just announced another $4 million of spending into 4 key races: WA, IL, NV, CO. This is a significant amount of money and threatens the gains we’ve made in these states.

we’re are on the cusp of a complete turnaround from a month ago, but we need money to fend this off. There are 9 races within 2 percentage points, so Rove’s move here could very easily tip the balance. We can’t let this slip away only 12 days out.

If we get $60,000 in the bank by midnight tonight we will counter the GOP through the weekend. if we don’t, attacks will go unanswered.

chip in $5 so we can fight them thru the weekend

Thanks for helping us fight.

Martha McKenna
Political Director
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)

Hey? No uppercase initial letter? What? Well, at least she said “thank you,” but this hardly motivates me to dedicate my hard-earned cash.

Here is a final example, and a fine one, from Gentleman Bill, Hillary Clinton’s country squire who is doing his best to repay her supporters with his own backing while exemplifying the way some of us are accustomed to being asked to help.

Dear Still4Hill, (again, my real first name was here)

12 days from Election Day, and you’ve got to hand it to the Republicans — they’re honest. They say in no uncertain terms what they’d do if they get control of Congress.

Exactly what they did before. All that bad economic policy that got us into this mess? There’ll be a lot more of it if they win. So we need to come together right now and stop these guys before it’s too late. I need your help immediately.

The pundits say we’re going to get clobbered — but there are 15 Senate races that could go either way. If they win 10, they take control of the Senate. Yes, it’s that close.

That’s why what you do this second matters. Please make an immediate contribution to the DSCC. The DSCC must raise $300,000 by midnight tonight to move some of these tight races our direction, and they can’t do it without your help.

Please click here and make an immediate $5 donation to the DSCC. There’s no path to victory unless the DSCC raises $300,000 by midnight tonight. Meeting this goal is so important that if you give today, your gift will be matched—doubling your impact. Let’s stop all the prognosticating and prove we can win.

We Democrats have a sensible plan to create jobs in small business, manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure, and to bring the budget back into balance as the economy grows.

Republicans are resting their political hopes on three things: anger, apathy and amnesia. We Democrats don’t work that way. We come up with solutions. So why don’t we come up with a solution to this problem we’re facing right now—the problem of this upcoming election? How are we going to stop the anger, apathy and amnesia and get people to look at the issues?

The answer is for each and every one of us to remember what it’s like to live under Republican control. And when we do that, we’ll realize that we have to give as much as we can right now to the DSCC, which can help bring the issues to the fore and get our Democratic candidates elected.

Click here to make an immediate $5 contribution to the DSCC. They simply must raise $300,000 by midnight tonight so Democratic candidates have the resources they need to compete in these tight races. Meeting this goal is so important that if you give today, your gift will be matched—doubling your impact.

Remember, folks, if we don’t win in November, here are some of the Republicans’ “solutions” to our current economic crisis that we’ll have to live with: cut taxes for the wealthy, give handouts to corporations and deregulate the financial sector. That’s right. They want to repeal our financial oversight bill that limits risky, job killing lending and bans future bailouts. They want to add $100 billion to the debt by repealing health care reform and giving control back to health insurance companies. They want to repeal landmark student loan reform, to make college more expensive, loans harder to repay, and add $60 billion to the debt. They want to cut $100 billion from education, the environment, clean air, food safety, air traffic control and homeland security and still increase the debt another $1 trillion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we seen all this before? Aren’t these the kinds of policies that put us in this hole to begin with?

If I can leave you with one thought, it’s this: You can make a difference. You can give $5, $10 or $20 to the DSCC. You can get out and talk to your friends. And you can hold your head up high and work for a better America.

Sincerely,

Bill Clinton

Salutation: “Dear”
Complimentary closing: “Sincerely”

“Please click here….”

“If I can leave you with one thought….”

(I can see why Hillary loves her Bill.)

Is it the digital revolution that has provoked this disconcerting lack of common courtesy?  I tend to think so.  Obama’s youth coalition may have been impressed by his young techie team’s use of the “social” networks,  but their mastery of social skills leaves a lot to be desired.  Before anybody goes calling me a nitpicky old fogey, let me point out that crucial in this bad job market is the impressive letter of recommendation.  Yes, these are still required along with resumés and applications, both for jobs and for university programs – you want to know someone who can write a good one!

As a person who writes a good many letters of recommendations on a regular basis, I refer the current Democratic leadership to the following very simple to follow model with terminology.  Or, you can just actually look at and read Bill Clinton’s lovely example before simple-mindedly hitting “send” and zooming it all over cyberspace.

Old American proverb: You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

If you want my money,  and you want my vote, respect me.  I am not a cash cow.  I am a citizen, voter, and to you, Mr. POTUS,  your employer!  Treat me with some common human courtesy, please.  It is very simple, a matter of a few words.  You see, as I am always saying, words are important.  They mean something.  It is very easy to use a magic few and,  in doing so, acknowledge human respect.  It is ill-bred not to.  The Clintons know this.  They always have.  There is a place for the niceties in life.

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