Saturday, December 19, 2009
THE GIFT FROM AFAR
Santa's FINALLY laughing. "HO! Ho! Ho!", he bellowed. "Can you BELIEVE these guys?" The Republicans had sent me a GIFT!
OK, now that you've fallen off your chairs at the thought of conservative Republicans sending ME, of all people, a GIFT, pick yourself up. What they really sent me was a little yellow envelope that contained their gift of tdistortion and spin, which caused Santa and I to laugh heartily. The yellow (?) envelope contained at top left the return address of "2010 Obama Agenda Survey / Republican National Committee / 310 First Street, SE / Washington, DC 20003". (Not too tough a zip code to figure out: they're now a 2nd rate party, are full of zeroes, and are 3rd in popularity behind Democrats and Independents. I'll remember that one pretty easily). Below their return address was a box containing my congressional district, and, at bottom left, in bold capital letters, was printed the command "DO NOT DESTROY." I thought, "THIS oughta be rich!", so I opened up the envelope.
Inside, I was met with a 15 question survey with questions so skewed in the way they were framed, it almost looked like Lou Dobbs or Glenn Beck had designed the questionnaire. There were circles of YES, NO, or NO OPINION for the respondent to fill in. (Naturally, being a thorough person, I not only filled in the circles, but wrote in comments as well). Here is how the questions read:
1. Do you agree with Barack Obama and the Democrats that taxes should be raised for the sake of "fairness," regardless of the negative impact it is likely to have on the economy?
2. Do you believe the federal government has gone too far in bailing out banks, insurance companies, and the auto industry?
3. Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?
4. Should English be the official language of the United States?
5. Are you in favor of granting retroactive Social Security eligibility to illegal immigrants who gain U.S. citizenship through an amnesty program?
6. Are you in favor of expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility (no time, education, or work requirements) that Democrats in Congress are pushing to pass?
7. Do you believe that Barack Obama's nominees for federal courts should be immediately and unquestioningly approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate?
8. Do you believe that the best way to increase the quality and effectiveness of public education in the U.S. is to raidly expand federal funding while eliminating performance standards and accountability?
9. Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.? (I added these italics for emphasis)--JJ
10. Do you believe that the quality and availability of health care will increase if the federal government dictates pricing to doctors and hospitals? (I added these italics for emphasis)---JJ
11. Are you confident that new medicines and medical treatments will continue to be developed if the federal government controls prescription drug prices and sets profit margins for research and pharmaceutical companies? (I added these italics for emphasis)---JJ
12. Are you in favor of creating a government-funded "Citizen Volunteer Corps" that would pay young people to do work now done by churches and charities, earning Corps Members the same pay and benefits given to military veterans?
13. Are you in favor of reinstituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?
14. Do you believe that the federal government should allow the unionization of Department of Homeland Security employees who serve in positions critical to the safety and security of the nation?
15. Do you support Democrats' drive to eliminate workers' right to a private ballot when considering unionization of their place of employment?
For those of us who closely follow the issues of the day, it was quite easy to see this was a blatantly transparent effort by the ultra-conservative Republican Party to scare the uninformed and independents into thinking the President and his party are off their rockers, are putting the country in jeopardy, are trying to control business, are encouraging a flood of new illegal immigrants, and are trying to force all workers into joining labor unions. (Geez---I thought sending obscenity like this through the mail was illegal)! It was another in a long and growing list of examples of how the GOP is trying to use fear and insinuation to undermine confidence in the President while offering nothing of substantive value themselves to help the country get past its very pressing problems of the moment. This sneaky and underhanded ploy, of course, is to sow such uncertainty around the President and Democrats in general that voters will fearfully turn to Republican candidates in 2010 and 2012.
This Republican technique of deliberate exaggeration, distortion, insinuation, and outright lie is disgraceful. Party Chairman Michael Steele, who authored an accompanying four page letter of appeal for funds, echoed in his appeal a lot of the same nonsensical charges which comprised the questionnaire. He should be ashamed of himself. No wonder Santa exclaimed, "can you BELIEVE these guys?" I sure can't!
After filling in my caustic comments and completing the survey, I dutifully mailed it back to the RNC. I rather doubt they'll ever bother sending ME another such "gift from afar." Happy holidays, everybody!