Monthly Archives: June 2009

Direct action by the left and right online

While redstate.com provides endless tasty pellets of fail, no one is wrong all the time and they are doing at least one thing better than most if not all of us on the left side of the online room.

They call for, encourage, persuade and — importantly — facilitate electoral direct action from their readers.

They do this by providing contact information for persuadable members of congress, most often representatives rather than senators, who have not yet committed to vote yes or no on a particular piece of legislation. The admins at redstate then encourage their readers, like foot soldiers in an electoral army, to call and respectfully ask that the representative vote in their preferred manner.

They are going all out right now on the cap and trade house bill.

Scroll down for a shameless copy and paste of the list of reps and their contact info redstate posted.

Paradoxically, whether their calls are effective in changing the vote is, in at least some sense, of secondary importance. In this particular instance, the chips were always against cap and trade, just as they are against the so called ‘public option’ in health care reform legislation. Even if their calls are not instrumental in causing a bill to fail, they can nevertheless claim credit.

But, if many of them call representatives and their direct action becomes the subject of discussion on various posts and threads, then they have strengthened their sense of community, their network, around this direct action. And discussing it cements it in the way campfire stories have cemented legends and myths for eons.

And further, whether they win or lose, in terms of blocking unwanted or passing wanted bills, is also of secondary importance.

If a bill they campaign against goes down to defeat, they can of course claim credit for killing it, whether or not their efforts had any real impact. But, even if the bill they work to defeat ends up being passed, they can still benefit in the longer term from the sense of community and network building and strengthening that result from the fight against it.

This readiness to call for and engage in online direct action probably goes back to the direct mail (mis)information pamphlets and their accompanying calls for similar direct action put out by Richard Viguerie and others on the right for decades.

It is a tactic that has long term strategic implications. The online left would do well to consider how to adopt it to our purposes.

Target These Representatives Today for Calling
Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
Thursday, June 25th at 2:19PM EDT
47 Comments
They are the swing votes on H.R. 2454, the Cap and Trade legislation.

If you live in their district, call now. If you don’t live in their district, go here to find your Congressman and call now.

Representative

District

Phone Number

Bright

AL-02

334-277-9113

Griffith

AL-05

256-551-0190

Berry

AR-01

870-972-4600

Ross

AR-04

501-520-5892

Mitchell

AZ-05

480-946-2411

Giffords

AZ-08

520-881-3588

Cardoza

CA-18

209-527-1914

Costa

CA-20

559-495-1620

Schiff

CA-29

626-304-2727

Harman

CA-36

310-643 3636

Baca

CA-43

909-888-2222

Sanchez

CA-47

714-621-0102

Salazar

CO-03

970-245-7107

Boyd

FL-02

850-561-3979

Bishop

GA-02

229-439-8067

Marshall

GA-08

478-464-0255

Barrow

GA-12

706-722-4494

Scott

GA-13

770-210-5073

Boswell

IA-03

515-282-1909

Minnick

ID-01

208-667-0127

Donnelly

IN-02

574.288.2780

Ellsworth

IN-08

812-465-6484

Hill

IN-09

812-288-3999

Moore

KS-03

785-842-9313

Chandler

KY-06

859-219-1366

Melancon

LA-03

225.621.8490

Kravotil

MD-01

202-225-5311

Michaud

ME-02

207-942-6935

Childers

MS-01

662-841-8808

Taylor

MS-04

228.864.7670

Shuler

NC-11

828-252-1651

Pomeroy

ND

701-224-0355

Arcuri

NY-24

315-252-2777

Wilson

OH–06

740-633-5705

Space

OH-18

330-364-4300

Altmire

PA-04

724-378-0928

Thompson

PA-05

814-353-0215

Murphy

PA-08

215-826-1963

Carney

PA-10

570-585-9988

Holden

PA-17

717-234-5904

Herseth-Sandlin

SD

605-367-8371

Davis

TN-04

202.225.6831

Cooper

TN-05

615-736-5292

Gordon

TN-06

615-896-1986

Tanner

TN-08

731-885-7070

Cuellar

TX-28

210-271-2851

Matheson

UT-02

801-486-1236

Nye

VA-02

757-326-6201

Perriello

VA-05

434-293-9631

and here’s a follow up post with more reps and their contact info:

Add these Republicans to the Cap & Trade Phone Calls
Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
Thursday, June 25th at 3:38PM EDT
24 Comments
Add these Republicans to the list of people to call about Cap and Trade.

Tell them to vote no on H.R. 2454.

Vern Buchanan (FL-13): 202-225-5015
Joseph Cao (LA-02): 202-225-6636
Vern Ehlers (MI-03): 202-225-3831
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11): 202-225-5034
Jim Gerlach (PA-06): 202-225-4315
Tim Johnson (IL-15): 202-225-2371
Mark Kirk (IL-10): 202-225-4835
Chris Smith (NJ-04): 202-225-3765

Update: Rightwing fail. TPM reports that the House narrowly passed the bill by a 219-212 margin. Very good news and now it goes to the Senate.

Update II: The redstaters are not doing the happy dance about this.

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Republican racist trifecta

No.

Not these three geniuses.

I’m talking about good ole fashioned white racism directed at black people (despite, of course, Barack Obama’s mixed racial makeup…)

In South Carolina, a Republican party “activist” calls an escaped gorilla an ancestor of Michelle Obama.

And again in South Carolina, a Republican party “strategist” tweets that Obama is going to tax aspirin “because it’s white and it works.”

And in Tennessee, a Republican “administrative assistant” sends out a picture of all 44 presidents, with the slot for Obama nothing more than a dark screen with only two eyes visible.

But don’t you dare call them racist. That’s just mean of you…

Note: This post corrects the error in the earlier version in which I wrote that the South Carolina “activist,” Rusty Depass, was from Wisconsin.

Update: The South Carolina state NAACP isn’t accepting the non apology from Rusty Depass concerning his goriall as Michelle Obama ancestor “jest.”

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Deliberately counterfactual

What is it with the right these days?

I admit to being perplexed by their cunning plan to deviate from all that is factual.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but it seems a big gamble against unlikely odds: convincing everyone else that up is down, right is left and wrong is right.

Of course, I don’t think it will work. But they do.

Update: David Neiwart profoundly takes down this ridiculous rightwing meme

Update II: I guess next they’ll try to claim these “minutepeople” rightwing nutbags are also actually really leftists in disguise.

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Loose lips

The Hill reports this morning that Republicans are telling tales out of school regarding information from a closed, and ostensibly secret, House intelligence committee briefing.

“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” [Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.)] said.

Sounds like a clear, unequivocal declaration, no? Or maybe more like a carefully parsed, cya muddle of weasel words…?

I don’t know much about Kline, but he was backing up Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who, along with most Republicans, doesn’t have much credibility on the matter of criticizing the veracity of the CIA.

The Republicans in congress also include members who claim — including Hoekstra — we found wmd in Iraq, that evolution is suspect and that climate change due to global warming is a vast left wing scientific community anti capitalist scam.

As The Hill article makes clear, this ties back to the flap over Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the CIA misled her regarding the use of waterboarding as well as former president vice president Dick Cheney’s claim that there are documents proving that torture yielded evidence that foiled terrorist plots.

Of course, senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) strongly disputed that claim. This is of course subjective, but, as far as I’m concerned, Levin beats Cheney hands down in a contest over credibility any day of the week.

The Democrats in congress should open everything up for review, including what the CIA said to who and when. The fact that they’re not doing so could indicate some complicity in the torture question.

But even if some, uh, past flexibility, on the issue would come to light a a result of full disclosure, they would still be better served by that tack than they are by keeping mum on the issue and letting the Republicans make claims they are unwilling to refute.

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the fever swamp

In the wake of Dr Tiller’s assassination by right wing terrorist Scott Roeder, many on the right are revealing a lot about their thought processes.

“Operation Rescue” head Randall Terry said he “reaped what he sowed,” meaning he got what he deserved. Then he tried to mooch beer and hot wings off of the gaggle at the National Press Club.

The majority of the erstwhile saviors of the Republican Brand at redstate, to their credit, are denouncing the assassination. But there are exceptions and these exceptions, as with others on the far far right exhibiting bad behavior, are not being banned as is almost always the case for someone on the left who makes remarks that are deemed outside the bounds of their version of acceptable discourse. Along with calling Tiller a murderer, the other major tone of their discussion, however, is how the mean ole leftists and lib’rul media will use this murder to attack the right.

Bill O’Reilly takes the rationalization one step further and refuses to “backtrack” from his repeated assertions that Tiller should be called “Tiller the Baby Killer” and such gems as calling his clinic a “death mill” and comparing him to the Nazis.

And the list goes on and on and on.

So many on the right refuse to consider that their invectives might be the least bit responsible for this kind of domestic terrorism. But they are.

And, today, there have been no less than four front page posts about the killing of a military recruiter and wounding of another in Arkansas. They are claiming this black guy who converted to Islam, and who was acting alone, is a real terrorist and that the militant white Christian Roeder is merely an everyday murderer — nothing to see here folks. Move along.

No doubt they will keep flogging this. A commenter in one of their stories says it’s already on Drudge. I’m sure Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity and the other drum beaters will run with it.

And, no doubt, it will work with “the base.” But to the vast majority outside the echo chamber, it will sound like what it is: shrill and lame attempts to rationalize their years and years of fear mongering.

One of the reasons McCain lost so badly last November is that people saw him casting about for any way to attack Obama, moving from one ridiculous tactic to another with no coherent strategy or vision. It was just a mad, frantic day to day scramble to find ways to bring down his opponent.

That also describes the behavior of the right for quite a while now, from long before the election right up to today. It is most recently evinced in their scatter shot attacks on Sonia Sotomayor. They jump from one attack to the next without thinking. They are desperate and it shows. It is almost painful to watch.

Desperation is not something people like to see in political leaders or movements.

Update: that didn’t take long…

Update II: I would of course hope it would be clear from the tenor and tone of my post, but just to go on record: I of course condemn the killing of the recruiter and wounding of another. I don’t support the death penalty, but, if the accused is in fact guilty of the murder and attempted murder, he should spend most if not all of the rest of his life behind bars.

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