February 17, 2009
Where Did They Get That Idea
By Jim Babka

Quote of the Day: "He who has the gold, rules." - The Golden Rule of Politics

Subject: Where did they get the idea that Congress should Read the Bills?

Only three Republicans supported the scam-stimulus bill. Even though the rest of the GOP opposed it. And yet, to paraphrase Shakespeare's Marc Antony, "I come not to praise these Republicans, but to bury them."

Many DC Downsizers contacted me last week with the news that everyone, everywhere, seemed to be discussing the failure of Congress to read the scam-stimulus bill. The Republicans made it their main talking point . . .

* The Heritage Foundation did it. 

* The Dayton Daily News mentioned it.

* Governor Mike Huckabee on FoxNews thieved a line I've used in a thousand interviews -- "They couldn't have read this bill if they were using their Evelyn Woods speed-reading training."

* Even a Democrat, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, told CNSNews that his colleagues wouldn't have time to read it, and a conservative news group turned that into a story. 

* And Representative Tom Price of Georgia, the head of the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC), put out a YouTube video that I encourage you to watch



But ask yourself this: "Why were Representative Price and his pals using "Read the Bills" as a talking point?" You can bet that . . .

* Some Republican spin doctor, like Frank Luntz, tested the idea, AND IT WORKS!
* It beat out several other ideas that didn't work as well
* The Republicans think they can use this idea without ever having to DO ANYTHING about it

Think about what this means . . .

* We can now have even more confidence that the "Read the Bills" idea is a winner, because we can be fairly sure the Republicans have TESTED IT with focus groups
* We can also be fairly sure the Republicans will use it again
* Every time they use it they'll be unwittingly advertising's "Read the Bills Act"
* This will make the direct mail we're about to do MORE EFFECTIVE!   

Do the Republicans really want to read their bills? Of course not. If they did they'd just go ahead and introduce our bill. But what they're overlooking is how their cynical use of the "read the bills" concept will help us to GROW, and speed the day when they will HAVE TO pass OUR "Read the Bills Act!"

We've come a long way in a short time. We've now made one of our proposals a part of the national political debate. And I know exactly how it happened . . .

* First, YOU bombarded Congress with nearly 150,000 messages about this issue, forcing more than FORTY Congressional offices to write form letters in response to your pressure.

* Second, a top Republican strategist has given me the chance, twice, to pitch the "Read the Bills Act" to more than a hundred conservative movement leaders, including a member of Tom Price's staff. And that same strategist mentioned our idea in his latest book. 

That's where the Republicans got the idea. We should be glad about this, but also angry that the politicians would steal the rhetoric without buying the principle.

It's up to us to make the politicians regret that they're giving our idea all this free advertising. If the Republicans want to play with our fire, then we should burn them with it. The Republicans may think they're winning a rhetorical victory, but we think they're making a strategic mistake that will play into our hands.

People are hearing about the "read the bills" idea -- now they need to hear about YOUR "Read the Bills Act."

Our operating budget is covered, so any money you give today will go to mail letters to people telling them about the "Read the Bills Act," and recruiting them to join EXPLOIT what the Republicans are doing, and punish them for their merely rhetorical use of our idea. Please, make a donation now.

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But we could really use some $1,000 and $2,000 warriors, and a $10,000 or more superhero. If you want to make that kind of donation, but want to talk to me about it first, just hit reply and let me know.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President, Inc.   

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