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A few days ago, I decided to take a whirlwind tour, travel across Kansas and Missouri and see several house of representative members give their pitch to their constituents about the state of the country.   After recording all of the town halls and meetings, I feel strongly that a fifty state strategy is not just for the good of the party, it's going to be a necessity if we want to keep a community dialog.   More and more, these districts are becoming out of reach because they live in a walled-off world that doesn't allow for outside viewpoints.

Worse, their congressmen and women specifically enable it.

I've had time to sit and watch through townhalls from three republicans, and they all gave the exact same spiel.. including virtually identical powerpoint presentations.

Those pitches were:

* The President has never submitted a "serious" budget, because he doesn't want "a budget that's real".

* Two of the Three Republicans pitched raising retirement age of Social Security to 67, phased in over 5 to 10 years.   They also proposed eliminating medicare for anyone earning more than $1 Million yearly (they provided no basis for either of these)

* Two used the example of Greece, contending the United States would be "like Greece" within a few years without massive austerity changes.

* "Medicare is a gut buster"

* "Democrats have forced the sequester measures on us because they wouldn't get serious and actually propose a budget"

* "President Obama has no intention to get a budget to us by the required February 4 deadline."

* "Don't worry, no one is going to confiscate your guns, we'll make sure of that.."

And so on.

What I realized as I did most of these was this:

Republicans are holding their "Meet the district" meetings during day.  Only one held a meeting that ran to 5PM.  All of the meetings were noon, 11am, 1PM, etc.   As one member in the gallery pointed out "Why don't we host these in an evening, where people could actually come."

There are no youth at any of these meetings; the youngest person at any of them would have been in the mid to late thirties.

The refrain that comes out most often, from all three house members is:  "Don't expect much to get done in the next two years, but we're hoping that after the 2014 elections, President Obama will feel motivated to care about his legacy and really give us a real budget/reform/something".   Including the suggestion he'd make rollbacks in his own health care plan to save his neck.. "it's such a bad idea".

At the same time, I met with people in those districts that had previously given money to democrats in their district and kept a flowchart.   Let me say, there is real money available for a candidate who wants to run in those districts and will take it seriously.

This is part of my biggest point: when you go long enough without ever being challenged you can say ridiculous things.   When there is no democratic presence in a district, it means that the Republican candidate is never questioned on any topic, as a result their districts are full of terrible information that goes unchecked.

Even if you lose, there is merit in running races.  After meeting with donors, I'm pretty confident we can mount a pretty solid campaign in District 2 (Kansas) and in some of the southern Missouri districts.

Now, it's about finding the candidates to do it.   We'll have to start working on that.  As I drove back to Kansas City today, I was reminded of the not so distant past, where Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore were democratic Representatives.   When Sebellius was our governor.  

Some districts in Kansas would be tough fights that you may not win.  But losing a fight for a seat is better then not contesting it at all.

Looking over all the video I captured in the last three days, I'm realizing that the months ahead are going to be full of a lot of this.   By the time we get to Summer, we will hopefully have some potential candidates and a plan.  

But opposition research without a candidate in districts that have went unchallenged is proving far more advantageous then I expected.

Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 10:49 AM PT: Update to have some video.   I have debated whether or not to include some video because it outs what I'm doing in some way.   On the other hand, they can't block me from meetings, so I guess it doesn't matter.

I have reserved some of the items I consider "interesting" especially the back and forths for much closer to 2014, but this is Representative Lynn Jenkins giving the standard spiel I heard repeatedly to her constituents.

(If you want more video, it's possible I recorded all of all of these)

The clip below is basically an explanation of the Republican Plan for the next few years, the seriousness of the president, and a gosh-shucks, sorry you're getting screwed.

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Kansas & Missouri Kossacks and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (145+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Oh Mary Oh, MRA NY, Andrew F Cockburn, Lorikeet, Teknocore, mookins, quill, Dogs are fuzzy, doinaheckuvanutjob, Aaa T Tudeattack, fumie, Rosaura, annetteboardman, eeff, blukat, helpImdrowning, Chaddiwicker, elwior, elziax, kurt, TheMeansAreTheEnd, native, NancyWH, plankbob, The grouch, viral, SD Goat, Molly Weasley, Foundmyvoice, WI Deadhead, NoMoreLies, wasatch, La Gitane, multilee, TRPChicago, Linda1961, gulfgal98, TracieLynn, banjolele, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, rchipevans, p gorden lippy, ATFILLINOIS, deha, WarrenS, LynChi, Sembtex, Smoh, salmo, tampaedski, hnichols, MKSinSA, rantsposition, xaxnar, peacestpete, Raggedy Ann, MKHector, randallt, NBBooks, onionjim, kerflooey, flatford39, slowbutsure, Shippo1776, philipmerrill, cybersaur, zerelda, stevie avebury, daveygodigaditch, third Party please, Its a New Day, Byron from Denver, Sue B, drofx, lcrp, Lily O Lady, Trendar, Nebraskablue, Gowrie Gal, SaintC, Siri, BB10, 417els, SuetheRedWA, dotsright, spooks51, linkage, Shockwave, prettygirlxoxoxo, Skennet Boch, bkamr, emmasnacker, sawgrass727, Thinking Fella, Happy Days, DrCoyle65, JanL, egarratt, FlyingToaster, DBunn, tapestry, getlost, certainot, Marjmar, sostos, evangeline135, Haf2Read, rapala, hlsmlane, Yo Bubba, OregonWetDog, bwren, SteelerGrrl, roses, ItsSimpleSimon, efrenzy, anodnhajo, tofumagoo, vivian darkbloom, JekyllnHyde, Emerson, maggiejean, exNYinTX, Robynhood too, ardyess, ThirtyFiveUp, pvasileff, Ckntfld, middleagedhousewife, ClickerMel, ladywithafan, zukesgirl64, Mistral Wind, Joy of Fishes, Gustogirl, mcgee85, BayAreaKen, SoCalJayhawk, RUNDOWN, elginblt, rbird, also mom of 5, citylights, skohayes

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:00:26 PM PST

  •  Daytimes to Draw the Senior Block Which is (40+ / 0-)

    their critical base for 2014. They were doing this kind of thing, and this kind of messaging, at this time in 2010 when we laughed our asses off at them, before the strategy handed us a historic defeat for either party.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:08:25 PM PST

    •  Yes, I thought about this (20+ / 0-)

      It seems to be a fitting tactic.   It's also big to make statements that seemingly infer that those lazy people are to blame, and one of the best audiences for that is the retired it seems

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:59:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems do the daytime thing too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ardyess

        I couldn't tell you the last time I heard about one of my local Dems having an event that was in a timeslot where I could go.

        Municipal level, state level, national level. Since 2004 I've been able to make exactly one national event. John kerry didn't have anything I could go to. Biden had one event I could make, only because it was on a weekend, during the 08 campaign. NOTHING during this past campaign season. NOTHING I can get to for senator.

        Argh.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:50:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You Could Have Driven A Few Miles (35+ / 0-)

    and been in my district in Southern Illinois and seen the same thing. I know this area of the nation. Lived in Kansas. Spent a lot of time in Missouri.

    I say it time and time again here, we should be winning these districts.

    Guns are an issue, I will admit. So are some social issues.

    But I can't tell you how as a "hippie liberal" (used to live in a much larger city) I talk to folks and they just agree, agree, and agree with me when I have more than 15 seconds to explain our POV.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:33:02 PM PST

    •  Seems to me (20+ / 0-)

      that those S. Illinois districts might be more willing than ever to listen to a non-confrontational, rational discussion about climate change.  Everyone saw the crops last summer. There's also a populist vibe in some of those communities - if they knew more about what Elizabeth Warren actually stands for, and more about sensible regulation of the banks and financial industry, they would probably support it.

      I also think there need to be more religious folks speaking up. Historically, there's always been plenty of that crazy over-the-top Southern Baptist thing which still holds sway in the Ozarks, but on the Illinois side of the river there's a tradition of more rational mainstream Protestantism with big islands of Catholics... S. Illinois was historically an interesting and diverse patchwork of religion and ethnicity.  But we've pretty much ceded religion to the Right.  The Archbishop of Joliet, near Chicago and which covers a lot of the central part of the state, is a guy named Daniel Jenky, and he's probably one of the craziest right-wing nut jobs out of that whole collection of idiots at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  I wish there was some way that more mainstream Catholics and even liberal Catholics could push back, because just as the GOP representatives in this area have moved way out to the extreme, so has the religious hierarchy.  They need a challenge.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:53:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for everything you are doing. I'm in PA (19+ / 0-)

    now, a NY transplant (due to a foreclosure - my daughter and I are living with my sister and her family) so the politics of KS and MO are pretty foreign but I've found your pieces on this fascinating!

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:01:26 PM PST

  •  Great points and timely diary! We need to (10+ / 0-)

    really address this and get moving on countering these republicans wherever we can.  Thanks so much.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

    by helpImdrowning on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:49:43 AM PST

    •  the crazy teabaggers are gonna take (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ardyess, Ckntfld, ladywithafan

      over the repub primaries again for 2014 too...so I do not put the house out of reach for 2014.  I mean, how many of these guys might get voted out in the primary because they voted to raise the debt ceiling or whatever?  And what kind of crazy person will take their place as nominee?

      There are a lot of possibilities, and we shouldn't give up on getting the whole congress back.

  •  Raising retirement age of Social Security to 67 (11+ / 0-)

    was done in the 1980s! My full retirement age is 66 and for younger folks it will be 67.

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:23:44 AM PST

  •  Ditto. (12+ / 0-)

    We have no excuse to let 2014 catch us by surprise, and it's never too early to start.  "Seize the day-if you don't, who will?"  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:31:40 AM PST

  •  Great stuff (11+ / 0-)

    Thank you for doing this and you are absolutely right.  It is so sad that their lies go unchallenged.  When all people hear is that and Rush, it's no wonder that they keep going further and further to the right.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:11:40 AM PST

    •  I moved from Wichita to NM in August 2008, during (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, JanL, Ckntfld, ladywithafan

      the height of Obama's first campaign. In Wichita I had surrounded myself with other Obama supporters, so I knew there were some progressive people in Kansas.

      The drive to NM, however, was quite a different story. I turned on my radio some 50 miles west of Wichita and was treated to a diatribe by Rush. I tried to find another station, but none available. Western Kansas is one small town after another and radio options are very limited. So, all throughout western KS, panhandle TX, and eastern NM I listened to Rush and other radio hosts who tell lies for money. What I was listening to was almost the polar opposite of what I'd been hearing in Wichita at progressive meetings and I was struck with the thought that if Rush and his cohorts were my only available options, I might be a conservative, too. Those folks in outlying areas DO NOT HEAR OPPOSING ARGUMENTS. They certainly don't have (or didn't have in 2008) any other radio choice.

      I grew up in eastern NM in a ranching area and farming area. Many people there spend a lot of time in tractors or driving the range in their pickups with only their radios for entertainment/information/news. They have and use guns to protect their livestock from predators. They attend conservative churches on a regular basis. They're good folks, but right now they're only hearing Rush's side of the story. It's going to take a while to get some of these folks on our side, but I believe it can be done.

      The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

      by Hanging Up My Tusks on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:19:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a lengthy conversation with my brother (13+ / 0-)

    a suburban business owner, GOP (sometimes sounding like he is libertarian these days) and a person who has gradually limited his information to Fox News.  Your summary was an exact replica of what he was arguing.

    I appreciate your promotion of the idea that running even when you lose changes the atmosphere because it seems our state Democrats have done the opposite, not bothering to support candidates in any way if they perceive they might lose.  There is so much more collaboration and mentoring between candidates that could take place at a minimal cost for one thing.  Also, as you said, if the opportunity to take questions from voters and present a challenge to the group think was valued in its own right I think it would gradually turn the tide.

    I feel organizing on the ground campaign efforts in every county will make a huge difference because it adds up so quickly even with a few committed and experienced volunteers in each low population district.  It will also mean no area is "safe" and will challenge the gerrymandering fiasco.

  •  South Dakota as well (8+ / 0-)

    Same bullshit from the same bullshitter.  Kristi NOem has these during the day when folks are working and the ones she has on the telephone are pre-screened, so nothing really new.   So, this is the way it is being done throughout the country, interesting.  Where is Howard Dean?  We need ya back man.

    •  Here's what I've discovered (11+ / 0-)

      Someone needs to start attending these meetings.   Don't pose a challenge.   Don't necessarily ask any questions.. in fact, you're probably better if you don't.  Just video record the whole thing.  Keep it all.   I've ended up with about 10 hours of video, and some of it is some crazy shit, in part because of the way people ask questions during the day etc.

      You're unlikely to change the minds of the people here, they are normally hard core loyals.  It's a small audience, they are just trying to motivate the people who are likely to donate to them.

      But the video and information is interesting, and later could be terrifically damning.  

      After they've left, a lot of the people mull around and talk.   And in those moments you can really get to the heart of a lot of the issues of the people.   I've found a lot of people really didn't care for their house member.  Even die hard republicans.   One pointed out to me, in reference to someone who's a House Member with a PhD "I don't get the feeling he's the sharpest stick in the shed."  I laughed because it was true; but as he continued "but, he runs unchallenged, so either you talk to him or nothing."

      And that's the point.

      These districts aren't 100% republican loyal, none of them.  But no one has given them a case to go the other way.  

      That has to change.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:04:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  50 state strategy is crucial...OFA will harm this! (0+ / 0-)

    Let's be clear...
    In 2006 we took the senate, in 2006 we also took the house...  We set up the infrasture to have a democratic President.

    How did we do this?  A national political structure that not only focused on presidential races, but establish an ongoing structure that worked with state committees to do grassroots, constituent building...

    Then Obama comes along, uses that same infrastructure, technology investment, taps into the same resources and then claimssss, it's all mine!

    Nothing has pissed me off more then this conversion of the party apparatus into his fifetom...

    How in the world do you get your agenda passed without building the votes, ie party/candidate building to help you pass the shit?  It is so short sited, the shit ain't on the national level, the fight is in the state houses...republicans realized that and continue to undermine 90% of the peoples will my controlling state legislator.

    Viriginia is a textbook case of Howard deans fifty state strategy success up until the dnc and obama through it under the bus.

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:02:47 AM PST

  •  Well about a ground up strategy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, JanL, ardyess, ladywithafan

    Organize your own town hall meetings, at night or on weekends, and invite your representatives...if there no shows, that's a good political talking point

    "we felt as a community to conduct information town hall meetings that are at a time which gives access and participatin of all contituents...xx was invited and declined to attend."

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:07:29 AM PST

    •  Yup, We Had (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ardyess, Ckntfld

      a pretty good strategy going under Dean, then it got ground up...

      Eat, drink, and be fat and drunk.

      by Ref on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 10:19:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that 50-state, or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld

      ground-up (although maybe we can get a better name for this here) is absolutely what is needed.  

      And along with this, we have to have progressive solutions and ideas from the candidates.  I see little sense in having the Repug-lite dems who are basically repug clones and just end up losing anyway.  Yes, maybe this had to be for Claire McCaskill in her particular situation, but overall, it's the differences of governing position that needs to be heard.  And I can't provide examples off-hand, but many times in quite a number of conservative districts, it is a liberal candidate that will lose by far fewer votes than a repug-lite candidate against the entrenched conservative stalwart in the district.  

      The dems seem to have the dollars, the ideas and solutions, support on the issues, and the general momentum.  So who the hell is running this losing show right now?  

  •  Yeah, our local county commission (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, JanL, ardyess

    also holds their meetings during the day so people who work cannot attend and contest their actions.  Pity.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:11:40 AM PST

  •  It has to come from the bottom up. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, ladywithafan

    Party building is not amenable to a top down approach. But the dependence on money to compete these days means those with control of the purse strings have way too much say in what gets done, where. The incumbency protection racket, the reluctance to invest in anything that isn't a sure thing, the desire to protect the status quo and keep the big donors happy...

    A party that isn't prepared to risk failure from time to time is a party that is turning its back on success and the need to change, to renew itself. Pre-emptive surrender is not the road to victory.

    Here's a message from a movie aimed at children that just might penetrate the common wisdom.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:23:31 AM PST

  •  Have you ever thought about running? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433
    •  6 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld, ladywithafan

      In the 2018/2020 cycle, I will run.   My goal is to manage a couple, but I need to build some infrastructure first.   I plan to start with a state race and then move to a HR race.  

      But before I get to that point, I need to build up some infrastructure in my state.  

      But yes, I've watched total fools run and win with absolutely nothing in their background.   I'm taking some time to go back and get my Master's and then I'll have kids in HS or in special care.  

      And, then it's on.  When that happens, you'll absolutely know it. And hopefully by then I will have a solid enough connection with the donor base and infrastructure that I'll be seriously running to win.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:37:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It wouldn't be worth you while to drive south (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, Ckntfld, ladywithafan

    to my district in Georgia. My Republican congressional representative does not hold "live" townhall meetings. He holds teleconference town halls where he and his staff can easily manage the content.

    During the debate leading the the passage of the ACA I attended the town hall in a neighboring district because I couldn't meet my congressman face to face. When I visited my congressman's office, I was told he was "out in the district," but never publically to my knowledge. So while the Democratic representative in the neighboring district was hosting a three ring circus with weeping and pontificating conservatives, my Republican representative kept a very low profile unassailed by any opinions contrary to his own..

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:36:40 AM PST

    •  ZOMG (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, ladywithafan

      To me, if I knew this was happening anywhere, I would dash there.   This kind of meeting to me is the kind of thing that should be the stomping ground for every liberal.  

      If you can show up at those meetings, those are the ones that you can pretty well change the entire tone of, and since they aren't there to intimidate in the flesh, they have no chance to really rebut a counter argument.

      We accomplished far more with the representatives out of the room then with them there, in these cases.  

      I'm trying to build up a driving profile for this month; I'm going to start dedicating about a week a month to heading to these things, hitting the road and getting a feel of the districts.  

      Basically, my plan is to put a hell of a lot more "shoe leather" into these districts then their representatives.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:40:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Showing up," would amount to sitting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladywithafan

        on the phone for a couple of hours listing to carefully crafted responses which distort the truth. I've done it and been invited to send my question in writing to my representative's office. They have handily shut down any real discussion.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:02:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ooops! that should be "listening," not "listing." (0+ / 0-)

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:04:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do they have people in these "townhalls" to keep (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladywithafan

          People in line?   Or is it just a bunch of people standing around?  Are there staffers even there?   I'm trying to think about how they can control this situation in this setup.

          In the end, though, most of what I think about isn't trying to ask questions.. let people ask their own hyper-conservative questions.  And rather then just eyeroll at them, a good video/audio recording of the event is at times amazing.. people say some crazy shit, seriously in these townhalls when they believe it's only their own loyalists.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:05:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a teleconference. As far as I know, it's run (0+ / 0-)

            out the the representative's office with only staff present. What happens is that I'll get a call in the evening with a prerecorded message from my representative asking me to stay on the line if I want to participate in a town hall meeting. If I do, then a recording tells me that I should press a button if I wish to ask a question. If I do want to ask a question, a staffer comes on the line asking me what my question is. Then I hear the questions from other constituents followed by the representative's answer. I tried to get a question answered, but they "ran out of time." So when the "town hall" ended, another recorded message said that if my question wasn't answered, I can send it to my representatives office. This is no different from writing my representative at any other time. The town hall is of no advantage.

            The whole town hall meeting takes place as a teleconference so I can't meet my representative face to face.

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:25:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I used to live in north georgia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lily O Lady

          I was a regular on the Tom Price Phone a thon meetings.  Because I had no choice to vote for any Democratic candidates, in closed elections, I registered R to vote against Ralph Reed.  This got me on the Tom Price phone town hall list.  
          I used the information from the calls to understand the bs I heard from my neighbors.

          Now I am in northern Arizona where at least I can cast a vote for a Democratic candidate if I wish.  

          I appreciate all that tmservo433 and  others are trying to do to give all voters a choice.

  •  great description of RW radio work the last 20 yrs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433
    This is part of my biggest point: when you go long enough without ever being challenged you can say ridiculous things.   When there is no democratic presence in a district, it means that the Republican candidate is never questioned on any topic, as a result their districts are full of terrible information that goes unchecked.
    this is exactly what 1000 GOP/think tank-cooordinated radio stations do in every part of the country every day, reaching 50 mil a week while the dem party and progressives ignore it.

    most GOP candidates and reps know, if they don't listen to the radio themselves, if they read it in short form underlined, or if they hear the same talking point a few times, it's likely that it has already or will soon be pounded into the earholes of 50 mil a week by some of the most certain-sounding liars on the planet.

    most of that list of yours is like that.

    that's why we never got single payer or public option or global warming action and why we're in this debt ceiling bullshit. and no organized response to it from progressives or the dem party - no challenge.

    and it remains maybe the biggest political mistake in history considering the time lost on global warming, while we allow our universities to endorse the loudest of those stations with their athletics programs.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:57:25 AM PST

  •  And yet another reason for a 50 State strategy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, ardyess, Ckntfld

    Look at what some of the republican dominated State legislatures are doing.  If you focus only on the national level, these guys are free to carry out the right wing agenda on a state level and put people in the House of Representatives that reflect their views.

  •  I grew up in rural Kansas... (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for all your hard work in creating this great diary.  Having grown up in rural Kansas, the key to reaching the opinion leaders in small Kansas towns is from the pulpits.  Every congregation is filled with "like thinkers".   The way to penetrate generations of conservative thinking in through inter-faith alliances.  Republicans have given us the ball on values issues.  We must take advantage of their total moral failure.   While Kansas is made up of many denominations, it has been my experience many ministers are more progressive than their congregations.  When different faiths come together rigidity tends to diminish.  The key is to figure out a way to incorporate progressive religious left language into our dialogue with rural people.  Fox News will probably continue to appeal to older viewers who only want to be affiliated with people who like the appearance of "worshiping Christ", but progressives should have a message that resonates with those dedicated souls who truly want to follow the teachings of Jesus.  We can't expect ministers to do the heavy lifting, but we could sure offer a more appealing targeted message to reach the latter.

  •  Great diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, too. Gives me courage to actually try and attend one of Huelskamp's few live town halls (he only does them once or twice a year and the rest of the time does tele-town halls).
    I figured it was hopeless, but if I know what he's going to say, I can think of questions and do research ahead of time.
    I notice they're pushing the Ryan budget without actually saying "Ryan budget"- people out here might be interested in Ryan's plan to voucherize Medicare. This is gold.
    And if you decide to run and I'm still here, I want to hear from you!
    I grew very disappointed with our state party over the last election season. They're good at putting out press releases, but never once held an event anywhere near here (closest was in Wichita, 4 hours east). I did caucus just to meet some locals, and even my caucus is 70 miles away. I was giving them money every month, and I felt completely ignored. I know we Democrats don't have much support out here, but  how do they expect people to get politically involved if they don't reach out to them?

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:31:49 PM PST

    •  If nothing else (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      RECORD the meeting.  

      You're waiting for him to say something stupid.  And either he or someone there -will-.   Nothing wrong with having it recorded for later.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:37:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good advice (0+ / 0-)

        He does like to say pretty ridiculous things, plus he rarely goes outside of the rightwing media bubble.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:19:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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