...and yes, I mean "brilliant" with the most sardonic irony possible. The strategy seems to involve a fair dose of "throw everything at the damned effing wall and see what sticks."
Today, what arrived in the mail for me from the Heritage Foundation - a longtime registered Democrat, and a publicly documented Democratic and progressive organization donor - was nothing short of hilarious combined with pure sad.
Follow me beyond the Great Orange Satanic Squiggly for more.
It's been at least a couple of years since I've last diaried here at DK, mostly because my work hours and responsibilities have increased quite a bit and haven't allowed me a lot of time to either post a diary or even comment very often. In fact, as I am trying to finish my perpetually-in-progress novel sometime before my first great-grandchild is born, I really shouldn't be posting a diary today at all.
However, today's mail elicited such an "um...really??" reaction from me that, like a dark-chocolate cheat on the South Beach Diet, I just couldn't damn resist.
The Heritage Foundation fundraising plea arrived in a reasonably thick 8-1/2 x 11 envelope, along with the daily junk mail and fliers that seem to occupy our mailbox of late (and this despite registering with Catalog Choice to reduce the unneeded paper that burns through trees and goes straight in our recycling bins). Initially, I was surprised, and thought, Don't these guys do micro-targeting or some kind of voter-registration research to at least weed out the obvious "no"s, like, um, my husband and me? Apparently not.
If the Heritage Foundation did, it would damn well save the organization a fair amount of money. And paper. Maybe then, Edwin J. Feulner, Ph. D. and his acolytes wouldn't need to send out hard-copy mailer blasts to every registered voting American under the sun, regardless of party affiliation or voting allegiance. But, I guess the Heritage guys and gals need them some money, so whatever works, eh?
The Heritage letter begging me for a donation was not one, not two, but TEN pages decrying the evils of the "radical progressive" Obama "Revolution" and predictably singing the praises of Ronald Reagan. Interestingly, not a word is mentioned of either of the Bush presidents, and only a self-congratulatory Dick Cheney quote lauding the Heritage Foundation ("Presidents will come and go, but there will always be a Heritage Foundation.")
Pretty much, the ten-page treatise was full of predictable talking points about high taxes and the loss of "freedom," along with obnoxious who's-who-of-RWNJ-ery name-dropping (e.g. "We're communicating our ideas in so many ways...alongside our good friend Rush Limbaugh to spur radio talk show discussion of these crucial policy battles."). Oh, yes--and there was also the requisite tip of the hat to Our Supply-Side Lord and Creator™ ("...with God's help, and in His own good time, we will take our country back." Yes, that latter clause really was underlined.) Cue the uplifting music.
What was most striking to me (but still not surprising) was the healthy dose of victimhood that these self-purported beacons of personal responsibility that saturated the call to donate to their cause. For example, assuming that I, one of the letter's apparently numerous blanket recipients, was "one of us," the letter opened with the claim that "We conservatives today are besieged and belittled on all sides, confronted with powerful adversaries in the White House, Congress, the media, and academia." (Oh, those eeevil, eeevil learnin' types in the intelligensia! Can't have them teachin' our little Junior Sean Hannitys and S.E. Cupps about...shocker...other worldviews and shit! BTW, bolding is mine for emphasis.) And the "conservatives under siege" memes only got worse from there.
As much as I do respect and admire President Obama, I know I am not alone in desperate wishing that our President, and many of his Democratic colleagues in the House, Senate, and state offices were even half as progressive and bent on making the U.S. "more like a socialist European state" (oh, the horrors of universal healthcare and a higher standard of living and health!). Like many of its "friends" in the Tea Party and other right-wing orgs in the U.S., Heritage is hilarious in continually painting Obama and all Democrats and liberals as some kind of old Soviet freakshow, especially given how moderate the Obama Administration and many Democrats in the House and Senate actually are.
Bob Dole was right. These guys bow to the almighty Reagan, but it is highly unlikely that a reach-across-the-aisle-to-Tip-O'Neill Republican, even one as conservative as Reagan, would make it past the primaries in today's right-wing climate fueled by the likes of the Heritage Foundation. But I guess that is beside the point.
The donation sheet included in the Heritage mailer, with the heading Resist the Obama Revolution in ominous boldface, had checkboxes for "My tax-deductible contribution" in the amounts of anywhere from $100 (for Patriots Club membership) all the way up to $10,000. Now, ten grand buys you the title of "Heritage Associate" and the distinct honor of being invited to Heritage's "exclusive" Annual Leadership Conference. I think I'll pass.
My first big question arising from this mailer is: Why bother targeting me with a ten-page call to conservative "resistance" when a ten-second Google search could save them eleven sheets of paper, postage, and the time and bother mailing out a donation plea to an individual who obviously would be tossing said fundraising plea into the household recycling bin for Tuesday's pickup?
My second big question is: Accompanying the packet was a donation mailer envelope with a postage-paid marker advising that my own stamp would sure save Heritage a lot of money. So, should I seal up the empty envelope and mail it back with no stamp and a "No, thanks," or is that just too bloody mean?