GOP Town Halls: If You Can’t Dazzle Them With Brilliance…
Getting into the weeds on Washington wonkery, I have to say that lately I’ve seen a number of good pieces over at Roll Call’s blog on Congressional Republicans (like this) and they’re almost always enlightening, if not amusing. Knowing what the House GOP is trying to accomplish is useful, if only to judge whether or not their failures are the height of unintentional dark comedy or intended strategic design flaws (or both.) They’ve gotten up a pretty good rundown on the GOP plan for the upcoming August recess town hall meetings with constituents, and the advice is epically hysterical:
“When House Republicans retreat to their districts for the August recess, they will each be armed with a detailed guide — an exceptionally detailed guide — on how to assure their already convinced constituents that Washington is broken.
The August House Republican Conference planning kit, titled “Fighting Washington for All Americans,” offers a rare glimpse into the constituent outreach efforts of the GOP. Those efforts, it turns out, are highly calculated, hashtag-heavy and rife with references to the video app Vine.”
Let’s take a step back here. Republicans are coming back from Washington on a five-week break to tell constituents that electing them has actually made Washington worse. One would think there’s a fundamental flaw in that plan, but considering 90-95% of incumbents in Congress get re-elected anyway, it’s got to be working if you can convince the voters that the problem is the other 434 bozos. Clearly the key to pulling this off resides in this detailed guide, so what kinds of advice will the GOP be getting? Gems like this:
“Potential groups to organize Meetups around include women, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and millennials.”
Gotta have that outreach. Note the group missing there in that list? African-Americans. Guess Republican House members don’t have anything to say to us, but why would anybody be surprised? Why would Republicans honestly organize a town hall meeting around African-Americans, who they don’t care about and don’t represent, especially when ninety-five percent of us vote for Democrats? It’s a cold, hard fact to Republicans that we’re not worth bothering with politically, and besides they have bigger issues with all of their constituents.
“Prepare a few questions in advance in case the conversation slowly starts. Invite at least three to four people with whom the member already has an established relationship,” the memo instructs. “This will strengthen the conversation and take it in a direction that is most beneficial to the member’s goal.”
Nothing says “honest conversation between constituents and representative” like “planting questions”. Republicans just don’t have much to say, and don’t have a record to defend, and yet more than ninety-five percent of them will get re-elected in 2014 because states have so gerrymandered districts that fewer than one in ten are even remotely competitive. The biggest problem these guys have is being attacked from the far right. Surely there are large-scale issues that should be easy for Republicans to discuss, right?
“Target invitations to veterans and college students — two groups of people struggling to find jobs.”
Well, it’s certainly true that veterans and college students are having problems with unemployment, but so are African-Americans. Unemployment for African-Americans has traditionally been several points higher across the board, even in good economic times. If Republicans were serious about outreach to black voters, this would be the ideal place to start. Curiously however, Republicans have worked to block every single one of President Obama’s jobs initiatives in Congress, so they really wouldn’t have anything to talk about anyway.
“Use social media to upload photos and videos when possible,” the social-media-obsessed playbook suggests. “Try to tweet at or between each stop.”
Well, that’s actually a good piece of advice, but again that only works if Republicans actually have something to say to constituents. Republicans opening their mouths and launching a tweet or Vine clip isn’t going to be anything more than fodder for hashtag games unless Republicans have something to contribute over social media platforms. They simply don’t.
So looking this playbook over, I can’t help but wonder how it is that ninety-five percent of these clowns will get re-elected, the vast majority by double digits. It’s certainly not this nonsense playbook helping them out, but massive tampering with fair representation at the state level. There’s a lesson there for those who choose to learn it.
Latest posts by Zandar (see all)
- Access Denied in North Carolina - August 1, 2013
- Sagging Pants, Right? Black NYPD Chief Gets Stopped And Frisked - July 31, 2013
- GOP Town Halls: If You Can’t Dazzle Them With Brilliance… - July 23, 2013