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Snake in the Grass?
December 19, 2003 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Rally the Real Grassroots? Many Americans look to the Dean Campaign and MoveOn.org as a new kind of grassroots politics, but is there model really that unique? The Chrsitian Coalition has been organizing along similiar lines without the internet for years, and now the Bush Campaign is throwing their hat in the grassroots ring after sending out this e-mail: [text inside]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (24 comments total)

 
A Message from Bush-Cheney '04 Chairman, Marc Racicot:

Our Campaign Manager, Ken Mehlman, recently wrote you about the vicious personal attacks Democrat Presidential candidates are making on President Bush. Now comes news from a Wall Street Journal investigative report that wealthy liberals "have plotted ways around the campaign finance law" to funnel millions in illegal soft money donations "to finance get-out-the-vote efforts and ads slamming Mr. Bush and Republicans."

One billionaire liberal, George Soros, has already pledged $25 million to get these efforts off the ground. Soros even said that President Bush reminds him of the Nazis. Soros got another billionaire leftist, Peter Lewis, an ardent advocate of hard drugs, to promise $12 million as a down payment. Their goal is to raise over $400 million to defeat the President and they're halfway there. To beat these billionaire liberals, we need your help today!

Please, will you send the Bush re-election campaign $25, $50, $75, $100 or whatever you can afford to give today? You can give by using the campaign's secure online donation form. Whatever way you can, please contribute today.

There's one more thing you can do to help the President overcome the smears and invective of the Democrats. We want to reach our goal of 450,000 grassroots contributors to the President's campaign by December 31st. Will you forward this email to five friends with your personal request to join you in supporting the President?

Howard Dean compared President Bush to the Taliban and calls him "the enemy" and "despicable."

Dick Gephardt calls the President "a miserable failure" and the worst President he's ever worked with.

John Kerry compared President Bush to Saddam Hussein, called for "regime change" and accused him of fraud.

Joe Lieberman said President Bush is a "segregationist," compared him to "a felon" and called the Administration "nearly as dangerous" as Iraqi terrorists.

We have 11 months until the election and Democrats are just getting warmed up! They are making this one of the nastiest, vicious and negative campaigns in history. Democrats are reduced to personal slams on our President and outright lies about his record because they lack a positive agenda and hate -- hate -- what he has done for America.

He has restored dignity and honor to the White House. President Bush has led America with moral clarity and purpose and strength in the War against Terrorism. The President provided the leadership necessary to cut taxes and restore economic growth. President Bush's reforms are making America a more compassionate society where no child is left behind. But that positive record ... the President's strong values ... his character and integrity and vision ... that all may not matter.

We can turn back this venomous assault from rage-filled Democrats and overcome the hateful efforts of multi-millionaire liberals to pervert the election process ... But we need your support to do that. Please, will you give $25, $50, $75, or what ever you can afford by using our secure online page or by mailing in our online form with your personal check. Whatever method you choose, please respond today.

The angry, bitter Democrats smearing our President ... the billionaire liberals who will bend the rules to win ... the Democrat soft money groups ... all hope you say "no" or let this important request pass without your taking action. But you understand how important it is to America that we keep this President, his leadership, his values, his character, on the job, working for us for another term. Please make your contribution of what ever you can afford today and email five friends and ask them to join this important effort. It is vital to our country, our President. I know he will be grateful.

Sincerely,


Marc Racicot
Chairman
Bush-Cheney '04

PS: The Wall Street Journal reported that George Soros views "America as the gravest threat to world freedom." Help us overcome this liberal billionaire that is clearly out of touch with real America. Please make your contribution to the President's campaign today and ask five friends to join you in this important effort. With your help, I know we will reach our goal.

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:06 AM on December 19, 2003


Their model. Ugly.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:11 AM on December 19, 2003


We have 11 months until the election and Democrats are just getting warmed up! They are making this one of the nastiest, vicious and negative campaigns in history.

Taking their cue, of course, from Republicans, who are old hat at this sort of thing.
posted by kgasmart at 11:30 AM on December 19, 2003


With your help ... our crusades and inquisition will continue unabated.
posted by jdaura at 11:30 AM on December 19, 2003


Dear Bush campaign:

Thanks to your ruinous economic policies, I don't have any extra money to contribute to anyone's campaign. I am, however, taking PayPal donations to pay my mortgage payments. You can help out by donating $5, $10, $20, or whatever you can afford. The PayPal link is on my weblog. I know that you already know the address, I've been watching my referrer logs closely.

Love and kisses,

Crash
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2003


Racicot, an Enron lobbyist, complaining about Soros. That's rich.
posted by machaus at 11:43 AM on December 19, 2003


Oh good lord, did they not even run that past a writer first? Sheesh, for a campaign that's already raised a zillion dollars (or whatever unreal sum it is), you'd think they would have the budget for an actual writer.
posted by dejah420 at 11:47 AM on December 19, 2003


The discourse is getting real nasty, real quick. Very ugly stuff coming from the chairman of the re-election campaign - someone it seems would want at least the appearance of being above the fray. I'm wondering about the comments he attributes to Dean and Kerry - has Dean compared Bush with the Taliban? Has John Kerry compared Bush to Saddam? If so, awful. If not, Racicot has quickly descended into the land of Hannity and Coulter where partisan lies are perfectly acceptable in the advancement of your cause.
posted by blefr at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2003


I think it was written by a computer.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2003


Not too long ago, 60 minutes did a terrific story on Montana Power, and how one of the most profitable publically held energy concerns in the US was pillaged and raped for the financial gain of just a few individuals. The story talked about energy deregulation, and how that lead to the demise of Montana Power, but it never talked about the Governor of the state who facilitated the sellout of Montana's people. That would be Mr. Racicot.

And now this fuck-nugget want's my contribution so that Bush and his millionaire/billionaire buddies can continue to manipulate the government and the economy for their own benifit? And I'm supposed to be scared of Saros?

Actions speak louder than words, Mark. Request denied.

Racicot has quickly descended into the land of Hannity and Coulter where partisan lies are perfectly acceptable in the advancement of your cause.

On preview, blefr, whatever gave you the idea that he was outside of that?
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:01 PM on December 19, 2003


I'm wondering about the comments he attributes to Dean and Kerry - has Dean compared Bush with the Taliban? Has John Kerry compared Bush to Saddam?

Of course not. In a letter chock-full-o'-links, he conveniently leaves those charges curiously unattributed and unsubstantiated. But anyone dumb enough to believe that poor old Bush is helplessly under siege by lawless billionaire liberals probably isn't too big on checking out sources.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:08 PM on December 19, 2003


On Dean comparing Bush with the Taliban, the best I can find is this. Although Dean doesn't mention the Taliban directly, he does seem to be indirectly drawing the comparison of the Bush administration with the Taliban.

And here is an article about Kerry's call for regime change in the U.S., although I don't see where he compares Bush to Saddam.
posted by gyc at 12:33 PM on December 19, 2003


I know that was a bit of a softball, Ignatius. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't miss anything...you just never know with the f'ing liberal media supressing all the negatives from the left. Oh, they don't?

And Wulfgar!, I never had the idea he was outside of that. I assumed that as campaign chair, he would have to spew this bs under the radar. It's so shrill, sounds like something that would come out of young republican hq, not from the desk of a major re-election figure.
posted by blefr at 12:36 PM on December 19, 2003


As usual it seems as though the progressives are ahead of the curve with BushTax.com

Brilliant.
posted by EmoChild at 12:49 PM on December 19, 2003


What an ugly, partisan thread. An awful lot of people here are doing their best to live up to Karl Rove's caricature of you. I'm sure they'll all respond to me that the other guy started it.

Meanwhile, the FPP asks a really good question: is Dean's model all that unique? I saw a comment somewhere on the Net that I can't find now (can someone help me out?) that compared Dean to Netscape. It claimed that the excitement about his few million-strong network would fall once everyone realized that the Republicans have 20 million e-mail addresses and the ability to use the same organizing tactics Dean has pioneered. In that scenario, Bush is Microsoft, waiting to crush the upstart with superior resources.

This all smells distressingly familiar those of us who are old and cynical enough to remember the story of the McGovern campaign. If Nixon can win a second term in a landslide after a first term of outrageous warmongering, so can Bush, as long as people forget history.

Here's a more optimistic perspective, that claims that Dean's Internet organizing will defeat both the Democratic and the Republican machines.
posted by fuzz at 12:51 PM on December 19, 2003


Soros vs. Moon. Can you imagine if the Democrats had the baskets to mention this guy in their ads?
posted by inksyndicate at 1:07 PM on December 19, 2003


These attributed quotes are not as unsubstantiated as some would have you think. While I don't feel peachy about the way these quotes were used in the Racicot letter, I will not deny that they were actually said or written at some point.

Dean : "We need to remember the enemy here is George Bush." ..also according to a USA Today piece in late August, he "has stopped comparing Bush to the Taliban and calling his behavior 'despicable.' He also charged that "this president has told more lies than George Washington ever denied telling."

Gephardt : "This president is a miserable failure." --Dick Gephardt

Kerry: ''What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States,'' Kerry said in a speech at the Peterborough Town Library.
also.."We have a fraudulent coalition, and I use the word fraud," Kerry said

Lieberman: "Watching the Bush administration pat itself on the back for taking care of public lands is like hearing a felon brag about his good behavior behind bars" and "But another kind of resistance is proving nearly as dangerous to our long-term security: the Bush administration's stubborn refusal to change course and build a safer postwar Iraq in partnership with the world."
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 1:14 PM on December 19, 2003


EmoChild:
Everybody better get used to hearing about the Bush Tax, because it's likely to emerge as talking point #1 in the general election. This sort of sloganeering-as-memetic-warfare is another area in which the Republican machine has been kicking the shit out of the Democrat machine of late. With terms like "tax-and-spend" and "partial-birth abortion," as well as the general sullying of the word liberal, it's easy to see how they've framed debate so successfully.

What if Nader was correct (for right or wrong) when he said we needed four years of Bush to mobilize American liberals?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:27 PM on December 19, 2003


This is the first comment on the Bush Blog post: I don't know the song being referenced but I like it...

it's all over now baby, blue.
little bushy better get set to vacate the white house ya'll, cause he ain't gonna steal the election twice.

and in conclusion i'd just like to quote a hip-hop artist I'm sure non of you have heard of (I don't know why we haven't heard more of this clever play on words, it so aptly describes the situation while employing a charming metaphor, don't you think dearies?)

"the president's a bush
and the vice presidents's a dick
so a whole lot of f*cking
is what we gonna get."

he ain't my president.
Posted by: I Spit On Your Piss
posted by monkeyboy_socal at 1:57 PM on December 19, 2003


I piss on your shit.
I fart on your piss.
I laugh at your fart.
We are friends again.
posted by sp dinsmoor at 3:45 PM on December 19, 2003


The Dean campaign's fundraising tactics are less unique (in the sense that, other candidates have done similar things with direct mail) than the rest of their grassroots organizing. Meetups allowed the Dean people to build a large volunteer/part-time organizational base essentially without investing a lot of money and time in it. They're investing in it now, of course, with representatives coming to meetups and Dean video getting mailed out, but the way Meetup (and some other internet sources) put Dean supporters together before the campaign got there gave his campaign a huge advantage.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 4:11 PM on December 19, 2003


Good to see that the email gateway from Bizarro World is up and working.
posted by skallas at 5:36 PM on December 19, 2003


It claimed that the excitement about his few million-strong network would fall once everyone realized that the Republicans have 20 million e-mail addresses and the ability to use the same organizing tactics Dean has pioneered. In that scenario, Bush is Microsoft, waiting to crush the upstart with superior resources.

Grass roots campaigns are ultimately about being able to engage and involve a large number of people (across geographic boundaries) ideologically. It well may be there are enough folks across the nation who buy into the ideology they see Bush as the icon of, that we'll continue to see more conservative candidates claim elections. Or not. But when it comes to grass roots, it isn't just about the money, and that, by and large, is probably very good for the nation.

I also wonder if conservatives of Bush's stripe might have a handicap in becoming comfortable with the decentralization necessary for a good grass roots campaign: the authoritarian and undiplomatic tendancies which the current administration often seems to display.
posted by namespan at 7:16 PM on December 19, 2003


As usual it seems as though the progressives are ahead of the curve with BushTax.com

Shoving expenses to the state would be fine if the Fed tax rates would also drop for 'the commoners', because I can get an appointment with the local reps to chat.

I can't get the ear of my fed reps, just crappy form letters.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:25 PM on December 19, 2003


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