Like many CounterPunchers, I get lots of email from political groups seeking money. Many of the emails are worthwhile. Others, such as those from Democratic Party groups, aren’t.
Today’s was from James Carville, on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), about “[Sarah] Palin’s $800,000 Haul.” Palin’s haul is – big surprise – a danger to the Democrats. Carville breathlessly writes, “Sarah Palin and Karl Rove’s shadow groups are planning to spend the next 100 days working overtime to put Republicans back in control of Congress. We can stop ’em in their tracks, but only if we have the resources, starting right now.”
What does Carville want me do? Send resources, i.e. money, to the DCCC, of course. Now.
Carville also warned of “Sarah Palin’s Summer Road Trip” (May 26, 2010) in support of Tea Party types who want to take back Congress. Solution: send money to the DCCC.
An earlier missive solicited me to send money to fight “Karl Rove’s Secret Plot” to regain power (May 11, 2010).
Paul Begala wrote me to say he was “tearing out what’s left of my hair” over “fringe” wackos Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle (June 17, 2010). These “extremist Republicans” apparently will take over the Senate (and cause Begala “to have to buy a toupee”) unless I send money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
Just click on the big CONTRIBUTE button.
A recent one from Carville, “Spitting mad” (July 14, 2010), asked me to sign a petition to get Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to “tell the truth” about why he kept one Brent Furer on his staff to consult about women’s issues even after Furer pled guilty to stabbing his own girlfriend and holding her hostage.
Although Furer’s acts were reprehensible, I don’t think that this petition will do much for women’s issues. Are Vitter and any advice from Furer really what stand in the way of progress against sexism and discrimination against women? Perhaps legislation that helps women would be more effective?
Then again, when you go to sign the petition, there’s a big button to donate to the DSCC.
These emails make me spitting mad.
The response I would fire off – if it were possible to respond, and, believe me, I’ve tried – is that if Democrats want my vote (presumably all the money is to win votes?), they should actually do something I believe in. For instance, end the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, as well as the saber rattling against Iran. Close Guantanamo and end the vicious U.S. detention and torture program for suspected terrorists. Stop spying on Americans. End the mass incarceration policies. Give everyone free health care. Take over the cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico rather than leaving it to BP, which by law must maximize profits for its shareholders – which probably means BP is skimping on cleanup efforts. Control corporations and prevent their off-shoring of jobs and destruction of the planet.
You get the idea: real, progressive action that will serve the interests of a majority of Americans.
I don’t care about funding a war of words against the usual bugaboos Palin and Rove, a war that just fills the coffers of James Carville, Paul Begala, Democrat party operatives and consultants, mainstream media advertising outlets, and other parasites. Cashing in on right wing craziness is nice work if you can get it.
So, Messrs. Carville and Begala, and the DCCC and DSCC, et al.: Stop sending me fear-mongering emails. Stop trying to empty my wallet. Instead, tell Democrats (and Republicans, for that matter) to start using the powers and offices they already hold to take actions now to help improve the U.S. and the world – that might win you the votes you need.
And, Dear Reader, if you want to help me stop these emails, just send me your hard-earned money, and I’ll buy ad space from media outlets where I have friends.
BRIAN J. FOLEY is a law professor and comedian. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org