Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Letters, We Get Letters, Larson to Dems – Be Bold

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Caucus Chairman John Larson, have sent out to their troops a memo that outlines the general defense House members will be using during the election season to deflect impertinent charges from their Republicans opponents.

The memo is about two pages long, considerably less than the 2,319 page Dodd-Frank Bill that reorganizes American enterprise or the 1,990 page Health Care Bill that, for the first time in U.S. history, compels young American citizens to purchase a product, health insurance, they may not want or need. Given the brevity of the letter, Connecticut’s Democratic U.S. congressional delegation might even read it. Most congresspersons, including the issuers of the memo, neglected to read either the Health Care or the Dodd-Frank bill in it’s entirety, and Pelosi famously quipped about one or the other or both of them that they would have to be passed so that House members who voted for them would know what’s in them.

The campaign to-do memo is recorded below for posterity:

July 30, 2010

Dear Democratic Colleague:

Now it is time to define the choice America faces. We are moving America forward, not back.

You have worked tirelessly for 19 months to move America forward, begin to restore Main Street values, and create jobs here at home. We are on track to create more net new jobs this year than President Bush created over his entire eight-year term. Our advocacy for Americans who work for a living— in the face of relentless opposition by Wall Street and the big bankers, Big Oil, and the health insurance industry— has defined our Caucus.
We will move America forward in a New Direction, toward a more broadly shared prosperity—investing in America’s small businesses, clean energy jobs, and middle-class families. We will revitalize a manufacturing base that shrunk by 4.6 million American jobs under the last Administration—because when we Make it in America, we lead the world. And we will bring down our deficit by putting Americans back to work and making the difficult decisions that were deferred over the last decade.

We are not going back to the same failed Bush policies that cost us more than 8 million jobs—and threatened to destroy 8 million more without our intervention, according to independent economists. We are not going back to failed policies that exploded our deficit in order to give tax breaks to those who don’t need them—and those whose recklessness caused the mess we are in.

Americans living paycheck to paycheck—or without a paycheck—can’t afford to go back.

We must use the coming weeks to make this choice crystal clear. The President will be leading the charge. We want the power of all of our voices to convey these messages, so we ask you to plan public events and media interactions in your district around weekly themes—if they work for you. We will be driving these messages at the national level.

August 2—Fighting For The Middle Class: “Make it in America” Week

We are wrapping up a Congressional work period with a series of bills to promote a Make it in America manufacturing revival. Members can also highlight Recovery Act jobs in your districts. Republicans in Congress have sided incessantly with big corporations shipping jobs overseas and Wall Street bankers who helped cause the meltdown.

August 9 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Protecting Social Security Week

The 75th anniversary of Social Security is August 14. Members can highlight how, once again, this bedrock promise is under assault from Congressional Republicans seeking to privatize and cut Social Security that Americans have earned. Democrats will protect and strengthen Social Security.

August 16 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Consumer Protection Week

As students head back to college and families head out for back-to-school shopping, it’s a good time to highlight the strong consumer protections enacted by this Congress. Republicans sided with the Big Banks over students when we made college more affordable. Republicans fought a first-ever consumer protection agency and split over a Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. And as we continue the drumbeat on the Patient’s Bill of Rights giving Americans and their doctors control over their health care, Republicans would repeal long overdue protections for Americans if they get sick or have a pre-existing condition.

August 23—Fighting for the Middle Class: Small Business Week

Our economic recovery must be powered by small businesses. This Congress has enacted 8 separate tax cuts for small businesses, made health insurance more affordable, and fought to get credit flowing—time and again, over Republican opposition. This week, Senate Republicans moved to block billions of dollars of private-sector lending for small businesses.

August 30—Troops & Veterans Week

Since 2007, a Democratic-led Congress has made historic investments in services for our veterans. After eight years of insufficient support under Republicans, since 2007, we have increased funding for veterans health care and benefits by 70 percent, providing over 10,000 new claims processors to reduce case backlogs, 3,389 doctors, 14,316 nurses, 145 community-based outpatient clinics, and 92 new vet centers. We have improved troop pay and equipment, and improved conditions for military families. Around the August 31st deadline to get combat troops out of Iraq, Members can focus on the promise being kept.

September 6—Fighting for the Middle Class: “Make it in America”

In September, we will keep working on legislation to rebuild American manufacturing and make America the world’s leader in innovative technologies, after a decade of damage to our economy. Members can highlight our top priority—creating jobs here in America— as we head back for the next work period.

Please find enclosed two pocket cards to help you deliver this message. The first is our main argument, Moving America Forward, Not Back; and the second is Protecting Social Security at 75 Years. You should have already received a pocket card on Make it in America, our manufacturing strategy; as well as our message on national security.

Thank you for your service, for your leadership, and for representing working Americans in some of the most important debates of our era. Please have a productive and pleasant District Work Period. We look forward to seeing you, in your districts and in September.

Best regards,
Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
Steny Hoyer
Majority Leader
James E. Clyburn
Majority Whip
John Larson
In addition to the memo, Larson is sending around a to-do card that might fit snugly into a wallet or purse, so that Democrats on the campaign trail can whip it out if ever they are asked a pointed question by Rick Green – which is not too likely.

The memo reads:
Be Bold, be bold, but not too bold
Lest the marrow of thy bones run cold
Green, in the meanwhile, had jumped the turnstile so that he might register for the primaries as a Republican and vote for Ross Garber as attorney general, thus calling upon his head the curses of his entire family, but for his grandfather, who had a grudge for some reason against the sainted Franklin Roosevelt.

Responding to this traitorous abandonment of his party, one imagines a stalwart Democrat whose ancestors did vote for FDR responding: “Someone lock the barn door before this horses’ ass gets a chance to sneak back in,” the beer infused anti-Green Democrat drinking to the health of departing U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd and praising God for having gerrymandered Larson's 1st District.

“Long may Larson wave."
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