[UPDATE: THANKS FOR THE HELP MANY OF YOU SENT. I WAS GOING TO WRITE TODAY’S COLUMN ON THE PLANE BUT FOUND MYSELF WATCHING ONE OF THOSE MOVIES WHERE THE GOOD GUYS’ CELL PHONES WORK PERFECTLY EVEN FROM INSIDE BANK VAULTS. AS IF! SO I’M LEAVING YESTERDAY’S POST UP INSTEAD. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.]
You saw that the Kochs et al are now budgeting $1 billion to swamp the elections with a likely 10-to-1 superPAC advantage and take over all three branches of government.
And you saw that — having refused to passed the American Jobs Act (“right away,” as the President exhorted in his address to that Joint Session of Congress last September) — the Republicans lick their chops at last month’s tepid jobs numbers, hoping that a weak economy will enhance Governor Romney’s chances.
The good news is that we can win. Not just the White House, but Congress, too.
“All” we have to do is register and turn out millions of new voters (many of whom were 16 and 17 last time), as we did in 2008 – we know how to do this – and RE-register millions of existing voters the Republicans are working so hard to disenfranchise.
It’s an enormous, colossal, massive undertaking that requires thousands of field organizers to recruit, train, and motivate a million volunteers.
We got it done in 2008. It’s an even bigger job this time. But we’ve had a running start we didn’t have last time. (It was not until June 4, 2008 – four years ago this past Monday — that Senator Obama clinched the nomination. We’ve been building +this+ effort since last April!) And we have a candidate whose capability can no longer be questioned: he has restored our standing in the world, decimated our #1 enemy, averted a depression, saved the auto industry, launched health care reform, doubled CAFE standards, tripled the representation of women on the Court, sextupled the number of stem cell lines available to researchers, and (among many other things) enhanced the sense of self-worth of millions — be they black kids or gay teens or Hispanics (did I mention that one of those Justices is Sotomayor?) — even as the other side blocks the Dream Act, opposes equal rights, and seeks to “take back America” by turning our President out of office, cutting taxes for billionaires and cutting investment in our future.
And now to the “auctions.”
The first is maybe a little off topic, but we all know people who plan to vote for Republican strictly over “taxes.” I want to offer a way you might engage them and, conceivably, bring them over to our side. (I know, I know: but it’s worth a try.)
It’s one of Warren Buffett’s favorite riffs, so you may already have heard it.
Here’s what you might tell your Republican-because-of-taxes friends:
<< Imagine you are in the womb, about to be born. And you are twins. Identical. Both brilliant, talented, good looking, healthy. Just the way you are in real life today. What a great life the two of you are about to have! Except imagine that, just prior to your birth, you are told that one of you will be born in America and the other will be born in Somalia or Peru or Cambodia someplace – and it’s up to you who’s born where. And because both of you express a preference for America, there’s going to be a little auction, based on the top marginal tax bracket you’d be willing to pay to be born here. The bidding starts at 10% and both your little hands shoot up so fast they almost puncture the placenta. So ask your Republican friends where +they+ would stop bidding in this situation. At the 28% long-term capital gains rate we had when Reagan left office? At the 70% top ordinary rate that prevailed from Kennedy thru Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter? At Eisenhower’s 91% top rate? >>
It could get them thinking.
(If it’s “the debt” rather than taxes that lean them Republican, remind them that “tax and spend” Democrats +pay+ for what they spend. “Borrow and spend” Republicans do not – hence the debt. Reagan +quadrupled+ the National Debt, Clinton handed Bush a surplus. Bush +doubled+ the debt and handed Obama a $1.5 trillion 2009 deficit baked into the books as of the start of the fiscal year, October 1, 2008, before he had even been elected President.)
Anyway, that’s the first “auction.”
Conceivably, it could pick up a vote or two.
Here is the second auction. And in this one, YOU are the bidder:
What would you bid to have had Al Gore instead of George W. Bush from 2000 to 2008? (No war in Iraq, no decimation of our national balance sheet, no tax incentives to buy Hummers, no Alito and Roberts and thus no Citizens United . . . all that.)
A hundred bucks? Five hundred? Five hundred thousand? I know it’s awkward bidding against yourself, and I know that of course this is a preposterous hypothetical, but seriously (or at least semi-seriously): if it were up to you and you could turn back time and reverse the outcome of Bush v. Gore, how high would you go?
Got your number?
Okay . . .
Going once . . . (don’t forget that by accelerating rather than impeding stem cell research, a loved one might someday have caught, rather than missed, the wave and been spared) . . .
Going twice . . . (don’t forget that by leading rather than lagging on “climate change,” we’d be further along dealing with this species-threatening challenge) . . .
SOLD at whatever number you chose.
And you see where I’m headed with this.
You can’t roll back history and install Al Gore. But you +can+ roll history forward.
You can help register the voters who will elect Barack Obama, hold the Senate, take back the House and state legislative chambers.
Whatever number you chose for Bush v. Gore — now Romney v. Obama — cut it in half, or by two-thirds, or even by 90% if you have to (I don’t expect you to give ALL your money), but give it now, here, by clicking this link.
If you do, I’ll see it and jump through the screen to say thanks. (Stand clear.)
We have an amazing candidate with an amazing list of accomplishments. All the more amazing when you adjust for the terrible hand he was dealt and a Republican opposition committed to his failure. But planting seeds in October – just like trying to ramp up a voter registration effort in October – does not a bountiful harvest make. NOW is the time to plant these seeds. Click here.
(Or, for contributions under $100 — which I won’t see but that are the hugely welcome, crucial preponderance of the millions of contributions received to date — here.)
Quote of the Day
Never answer a question from a farmer.~Hubert Humphrey
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