Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, July 10, 2006

Congress Doesn’t Want to Hear From YOU

If you spend much time on the Internet, you’ve probably signed the occasional online petition and taken part in a few mass e-mailings. Enjoy it while you can. The ability to e-mail Congress may soon go the way of the goose quill pen and the covered wagon.

There’s a new spam filter which enables the user to block out form letters and mass e-mailings. This program is called Logic Puzzle, and so far about sixty members of Congress are using it. Let’s take a guess — think that number will go up or down?

It’s hard to tell how much is accomplished by jillions of online petitions and mass e-mailings. But this has been one of the last ways that a non-VIP can communicate with his/her “representative.” They’re supposed to be REPRESENTING US, remember?

Aside from the specific message contained in a petition or e-mail, these bulk mailings serve another purpose. When a lawmaker receives a petition with hundreds of thousands of signatures, or a bulk e-mail from a non-profit group with millions of members — this is a message in itself. It's a reminder. Hundreds of thousands of constituents feel strongly about this particular issue. And you don’t have time to acknowledge this??? Fuck you!!

These assholes are so busy schmoozing with lobbyists and VIPs, they don’t have time to look at e-mails and petitions from constituents. They’re so busy begging their corporate donors to purchase the next election for them, they don’t even have time to actually read the legislation they’re voting on. (But that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

This is an outrage — an insult! — regardless of your political viewpoint. For your “representative” to be cowering and hiding from you — this is beyond words. The groups who have protested this include: the ACLU, American Conservative Union, American Family Association, Defenders of Wildlife, National Taxpayers Union and the Humane Society. (Those are just a few; the list is huge.)

A member of MoveOn.org said “We should be living in the golden age of politics — an age in which every member of Congress can easily have a two-way conversation with his or her most engaged constituents. Instead, we’re seeing bunkerization.”

Ironically, the author of this column (the link in the first paragraph) is sympathetic to members of Congress who are “overloaded” with too many e-mails. He says “And for members of Congress, it’s not hard to imagine that a bulk e-mailing jamming their inboxes and sucking up their staff’s time would actually get in the way of important communications from lobbyists and corporate donors individual constituents.”

If our pampered “representatives” think this is too difficult, they could always leave their cushy taxpayer-funded “jobs” and try working for a living.

Our taxes are paying the salaries (and perks and pensions) of our “representatives.” And yet they can’t even be bothered to read e-mails and petitions from their constituents?? What kind of “representation” is this? They used to call this Taxation Without Representation. In fact, that was one of the battle cries that led to the overthrow of a government and the founding of a new country, back in the late 1700s.

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Blogger Praguetwin said...

so far about sixty members of Congress are using it. Let’s take a guess — think that number will go up or down?

I'm going to take the over.

How about starting a non-profit group that receives mass emails and email petitions, prints up the results and mails it to Congress....in triplicate.

They will be begging people to go back to email.

July 10, 2006 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Praguetwin: All right! That'll learn 'em.

July 10, 2006 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger James said...

I write Kay Bailey Hutchinson nearly constantly. I am sure she is sick of hearing from me. At least once a week I get the littel form letter return mail with her position on the subject.

Not enough people write to them. I wish more would take the time to do so.

July 10, 2006 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

James: And she actually responds to you? That's great. More power to you for writing, and to her for answering. I haven't done that at all; I just assumed it wouldn't work.

I knew someone who was having constant problems and disputes with Social Security. She wrote to Lynn Woolsey for help (one of the most liberal members of the House), and got a form letter basically saying "who cares."

So that's always soured me on writing to Congress. But I'm glad it's worked for you. Maybe there's still hope.

July 10, 2006 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger James said...

No I think you misunderstood.

I get a form letter stating her view no matter what my letter said. It comes complete with a little rubber stamp signature.

I suppose it is symbolic but it doesnt make me feel listend to by any means.

July 11, 2006 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Oh, OK, I've got you now. No, it doesn't sound like you were listened to. That's more in line with other stories I've heard.

July 11, 2006 at 10:27 PM  

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