Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004  

I am now a proud GOP Team Leader. By signing up, I now have a powerful tool to spread the good news of George W. Bush! (Fact: "President Bush's Jobs and Growth tax relief package helped drive the strong improvement in our economy. It raised the level of economic activity and productivity, which will result in higher incomes and living standards for American workers.")

All kidding aside, this is a very sophisticated tool. It's a one-stop self-lobbying site. Because you fill in your location information, it becomes a repository of information about local media, voter connections, local candidates and issues--and you become one of the footsoldiers in George's army. The RNC has figured out how to take volunteer labor and turn it into media lobbying--all on point, but coming from average citizens.

How it works
For example, say you want to send a letter to the editor. You don't even have to think of a topic about which to write, for these are provided for you--this week's topic is Bush's job-making machine; last week's was No Child Left Behind. When you begin the process, you're provided with a little blurb of text, perfect for cutting and pasting, should your own views on the subject not be clearly-formed.

Next, there's a handy link that takes you to a personalized interface. First, there's a drop-down menu of publications. Click on the local fishwrap (in my case The Oregonian, though there are 22 others) and it takes you to a page with a listing of 23 editors and their email addresses--everything from the managing news editor to the arts editor. You select one (don't worry, you can go back and work your way through the list!) and it takes you to an information page containing all that person's contact info (email, address, phone, fax). Click on the email link, and you go to an email interface wherein you can compose your message. If you're astroturfing, no problem--you just paste in your text and hit send.

At the end of the process, you're awarded five GOPoints--start saving now for your Team Leader tote bag!

This is serious stuff. With a list of two dozen local newspapers and a dozen television stations, each team leader becomes a local lobbyist. The interface is so easy that in a half hour you could easily send personal message to scores of journalists. Although they're coming through the RNC machine, they're actually being sent by regular citizens.

You wonder how the GOP takes a pretty small minority of the population and manages to take over the House, Senate, Presidency, judiciary, and statehouses? Organization. And this is a prime example. Dems, you better get on the stick.

posted by Jeff | 8:14 AM |
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