| I am in receipt of Postcards pre-printed by The Republican Party of Virginia to be signed by me specifically, and mailed to Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, and to Congressman Gerry Connolly. They proclaim:
"As a Virginia resident and taxpaying American, I demand that you reverse your vote on the government takeover of healthcare bill. I do NOT support this bill in any incarnation and will hold you personally responsible should you vote in favor of its passage.
(They called me by my full name including the middle one, preceded by "Mr.," which shows you how much they know about the gender of names.... or maybe they forgot that females can now vote, and assumed if I am on the voter rolls I must be a "Mr.")
This discourteous demand arrived with an explanatory letter signed by Pat Mullins, Chair of the Virginia GOP, who stated bluntly (underlined in italics) that "if Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Jim Webb didn't sell out the taxpaying citizens of Virginia... this letter wouldn't be necessary." Such Capitol Hill-style treachery is possible because (underlined, bold-faced): "President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are feverishly working behind closed doors" (end underlining and boldfacing) "in Washington" which, as we all know is an evil place. Their (evil) objective is to "force the government takeover of healthcare on Virginians and the American People" (Note the persistent use of "healthcare" as one word, as if extracted from the ancient Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf----- I suspect this is an invention of Republican sematicist Lutz), and the healthcare plot is really, really bad because it:
* Creates an un-repealable middle-class entitlement ....
* Raises taxes to "European levels of taxation";
* Results in a government run-and-rationed healthcare system where our personal healthcare decisions will be subject to political debate;
* Dismantles the greatest healthcare system the world has ever known;
* Will inevitably provide for taxpayer funded abortions;
* Mandates, by its very nature, income re-distribution, and
* Costs American taxpayers over 1 trillion dollars during the first 10 years alone, according to the most conservative estimates
Mr. Mullins is quite certain that Obama et al will employ tactics refined by President G. W. Bush because "they will try to ram their finalized version through in the dead of night without most members of Congress even getting a chance to read it..." He goes on helpfully, accusing Virginia's two Senators of being "complicit" in passing "this government takeover of healthcare," despite the fact that Virginians" (all Virginians? some Virginians? a majority of Virginians? white Virginians? Who knows?) "do NOT agree with their vote to support the government takeover of the healthcare bill..." blah blah, healthcare, government takeover, blah blah, and I should immediately sign and mail (at my expense) the three snotty postcards.
Oh, and I should return another postcard to GOP Pat Mullins along with a little monetary donation to help the GOP "continue the effort to stop the federal healthcare takeover" with my financial support, plus sign up to receive Breaking News Alert from the RVP via e-mail, which will keep me aware of critical upcoming votes in Washington and Richmond so I can "make my voice heard.."
Aside from outright lies, distortions, and mis-information, this is a very compelling letter for Fox-programmed citizens, and should wring some shekels from the fearful faithful so Pat can send out more letters like this, and continue positive reinforcement of Republican themes.
As progressives, we can extract the repetitive themes of future Republican attacks, such as the assumption all Americans do not want health care reform because (all lies) it would destroy what is the "best" healthcare in the world, the government takeover would ration care and tell you what care you could receive (odd that they say this pejoratively in one place, and then apparently advocate exactly that in another when they worry that a woman could pay for an abortion with taxpayer money, but they want to prevent it), that it will cost a trillion dollars (with no mention of current runaway costs, nor of future savings), it will raise t-a-x-e-s, thus re-distributing income (assuming, obviously, that anyone receiving this missive must have a job, and a well-paying one at that, or a nice retirement, and will therefore fear the threatening advance of all the Great Unwashed parasitical minorities and lazy, unemployed slobs). The characteristic code words are obviously "healthcare," "government takeover," "rationing," "trillion dollar cost," and "taxes." Whenever a cluster of these words shows up, you instantly know with whom you are dealing.
Answering these code words effectively is tiresome but necessary, and, sadly, only repetition, repetition, repetition will even begin to make a dent. Maybe. The best tactic when faced by such obdurate ignorance and deliberate, induced panic may, indeed, be to "force" the legislation through and then see how much most people actually appreciate having affordable health care (two words) which cannot be denied to them because of pre-existing conditions.