Thursday, March 4, 2010


Marshall: Heat

TPM Reader DP checks in from Upstate ...

I live in Upstate NY and there is a commercial running quite frequently urging people to call Arcuri and tell him to vote no. They link him to Pelosi and spew a lot of untruths (income tax surcharge, massive medicare cuts, government take over of health care) and suggest that Arcuri is the critical vote. I think the commercial is from Concerned Voters of America. Arcuri's district is fairly rural and pretty conservative by NY standards and he really squeaked out a victory last time against a poorly funded candidate. He may be feeling the heat.
Sargent: Exclusive: GOP To Unleash Huge Wave Of Robocalls Warning Of Dem Plot To “Ram” Health Reform Through

National Repubicans are planning to unleash a huge wave of robocalls tomorrow targeting dozens of House Dems and warning their constituents that Obama and Nancy Pelosi are plotting to “ram” their “dangerous” health reform plans through Congress.

The robocalls — the first paid media by the NRCC’s new “code red” program, which targets Dems on health care — comes after Obama told Congress to pass reform via reconciliation.

The calls are meant to spook House Dems right at the moment when the White House and Dem leaders are about to undertake a grueling effort to round up support for what’s expected to be a hair-raisingly close vote. It warns constituents that the targeted House Dem risks supporting this “dangerous” move.

“Even though a majority of the country wants them to scrap it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are planning to ram their dangerous, out-of-control health care spending bill through Congress anyway,” the call says, according to a script provided by a GOP official.

The version targeting Dem Rep Frank Kratovil of Maryland continues:

What’s worse, Congressman Frank Kratovil might vote for it. Frank Kratovil votes with Nancy Pelosi 84% of the time and may follow her orders on this bill too. Frank Kratovil might vote for a bill that will kill jobs, raise the costs of health care, and increase taxes. Frank Kratovil should be focusing on creating jobs, yet he might be the deciding vote that causes this massive new spending bill to pass.

The call concludes by calling the reform proposals “dangerous” a second time and admonishing voters to call their Representative and urge a No vote “before it is too late.”

The call — which will be pumped into GOP, independent and Dem households — will target 25 House Dems who voted for the proposal the first time, 11 who voted No, and four open-seat Dems who have yet to say how they plan to vote this time.

The call is another sign that the national GOP is doubling down on making the looming reconciliation vote a major issue in the 2010 elections, portraying it as the latest in back-room dealing presided over by Pelosi and other Dem leaders. It raises questions about whether Dems are planning anything in kind. Full script here.

Greg Sargent

* The full court press begins: Obama to take his health care sales pitch on the road, with stops in Philadelphia and St. Louis next week.

* And: Tonight at the White House, Obama will woo House Dems who voted No last time.

* Ben Smith obtains an RNC fundraising document that reveals a plan to raise money by vowing to “save the country from trending toward socialism” and depicts Obama as The Joker.

It’s always worth recalling that it’s the official RNC position that Obama, while perhaps not a full-fledged socialist himself, is moving us “towards socialism.”

* Mitch McConnell had the foresight to see months ago that there’s a political upside in not putting out comprehensive GOP proposals: It makes it easier to make the story all about Obama’s proposals.

* A piqued Robert Gibbs wonders why Republicans “can’t take yes for an answer” and support a health bill with GOP ideas in it.

* Maybe wavering Blue Dog Dems should consider supporting the new health proposal and take credit for watering it down from its original, scarier version?

* Back on the Merry-Go-Round with Bart Stupak: He now says a dozen House Dems who voted Yes last time could flip to No.

* Which is interesting, because last week he put the number at 15 to 20.

Republicans freak out in face of health reform passage
March 3: Rachel Maddow reviews some of the latest acts of Republican lying and hypocrisy as they freak out in desperation to block health reform. Senator Sherrod Brown discusses what further obstruction he expects the bill will face on the way to passage.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Aravosis: Secret RNC fundraising plan depicts Obama, Reid, Pelosi sending America into 'Socialism,' targets 'ego-driven' wealthy donors

UPDATE: I just found this on page 31 of the secret RNC fundraising plan. They made a photo of Obama as the joker (not sure painting a black man in white face is entirely wise) and under Obama's face wrote the word "Socialism." That alone deserves an apology from Michael Steele directly to the President.

From Ben Smith:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism."

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.
The presentation explains the Republican fundraising in simple terms.

"What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate...?" it asks.

The answer: "Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”
The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”

Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”
And just an aside. I've been arguing for a good year that the Democrats need to nip this "socialism" crap in the bud. The Republicans have taken a bizarre slur and made it real for many people. It's sick, and it's crazy. And when you don't respond, it gets worse.

UPDATE: Statement from DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse on RNC Fund Raising Document
If you had any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, that the Republican Party has been taken over by the fear-mongering lunatic fringe, those doubts were erased today. The Republican Party, which barely 20 percent of Americans will even admit they belong to anymore, seems hell bent on damaging their battered brand even further by engaging in the most despicable kind of imagery, tactics and rhetoric imaginable. This type of politics at all cost approach to our public discourse is what the American people are sick and tired of – and if anyone thinks this wasn’t approved of or signed off on at the highest levels they are kidding themselves. Republicans across the country have cheered on crowds where these very images appeared, they’ve encouraged and perpetuated scandalous lies about the President and his plans. And, from calling for secession to condoning violence against government officials they have sunk to new and unbelievable lows.

It’s no wonder the RNC reacted with alarm when they learned the American people would see this presentation. This revealing document proves what the Republican party has long denied. But now, by their own admission, the express strategy of the Republican party is not to offer new ideas, but ‘fear.’ Republicans can no longer deny that they are peddling fear when they are literally selling it as their path back to power. It is a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party that, devoid of ideas and solutions to our nation’s problems, problems created on their watch, that they would resort to these type of tactics. It’s sad. But true.

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