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Democrats and ‘agenda’ survey = failure to impress

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee thinks I’m either a true-blue state Democrat or a blithering idiot. It might be right on the latter, but this idiot will not be contributing to the DCCC any time soon.

The DCCC, over the signature of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, sent me the “2005 Democratic Agenda Survey.” The envelope’s exterior told me “here’s your chance to let Democratic leaders know your concerns about the future.”

Silly me. I actually believed – until I opened the survey – that the Democratic Party wanted to know what I think.

Here are some of the questions the DCCC asked me:

• “Non-partisan observers of Congress are calling the Republican leadership of the 109th Congress the most arrogant, unethical and corrupt in modern history. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?”

• “Do you support Congressional Democrats using filibusters and other tactics to block the most extreme Republican legislation or the worst of President Bush’s judicial nominees?”

• “President Bush’s privatization plan will cut benefits promised to seniors by as much as 46 percent. How worried are you about making ends meet in retirement if Social Security is privatized?”

• “The Republicans recently took the first step towards opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. Do you favor or oppose the Democrats’ efforts to protect ANWR and other public lands from oil drilling?”

• “How do you feel about the Bush administration’s relaxation of Clear Air Act pollution controls?”

• “The Republican Medicare bill prohibits Americans from re-importing less expensive prescription drugs from Canada. Do you think this was intended to protect Americans or pharmaceutical companies?”

Did you notice, perchance, a bit of attitude in the questions? Surely, if the DCCC wanted my opinion, it would not have asked these questions with their attendant bias of enmity for the Republic Party. Good, sound survey research does not ask biased questions. It does not ask double-barreled questions. It does not presuppose an answer.

Sorry. I forgot that I was being surveyed by a political arm of the Democratic Party, not by Zogby or Harris or Gallup.

The question that irritated me most asked:

“What is the most important priority for Democrats in Congress right now?”

Only four possible answers could be checked: “Terrorism. New Jobs. Affordable Health Care. Better Schools.”

Suppose I believed that other issues warranted Democratic Party priority? The survey did not provide an “other” check box in which I could have given my priorities. Instead, I could not tell the DCCC that the slow death of the American family farm should be reversed. I could not tell it that illegal immigration needs Democratic attention. I could not tell the DCCC that that it ought to seek term limits on senators and representatives to keep some of these morons off the Hill.

The Democrats don’t want me to think. They just want me to agree with them. And they want me to pay for that “privilege” of agreeing as well in the form of a contribution.

Oh? I didn’t mention the pitch for dollars? The entire first page of the “Democratic Agenda Survey” asks for a contribution. It had boxes I could check for $15, $25, $35, $50 and $100. And here, indeed, I got a box marked “other” if I chose to donate more.

The Democratic Party won’t get one red (or blue) cent from me. (Neither will the Republican Party, but that’s a future screed.) If this survey represents how the Democratic Party wishes me include me in its ranks, it failed miserably. All it had to sell in this survey was a bitter point of view about the world: It’s all the Republicans’ fault. Everything. Blame it on the Red States.

It’s not that simple. As long as the Democratic Party (and the GOP, too) believe politics is only about taking sides, about being right and the other guy being wrong, then we’ll all remain in deep doodoo.

It’s time to tell our two major political parties to stop their flagellation of each other and to do more honest listening to people whose lives government policy affects.

And stop sending these idiotic surveys.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 31, 2005 at 9:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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