Dear Democrats, Stop Spamming Me
Have you ever heard of the Democratic Majority PAC, and Ali Lapp? Unfortunately, I have. The PAC, and Ms. Lapp, have been regular invaders of my e-mailbox for months. She’s a spammer.
Surely you’ve seen her spams. The subject line says “Breaking,” “Urgent,” or “Personal” (one said just plain “Hey”; how classy), or contains symbols like “Fwd”. The body of the message warns that unspeakable horrors—think plagues of darkness or the death of the first-born—unless you make a contribution RIGHT THIS MINUTE.
As awful as November’s election results were, I thought there was one silver lining: those spams would stop coming. No such luck. Ali, my pen pal forever, is back at it. Last week she warned me that my “membership” is about to expire. Yesterday she said she needs money IMMEDIATELY to hold the Tea Party freshmen “accountable.” And today, she reminded me of a looming FEC deadline because there’s always a looming FEC deadline.
It takes an awful lot of chutzpah to keep on spamming (a) in spite of widespread resentment of this low-ball tactic and (b) the party’s disastrous performance last month. I honestly think it would be better to light a $100 bill on fire than to donate it the bunch of incompetents that pass for Democratic Party strategists.
After getting yet another spam this afternoon, I composed a letter to the lovely and talented Ms. Lapp. It’s of the “write it and never send it” variety, but before I hit the delete button, I thought I’d share it with my fellow FDLers.
Dear Ms. Lapp:
No, you’re not getting a contribution before this FEC deadline or before any other FEC deadline. Ever. I’ve been kind enough to read your emails (and I’ll be happy to point out the many punctuation and usage errors they contain), so please allow me to state my reasons for not contributing:
1. I don’t have the money. What I do have is plenty of expenses that take priority over making campaign contributions. One of them is health insurance premiums. The plan I bought on the exchange created by the so-called Affordable Care Act—the Rube Goldberg contraption your party inflicted on me—has resulted in substantial premium increases two years running. And have you looked at the price of groceries? May I kindly suggest that you spend your time dunning people who actually have money. Especially those who benefited from the policies that your Blue Dogs, New Democrats, and No Labels Democrats voted for.
2. Your business model sucks. I don’t have an MBA, but I figured out long ago that you can’t out-raise the Republicans. You especially can’t out-raise the Republicans with small contributions because it’s mathematically impossible. And that’s assuming the money from small contributors actually goes into campaigns rather than administrative costs such as processing fees and spending on people and technology to spam people more often and in more offensive ways. Even assuming that your endless appeals for money actually generate a sum of money a candidate can actually use, most of that money will get spent on crappy 30-second ads. (The crappiest ads are the “biography” spots, which show the candidate with his well-scrubbed, smiling family. I bought a foam-rubber brick for the express purpose of throwing at crappy ads. Have I mentioned how awful those Crestor ads are? Oops, I’m drifting off topic.) Back to the 30-second ads. I’ve already mentioned that you can’t out-raise the Republicans, so why are you trying to run campaigns using the same weapons and tactics they do? It’s as though in 1775, General Washington told his staff, “Gentlemen, we’re up against the mightiest army on Earth, backed by the wealthiest country on Earth. So here’s what we do. We’re going to fight them wearing distinctively colorful uniforms. We’re going to march in formation. And we’ll only fight in broad daylight.” One more observation. In case you haven’t figured it out, you need to make contact with real, human voters. Goldman Sachs and Wellpoint aren’t going to do phone-banking or knock on doors, no matter how many goodies Democrats on Capitol Hill hand them.
3. Your candidates suck. Not all of them, of course, but the Median Coefficient of Suckage increases every election cycle. Take Gary Peters (please!), the newly-elected senator from my home state. Even though Senator Levin lost some of his mojo in his final term, Peters is a substantial downgrade from him. He’s demonstrated his “courage” by declaring that he’s been willing to go against his own party. Lovely. He’s already mastered the art of loading down every sentence with nuances and qualifiers. That said, Peters was Robert Effing LaFollette compared to some of the candidates downballot. Take Bobby McKenzie (please!). He was our congressional candidate, handpicked by Steve Israel and the party mandarins in Washington and parachuted back into Michigan, where he hadn’t lived for most of his adult life. (Fun fact: There’s no record of him having voted in Michigan.) McKenzie spent most of the campaign flashing his national-security credentials, including having worked for the CIA, and trying to scare security moms into thinking he’ll protect them and their families from Islamic terrorists carrying the Ebola virus across the Rio Grande. I’d prefer that someone protect us from insurance companies, polluters, and Wall Street, who pose a real threat to us. And while I’m on the topic of suckage, let me remind you that Hillary the Inevitable, whom the mandarins and the fat-wallet crowd have already anointed as the party’s 2016 presidential candidate, is a pathetic campaigner and an atrocious manager. We learned that in 2008 (see Penn, Mark), and she hasn’t improved a whit since then (see “broke, flat”).
4. I find your tactics insulting. Back to Bobby McKenzie for a minute. He was a grade-D candidate, but I’ll give his campaign credit for this: it excelled at pestering people for money. His phone-bankers were so rude, they made aluminum siding salesmen look like Sotheby’s auctioneers. (One caller almost demanded that Mrs. Tiger report to work at McKenzie headquarters. She wasn’t amused.) If McKenzie’s phone-bankers were offensive, his email campaign was even more so. It was a barrage of the “Breaking” and “Urgent” spams I mentioned at the top of this letter. One spam warned me if McKenzie didn’t get $8,000 in contributions by the time the banks closed that day, he was doomed to defeat. The tone and temper of a ransom note. How charming. What next? Are you going to send out Vito and Rocco from Caddyshack to help me find my wallet?
5. Last, and definitely not least, you want my money, but not my opinion. You and the party operatives seem to regard voters as walking ATMs rather than intelligent human beings. And that’s what operatives they’re taught in campaign academies. I know a thing or two about these academies, and what kind of people they attract: young, highly ambitious men (and a few women) who think the world revolves about them and their careers. I’ve run across academy graduates. They think it’s amusing when someone says he or she’s offended by the squalid tactics you use to separate people from their money. And God forbid that that someone dares to criticize your crap candidates, your awful communications strategy (Democrats are the worst debaters in the history of politics), or especially, your sleazazoid business model. Your first instinct is to pat critics on the head and say, “If you only knew how politics works.” I know how it works. I’ve been following it for 50 years, long before I was old enough to vote, and I’ve forgotten more American political history than 99 percent of Democratic operatives remember.
So I get it. You want me throw my money down a rathole and blindly vote for your anointed candidates, no matter how little I can trust them to look out for my interests.
At this point I can’t do much about the candidates, other than avoid voting for the worst of them (Hi there, Hillary!). But I can do something about my money. I’m keeping it. So stop demanding that I hand it over.
Your least obidient humble servant,
Tammany T. Tiger