Thursday, November 6, 2008

Putting Sweet Massa in the Ground

If, as we expect, Eric Massa's vote margin holds, it's time to subject the new Congressman to the same in-his-face tactics with which Randy Kuhl's detractors dogged Kuhl.

Go to YouTube.   Do a search, first for "Eric Massa."   You find only Massa campaign commercials and releases, or sympathetic videos. Then do a search for "Randy Kuhl."   Nearly all you find are videos intended to portray Kuhl in a bad light, nearly all by local left-wing activists.

Now it's our turn.  Specifically, those interested in booting Massa in 2 years need to start now by:

• attending Massa's public meetings and appearances and asking tough questions;

• taking video of his answers.
Always respectfully.   But holding him to account.

This will require coordination and organization, so it's time to get a "Committee of Correspondence" going among like-minded people throughout the 29th district.  The conservative and libertarian blogs can play a big role in this.

Personal action like this is not a part of our culture in the way that it's ingrained in the culture of the Left.   P.J. O'Rourke recounts when a friend, driving by a massive "Blame America First" demonstration in Washington D.C., asked, "How come our people don't do things like this?"   "Hey," P.J. replied, "our people have jobs."

Our people are home taking care of their families, instead of going to public forums to ask the government to do it for them.  Our people often seem to have a higher proportion of their own lives, and friends, and sources of satisfaction in their lives, outside anything having to do with politics.  Our people tend to have been brought up to be polite, and view with distaste doing anything "in-your-face."

Well, we're just going to have to overcome our disadvantaged upbringings.

Anyone who's interacted with Massa in unscripted circumstances is aware of limitations of intellect and social personality skills that set him up nicely for public embarrassment.  And merely by asking questions that any citizen is entitled to ask her Congressman -- which is all we're proposing here.

Let's get moving, folks.

Welcome to Congress, Eric.  And to the same level of scrutiny to which your supporters subjected your opponent.


Anonymous said...

Marvelously put. I love your blog, btw.

Rottenchester said...

Totally disagree:

Anonymous said...

Start acting like a bunch of liberal wing nuts - that's a wonderful idea.

Philbrick said...

They may be wing nuts, but they taught us a useful technique. They created this political environment, and we all now live in it.

Rottenchester said...

I agree with anon #2.

While I think it would be a good thing for Republican/conservative bloggers to be more active, I don't think the fringe noisemakers had that much to do with unseating Kuhl or electing Massa.

Kuhl overreacted to a few protests at his meetings. I doubt that Massa will repeat that mistake, but of course you're free to try.

Massa made a lot of his own noise in the Southern Tier by issuing a press release almost daily for years. Newspaper reporters who need a political story began to treat Massa as the loyal opposition, giving him legitimacy in the eyes of the Southern Tier populace who ultimately provided his margin of victory.

The Republicans need to throw out their old playbook of naming a candidate a few months before the election, and only campaigning a few weeks before. They need to leverage free media the way that Massa did. His campaign is a blueprint, but you need to focus on the important parts.

Philbrick said...

Rottenchester, couldn't agree more with you about Republicans understanding that election efforts need to begin a year or more before election day. But whether we citizens outside the various Republican party organizations in the district can rely on those organizations to do something smart like that is a big question.

Also, another difference is that, at least in Monroe County, Massa will be operating in a totally uncritical media environment. Because of his party affiliation, he can expect to get the same free pass that, Rochester City Councilmembers get, as an example. In my view this makes independent scrutiny of the Massa incumbency much more important than it might be otherwise.

Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments.

Anonymous said...

The lesson we should learn is from 1994 - go into an election cycle and have a positive agenda. I have no doubt that Pelosi and Reid will alienate a lot of voters. We have to have ideas to oppose them, not screaming wing nuts.

Philbrick said...

So who said anything about being a wingnut?

All we're saying is ask questions respectfully and have someone there to video the answers.

That alone is not going to unseat Massa, but it can help.