A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Something Very Strange Is NOT Happening in Ohio

There was a new want-ad in my local suburban newspaper on Thursday that caught my eye--one I had never seen there before. The Republican National Committee wants 50 neighborhood canvassers to register voters, and the pay is $9.00 hr + bonuses. They don't want just anybody for this job. You have to have good communication skills, professional appearance, and your own transportation. So all those bums you see down at the Unemployment Office (oh, I'm sorry, the Opportunity Center), need not apply.

Ohio is a battleground state. There are only 18 DAYS left to register. America Coming Together (one of those totally dreadful Democratic 527's!) has been on the ground here in Columbus, registering voters since last winter. The Democratic National Committee has been ringing my doorbell or my telephone, and filling my mailbox, since John Kerry wrapped up the nomination. Democracy for America got us Howard Dean for a day to stump for John Kerry and promote the local Dean Dozen candidates. The John Kerry bumper stickers and lawn signs are running about 8 to 1 over the opposition. There are groups in the nicer suburbs who are printing their OWN signs (Upper Arlington for John Kerry), at their own expense.

And the Republicans are just getting around to hiring 50 canvassers???

Moreover, at one o'clock this Saturday I called the toll-free number. I got a recording from a law office telling me to give my name, my state, and my number and "someone will get back to you as soon as possible." I wonder how long the interviews will take.

I found this startling. So I went onto the RNC website to see just what was shaking with what they are calling the "greatest grass roots effort ever" in the history of the Party.

I linked down until I reached my own county's website--Franklin County. The main RNC site is not overly user friendly and I really had to dig for it.

Until the Republicans got back from New York, this site has been "under construction"(!). Now it is a one page no-brainer with a couple of bad glitches in it, one link to a PDF of a Party voter registration form with the pictures upside down, and an e-mail address to contact for further information. That's it.

Climbing back up the links to the Ohio GOP site, I looked at the events page. There are 88 counties in Ohio. There were 10 events in 10 counties. One was a GOP picnic and the other nine were one day a week phone bank opportunities. (ACT, by the way, is a 7-day operation) They were exactly the same phone banks, in the same counties, that were on the site before the Republican Convention. Only the dates had changed and were current. And only about half of the counties listed have any major cities in them.

Virtually the entire substantive content of the Ohio site is devoted to the Bush/Cheney campaign, most of that is cotton candy, and nothing of substance appears about ANY of the other Republican candidates running in Ohio, except pictures and contact addresses, and NO campaign information about the lesser races whatever.

Finally, I returned to the national website. According to the RNC Chair, Ed Gillespie, they have met their goal of registering 3 million new voters country-wide. Divided by 50 that would mean about 60,000 here in Ohio. My city is the largest in Ohio, my six county metro area is about 1 million people, and the whole state is about 11.5 million people.

I also took a look at the Outstanding Team Leader page. On that page were the eleven people whom the RNC wished to feature as the best of the Republican best. Funny thing, though, none of them were from Ohio. As far as I could see, none of them were from any of the "battleground" states. I looked over their biographies, but I found them a little puzzling. The only truly "outstanding" accomplishment listed for any of them was a nice lady in Tennessee who "recruited 300 new team leaders".

Almost like perpetual motion, isn't it?

Maybe this election will be won by character assassination. Maybe it will be won by slick television ads. Maybe it will be won by "cultural issues". Maybe it will be won by polling scare "momentum". Maybe it will be won by crucifying errant newscasters. Maybe it will be won by polling place shenanigans.

But, if it's won by political fundamentals, we're going to take this state for John Kerry.


Blogger Linkmeister said...

Ed Gillespie is often guilty of "embellishment" when he's not outright lying about Democrats.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

Though I can't see why he would lie here, about this issue, predominantly to his own troops. When you put up one of those funny thermometers with a goal on it, the idea is that you keep exhorting the troops to reach the goal, so they work harder.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

Oops! Too many comments spoil the broth!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Joseph Marshall
RE: All You Bums

"You have to have good communication skills, professional appearance, and your own transportation. So all those bums you see down at the Unemployment Office (oh, I'm sorry, the Opportunity Center), need not apply." -- Joseph Marshall

Are they 'bums' at the Unemployment Offices there in Ohio? Can't read or write well. Sloppy appearance. And all that rot.

That's too bad. One would think that, considering how the Dems are trumpeting that even highly skilled people are suffering in this time of economic disaster, there'd be SOME people who met the criteria to canvas for the Republicans.

I guess those well-educated types aren't out of work after all. Otherwise, there'd be more than 'bums' down at the "Opportunity" offices. Neh?

By the way, do you read Lileks? Notice how 'unimpressed' he is with the young uneducated types the Dems send HIS way? Whenever they come my way, I do something similar. It's really quite amusing.



4:18 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. Joseph...you really should do something about that 'nervous' tick in your mouse button finger.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Oh, well see, it's not *really* necessary for the GOP to pound the ground. If the CEO of Diebold is to be believed, Ohio is a lock for Bush. Of course, that plan has taken a hit as well.

So which discipline of Buddhism do you adhere to?

4:41 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dharma Punk
RE: Well....

"So which discipline of Buddhism do you adhere to?" -- Dharma Punk

Where I'm at, we don't adhere to the disciples. We adhere to the One.



6:10 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

Hi Shawn! I'm a Karma Kagudpa, a follower of the 17th Karmapa who escaped from Tibet in January 2000 and is now the guest of the Dalhi Lama in Darmsala.

There's was some glitch in Blogger this morning Chuck, and for some reason my comment deletes are not showing up. I've e-mailed support and am waiting for a reply so I can clean this one up.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:39 PM  
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