I am a registered Democrat. For a reason I cannot remember, I gave the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) my email address. I receive frequent emails asking for money. The emails reveal that the DCCC left the room I’m in years ago. In my room, I talk to friends and acquaintances about wanting Democrats and Republicans to work together. I talk about the Republican politicians I like. I want Democratic politicians to speak respectfully about and to Republicans so that Republicans learn they can trust Democrats.
The room the DCCC was in when I wrote this blog post was all about taking down Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. The emails I received frequently said nasty things about John Boehner. Below are several samples:
“Boehner must be tearing his hair out right now.”
“Boehner just got caught red-handed!”
(This one from Nancy Pelosi herself.)
“Boehner wasn’t expecting this, friend.”
(Another one from Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is not my friend.)
“Boehner is already bragging.”
“This news will make Boehner furious!”
“Boehner surely didn’t bargain for this.”
“…a slap in the face to Boehner’s attempt to hold on to his obstructionist Tea Party majority.”
(This is a mischaracterization of John Boehner.)
“…we could really embarrass Speaker Boehner come this fall.”
“You can bet Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan are high-fiving in the hallways of Congress over their record-breaking haul.”
“Boehner’s going to hate this.”
“…to hand Boehner’s buddies a devastating defeat.”
“…completely demoralize John Boehner…”
“Speaker Boehner was riding high a couple of days ago, but he’s going to have an absolute meltdown…”
“…a major embarrassment for John Boehner.”
I might be a registered Democrat, but my political goal was NEVER to catch John Boehner red-handed, make him tear his hair out, embarrass him, make him furious, slap him in the face, demoralize him, or give him a meltdown. Those words and phrases are NEVER part of my conversations.
My political goal is for all Democrats and all Republicans to learn to work together to make sure all citizens have what we need to create success in our own lives. The ability of individual citizens to be successful does matter. The mortgage crisis would have proved that to politicians who paid attention. When millions of ordinary people could not pay their mortgages, the financial world came tumbling down. But if the entire Democratic party is focused the way the DCCC emails are focused, then my hope for a better life is doomed.
The Republicans might be sending similar emails to registered Republicans, but I don’t know that. I do know that Democrats are losing elections because they keep proving they are in a different room than voters. Democratic voters on or near the political party fence at times decide that an individual Republican candidate sounds closer to the room they’re in than the Democratic candidate.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one example. In his second election as Governor, nearly a third of Democratic voters chose Republican Christie. Voters in numbers big enough to swing elections want bipartisan politicians who stay in the same room voters are in. Those voters do not want politicians who leave the room and fantasize about what they could do to leaders from the other party. Governor Christie’s lower approval ratings in the years since the George Washington Bridge scandal suggest he isn’t as bipartisan as he appeared.
House Democrats keep demonstrating that they are intent on satisfying their own needs, not mine. They need to take John Boehner down and they think I need to take John Boehner down, too. I don’t. I need Democrats to spend time in my room instead of closing themselves off in a room by themselves. Right now, I have no hope for a better life with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House for a second time. She offended me the entire four years she was Speaker of the House.
In private, Democrats sound just as bad as Republicans sound in public. Given that sameness, what difference does it make who wins the majority in Congress? If Democrats keep focusing on taking down John Boehner and do win the majority in Congress, they would still be in a different room. Their focus would still be on satisfying their own need to humiliate the other party instead of on satisfying citizen needs for Democrats and Republicans to work together.
Besides writing this blog post, I wrote a letter to my Democratic congressional representative. I included a $3 check. I also sent a copy of this blog post. The letter is below.
Dear Rep. ————-,
Enclosed is a $3 check and a blog post I wrote about the DCCC. Please read the post.
I also sent copies of the post to the DCCC, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and to President Obama.
I will send you more money if you do all of the following:
1. Stop using words and phrases like “howling” and “gang of Republicans”.
2. Speak respectfully about Republicans both publicly and privately so they have no excuse to speak disrespectfully about you.
3. Explain what you will do to seek commonalities between Republicans and Democrats.
4. If you have already identified commonalities, explain what those commonalities are and how you will approach your Republican counterparts to talk about them.
Making those four actions your normal method of representing me will put us back in same room.
I trust you to be creative in finding commonalities, but I’ll give you an example of how I would like you as the politician who represents me to look for commonalities with Republicans.
Many Republicans are pro-life, meaning they support the right of every baby to be born. The most effective way to create a commonality on this issue is to focus on babies. If every baby has a right to be born, then every baby has a right to be born to parents who want him or her. Unfortunately, babies are born everyday to parents who do not want them. Those children endure neglect, abuse, and even murder at the hands of their parents. Focusing on babies turns the discussion with pro-life Republicans to protecting all babies by finding ways to make sure all babies are born to parents who want them.
It will take thought, but I voted for you assuming that you would take the time to think. It will be challenging, but you can challenge any Republican who does not live up to their pro-life claim. Not all Democrats are pro-choice and not all Republicans are pro-life, but I expect you to look for and build on the commonalities.
Generally, the emails from my own representative are far better than the emails from the DCCC. However, I get the least partisan and most respectful emails from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Senator Booker is willing to work with Republicans and spoke out against both Republican and Democratic campaign attack ads. Booker’s backers have apparently used some attack ads, though. Hard to say what Booker’s involvement was. However, Booker is still more with me in the room I’m in than not with me.
“Boehner Fights Back Against Tea Party, Again”
National Public Radio (NPR)
February 14, 2014
“A Brief History of Infanticide”
Dr. Larry S. Milner
The Society for the Prevention of Infanticide
“Cory Booker on ‘Nauseating” Attack Ads & More Sunday Talk (Video)
The Daily Beast
May 20, 2012
“Exit Polls”: N.J. Governor”
The New York Times
“Poll: Christie Approval rating at New Low in N.J.”
June 23, 2015
“Rand Paul, Cory Booker Kindle Festivus Bromance Over Sentencing Reform, Ending War On Drugs”
The Huffington Post
December 23, 2013
Paula M. Kramer
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