Well this is embarrassing. Here is a leaked document from the National Republican Party in Washington. I suggest you read it. It is hilarious. It instructs Steve Daines and his House GOP colleagues on how to tour their districts during the August recess. Namely, it is chock full of advice on how to seem popular, how to blame “Washington” for all of our nation’s ills, how to frighten people about Obamacare and “red tape,” and how to use all of these techniques, and many others, to increase the chances of getting re-elected.
If you thought Republican politicians were stupid, then you apparently were right because this memo speaks to them like they are imbeciles.
The instructions include many important tips on how to appear to be listening and caring about the desires and expressions of all constituents, and how to blame Washington for everything. Much of the advice is about how to restrict the Congressman’s public audiences so that they only include those who agree with what he has to say.
Among other things, the memo advises members to:
- find a hospital that is negatively affected by Obamacare, and tour the facility, but ensure in advance that healthcare workers agree with Republican “messaging theme(s)”
- write an op-ed entitled “Fighting Washington for You”
- tour a senior center, to discuss with seniors their “concerns they have about the current health care system and an out-out-control government.”
- invite attendees to events who will “take [the conversation] in a direction beneficial to the member’s goal.”
- host a “Millennial health care forum” with a doctor to discuss young people’s health care concerns—but make sure to “select a health care provider with the same stance on the issue.”
- host a “jobs fair” for your constituents, and make sure to “include the opportunity to opt-in to your email list” for the unemployed job-seekers, as well as the opportunity to address them “3-4 times throughout the day” (rather than letting Montanans speak, presumably).
- take photos outside all of the schools you visits wearing the different schools’ “team gear”.
- speak at senior centers, but only with “built-in crowds.”
- Make sure to “utilize the new ‘Vine’ app” as much as possible, taking care to “post a creative Vine video” whenever you visit sites like energy production facilities.
- host a forum for young professionals interested in careers in energy and technology, and use their information to “provide lists for future targeted mailings.”
- conduct a “Cut Waste Drive Time Radio Tour,” an “Obamacare media tour,” and an “Emergency Healthcare Town Hall.”
- help constituents pump gas or bag groceries—but make sure to “wear clothes in which you feel comfortable doing ‘hands-on’ work.”
- not forget, for each event, to “use a consistent hashtag”!
- and most important of all: never, ever remind your constituents that it’s your fault Washington is “out of control.”
It will be no surprise to readers of this blog that the latest Washington Post/ABC poll shows only 21 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest number since November 2009. A majority (52 percent) of Republicans think that the Republican Party is going in the wrong direction. Sixty-eight percent of voters (and 72 percent of independents) think it’s more important for a politician to cooperate across party lines than to stick to his or her party’s positions and be an obstructionist.
It will be interesting to monitor the extent to which Daines uses these marching orders from the folks back home in Washington DC.