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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why Are the Republicans Not Listening?

From Ace of Spades:
As I've said before, it's not that bloggers should be read and heeded because we're all so damn smart. No, not at all. Some of us are certifiable morons.

It's that blogs actually do, somewhat accurately, reflect public opinion. And better than polls, too, at least in this respect: While a poll might tell you that sixty-nine percent of the public is against this amnesty-without-security bill and only 20% in favor, that piece of information is, by itself, not terribly meaningful politically. Why? Because the public is against a lot of things, but doesn't really care about them. On many issues -- like bankruptcy reform -- you can probably afford to defy public preferences and give a sop to banks and creditors, because while the public may not support such "reform," neither is it politically animated about it. You can ignore public opinion because public opinion simply isn't very strong. No one's losing votes over the bankruptcy bill.

But sometimes citizens are so incensed about an issue they are actually animated to change their voting (and donating, volunteering, etc.) behavior based on a politician's position on that issue. It's not just numbers, it's intensity; and while some polls do indeed query about intensity, blogs and comments left by voting citizens are important gauge of such intensity.

Anecdotal evidence, merely? They say that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." But when the number of anecdotes becomes sufficiently high, the plural of anecdote is indeed high. There are hundreds of thousands of blog readers on the right, by far the dominant position on amensty-without-security is opposition, and, further -- you can tell just by skimming comments -- almost all of the passion and intensity and likelihood of changing voter behavior based on the issue is there too.

There are supporters of the Grand Bargain on the right -- but they're not terribly passionate about it. They favor it, but then, they're not really reaching for pitchforks and torches if it fails.

There's little doubt that those opposed to amensty-without-security are, in fact, preparing to storm the castle.
We are desperately attempting to get the attention of the Republican Party (and, also, the establishment Democrats willing to sell out sovereignty and blue-collar workers for some votes from "newcomers"). We are collectively pleading with you: Do not do this, or we will be forced to vote against you or sit out the next election, and yes, indeed, we are quite serious about this. This is the Rubicon, the last straw, the ultimate insult, the final nerve.

But they're not listening. Useless humps like Trent Lott are so used to legislating in secret and without public scrutiny that they've come to believe that doing so is their actual right, and that democratic pressure from the public is some sort of usurpation of the Divine Right of Legislators.

I will say it again: Do. Not. Do. This. If You Value. Your Political Lives. Don't consider it a threat; consider it an intervention.

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