My fellow conservatives, I am going to ask (beg?) people to focus on issues that are winnable -- and to ignore issues, no matter how much emotion they generate, that are not. We need to reject the concept of "moral victories," which are a synonym for losses.
The Stimulus was (past tense is correct) potentially winnable if we could have gotten one or two more Republicans. We didn't. Why did we fail in persuading Senators Snow, Specter, and Collins to side with us? If we regard those three individuals as somehow beneath contempt, why did we bother to try to affect how they voted? If we don't ask ourselves hard questions, we'll eventually end up in the political version of the Land of Oz.
I want to plead with people to concentrate on communicating with their own Senators (2 of them) and their own Representative (1 of them). If I send a fax to a Senator in Wyoming or Rhode Island or to Barbara Boxer or Diane Feinstein, it will get ignored. Senators in CA could care less what people in PA or NJ or TX think about them. No one in Congress is going to spend 24 hours a day actually reading e-mails. My own guess is that the "delete" button works overtime.
Also, if I send a communication that expresses extreme hostility to a Senator (say, Specter) it will get discarded by a staffer. Do we want to blow off steam, or do we want to have some real influence on people who make public policy decisions? We don't want some junior staffer to look at our e-mail and say, "Here's another one from a right-wing nutcase."
We don't have a moment of time, a dollar of money, or an ounce of energy that we can afford to waste. Even more important than "fighting the Stimulus" is growing our numbers. If we don't do that, we will never win anything.
It bothers me greatly that some "conservatives" (and this does NOT include you any effective members of our group) are making a great deal of money out of the mailings and out of issues that we have zero practical chance of winning. People who are charging $50 for a relative handful of faxes are never going to go hungry.
I am deeply suspicious of "birth-certificate" people like Phil Berg and Alan Keyes, both of whom are full-time self-promoters. (I do realize that many people are supporting them in good faith, but it has become the world's worst cause.)
The most important issue coming up now is the attempt to restore the fairness doctrine and suppress conservative talk radio (and TV?). Which Senators and Representatives can we reasonably expect to influence? And which ones are lost causes? Of most importance, how can we get to join us in reaching out to fair-minded legislators?
After today, the Stimulus issue apparently is a loss for our side. What can we do better the next time?