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View Diary: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (454 comments)

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  •  Armando was being nice (none)
    Byrd's a disgrace - he might as well just change that D to an R co's he's no Democrat.  He's let us down and this is a shameful way for him to wrap up a distinguished career.  

    Frankly, I would have used stronger language.

    www.savedarfur.org www.afterdowningstreet.com

    by Alegre on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:26:53 AM PST

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    •  Piling on Byrd (4.00)
      Let me add: I don't believe him for a moment when he says that average constituents complained to him about the hearings. For crying out loud, this was in the middle of the Sago mine disaster! West Virginians were worried about poor Mrs. Alito??
      •  methinks the Senator doth protest too much (none)
        Byrd's pathetic release had these telling details:

        And these were not form letters ginned up by special interest groups on either the right or the left. These were hand-written, contemplative, old-fashioned letters written on lined paper and personal stationery. They were the sort of letters that people write while watching television in the comfort of their living rooms, or sitting at the kitchen table. [Pondite's emphasis]

        Oh, Senator!  Thank God the True Voice of America got through to you!  

        Snark aside, this smells of bullshit to me.  (What, personal stationery, as opposed to the hospital, school board, and road construction company letterhead you've been getting thanking you for the decades of pork?)

        You can bet dollars to doughnuts that Senator Byrd will be getting a "hand-written" letter on "personal stationery" (William Arthur, with my name nicely engraved in purple and a navy border; lined envelopes) from me in the not-distant future.  And while it won't be profane, it won't be pretty.

        What a disgraceful sellout.

        Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

        by Pondite on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:08:07 AM PST

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        •  Hand written letters? (none)
          I wonder how delivered? My Senator Sarbanes  says that regular delivery is  slowed to a month or more due to the measures instituted post-anthrax.

          http://sarbanes.senate.gov/...

          •  District Offices (none)
            Have softer controls. Also, Alito was nominated awhile ago. There's time for some letters to get through the wall. And, interest groups often collect letters and deliver them on behalf of their members.

            "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

            by VirginiaBelle on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:55:47 AM PST

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            •  Ok fair enough (none)
              I thought he was speaking mostly about the outrage regarding the "disgraceful" Senate questioning, which should still be en route to his Senate office. I did not think through the in state alternatives.

              Still think he did wrong on this one! I am sure it is a long shot but perhaps he'll just be present at the cloture vote.

            •  Ok fair enough (none)
              I thought he was speaking mostly about the outrage regarding the "disgraceful" Senate questioning, which should still be en route to his Senate office. I did not think through the in state alternatives.

              Still think he did wrong on this one! I am sure it is a long shot but perhaps he'll just be present at the cloture vote.

        •  There is a distinction (none)
          The emphasis on homemade stationary is that, yes, it does make it seem like little Old ladies wrote it, and that does influence opinion. I've done correspondence for politicians before, and I noticed those things.

          But, more importantly, it takes time to write a handwritten letter, and if its on stationary, then it wasn't at an event where you were handed sample letters by an organizer for an interest group. A typed letter is faster, generally less thought-out, and often a form letter based on samples sent from interest groups. Email is the least valued form of communication. The amount of time and thought put into letters is directly corrolated to the amount of attention they receive. The more individualized, the more it is prized and valued.

          It's a valid comment, and a good lesson in how to effectively reach an elected official in a campaign.

          The stationary is the difference between astroturf and grassroots to most congressional offices.

          "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

          by VirginiaBelle on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:53:49 AM PST

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          •  you're absolutely right (none)
            and it's a perfectly valid filter both for lower-level staffers opening mail and for the high-level policy people reading the mail that gets passed up the chain.  Certainly when I want to make a point, I send it on my best and I write it out, whether it's chastising Lieberman or thanking someone for lunch.

            But I think you got my point, which was that it was just a shade too cutesy for Byrd to conjure this image of grandmothers in the "comfort" of their living rooms demanding an end to checks and balances because the cameras (surprisingly!  -not) followed Mrs. Alito out of the room.

            Put another way, if I were a senator, I'd definitely give much more weight to the handwritten notes I received.  But if I as senator decided to hand the reins of government over to Lex Luthor, I would have the decency and self-respect not to claim that handwritten notes from the heartland made me do it....

            Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

            by Pondite on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 12:19:47 PM PST

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