As many of you may know, I have been pushing people to make phone calls to NY-20, through this DCCC link, to help Democrat Scott Murphy defeat his opponent, Jim "Jimmy Disco" Tedisco, who chickened out of a debate this week, in the election on March 31 that will choose a member of Congress to replace now-Senator Kirstin Gillibrand.
By and large, you're not doing it. I know this because I am the #2 caller on that site, and I haven't done that much. (#1, bless that person, is way ahead of me.) I had planned to do a lot this weekend, but I got an e-mail from my boss mid-day Saturday inviting me to either complete a work project ASAP or face ominous consequences, so I'm only up to 65 calls instead of the many more I'd planned to do. Still, only one person is (admittedly way) ahead of me.
So the titular instance of abusive behavior on this site is about to come from me. It's directed at you.
I can't complain that the front page has been ignoring this election, as it did with the Louisiana-04 runoff election last December when only I and a handful of others from this site had been calling and our guy lost by under 400 votes. People first paid attention to that race, which had been the subject of no front-page stories, only when the results were rolling in.
This time, Arjun has been all over NY-20, noting Jimmy Disco's ducking debates, his lousy positions, his criticizing Rush Limbaugh and then backing off within hours -- all of the things that normally bring joy to the hearts of Kossacks. He's even linked to the DCCC phonebanking site.
People in the area are reporting that the polls are right -- this race is anyone's to win, and it's CLOSE. Our problems are (1) that Murphy has lower name recognition than Tedisco, and (2) that it's hard to get people out to vote in a special election.
You can solve both problems by calling people on the phone.
I've invited people nicely to do so in diaries such as this one. Now I think it's time to make an obvious observation:
If every person who has taken part this weekend in one or another goddamned pointless and inconsequential debate on this site about something on which you have very limited personal influence had signed up and made a mere 10 or 20 calls, maybe a half-hour's worth or volunteer work, we very likely would have already contacted enough voters to have made a difference in winning this seat.
Yes, maybe they are being covered by robocalls. A live human being, reaching out to people, making that personal connection, talking about the importance of not obstructing the President's programs, is much better than a robocall. I've had voters tell me flat out that they appreciate hearing from a human being.
While some people may make their own calls between March 23 and March 26, to me the big stretch drive is Friday March 27 through Tuesday March 31. That's when I plan to have diaries up every day.
If you think that this site is just about yammering in each others' ears, and not about electing Democrats, then this abuse is for you:
Get off your tired asses and get with the program of electing Democrats from March 27 to March 31 or you might as well be posting on a website discussing erotic accessories for lovelorn hamsters.
If you wish to report this abusive behavior to the Contributing Editors, please do. They have a lot on their plates already, but I'd love for them to take the lead on this. I'm sure they'd do a more effective job of it.