As I posted Thursday, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is within the range of possibility for 2014, but only if a great many Democrats beyond the standard professionals work on it from now until November. I began posting Friday on what WE, the writers and readers of dKos, could do between now and Labor Day to bring that possibility closer to a probability. The issues I discussed that day concentrated on the ACA, but those are far from the only issues where Republican incumbents are vulnerable.
Canvassing and GOTV will be necessary, but not sufficient. We must work in the public sphere to persuade people. If you will forgive me for reposting a diagram and 2 paragraphs from Friday, the task of persuasion can be visualized by this diagram:
A B C D E
F G H I
J K L
Where A has decided to vote Democratic, E has decided to vote Republican, O has decided to not vote, and the letters in intermediate positions have intermediate opinions.
Persuasion works not only to move people along the top, but to move them up the left side of the triangle or down the right side. People who want an excuse to avoid the work of persuasion pretend that the aim is to move someone who is at E to A. That is extremely unlikely to happen, especially with a single LTE or blog post. But that you cannot do the extreme with one effort is no excuse for avoiding the effort. You can move the intermediates.
Now Friday's discussion suggested issues on the ACA, which the Republicans have voted 50 times to repeal. This is not the only votes on which they are vulnerable, however. And there is also the issue of the actions that they did not take.
A few, Boehner and Ryan spring to mind, are vulnerable on what the House did. The rest are vulnerable as puppets for the leadership. He ran on "Jobs, jobs, jobs," but hasn't proposed one jobs bill because he is waiting for somebody else to think for him.
Below the fold are some areas where most of those guys are vulnerable in respect to:
The Ryan budget
Violence against women
The Ryan budget
This is a wonderful document. Probably the easiest point to attack is that it replaces Medicare with a voucher plan. If you're born after 1955, (original version -- He's changed it for each submission, and I don't know whether the age has changed.) then instead of getting Medicare when you turn 65, you get a voucher. You can use that voucher to pay for anything the insurance companies are willing to sell you. If they aren't willing to sell you anything decent -- and the plan assumes repeal of the ACA so you have no protection -- then you are fucked. But the government saves money since they aren't on the hook for paying you for the care that you paid your Medicare taxes to receive.
That might be the best point of attack, but the entire budget is a crock of shit. The budget cuts the top marginal tax rate yet again. It "pays" for that by assuming that loopholes that benefit the rich will be cut -- which ones? That's secret, not only secret from you but secret from the suckers who voted for it.
It "balances" by assuming that these tax cuts for the rich will lead to great economic growth, just like the last several tax cuts for the rich didn't. (This is nothing for a LTE, but there is an argument that cutting marginal tax rates from a very high level to a more moderate level would spur growth while cutting them further would not; there is simply no argument -- even in Laffer's universe -- that cutting from a lower level would be more effective than the first cut was.)
There is more to the Ryan budget than what springs to my mind. Any suggestions as to other means of attack should be posted as a comment or written as a diary and a notice sent to the Bending the Buzz group.
Violence against women
This is one more example of what was once a bipartisan consensus. It was a long battle the last time, and almost every Republican was on the wrong side.
Here, the votes haven't been recent, although your guy may have made statements. The Lily Ledbetter act was passed in 2009, and -- of course -- many current Republican incumbents were in Congress
back then. If yours was, find out how he voted.
The impact of this was muted by the ACA market roll-out fiasco. Still, people will remember if they are reminded. The government was reopened with all (or almost all?) Democratic votes and a minority of the Republican votes in the House. If your guy voted to reopen, then he was admitting that the shut-down was a hissy fit with no benefit. If he didn't, then he voted to end the federal government.
The Senate passed a bipartisan bill. (If your Republican senator voted for it, you might use that as an example as how bipartisan and moderate the bill is.) There is a petition before the House to bring this bill to the floor. Your guy hasn't signed the petition.
People who work full time need to be above the poverty line. Walmart makes its profits partly because its workers are supported by you and me with our tax dollars going for their food stamps. There is a petition for the House to take a vote on this, but your guy hasn't signed the petition because he doesn't want you to know his vote on this issue.
I reiterate. When your guy lets Boehner keep things off the floor, he is representing the Koch brothers, and not your district. Sure, he is just one vote, but he also has the right to introduce bills. If he hasn't introduced a bill, he is just letting Boehner pull his strings.
Ryan, rather than Boehner, may be the better anchor to attach to your Republican representative. That depends on the district. Ryan is an interesting mixture. He is a disciple of Ayn Rand when it comes to regulating business and helping people -- small government all the way. He favors enforcing Catholic moral teachings on people, though -- especially on female people.
This is a buffet from which you can select the points you want to emphasize in your LTEs or blog posts. You should select only one particular issue for each LTE. (Saying too much is my besetting sin.) Probably, you should select one, or a few, issues for your own emphasis.
If you can get a group together, consider each person selecting a different issue from the buffet. In the first place, you know what resonates with your neighbors better than I could, and I'm trying to look at the country as a whole here. In the second place, when you write about an issue which truly engages you, your sincerity is likely to shine through.
If I have omitted an issue which you think is important and useful for blog posts or LTEs, either enter it as a comment, or write a diary on it.