While President Barack Obama was lamenting the possibility of having to punt on his plan to socialize American health care, his minions apparently weren’t in the same huddle. They were still cranking up the Internet cheerleading, asking for supporters to write their local newspapers and to contribute to the cause.
In a story in Saturday’s Review-Journal the AP quoted Obama at a fundraiser saying, "And it may be that … if Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not. And that’s how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they’ll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."
Sounds a bit defeatist.
But also on Saturday I got an e-mail from a Mitch Stewart at BarackObama.com and something called Organizing for America with the Obama campaign logo trying to rally the troops for a fourth quarter drive down the field.
"An alarming new study shows that health care costs increased last year at the fastest rate in more than a half century," Stewart writes.
"Health care spending rose to an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009, or $8,047 per person — and is now projected to nearly double by 2019. If we don’t act, this growing burden will mean more lost jobs, more families pushed into bankruptcy, and more crushing debt for our nation.
"The conclusion is clear: This isn’t a problem we can kick down the road for another decade — or even another year. We need to pass health reform now."
Then he asks, "Can you write a letter to the editor of your local paper right now?" The sentence is a link to a form letter, where you enter your ZIP code and get a list of local and national papers along with talking points, but a bold-faced admonition: "Do not use these points verbatim."
The talking points included a lot of rehash from the original e-mail:
— "A new federal study shows that health care spending rose to an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009 …"
— "If we don’t act, this growing burden will mean more lost jobs …"
— "This isn’t a problem we can kick down the road …"
— "I stand with President Obama in calling on Congress to finish the job."
They also include these writing tips:
— "Be concise. Most newspapers ask for Letters to the Editor to be less than 300 words."
— "Write from the heart. The most powerful letters will tell your personal story about why the topic of your letter is so important to you."
I gave it try and promptly got an e-mail thanking me for sending a letter to my local paper. Of course, the subject line I used was astroturf, the name given phoney efforts to look like a grass roots movement. And I simply cut and pasted the talking points in the text field. For some reason it never appeared in our e-mailed letters in-box.
Just for the fun of it, give it a try yourself. But please send you messages to the Sun. We get enough kook mail.
After you send your missive, you will be taken immediately to a page where you are invited to contribute money to the cause. Or you can take your hard-earned money and place a bet that the Saints will cover the spread. Which, I think, might provide a better return on your investment.