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Petitions don’t vote.

June 11, 2014

Politicians love to try to fund raise by making the people, at least the ones that vote, feel like they have a voice in politics.

Particularly in an election year, hardly a week goes by that inboxes across America aren’t flooded with some sort of “make your voice heard” message. Petitions are popular now. They not only raise funds,  but build donor lists and function as a gauge of public sentiment.

One of the latest is from Congressman Darrel Issa. In summary, it asks people to sign a petition demanding transparency from the President.

For those that couldn’t care less about what goes on in Washington, Darrel Issa (R-CA) is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a committee that seems to accomplish neither goal of late.

In that context, one paragraph is particularly grating, as follows:

“As the Chief Watchdog in Congress, it’s my role and responsibility to conduct thorough investigations into these scandals to get to the bottom of things. My Republican colleagues and I are committed to holding this Imperial President accountable and demanding the truth. But we can’t succeed without thousands of conservatives standing with us and raising their voices.” 

At the bottom of the letter is a “contribute now” button. In short, this is a fundraiser. Such a petition, even if there was no appeal for money and got a million signatures, would be about as effective in changing this president’s modus operandi as spitting into a hurricane.

Chairman Issa, if you and your colleagues actually did your job, you wouldn’t need thousands of conservatives to send money. The committee is a watchdog with a yappy bark, no teeth and narcolepsy.

Releasing the Gitmo Five should probably be investigated as a violation not just of congressional protocol, but of the President’s duty to defend America while we are still engaged in a military action. You don’t need our money to know what to do about that. You need a backbone.

People are tired of posturing and buzz-word fundraising and status quo politics.

Yesterday, at least in Virginia, they told you that. The voters signed the only petition that really matters. They told the traditional GOP in no uncertain terms that throwing a lot of money around to defend a culture of political gamesmanship isn’t working anymore, and polls don’t predict outcomes. Whether or not Dave Bart wins the general election in November isn’t the issue for the GOP today.

This isn’t even a Tea Party or even just an immigration issue, other than that the Tea Party fundraises by publicly espousing some of the issue positions on which Mr. Bart campaigned. They didn’t support his campaign, so apparently he wasn’t enough of a cash cow for them, principles notwithstanding.

Fundraising emails and political ads are about the craft of messaging. Elections are or should be about sending a message. The message today is that the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia are not buying into your petitions and polls. Did you get that memo?

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