First, the good news. People who work in DC tell me that teabaggers have been screaming into their phones since Obama took office. They yelled about the stimulus before HCR came up. When HCR passes or dies they will yell about something else. For those of you who worried about it (I didn’t) that means the real added impact of Jane and her firebaggers most likely adds up to very little. Unless the FDL guys use some special identifier I doubt most staffers know that anything new is going on.
The bad news, of course, is that teabaggers are kicking our ass. Whatever their numbers (I would peg it as higher than you think and well below what Glenn Beck thinks) they have leaders who get activists to use the phone. Take that as a recrimination if you want. It simply is. Before January almost nobody called their Reps to support health care, least of all that stinker passed by the Senate*. I honestly don’t know how much you can blame Representatives for acting skittish when, at least to the people who answer their phones, the world sounds a lot like a sub-par diary at RedState.
If you belong to any sort of civic group, spend the weekend getting organized. Put together a phone bank and give your Representatives some support. Everyone I have contacted tells me that your calls have an impact.
First-time callers should use the guide here.
(*) I would rather choose some other hillock to die on as much as the rest of you, honest, and I would if I had a choice about it. Sadly, no. Either the House passes the Senate bill and then we fix its problems in reconciliation, or nothing happens and Evan Bayh will effectively run the Democratic party until he gratefully hands Congress off to Republicans in 2011. Your call.