Calling all Republican districts

Now would be a good time to pick up the phone and add some pressure for your GOP Representative to stop acting like such an ass about the tax and spending negotiations. If his party wants to cut social welfare programs, then man up and propose something. Otherwise just pass the Senate bill that protects everyone’s first $250k in income and let the economy get on recovering. This works best as a full court press so yes, whatever Cockhead McDoodlebrains your district is stuck with, phone them.

More about this below.

Find your Congresscritter here.

Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Guide for first-timers here. (see below)

***Update***

Thanks to Saint Timonius for posting the toll-free switchboard numbers: (888) 355-3588 and (888) 818-6641

***Update 2***

If you live in Michigan, now would be a most excellent time to phone your state Senator and tell his office that you will remember who destroyed the state public school system. Gory details here.

***Update 3***

Some people have trouble getting to the first timers’ guide, so here are the key points:

(1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read and in fact has the most impact of all, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .

(2) Remember, this person works for you. You pay his or her salary and you voted for them. You’re the boss here, or at least one of them, and it’s they who should worry about what you think of them.

(3) Identify your name and the town or neighborhood where you live zip code. If you are not a constituent don’t bother. Since you guys never listen to me, at least google a zip code in the appropriate district before you call.

(4) State the issue. This is easy: pass the Senate bill or the party gets it. We can (and certainly will) fix the shortcomings later. Talking points above.

(5) How strongly do you feel? Don’t apologize about feeling passionate or pissed off. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. However, keep in mind that teabaggers threaten the apocalypse over everything. Interns get jaded pretty fast when call volume is high. Polite but firm is the best way to go.

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77 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    First someone will have to resuscitate your GOP (Graying Old Penis’s) Congressperson, from his/her fainting couch.

    They expected President Obama and the Democrats to come in, in a defensive crouch, and start negotiating with themselves, before they even got the them. This has worked for them for 4 years.

    Instead, Obama and the Democrats said, “Here’s our proposal. Take it – or give us your counter-offer!”

    And they all fainted dead away, at the audacity of the uppity KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistHeathenMuslim, and his complete lack of civility.

    Nooners is weeping copiously on Broder’s grave.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Moderation?
    Let me try it this way:
    First someone will have to resuscitate your GOP (Graying Old Penis’s) Congressperson, from his/her fainting couch.

    They expected President Obama and the Democrats to come in, in a defensive crouch, and start negotiating with themselves, before they even got the them. This has worked for them for 4 years.

    Instead, Obama and the Democrats said, “Here’s our proposal. Take it – or give us your counter-offer!”

    And they all fainted dead away, at the audacity of the upp*ty K*nyanS*cialistF*scistC*mmunistH*athenM*slim, and his complete lack of civility.

    Nooners is weeping copiously on Broder’s grave.

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Yeah, so this “retirement” thing didn’t last very long, did it? Not that I’m objecting.

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Moderation again? Even after some changes?

    WOW!
    I must have written something really, truly awful!

    I wonder what it is?

  5. 5
    Maude says:

    The Repubs are digging in again. Now even Wall Street is upset about the taxes going up. A call does a lot of good. I have done so and it is always nice to chat with the person who answers the phone.

  6. 6
    Maude says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    We need him here. He is busy, but I’d say we are do for a Max picture.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    But the Repubs don’t want to be seen as caving in to the Kenyan Muslim Socialist Communist Atheist, doncha know?

    I don’t see how Repubs win this fight.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    And don’t call them “entitlements.”

    Call them “earned benefits.”

    (Reader suggestion on Paul Krugman’s column today, and a good one. Change the language.)

  9. 9
    Tim F. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I wish I knew why whipping up phone calls remains so rare on the internets when it is easily among the top five most productive use of blogs ever. Honestly. For a decent-sized blog it is the easiest damn thing in the world to get a few hundred readers on the phone and pestering Reps. Believe me. A thoughtful post takes over an hour; one of these takes maybe ten minutes. It costs me nothing and the political leverage it produces, at least when the issue is teed up just right, is astounding.

    If other blogs would get their readers moving when the preznit calls then I’d damn well stay retired.

  10. 10
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle

    I love that earned benefits is finally taking hold. I have been calling them this for a long time. My Mom was an HR professional and she gets irate whenever she hears people refer to Social Security or Medicare as “entitlements”.

    She will yell “I have been paying into social security and medicare for 60 years by God. I damn well earned those benefits!”

  11. 11
    BudP says:

    P. Roskam’s employees are liars or idiots. The guy who answered his phone told me Roskam supported the Senate bill. I said that’s not Speaker Boehner’s position, was he sure? Then he said Roskam wanted tax cuts for all income levels preserved. I said that’s not going to happen, will Roskam vote to protect middle class people or sacrifice them for the top 1%. He said I have no idea, negotiations are tough and are being held close to the vest. But he’d be sure to see that the congressman got my opinion.

  12. 12
    Schlemizel says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Have the same problem in an earlier thread. Found a story at a site (I want to be careful since I have no idea what the key word is that triggered the d… moderation) we all know and hate. it rhymes with ‘led skate’.

    Written by the guy who name is his nameson.

    In it he has found the nut (not impossible but good work for a blind sow). He has figured out that the GOP core are a bunch of grifters who are bleeding them dry while doing a bad job.

    I wish we could discuss it here

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    Any suggestions for talking points when calling a Democrat Representative?

    Also, I’ve got two GOP Senators. Should I call them? Got any talking points?

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    @BudP:

    I got the same circular BS when I called Sen. Klobuchars office on Social Security. I’m guessing she will be a solid vote for benefit cuts when the GOP needs her.

    The only clear line they would draw was no privatization. When I pointed out that nobody was seriously proposing to privatize it but they were proposing raising the age to 70 etc they started circling back again. This is the kind of crappy Democrats we get when the GOP is full of loonies

  15. 15
    ET says:

    As someone who lives in DC and who pretty much has no representation (Though I do appreciate Del. Holmes-Norton) please remind your Republican congresscritter that not everyone in their district is a Tea Party enthusiast – sometimes I think they forget that- and that they represent everyone in their district and not just the loudest and/or the ones that voted for them.

  16. 16
    RSR says:

    Chrome blocks that first timers guide, reporting:

    Google Chrome has blocked access to this page on http://www.balloon-juice.com.
    Content from http://www.blogpolls.com, a known malware distributor, has been inserted into this web page. Visiting this page now is very likely to infect your computer with malware.

    Anyone know what that’s about?

  17. 17
    Tim F. says:

    @Violet: The adjective is ‘Democratic’. The only real discussion right now is between Obama and Boehner, but you can thank them for holding firm on Obama’s tax cut plan and emphasize that you will hold Boehner’s caucus responsible if they fail to come up with a coherent counterproposal.

    Republican Senators will vote for whatever Obama and Boehner agree on, or at least they won’t block it. None of those guys are dumb enough to step in front of that train.

  18. 18
    Schlemizel says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    You don’t? Where have you been the last 20 years? The Dems have found more ways of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory than the Chicago Cubs.

    Its why we have to keep the pressure on.

  19. 19
    Steeplejack says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Does this work? Erick Erickson, “Cliff Diving” (warning: RedState link).

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @Violet:

    YES! Call the REpbulicans too! If you don’t they will continue in the FAUX bubble. We need to try and flood them so that they start to fear for their crappy jobs! They have to at least believe there is a chance they will take the fall if they do not play nice.

    Sure the odds of that are not great but doing nothing insures they only hear from the wingnuts

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Well you didn’t go to mod so thats interesting but no, thats not the story
    the story is titled:
    the- a word meaning sex with a close relative bleeding-of-the-republican-party

  22. 22
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Schlemizel:
    For the life of me, I can’t figure out what it is!

    There’s no curse words, no ethnic slurs – beyond KenyanSocialistFasistCommunistHeathenMuslim. In other words – nothing I’ve never written here before, and been ‘moderated.’

    Let me see if this one get through, or maybe I know that somehow, long words get moderated.

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    Nope, it wasn’t THAT!

    Huh…

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    I just had a brain storm – maybe tiny URL will sneak it past

    http://tinyurl.com/brpk2au

    If this works you will finally see the comment

    YAY!
    In which Douche Doucheson is the blind sow that found the nut. This is not good news for us because it means the goopers are getting wise to the guys that have been fleecing them

  25. 25
    Tim F. says:

    @c u n d gulag: Socialist gets you moderated. It contains ‘cialis’.

  26. 26
    Felonius Monk says:

    Just discovered that my rethug congress rep has walked back his pledge to Grover. His spokesmonkey said that he made the pledge to his constituents not Grover and since he was just re-elected to the House to represent a newly drawn congressional district (thankfully, no longer mine), he’s free and clear to cooperate with the O-man.

    I think in the days ahead a lot of the rethug rats will be jumping ship.

  27. 27
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @c u n d gulag: If you have more than 2 urls in the comment it triggers WP spam filter, happened to me yesterday.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Tim F.: I’d help, but here in New England Republican congresspeople are well-nigh extinct.

  29. 29
    c u n d gulag says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Nope – no url’s.

    May it is the ‘c*alis’ in Soc*alism, like Tim F say.

  30. 30
    Keith says:

    Remember, this person works for you. You pay his or her salary and you voted for them.

    There many people reading this post that voted for GOP candidates? Is the intent to lie to the GOP folks so they think we support them or do you mean we should be calling Democrats?

  31. 31
    JPK says:

    I was gerrymandered out of a battleground district and into a safe blue district, but until the end of the year am technically still represented by a loyal Tea Party soldier, class of ’10 (Jaime Herrera). I will probably call her office, just to stack another call up on our side, but my experience is she doesn’t listen to our side much.

  32. 32
    c u n d gulag says:

    Jeez, I think “Purgatory” is shorter than “…awaiting moderation.”

    Someone wake up the Moderator!
    AWOOGA-AWOOGA-AWOOGA!

    That do it?

  33. 33
    c u n d gulag says:

    Nope.

    Besides, it was nothing earth shattering, or brilliant.
    Just some more of my usual word-turds. :-)

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @Tim F.:

    The adjective is ‘Democratic’.

    I know the whole Democrat/Democratic issue is a big thing for some people–they think it’s some sort of a slam on Democrats if someone doesn’t use the “ic” on the end of “Democrat”. I don’t really care one way or the other. Republicans have the advantage in the name department because they are always “Republican” and no one has to remember to go from “Republican” to “Republicanic” (or something) whereas with Democrats people have to remember to go from “Democrat” to “Democratic”. I don’t see it as any kind of a slam on Democrats when someone doesn’t use “Democratic”. The name of the party is “Democrat” and I think people are frequently just using the name of the party when they refer to their Representative or whoever. That’s what I was doing in this case. But I take your point about the proper English usage. So I’m sorry I used incorrect grammar. Maybe the fact that I’m fighting a stomach bug and not on top of my game had something to do with it too.

    Thanks for the info.

  35. 35
    handsmile says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    If you’re feeling charitable, you might want to call up Rep. Gibson’s office and offer him some luv, because he’s about to become a national pinata for his fatuous excuse.

    On Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night, he was being openly mocked, with guest Chris Hayes referring to Gibson’s “reasoning” as “Jesuitical” (which may be the first time that word has ever been said on television).

  36. 36
    slag says:

    @Tim F.:

    I wish I knew why whipping up phone calls remains so rare on the internets when it is easily among the top five most productive use of blogs ever.

    I’ve been wondering this since 2008. Sadly, I am left to assume that a lot of liberal blogs prefer certain kinds of whipping over others. Personally, I prefer the kind that you do, Tim, because I think it actually furthers the liberal agenda of promoting representative democracy.

  37. 37
    Schlemizel says:

    @Keith:

    No need to lie – tell them you live in their district/state and they are your representative. Let them draw their own conclusions.

  38. 38
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks, Moderator(s)!

    And see – nothing earth shattering or brilliant.

    I still wonder what triggered it?

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @Tim F.: I wish other liberal blogs would do “phone your rep” posts too. Heck, I think maybe it should be part of a regular thing. Once a month, someone makes a posts with five topics that are worth phoning your rep about and then encourages readers to phone them. Regular interaction with our representatives is part of being a good citizen. I wish more people would do it. Blogs could play an important role in shaping discussion if people would call more often.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    For some holiday schadenfreude, this is an excellent story:

    How Obama Killed the Norquist Pledge

    All of this – the Republican bubble – hinged on a single thing, however. Their fantasy would or would not become reality based on a singular event: the 2012 presidential election. The Republicans bet their house on their inside-the-bubble idea that they were successful in their obstruction and thus this president would be a one-term president. The President, on the other hand, made a different bet with the same hinge. He bet that he could make the case to the American people to return him to office. While Republicans did everything with an eye towards a goal of making this president a failure, the president put his presidency on the line to do the right thing. And he took his case to the American people.

    I am proud to support this President. Call, call CALL!

  41. 41
    JasonF says:

    I’m fine with the term “earned benefits,” but really: an entitlement is something to which I am entitled. Why am I entitled to something? Because I have earned it. Social Security is not a gift, dependent upon the whim of the giver — it is something that I have a right to.

  42. 42
    Grincheuse says:

    My new rep is Darrell Issa. Sigh. I’ll call. I e-mailed yesterday. During the ACA fight I used to call Loretta Sanchez and one day I visited. I saw the number of people who had called about the topic the week before the vote — single digit.

  43. 43
    PeakVT says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It doesn’t hurt to call a Democratic congresscritter. Even in true blue N.E. they still can be nudged further to the left.

  44. 44
    Someguy says:

    POTUS is offering those morons a good deal. $1.5 trillion in tax hikes now, in exchange for $400 billion in cuts starting in 2022. In other words, tax hikes plus a deferred Fuck You that will never happen, because this Congress can’t bind future Congresses.

    The alternative he could offer them is tax hikes now, plus an immediate Fuck You. Personally, I think that ought to be his starting point. They are demoralized, divided, just lost the election, and he’s in a position of power, and in fact he ought to ask for double that in hikes, and no more spending ceiling, and promise (non-binding) $5 trillion in cuts over 10 years starting in 2022 – cuts that will never happen. The Republicans can tell the cretins who vote for them that they got an agreement for spending cuts, and the government will get the money it needs to keep operating. Everybody will win.

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Incest and its variants are a known FYWP no-no. That was not at all clear what you were referring to in your previous comment. Glad you figured something out.

  46. 46
    Tim F. says:

    @Grincheuse: Please do call. Email works about as well as shouting at your cat.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tim F.:

    I thought socialist had been fixed.

    ETA: Yes, it has. This comment went through fine.

  48. 48
    rlrr says:

    My Representative is Todd Akin…

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I believe you can have three URLs, but if you reply to someone that counts as a URL.

  50. 50
    Steeplejack says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    I believe penis is what did you in.

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PeakVT: Yep. Do you think your true blue congressman doesn’t hear from their side all the time?

  52. 52
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Test message to confirm that penis triggers the moderation filter. It does!

  53. 53
    Origuy says:

    @c u n d gulag: The word that got you into moderation is “P*n*s”. You know, the thing that “V**gr*” gets hard.

    @Schlemizel: The URL in the previous thread contained “*nc*st” Apparently p0rn of that genre is a popular subject in spam.

    Why FYWP isn’t smart enough to allow its forbidden words as part of other words is beyond comprehension.

    Edit: I did refresh before posting, I really did. How did Steeplejack get two posts before me?

  54. 54
    Steeplejack says:

    @JasonF:

    The problem is that entitlement is used as a dog whistle because it has negative connotations, e.g., “That guy is a self-entitled bastard,” “She has a awful sense of self-entitlement.” So to call these benefits “entitlements” is another way to hint at the idea that they’re going to the moochers.

  55. 55
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Steeplejack:
    D’OH!

    What a dumbass!

  56. 56
    tesslibrarian says:

    Just got off the phone with my useless “representative” Paul Broun’s office. I asked what they were doing–apparently Broun is going to be co-sponsoring a bill to be introduced next week that makes all the tax cuts permanent and stops sequestration from happening. I said, “and how do you plan to get that through the Senate? They aren’t going to agree to making all tax cuts permanent.” She said she can’t predict what the Senate will do, but that she “guarantees” our taxes will not go up. I asked her how that was possible since recess was coming soon, and she said “no one will go to recess if taxes will go up.” She then guaranteed me taxes would not go up again.

    By the way, she picked up on the first ring. NO ONE is bothering to call his office. And I understand why.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Violet:

    Any suggestions for talking points when calling a Democrat Representative?
    __
    Also, I’ve got two GOP Senators. Should I call them? Got any talking points?

    Congress will likely do nothing at all before their Christmas break (December 14). Some of these folks show up in their home district during the holidays and make a show of listening to their constituents. This might present another opportunity to let them know what you want.

    Otherwise, for Democrats and Republicans alike, it’s the same core message: Kill the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; keep the middle class tax cuts.

    Democrats should be urged to continue supporting the president. Republicans should be urged to support the president because he is right. The president’s plan would retain tax cuts for everyone on the first $250,000. The tax cuts were always intended to be temporary, and now is the time to end them. They did not stimulate the economy or create more jobs when first passed, and they are not doing so now.

    Let’s see, what else. Talks about cuts to Social Security and Medicare are false issues raised just to give Congress something to cut. There is no economic reason to touch these programs in a weak economy.

    And Republicans should be reminded that they represent the people in their district, not Grover Norquist.

  58. 58
    PeakVT says:

    On Tim F.’s point about email: since the amount of effort it takes to generate most email messages is so small, be it by a spam program or by a human C&Ping a chain email, on average they don’t represent a level of interest or concern that merits much attention. Your email may be read by a human if it hits the right combination of keywords to pass through some filter, but the vast majority get dumped to a bit bucket – even if you put an hour into writing it. If you have put some effort into crafting an email, you should also spend the extra 5 minutes it takes to print it out and put it in the snail mail system.

  59. 59
    Schlemizel says:

    @Steeplejack: @Origuy:

    Yes, that was the word – I did not recognize it at first and by the time I had it was too late. Thanks. Interesting that a tiny url gets around the problem!

    The story is actually quite scary. Ericson has finally bought a clue from someplace & figured out that the same group of grifting fools have been running GOP campaigns & they funnel work to their cronies. Now we have known this for some time but if those morans catch on it could be bad news for the country as they might be replaced by competent management. The party and its ideas would still suck but they might run more successful campaigns

  60. 60
    Phylllis says:

    My Congressman is Jim Clyburn, D-Awesome, thankyewverymuch. I will, however, call his office anyway, because I know they’re hearing from the teahadist brigade.

  61. 61
    TooManyJens says:

    If Timothy Johnson (IL-15) is your legislator, call the Washington office. The district office does not give a fuck what you think. At least the people in the DC office are polite professionals.

  62. 62
    EconWatcher says:

    Excitable Andrew Sullivan thinks Obama is overplaying his hand and should be more conciliatory in his approach. I view this as overwhelming proof that it’s time to tighten the screws mercilessly.

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Interesting that a tiny url gets around the problem!

    That’s because the FYWP filter also looks at URLs in your comment, and the original RedState one includes incestuous.

  64. 64
    Amanda says:

    Totally off topic, but given all the pet lovers on this blog, I wanted to bring this very sad but lovely piece from today’s Boston Globe to the community’s attention — Elizabeth Warren’s dog died 5 days before election day:

    http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2.....story.html

  65. 65
    catclub says:

    @PeakVT: I remember a video (but have not bothered to find again) where the number one method for having attention paid is a handwritten letter to the local office, which is then faxed by them to the DC office.

    (Number one without a large donation attached)

    Why the local office is still using fax for this transmission is a different mystery. Copy machines can email pdf’s.

  66. 66

    I have a problem here that I’m thrilled to have: I don’t have any Republicans representing me in Congress or the Virginia legislature. None. None at all. There aren’t any Republicans I call and yell at! I’m so happy!

  67. 67
    Felonius Monk says:

    @handsmile: You are probably correct. I should make an effort to be supportive, but I dislike this guy so intensely that it will be difficult.

  68. 68
    Felonius Monk says:

    @EconWatcher: Yesterday, on another thread, I asked the rhetorical question: Has Andrew Sullivan pulled his head out of his ass yet?

    I guess now the answer is obvious.

  69. 69
    handsmile says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    And were you to do so, you’d be a far, far better person than I. To use a phrase from your first comment, I want all these “rethug rats…jumping ship” to drown in the sulfurous seas they’ve created.

    I am sorry for your dilemma; I have the great good fortune of being represented by one of the more staunch Congressional liberals, Carolyn Maloney. At least we both get to benefit (most of the time) from our Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

  70. 70
    karen marie says:

    Ben Quayle’s staff seems a tad upset at being out of a job come January. Hahahahaha.

  71. 71
    EconWatcher says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.:

    Well, you still have a Republican governor (as do I), but we’ll see what we can do about that next year.

    Just not Terry McAuliffe. For the love of god, no.

  72. 72
    PeakVT says:

    Here’s something you can call your senator about: filibuster reform. Kilgore has a rundown of senators who might be wavering.

  73. 73

    Do we have a House Bill number? I like to refer to the legislation specifically when I can.

  74. 74

    By the way, are we going to get to call these the “Obama Tax Cuts?”

  75. 75
    JasonF says:

    @Steeplejack: I get that “entitlement” is a dog whistle, but I think the answer isn’t “Oh, no — they’re not ‘entitlements;’ they are ‘earned benefits.'” The answer is “Your goddamned right these are entitlements, and the reason you are entitled to social security and medicare is because you spent decades earning the right to them by paying your hard earned money for them.”

  76. 76
    David in NY says:

    This is all the more important right now. Pelosi’s going to bring a “petition to discharge” the Senate bill raising taxes on those making over $250,000 to the floor. She needs 25 Republican votes to do so (assuming cooperation of all D’s). Now’s the chance to get them on the record. Are they going to go along? Or no?

    I plan to give Chris Gibson a call to find out soon.

  77. 77

    […] Tim F at Balloon Juice says “Now would be a good time to pick up the phone and add some pressure for your GOP Representative to stop acting like such an ass about the tax and spending negotiations. If his party wants to cut social welfare programs, then man up and propose something. Otherwise just pass the Senate bill that protects everyone’s first $250k in income and let the economy get on recovering. This works best as a full court press so yes, whatever Cockhead McDoodlebrains your district is stuck with, phone them… […]

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  1. […] Tim F at Balloon Juice says “Now would be a good time to pick up the phone and add some pressure for your GOP Representative to stop acting like such an ass about the tax and spending negotiations. If his party wants to cut social welfare programs, then man up and propose something. Otherwise just pass the Senate bill that protects everyone’s first $250k in income and let the economy get on recovering. This works best as a full court press so yes, whatever Cockhead McDoodlebrains your district is stuck with, phone them… […]

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