DownsizeDC.org
December 13, 2006
Silence of the Lambs
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . This is the shape of things to come . . . Congress is out Christmas shopping. So are you. Given the season you may think that all is calm, all is quiet. But the silence you're hearing is not that of "Silent Night," but of "Silence of the Lambs." YOU are about to be slaughtered, for the sake of uninhibited Congressional power. Change metaphors . . . Congress is thinking several moves ahead, while most of the rest of us think the game is in recess. Congress knows that the secret to winning the game is controlling the rules of the game. This is what they did with the campaign finance laws. They changed the rules to favor incumbents and silence challengers. Think not? Think the recent elections show that challengers can still win? Think again. You're about to meet the new boss, who will be the same as the old boss. "The Onion" had it right when it declared that "Politicians sweep midterm elections." The small number of incumbents who lost were replaced by their clones. Get ready. You're about to see what this means in practice. It means more rules changes. Because Congress is thinking several moves ahead, while the rest of us think the game is in recess. Congress knows that . . . Future threats to their power come not from significant changes at the ballot box. They've already foreclosed that option. They know that the next danger to their hegemony comes from groups like Downsize DC. And they have a plan to silence us. Can you hear it? Can you hear the silence of the lambs? It is the sound of YOUR silence. It is the sound of you being slaughtered, of you being MADE silent. Perhaps you've heard that . . . Nancy Pelosi wants to pass an ethics bill in the first 100 hours of the new Congress. What does it mean when a Congressional leader wants to pass an ethics bill? It means that ethics are about to be thrown out the window. It does NOT mean that Congress is going to regulate itself. It means that Congress is going to regulate YOU! The problem, as they see it, is not with their own ethics, but yours, because you have the audacity to want to impede their ability to do good things for you. If that seems like a joke to you, then get ready for the punchline . . . Pelosi's ethics bill will impose crushing regulatory burdens on small grassroots organizations like Downsize DC, but leave Congress and the "K Street" special interest lobbying firms completely exempt. Halliburton's lobbyists will be exempt. But Downsize DC will not. Why? Is Downsize DC trying to win special government favors? Is Downsize DC trying to pork-out at taxpayer expense? Is Downsize DC trying to bribe Congress to win lucrative contracts? Is Downsize DC the source of Congressional ethics problems? Of course not. But only smaller, grassroots groups like Downsize DC will be effected by Nancy Pelosi's so-called ethics bill. Again, we must ask why? Is Congress afraid of Downsize DC? Hardly. But Congressional leaders are thinking several moves ahead. Congressional leaders can see the writing on the wall. * Congress can count the increasing number of contacts they're receiving from constituents because of groups like Downsize DC. * They know that these increased contacts are but the first ripples of what could become a tidal wave, so they must dampen the ripples now, before it's too late. * Congress knows that public energy is flowing out of the rigged electoral process and into direct pressure on Congress. And so when I say that Congress can, "see the writing on the wall," I am thinking about some very specific writing. I am thinking about the wording of "the Read the Bills Act." When I was on Capitol Hill everyone knew about the "Read the Bills Act." More than 40 Congressional offices now have form letter responses about "Read the Bills" for constituents who contact them about it. "Read the Bills" is the writing they see on the wall and Congressional leaders don't like it. So they want to change the rules on us, before we change the rules on them. They plan to do it in the first 100 hours of the new Congress. What will we do to stop it? We must mount direct pressure on both Congress and THE MEDIA to expose the fraud. We must prepare now to do this in January, but the peaceful mood of the season makes this difficult. You make think that all is calm, all is quiet. But the silence you're hearing is not that of "Silent Night," but of "Silence of the Lambs." And so . . . I have no choice. I must be aggressive when I would really rather enjoy the peace of the season, and leave you to do the same. Unfortunately, it's all about money, at a time when there are so many money demands on all of us. But I have no choice. To be ready for Nancy Pelosi's un-ethical ethics bill, and much else, we simply must get to the $6,000 level in monthly credit card pledges -- which is only about $150 away. On top of that, I must raise an additional $8,000 to make our December budget. We will not be alone in the fight against Pelosi's so-called reforms. Other organizations are joining us in preparing for this fight. We will recruit even more. But we must do our part and do it now, because this is aimed directly at Downsize DC and "the Read the Bills Act." It's as simple as that. Please, help if you possibly can. You can start a monthly pledge or make a one-time contribution here. Jim Babka President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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