Saturday, March 05, 2005

Weak responses will kill us

This AP story has more information on the Bush administrations plan to use taxpayer funds to support its political agenda.

WASHINGTON - A new Social Security war room inside the Treasury Department is pumping out information to sell President Bush's plan, much like any political campaign might do.

It's part of a coordinated effort by the Bush administration. The internal, taxpayer-funded campaigning is backed up by television advertisements, grass-roots organizing and lobbying from business and other groups that support the Bush plan.

The president's opponents are organized too, though they do not enjoy the resources of the White House or Treasury to sell their message.

Unfortunately, the oppositions response to this is weak at best:

"They have the right to say their piece and to respond, but to create a whole team of PR experts to try and influence the media, I think, is an excessive use of taxpayer money," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, who opposes the Bush plan.

Don't say "I think" Joan. Say "it is". Say "it is also, quite possibly, illegal." If you are going to be a spokesperson you have to use strong words.

Of course, the Bushies are trying to confuse the issue by saying that this is similar to communication groups used by Clinton. It is the job of the opposition to show where there are differences and how those differences are, quite possibly, illegal.

They are going to try and use the vast resources of the federal government to sell Bush's program. By hitting back hard on the question of legality we can hobble that effort before it gets off the ground.

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