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It’s Political Poppycock

I was prepared to write a different post today. Mail delivery derailed me again. I opened my mailbox yesterday to find this inside:

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a letter from one of my esteemed members of Congress, responding to my barrage of protests during the SOPA-and-PIPA Saga. I omit the name of this person who co-sponsored the PIPA legislation in the Senate. 

Oopsie.

I reproduce this person’s response below, with my commentary in red.

Dear Andra:
(Why are you using my first name? You’ve never met me. You had dinner with MTM once, but I didn’t attend.)

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet privacy controls. As the Senate considers this issue, I will keep your comments in mind.
(What?  You readily admit YOU’RE STILL CONSIDERING IT? Even after 13 million people protested this legislation?)

I recognize your interest in maintaining the security and privacy of your personal computer. (Huh? PIPA sponsorship = you don’t care about my interests.) I believe in individual privacy rights, and I have supported legislation in the past that would create a “Do Not Spam” registry and enhance financial privacy. (Wow. A Do Not Spam registry. I’m bowled over. Would that work the same way the National Do Not Call Registry DOESN’T?) I was also proud to support the imposition of stricter limitations and penalties on the transmission of unsolicited commercial email. (Newsflash: Do you know how many unsolicited emails I still get in a day?)

My job as your United States Senator is to represent your interests. (That may be true 1. IF I have money, which I do not, and 2. IF I give a portion of my non-existent money to you via your PAC or designated Super PAC.) I can guarantee you I will give your thoughts and opinions the consideration they deserve. (Hello? No money to you = my interests deserve no attention.) Hearing directly from you about the problems facing our nation helps me better serve constituents like you, and the people of South Carolina as a whole. I hope you will always feel free to pick up the phone, write, or email about this, or any other issue, that comes before the Senate. (Why bother when I get responses like this one???)

If you are online, I would also encourage you to visit my website – REDACTED – as it will have information on the most recent activities before the Senate. While there you can also sign up for our e-mail newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages which will provide the latest information, and my up-to-the-minute views on the major issues facing our nation. (Oh. My. God. You DID NOT just include an entire marketing spiel in this letter telling me how much you care about my interests, did you?)

Thank you again for taking time from your busy day to contact my office. I look forward to hearing from you again in the future and truly appreciate the opportunity to represent your interests in the United States Senate.

Sincerely,

REDACTED

68 Comments Post a comment
  1. Zen and the Art of Dismantling a Form Letter. :)

    February 3, 2012
    • I don’t know how zen it was, but it was necessary. I read it out loud to MTM in the car on the way to a late lunch yesterday. I think I actually banged it on the dashboard when I got to the marketing part.

      February 3, 2012
      • I know! It makes you wonder how effective writing to your Congressman really is, when that’s the response you get. Love Anne Howe’s suggestion.

        February 3, 2012
      • I sent a pitch to Huff Post earlier today.

        February 3, 2012
  2. Brazen!
    I wonder what it would be like to have money and influence? Surely I’d be one of the few good guys?

    February 3, 2012
    • I hope I would be, too, were I to ever have some of either, Fiona.

      February 3, 2012
  3. Bravo Andra. I’d love it if you printed out this blog post and sent it back to that obviously an idiot politician. OR better yet, sent it to the newspaper or Huffington Post!

    February 3, 2012
  4. The Queen striking fear into the heart of L…. G….!! I have said it before and I’ll keep on saying it….throw all the bums out, limit terms to four years for reps and 8 years for Senators (yes, I know they currently serve 6 year terms), cut their term to 4 years.

    Now, on the security issue, be sure to run a bug sweep once a week at Maison Maher/Watkins…I saw some big black SUVs on your street this week.

    February 3, 2012
    • Teresa Mello #

      Lou, you have the same letter waiting for you at home!

      February 3, 2012
      • Looks like that letter gets around…………..

        February 3, 2012
      • I’m sure I do, I shall deposit it in the big blue abyss.

        February 3, 2012
      • Just let Miss TK do it for you, Lou. You already know what it says.

        February 3, 2012
    • Yesterday, they voted on DeMint’s term limits bill in the Senate. SurpriseSurpriseSurprise! It failed 24 – 75.

      February 3, 2012
  5. Ugh!

    February 3, 2012
  6. Why am I not surprised? Oh, yeah, because no matter what a politician says they will do what they’re PAID to support and they get PAID by special interests. *sigh* Good thing I took my blood pressure medicine today.

    February 3, 2012
    • Somehow, we have got to get the money out of politics in this country. I just have no idea HOW to do it.

      February 3, 2012
  7. The wrongness of our world is spreading from politics to beyond…. Lou did not comment until 7:10a.m. …. Systems are collapsing.

    February 3, 2012
    • In Beaufort for Rotary stuff and they don’t turn on the electricity until 7 am…bummer.

      February 3, 2012
      • Does Beaufort get ‘lectricity an hour earlier during summer hours? Can you make sure to arrange your trips accordingly?

        February 3, 2012
      • Haha!

        February 3, 2012
    • We must all get accustomed to The Grand Poobah’s increasing Rotary schedule. Plus, he is going to have to start writing his own blog soon. :)

      February 3, 2012
      • I shall get one of my minions to ghost write….:)

        February 3, 2012
      • No no. We can come up with something else.

        February 3, 2012
  8. Such letters are all about distracting you from the issue at hand and as you noted, allowing the politician to proclaim, “I’m very important…and you’re not.” Bah on the lot of them.

    February 3, 2012
    • I don’t understand why they waste resources to send out such drivel. I know it doesn’t cost them anything to send a letter……..it ends up costing ME as a taxpayer, which is even more offensive.

      February 3, 2012
  9. And as soon as we finish sending all these letters and all you short term memory constituents forget this we’ll all get started on the next version of this legislation you do not want, but this time we’ll bury it so you don’t notice it.

    February 3, 2012
    • They’ve already started working on it. I don’t know whether you signed up for the updates regarding the legislation, but they keep people well informed about what’s going on.

      February 3, 2012
  10. I live in a different state.
    I got the eXAct same fucking letter.
    WORD FOR GODDAMNED WORD. I got one about two weeks before Anti-SOPA day from my house ass. I got one yesterday from the asshat in the senate. The phrase about protecting your computer’s security blew it out of the water for a duplicate. Scott and I were remarking over our politicians’ efficiency last night. I didn’t know they conspired to efficency with other senators and housefarts.

    February 3, 2012
    • They make me sick. All of them. I’m sure the Alabama folks collude with the SC folks, but they are probably all up there colluding with one another, trying to stay another term.

      February 3, 2012
  11. That is the exact same form letter I got back. I have made my voice heard (ha!) a few times on various issues, and I always get back essentially the same form letter. Only the little middle part on which issue it is changes – and even then not by much.

    I have quite doing this because I am just tired of receiving more junk mail.

    February 3, 2012
  12. Right on, Andra!! Poppycock, pure (or not so) and simple:

    poppycock [ˈpɒpɪˌkɒk]
    n
    Informal senseless chatter; nonsense
    [from Dutch dialect pappekak, literally: soft excrement, from pap soft + kak dung; see pap1]

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    Sadly, I don’t think the newsmongers give us any more attention than they deem necessary to continue their myth that our opinions might actually matter, IF it suits their purpose for garnering the all-important “ratings” so, getting their ear is probably just another futility.

    Lou, I’ve said before that I support your term limits theory, but how do we get enough of mainstream America to rally behind that and get it done? Also, I personally doubt that “L…. G….” pays much attention . . . too busy smiling for the cameras and puppy-dogging behind whomever of his party is currently in vogue (oops, just my personal take on that one). :)

    February 3, 2012
    • Karen, thank you for supplying the definition. I looked it up last night, just to make sure it applied, but I didn’t think to post it here. I put a 600 word limit on myself for blog posts, with few exceptions, so I usually have to make decisions about what stays and what goes.

      Puppy-dogging. That is hilarious.

      February 3, 2012
  13. You know, the fact that these legislators get to mail this junk for FREE at taxpayer expense is really annoying.

    February 3, 2012
    • Yup, that they do this for free is probably what is bringing down the postal system. :-)

      February 3, 2012
    • I am sure this is contributing to the demise of the postal system. These bozos probably mail more stuff than just about anyone.

      February 3, 2012
      • Since I emailed them, couldn’t they just email me back instead of wasting postage and paper? Wait, that would make too much sense.

        February 3, 2012
      • Yes, there is no sense ascribing logic to fools.

        February 3, 2012
      • Wait for THIS one, Carnell. They DID email an answer, saying they appreciated my contact, and they were working to give me a personalized response. Due to the volume of contact they receive, blah blah blah. Then, they send this form letter. In the mail.

        February 3, 2012
      • They have yet to learn that one responds in the same stream as one receives.

        OH, I know! The reason they posited those stupid bills is because they don’t understand the Internet–clearly they don’t know how it works nor use it for constituent communications.

        February 3, 2012
      • Must be, Cheryl. You should watch this Daily Show video. Where Congresspeople talk about bringing in the nerds, it is just PRICELESS.

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-18-2012/ko-computer

        February 3, 2012
      • That Daily Show is hysterical!

        February 3, 2012
      • We need more John Stewart’s and our own Stephen Colbert and less mainstream media and our out of touch lawmakers. That was a nice 7 minute break, Stewart is just too funny.

        February 3, 2012
  14. ACK! Political Poppycock at its best/worst. :-(

    February 3, 2012
  15. I’m surprised a US Senator of all people would bypass basic etiquette rules and address you by your first name. That’s awfully sassy for someone who wrote to tell you she’s not happy with how you’re doing your job.

    February 3, 2012
    • It surprised me, too, Annabelle. Anyone in possession of basic business writing skills knows better.

      February 3, 2012
  16. to everyone in here who got so riled up over PIPA/SOPA

    ACTA

    February 3, 2012
  17. At least you got a response?

    I emailed and tweeted my Senators and Rep, and I didn’t even get an auto @-reply.

    February 3, 2012
    • I got no response from one and this one from the other. I don’t think empty responses count for much, but that’s just me.

      February 3, 2012
      • As if conjured, one of my Senators sent a form email about 2 hours after I left this comment.

        Honestly. It was bizarre. To his credit, there was no sales pitch, but there wasn’t a whole lot of substance either.

        February 4, 2012
  18. These politicians are bears of very little brain, the world over….what a transparent, smug, self-satisfied response. Love the red commentary: I have one of those underlying so many moments in my life….

    February 3, 2012
    • I am stupid to put it online. Lou is right. I will probably have black SUV’s haunting my life. But, these things are so flipping frustrating. We’re supposed to have a voice and an ability to be heard with our representatives in America. I know I’m not alone in feeling like that’s a joke.

      What I really don’t understand is this: if this legislation was good enough to not lose his support, why not explain why THAT was to me in this letter, instead of never mentioning his involvement? This was an opportunity for a dialogue of sorts.

      February 3, 2012
      • In his opinion (or that of his minions) this was an opportunity to talk AT you, not with you, My guess is that “staff” handles all this correspondence and most of our vocalization never truly reaches its intended target…..

        February 3, 2012
      • Karen, I’m sure they tabulate which way the wind is blowing, but that’s about as far as it goes.

        February 3, 2012
  19. You know what would be ironic? If the senators supporting “do not spam” legislation were inadvertently labeled as spammers- then that whole paragraph directing you to their social media pages would be, well….obsolete.

    February 3, 2012
    • Because it would be spam. :) Tricia, I knew you were brilliant when I ‘met’ you.

      February 3, 2012
  20. See? I always forget to pushadebutton!

    February 4, 2012
    • It is always the first thing I do. Pushadebutton. Leave comment. Making it first helps me remember. I really appreciate your coming back to do it. :)

      February 4, 2012
  21. I was actually helped once by a Congressman’s office…and with an IRS matter, no less! That was 25 years ago, and I’m sure quite an unparalleled event…and then he was voted out of office. I have no answers…cynicism is hard teacher. Debra

    February 4, 2012
    • It is hard not to be cynical these days, but it isn’t exactly attractive, is it?

      In other news, I noted a local movie theater showing a Bruce Springsteen concert in our area tonight, leaving hope for Yo-Yo Ma. :)

      February 4, 2012
  22. the difficulty is taht some enforceable laws to protect individuals and private information about themare needed

    then the powers that be want to protect their privileges and add in the things that will allow thek to do so, mix it all up together and so thet can fling accusations at those who want to limit their control

    what a tangle it is!

    February 4, 2012
  23. Politicians truly are the product of Satan’s coupling with various she-demons, right?

    February 7, 2012
    • Absolutely. They have to be. It doesn’t matter where in the world the reader is, that is the general consensus everywhere these days.

      February 7, 2012
      • She-demons? Where?! Did you get their phone numbers?

        February 13, 2012

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