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What part of "leave me alone" don't you understand?

For the longest time, I considered the New Hampshire Republican Party to be divided into two factions: the plutocrats and the ideologues. I called them the "Arrogant Rich" and the "Arrogant Stupid" elements, and in the 1990's they were exemplified by their highest elected officials: Judd Gregg and John Sununu from the former, Bob Smith for the latter.

That's faded a bit in recent years, as Democrats have made strides here that have forced the Republicans to be a bit more reasonable and realistic. But this morning, I saw a story in the paper that has me wondering if the Arrogant Stupid faction is making a comeback.

When Congress passed the Federal Do Not Call law a few years ago, they very carefully carved out an exception for political calls. We here in New Hampshire decided to take that a step further, and ban all pre-recorded calls to numbers on the list, regardless of who is making them.

Well, the Republican National Congressional Committee has been robodialing New Hampshire voters, urging them to vote for the GOP on Tuesday.

One unhappy recipient of five of the calls filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's office, who is looking quite seriously into the matter. They say that since the calls are being made into New Hampshire, our law prevails and the RNCC should knock it off.

What's the RNCC's response? Well, we aren't making the calls FROM New Hampshire, so the law doesn't cover US.

Regardless of the law, there is a matter of common sense here. Anyone on the Do Not Call List has taken an affirmative action towards saying they do NOT want to be bothered with unsolicited calls. It's not that far a stretch to think that if they don't want to be sold vacations, roofing, raffle tickets, coupon books, or furniture over their telephone, they most likely won't be tempted to buy a candidate either. And pushing them to do so will most likely not gain their support, but alienate them.

If New Hampshire Republicans, the supposed beneficiaries of this stupid tactic, had a lick of sense, they'd be leaning on the RNCC to knock it off. They'd score major points with their constituents (both New Hampshire congressmen are Republicans, and running for re-election) by standing up for them, and they'd be asserting their independence. Instead, they're just quietly ignoring it and hoping it will blow over after Tuesday.

It's reasons like this that I'm glad that 1) I don't belong to either party, and 2) I got rid of my home phone a while ago.

Comments (19)

Well I must say for once I ... (Below threshold)
Sal Manella:

Well I must say for once I totally agree with you.
Its reasons like that that I myself refuse to blindly sucribe to either political party.

The GOP's arrogance is one ... (Below threshold)

The GOP's arrogance is one of the main reasons I've gone from pachydermally persuaded to independent. The sheer haughtiness of these people! This trait is further clarified as the GOP drums 'the party of morals' beat on tom-toms who's heads are made of scapegoat skins.

The GOP has carried on a national campaign of innuendos against their opponents inh many, many district. Is that all they have! Disgusting.

And then there's Cheney on the TV this morning implying the American people don't know what their talking about. That they are wrong and he is right.

Well, their 'highness' is going to be cut right at the knees on Tuesday. That way, Americans won't have to pay as much attention to their genuflexing.

Yeah, I got a call from a ... (Below threshold)
Jonas Planck:

Yeah, I got a call from a recording of Newt Gingrich the other day, saying what a great guy the incumbent governor is. I figure if the governor is such a great guy, why can't he be bothered to hire actual humans to make his phone calls for him, you know, humans that aren't millionaires already, and maybe could use the money?

The purpose of all this is not to influence the voters, after all, the outcome of the election has already been determined. The purpose of all this mudslinging and phone tagging is to convince the voters that their votes are counted. (most of the votes ARE counted, except for just enough votes in key locations to alter the final outcome.) In short, although any election can be rigged, the illusion of electoral democracy must be maintained, or public outrage would drive the bosses from power. And now that the Dems look like they're going to benefit from this system, they've grown curiously silent on the issue of vote rigging.

But that doesn't change the fact that we CALL it a democracy.

The ARROGANCE of the republ... (Below threshold)

The ARROGANCE of the republican party???? Are you idiots following the history of Massachusetts. WE really know how to do arrogance (the dems) and we are teaching all of you north of the border how to be democrats...higher taxes, no say over your children, liberal social programs that you will have to fund FROM YOUR HIGHER TAXES. Read 'em and weep adjuncts of the Massachusetts democrat party.

Both parties certainly have... (Below threshold)

Both parties certainly have "stupid" pretty well nailed. They just show it in different ways. For them to call despite the Do Not Call list is lousy.

Judy:Us idiots in ... (Below threshold)


Us idiots in Ohio aren't following Massachusetts political history. We're following our own recent Ohio political history with the GOP sending all of our jobs overseas.

Then there's Bob Ney, Bob Taft, Tom Noe, Ken Blackwell, et al. Tea party, anyone?

Todd...fair enough. What w... (Below threshold)

Todd...fair enough. What will you say if the idiots in New Jersey send Menendez back to the Senate? hmmmm???

...and speaking of genuflex... (Below threshold)

...and speaking of genuflexing, you prove my point Judy.

'genu' = knee, flexion = decreasing the angle of body parts around an articulation.

Justrand:I'm ignoran... (Below threshold)

I'm ignorant on Menendez. I'll go look at what the bum has been doing. Thanks for the heads-up.

Justrand:A very qu... (Below threshold)


A very quick look at Menendez showed me that he's "Standing up for New Jersey families! I suspect this is a sorry piece of genuflexing as well.

Okay, I'll take your word that Menendez sucks. If so, and Jerseyans vote him back in, then the 2006 elections are truly a national referendum on Iraq.

Justrand:For one t... (Below threshold)


For one thing, I see that the freeways are jammed in New Jersey.

... and that Menendez is al... (Below threshold)

... and that Menendez is also involved in real estate.

... and there's a rumor cir... (Below threshold)

... and there's a rumor circulated that Menendez may share some genetics with the Menendez bothers. If this is true, then look out!

As someone from a mor south... (Below threshold)

As someone from a mor southerly clime, I have to admit I have a fond spot for New Hampshire: Live Free or DIE! Don't ever change it. Really.

Toddy,Clinton and th... (Below threshold)

Clinton and the democrat congress okayed the trade pacts for your "jobs" going overseas. Get with the program! In the democrat party "history" is open to interpretation.

At my (now former) job, I w... (Below threshold)

At my (now former) job, I was required for a brief period of time to make political calls. It was quite frankly the worst job I have ever had. People were incredibly rude, and I don't blame them. Because my co-workers could not figure out how to properly dispo a call, people were called three or four times in the space of two hours or so. I've had people curse me, threaten me, demand not to be called again, hang up on me... whatever can be done over the phone was done. My personal favorite, however, were the people who played practical jokes on me. Those calls were at least interesting.

I can't blame politicians for switching to automated systems. Political calling sucks, plain and simple, and computers are immune to verbal abuse. The political calling is one of the many reasons why I am no longer employed at the above job.

And the robo calls actually... (Below threshold)

And the robo calls actually accomplish very little. Which is another reason that both parties use robocalling. Most Americans resent getting any call on their phones that isn't from a friend/relative/returning a business call.

And yet, advertisers have convinced themselves and politicians that these phone calls are actually effective.

Its no different than the spam e-mails that go out. Less than 1 in 1,000,000 will get a response, but because the cost of sending them is effectively zero, its worth the effort.

Until we see the older less tech savvy generations pass away these tactics will continue, once they are gone and all that's left is young cynics, the phone calls will die out as no longer viable.

I am not crazy about telema... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I am not crazy about telemarketers. AND I believe I too am on that list of don't callers. BUT quite frankly the pre election eve phone calls are quite different than the fund raising political calls or the telemarket calls that are a complete nusance!...Personally I hope the Republicans win. Just the thought of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House is enough to make me appreciate a reminder to vote call. (Even though I voted early)...

What makes the Republican r... (Below threshold)

What makes the Republican robo calls particularly disgusting is the deception they ar engaged in in several states. They are calling voters and giving them the impression that they are calling on behalf of the Democratic candidate. Then they call five or six times in a row, and call at 5 a.m. (This isn't an Internet rumor; the RNCC admits it.) It's too bad they don't believe they can win on the power of their stance on the issues.






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