If I Had a Hammer

I won a National Leadership Award from Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK and head of the NRCC). I’m honored. All I have to do is call them at 877-213-1609 and claim my award. I’ll get a plaque and a gavel! I would like a gavel. The only other gavel I have is one that my long-dead father-in-law made for himself, which I inherited. I use it to pound wooden pegs into my woodworking (doesn’t create dents the way a steel hammer would) whenever I’m making something that requires wooden pegs, which isn’t very often.

Wait, there’s more! If I actually make the call, I’ll get a taped speech from Congressman Cole himself, proclaiming the need to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent and for the Republicans to maintain control of Congress (I think he means “retake control of Congress”). And if I stay on the line longer still, I’ll get a request to donate $500 to help the NRCC take out full-page ads denouncing the Pelosi-led Democratic Congress and, I suppose, why the Republican Party needs to be the majority party. Frankly, I don’t think either party should be the majority party in Congress, but there’s not much I – or anyone else – can do to change that.

If I were a registered Republican I could understand why someone connected to the National Republican Campaign Committee might want to trade an award for some money. But I’m not a registered anything.

Nonetheless and regardless of their political leanings, many award winners will pick up the phone and make the call. Many of those who call will donate their $500. The Republican Party stands to pick up quite a bit of cash from this unabashed marketing campaign, plying the egos of the “award” winners.

Some would call this savvy marketing. I call it preying. I wish that politicians would see sleaze for what it is. Their ethics are terribly corrupted.


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