In light of the Democrats’ announcement that “are launching a national grassroots push Wednesday to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system,” it’s time to followup on the review I promised of the Rachel Maddow Grassroots Standard, especially now that the transcript of the MSNBC hostess’s show is up.
Commenting on a rally last week in Houston against global warming legislation, Maddow sniffed that it was anything but grassroots:
. . . the rally was organized largely by the American Petroleum Institute and the crowd consisted at least in part of oil company employees bussed in specifically for the event. . . .
The goal according to the American Petroleum Institute memo was to deliver a, quote, “loud message” to members of Congress and to “put a human face” on the issue. And by human—let‘s be clear—we mean a human who has been bussed in by an oil company.
Wonder if she will take the Democrats to task as she does the American Petroleum Institute for calling the top-down rallies they’re organizing “grassroots.” Note also how Maddow dwells on the bussing in of activists, so surely she has taken the various left-wing groups to task for bussing in supporters to town halls and rallies to support the President’s proposed health care overhaul.
At yesterday‘s rally, many oil company employees arrived wearing t-shirts and signs that featured the logo of an ostensibly grassrootsy-sounding organization called Energy Citizens.
Given this criticism, I’m certain she’s taken the SEIU to task for sending its purple-shirted lackeys to various town halls and rallies across the contry. And we’ve all noticed how the opponents of Obamacare tend to be the ones with the homemade signs while the President’s supporters tend to carry pre-printed placards. Surely, she’s chided those proponents for not representing the grassroots.
At least some conservatives are doing what Maddow isn’t.
Noting that “The Democratic National Committee and its grassroots arm, Organizing for America, are helping to organize the effort along with the Health Care for America Now, a group pushing to create government-run insurance plan,” Darleen Chick asks:
WTF? OFA is the permanent Obama Campaign — They didn’t even change the website and the email list is exactly the same and it is fully funded by the DNC. How is that “grassroots” when the same statist Democrats are sneering and smearing word-of-mouth, chain-email organized people at Tea Parties and at townhalls with their handlettered signs as “astroturf”?
Blogging law professor William A. Jacobson is more succinct in his query, “How does one ‘launch’ a ‘grassroots’ effort? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”