With visions of last year’s shout-fest health-care town halls dancing in their heads, House Democratic leaders rallied the troops this week for the August recess by literally handing out talking points. In a letter sent to members Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn and Caucus Chairman John Larson outlined a plan to hit on certain themes each of the six weeks of the recess.
“We want the power of all of our voices to convey these messages, so we ask you to plan public events and media interactions in your district around weekly themes — if they work for you.”
Here’s an excerpt of the letter, originally posted by The Hill:
August 2—Fighting For The Middle Class: “Make it in America” Week
We are wrapping up a Congressional work period with a series of bills to promote a Make it in America manufacturing revival. Members can also highlight Recovery Act jobs in your districts. Republicans in Congress have sided incessantly with big corporations shipping jobs overseas and Wall Street bankers who helped cause the meltdown.
August 9 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Protecting Social Security Week
The 75th anniversary of Social Security is August 14. Members can highlight how, once again, this bedrock promise is under assault from Congressional Republicans seeking to privatize and cut Social Security that Americans have earned. Democrats will protect and strengthen Social Security.
August 16 – Fighting for the Middle Class: Consumer Protection Week
As students head back to college and families head out for back-to-school shopping, it’s a good time to highlight the strong consumer protections enacted by this Congress. Republicans sided with the Big Banks over students when we made college more affordable. Republicans fought a first-ever consumer protection agency and split over a Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. And as we continue the drumbeat on the Patient’s Bill of Rights giving Americans and their doctors control over their health care, Republicans would repeal long overdue protections for Americans if they get sick or have a pre-existing condition.
August 23—Fighting for the Middle Class: Small Business Week
Our economic recovery must be powered by small businesses. This Congress has enacted 8 separate tax cuts for small businesses, made health insurance more affordable, and fought to get credit flowing—time and again, over Republican opposition. This week, Senate Republicans moved to block billions of dollars of private-sector lending for small businesses.
August 30—Troops & Veterans Week
Since 2007, a Democratic-led Congress has made historic investments in services for our veterans. After eight years of insufficient support under Republicans, since 2007, we have increased funding for veterans health care and benefits by 70 percent, providing over 10,000 new claims processors to reduce case backlogs, 3,389 doctors, 14,316 nurses, 145 community-based outpatient clinics, and 92 new vet centers. We have improved troop pay and equipment, and improved conditions for military families. Around the August 31st deadline to get combat troops out of Iraq, Members can focus on the promise being kept.
September 6—Fighting for the Middle Class: “Make it in America”
In September, we will keep working on legislation to rebuild American manufacturing and make America the world’s leader in innovative technologies, after a decade of damage to our economy. Members can highlight our top priority—creating jobs here in America— as we head back for the next work period.
Please find enclosed two pocket cards to help you deliver this message.
As Jesse Zwick writes at the Washington Independent, Democratic strategists are clearly trading on the fact that just mentioning the Bush years delivers a up-bump in the polls. Bush, predictably, seems to care less about his ongoing toxicity to his party and is going on a book tour the weeks before the midterm elections. His book “Decision Points,” ” an “honest and direct” book about “his flaws and mistakes, as well as his historic achievements,” will come out November 9th, the week of the election, a fact Republicans are fully digesting in horror. Obama meantime is planning to help Democrats by staying away from key races.