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September 24, 2007

Calendar power

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch

Amplify your voice. Forward this message to others.

Quote of the Day:

“It is not because a part of the government is elective, that makes it less a despotism, if the persons so elected possess afterwards, as a parliament, unlimited powers. Election, in this case, becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism.”
— Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, Part II.

Subject: How the calendar will help us, and how it can hurt us

A Senate majority voted last week to restore habeas corpus, which is the right of all persons detained by the government to challenge their detention in a court of law.

Sadly, more than a majority, 60 votes, was needed under Senate rules. We fell 6 votes shy. Too many Republican Senators stuck by the President.

Is this bad news? Not so much. We predict that the aging of the calendar will make all the difference. Republicans will continue to stand with the President, because that’s what the GOP base wants, but we expect this to change once the primary elections are over.

When Republicans no longer have to fear losing to a primary challenger, their votes will start to change.

Before the primaries politicians care more about what the bulk of their own parties think. After the primaries they tend to care more about public opinion as a whole.

Many Republicans will start breaking with the President on a host of issues once the primaries are over. But to take full advantage of this we must maintain the pressure now. Republicans in Congress need to know how much we care about the ancient right of habeas corpus, and that their future votes on this issue could be critical to their success in the general election.

The best time to convince politicians that you really care about an issue is right after they’ve voted on it. They are likely to hope that their vote settles the matter, because people will forget and move on to other things. We must disappoint this hope by applying relentless pressure.

Please send a message informing Congress of your continued commitment to restoring habeas corpus.

Finally, while the calendar is on our side with regard to habeas corpus and other issues, the calendar is our enemy when it comes to the continued health of We’re still about $3,000 short of being able to pay our bills for September, and there are only six days left. Contributions to close the gap are urgently needed.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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