Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why are congressmen debating in the dark?

I had a reader email asking plainly, "what is the #dontgo movement" so here's a post explaining and I'll post in a couple places so you can check in yourself. By the way Senator John Mccain is supporting this idea, and Senator Obama is not.

First, last week Congressional Democrats were not interested in being forced to take an up or down vote on Offshore oil drilling, a way to start increasing domestic production of oil and pull prices down. Go back to basic high school economics. If supply increases prices will be pulled downward in anticipation of either plenty of oil, or even too much oil in circulation. As an aside some Democrats (and MoveOn.org) are suggesting that anyone in favor of more drilling is being paid by the oil companies. I am not in the employ of any oil related industry.

Democrats moved to adjourn the House on Friday morning, and Republicans attempted to stop the adjournment. They lost that vote and Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats left for a five week vacation.

Mike Pence, from right here in Indiana, and other Republican leaders decided to return to the floor and debate anyway. They called for congress to come back, thus the #dontgo moniker, and vote up or down. Speaker Pelosi had the lights, cameras, and microphones turned off so that no one could hear them.

Enter the fun part. Congressman John Culberson is an active user of twitter for communicating online. Twitter allows the user to post multiple short thoughts, up to 140 characters, to answer the question "what are you doing?" Congressman Culberson began posting from the floor of the now dark and quiet House of Representatives. He also used his phone to shoot some video in the foyer and post online. They debated for more than 4 hours in the dark House on Friday.

Over the weekend, the movement began to catch some steam. Active online conservatives set up blogs and sites to track the debates as the Republicans returned on Monday to begin the debates in the House again. This time there were even more, both participants and audience.

Liberal MoveOn.org types then decided on Tuesday to begin fighting the issue. They initially dropped what they call Twitter bombs into the #dontgo stream, basically gumming up the system. But it actually worked against them because the tracker for #dontgo became the number one trending topic on twitter both Wednesday and Thursday morning when I last checked.

Now the media had to start paying attention and this morning a couple stories began to circulate that 80% or more of the American public wants an up or down vote on offshore drilling. They know what Democrats are missing ... namely that an increase in supply of any energy source will decrease the price of oil and thus gasoline to Americans. This could be the biggest "tax cut" like economic boost the economy could get this year.

What can you do?

  1. Head to the #dontgo movement website and check out the videos, links and blogs
  2. Go to the petition, now about 27,000 names, and add your name to the list Call Back Congress Petition
  3. Keep an eye on the twitter search tag #dontgo
  4. Call or email your House Representative and demand that they return to Washington and vote up or down on offshore drilling
There's business to be done for the American people, and a five week vacation is out of the question.

2 comments:

briefs said...

Dan, I know you'll check it out since you're on twitter.

One question I have that perhaps you or Kevin Tracy can get answered: Is Bob Barr willing to step up and back the #dontgo movement? I haven't heard a peep from him since Friday.

prayeramedic said...

I emailed his campaign and asked for a statement on the #dontgo movement. We'll see what we hear!