We’ve had an interesting new development here in the Last Frontier, as we approach election day. A few days ago, I found out that a rash of robocalls and push-polls were going out in the state of Alaska. When I heard about this, I was irritated for the same reason that other progressives are irritated at this tactic – spurious accusations of Obama being a terrorist sympathizer, a socialist, a Marxist, an elitist, and someone with blatant anti-plumber tax policies. All nonsense, but some people actually listen to nonsense.
Then the bigger picture hit me like a ton of bricks. Why on Earth would the Republican National Committee, or any Republican group have to robocall and push-poll Alaskans about the presidential race!? With only slightly more than hours to go, surely they have better things to do than preach to the choir.
Well, apparently, the choir has stopped singing. They’re kind of standing around, staring at the hymnal and looking at each other thinking, “Do we really want to sing this?”
The fact that the Republicans are robocalling Alaskans means they are worried. They may or may not be worried about actually losing the presidential race in the state, but they are worried about the margin of victory. At this point, it’s all about saving face for the party, and for Sarah Palin. Yes, the Sarah Palin who said that robocalls were “annoying”.
So, where are these calls happening? Ted Stevens’ neighbors in the sleepy chalet-filled hamlet of Girdwood, have been getting them. Summarized by one one Girdwood resident, the call reiterated Stevens’ assertion that he is not a crook, and threw in a few fun facts about how Barack Obama is a “terrorist who will run this country into the ground.”
But my favorite was a push-poll to Ketchikan. Ketchikan is the infamous “Nowhere, Alaska,” where that bridge was supposed to go. And yes, Ketchikan residents are rightfully miffed that they got labeled with that nickname, and then got thrown under the bus so Sarah Palin could have a talking point. You can hear the real story of the bridge from Bob Weinstein, mayor of Ketchikan, when he spoke to Rachel Maddow way back on September 2nd.
Back to the push-poll.
One resident of Ketchikan was the recipient of a fairly sophisticated interactive push-poll from americansincontact.org. After identifying himself as an Obama supporter, there were two main pushes. First, Obama’s association with, and acceptance of funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – Would it make a difference “if you knew that?”
Second, “If you knew Obama supported the biggest tax increase in history, averaging more than $2000 for an average family, would that make a difference?”
This is the standard leading misinformation we have come to expect. So, why do I love this call? The Obama supporter they called was the aforementioned mayor of Ketchikan himself, Bob Weinstein!
(A big hat-tip to Mayor Weinstein for bringing this to my attention, and a shout out to all the wonderful Mudflatters in Ketchikan!)