I am glad the President is finally going to be speaking out on health care reform. We are well overdue to hear from the President on this issue. It has been quite a while since his major health care reform speeches on June 15, July 17, his major health care reform press conference on July 22, his heath care reform town hall meetings in Wisconsin (June 11), at the White House (June 24), North Carolina and Virginia (July 29) , New Hampshire (Aug 11), Montana (August 14), Colorado (August 15) and maybe a few other major speeches and media events that I might have missed.
This time the President will be telling us what he wants to see in health care reform now, as opposed to what he wanted to see during the campaign, or David Axelrod's chain-mail missive of August 13 outlining in detail what the administration expected to see from health care reform then.
Speaking of which - I am doing my part. I have been diligently forwarding David's chain-mail to every e-mail address I can find as he requested me to do. I can see now why he felt it was so important to get the President's message on specific health-care reforms out as quickly as possible, since he probably knew they would be changing the list of what is really important next week. Since the Axelrod e-mail may soon be declared inoperative, I've decided to post my forwarding e-mail introduction here as a public service while it still is the ObamaCare feature list of record. Please feel free help the President and David Axelrod by copying, pasting and forwarding to everyone in your e-mail contact list.
Dear Friend, Family, or Complete Stranger whose e-mail address happens to be in my possession,
Two weeks ago, I received the "longest most important e-mail " that David Axelrod has ever sent. I was flattered to learn that President Obama's closest political adviser considered me a friend. I know this because he started the letter with the salutation "Dear Friend". Later I was disappointed to learn that he did not sent this e-mail to only his friends. In fact the e-mail was sent to any e-mail address that could be either be legitimately or illegitimately acquired by the chief White House political officer. No matter. I still appreciate the sentiment.
David suggested in this letter we "start a chain email of our own" on the topic of health care reform, and asked me to forward his e-mail to everyone I know. He was quite insistent, concluding the note by saying "So what are you waiting for? Forward this email". Now, I've always thought an unsolicited e-mail broadcast to millions of accumulated e-mail address fit the definition of "E-mail SPAM" and was considered bad form, rude, and kind of illegal. But - my spam filter did not flag David's e-mail - so I guess it was ok.
I frequently find chain-letter style e-mails in my in-box, as well as exciting business opportunities from Nigerian bureaucrats who have stumbled on secret bank accounts and soliciting my help to transfer funds to the U.S. However, because I thought chain e-mails epitomized bad e-mail etiquette, I never forward the chain e-mails (although I do sometimes forward the Nigerian e-mails). I don't even forward the ones that say I will be cursed with bad luck if I break the chain. I take that risk and have probably lost several hundred dollars in lucrative football parley wagers as a consequence. But I digress.
This chain letter was different. This chain letter came from the White House, from the President's closest adviser. I've always thought that if the White House asks you to do something, as an American, you should do it. If it is unpatriotic to show up at a town meeting and complain about the President's policies, surely it is unpatriotic to directly refuse a personal White House request like this, is it not? So I am forwarding David's e-mail to you, my close friend, family member, or complete stranger whose e-mail is in my possession and I would like you to forward it to all of your friends, family and any other e-mail addresses you happen to have in your possession.
I do have one concern. I received this e-mail directly from David Axelrod two weeks ago, and have yet to receive any additional copies from my friends, family or complete strangers. This would indicate that this viral chain e-mail is not working as well as the White House and David Axelrod hoped. Perhaps I can help.
Many of the viral chain e-mails I receive share certain characteristics. Either they are humorous, or they are pornographic, or they contain virulent partisan rants. David's e-mail is - to be quite honest - boring. Boring e-mails rarely become viral. Since David Axelrod is humorless, and sending paparazzi photos of starlets is inappropriate for the White House, this only leaves the partisan rant. David did make an effort in the letter. It was pretty clever to claim that opponents of the President's healthcare plan were "spreading all sorts of lies and distortions" shortly before David Axelrod himself started spreading all kinds of lies and distortions in the same letter. Good one David! But just not good enough to go viral. To go viral you need a rant that has a little more vitriol and energy. As an example - maybe something like this:"David Axelrod is a corrupt Chicago machine political hack and a lying sack of shit. He was instrumental in cutting a deal with big pharma promising to protect their profits, gutting ObamaCare in exchange for millions in advertising funds that coincidently flowed to his ex-partners in his ex-firm where his current son is currently employed and from whom he is currently receiving buyout payments."The above paragraph is for illustrative purposes only.
I have a few other suggestions for David. His e-mail is confused about which are the myths and which are the reforms. Next time, he should have someone read it before sending it.
Also, it is best not to outright lie. Like when David says in this e-mail that ObamaCare "reform will stop rationing" of heath care. Nobody believes a whopper like that. Not even the most kool-aid addled Obamite. Proponents can argue that it will be better rationing than occurs now, and the opponents will argue that it will be far worse rationing than occurs now. But no one (except David Axelrod) argues that reform means no rationing of healthcare at all. A statement of belief in Santa Claus of that kind of undermines everything else one has to say, except maybe to a two year old.
My final suggestion for David Aexlrod to improve his chain e-mail is this... If he is going to insist on spamming a sales pitch, it should be for a product that Americans are vaguely interested in buying. Now, I could be wrong, but if I were to guess what the American people are looking to buy, it would be something that can be articulated pretty simply and emerges from some basic American values of fairness and common sense. I’d say it is really about these three things:
- Every American gets a baseline level of solid health care. No one is left behind.
- No American need be at risk of financial ruin or bankruptcy because they get sick.
- The program is manageable and fiscally responsible. Americans want to feel reasonably certain we won’t see mushrooming costs like with Medicare and the prescription drug plan.
That’s it, David., that is all that is needed - not long lists of half truths, dubious benefits, or even a set of ginsu steak knives. Interestingly, ObamaCare HR 3200 at best accomplishes one of the three, while the Wyden-Bennett Healthy Americans Act (S 391) actually does accomplish all three. Perhaps that will be a better choice for Mr. Axelrod's next chain e-mail promoting ObamaCare 2.0.Hopefully this was helpful. I am linking a short slide presentation to highlight the difference between ObamaCare and Wyden-Bennett for his future reference. It is also embedded in an allegorical tale linked here for the enlightenment and education of anyone who would like to learn more about a widely ignored bipartisan healtcare bill that offers real reform without bankrupting the country.
And remember - David Axelrod would like you to do your patriotic duty and forward this to all of your friends, family and any other e-mail addresses you happen to have in your possession whether they asked for it or not.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Your Friend, mw