For the longest time, I considered the New Hampshire Republican Party to be divided into two factions: the plutocrats and the ideologues. I called them the “Arrogant Rich” and the “Arrogant Stupid” elements, and in the 1990’s they were exemplified by their highest elected officials: Judd Gregg and John Sununu from the former, Bob Smith for the latter.
That’s faded a bit in recent years, as Democrats have made strides here that have forced the Republicans to be a bit more reasonable and realistic. But this morning, I saw a story in the paper that has me wondering if the Arrogant Stupid faction is making a comeback.
When Congress passed the Federal Do Not Call law a few years ago, they very carefully carved out an exception for political calls. We here in New Hampshire decided to take that a step further, and ban all pre-recorded calls to numbers on the list, regardless of who is making them.
Well, the Republican National Congressional Committee has been robodialing New Hampshire voters, urging them to vote for the GOP on Tuesday.
One unhappy recipient of five of the calls filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s office, who is looking quite seriously into the matter. They say that since the calls are being made into New Hampshire, our law prevails and the RNCC should knock it off.
What’s the RNCC’s response? Well, we aren’t making the calls FROM New Hampshire, so the law doesn’t cover US.
Regardless of the law, there is a matter of common sense here. Anyone on the Do Not Call List has taken an affirmative action towards saying they do NOT want to be bothered with unsolicited calls. It’s not that far a stretch to think that if they don’t want to be sold vacations, roofing, raffle tickets, coupon books, or furniture over their telephone, they most likely won’t be tempted to buy a candidate either. And pushing them to do so will most likely not gain their support, but alienate them.
If New Hampshire Republicans, the supposed beneficiaries of this stupid tactic, had a lick of sense, they’d be leaning on the RNCC to knock it off. They’d score major points with their constituents (both New Hampshire congressmen are Republicans, and running for re-election) by standing up for them, and they’d be asserting their independence. Instead, they’re just quietly ignoring it and hoping it will blow over after Tuesday.
It’s reasons like this that I’m glad that 1) I don’t belong to either party, and 2) I got rid of my home phone a while ago.