Tag Archive: fiscal cliff

Republican civil war spills into open

A couple of actions by Congressional Republicans hours apart this past Tuesday night and Wednesday morning demonstrated how the Republican Party is in open warfare with itself. First, House Republicans were sharply divided in their vote to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, atypically, did not make a speech on the House floor in support of the vote. Boehner’s second in command, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, not only voted against his speaker and the fiscal cliff deal, he spoke out against it for all to hear. The Republican fiscal cliff vote tally in the House went against Speaker Boehner, with only 85 voting “yea” and 151 voting “nay” (the bill passed due to the overwhelming Democratic “yea” vote). This follows an embarrassing failure by Boehner to bring his own fiscal cliff “plan B” bill up for a vote in the House on December 20.

President Obama creates fiscal cliff bumper sticker on Twitter

President Obama (or, presumably, one of his underlings) has created the equivalent of a bumper sticker phrase on Twitter, using the hashtag “#My2k to spread the message about the consequences of inaction in the so-called “fiscal cliff” situation. Specifically, “#My2k” refers to the tax increase of about $2,000 that the typical U.S. family would face if Congress does not extend the Bush tax cuts for incomes up to $250,000. President Obama and his staffers want Tweeps to use the “#My2k” hashtag to discuss (and tweet to their members of Congress) what that $2,000 means to them, in terms of paying their bills, paying for medical care, food and other necessities, etc.

The “#My2k” hashtag, not coincidentally, harks back to the “Y2k” (i.e., Year 2000) scare in 1999, when many people thought that the world’s computers would crash due to the impending date change, and many companies, government agencies, organizations and individuals took extraordinary steps to try to avert what could have been termed the “century cliff.” So the Obama administration is using fear to try to influence public policy. Tactically, therefore, they are taking a page from the Republicans, whose playbook regularly involves the use of fear tactics, from “mushroom clouds” to “Sharia law.” Once again, however, the Democrats’ scare tactics, unlike the Republicans’, are based in reality.

The “#My2k” hashtag is a good start. However, since not all American voters use Twitter, the Obama administration needs to use more traditional forms of communication, such as crashing the Sunday morning news shows, to push a coordinated “fiscal cliff” message.

UPDATE: The video above, posted on the White House website and at YouTube, demonstrates that the White House staffers are grasping this concept, and running with it.