In my previous post 2010 Presidential Survey I wrote about how surprised I was that President Obama was directly asking me for support and that I was considered a “leader” by the Democratic National Convention. At the end of the post, I told you how I felt a little deflated once I figured out it was a solicitation for money.
Well, as it turns out I got a response which I would like to share with you here. The letter came a week ago and was a “big letter” reminiscent of an acceptance package to a university but not as bulky. Seeing as it was from the DNC, my excitement shot through the roof and as I could not wait to get into my apartment and use a proper letter opener I began opening it with my keys in the elevator.
I wondered if it could be perhaps an offer to join as a foreign ambassador spreading Obama’s agenda in distant lands. Maybe a plea to join as a consultant as my companions and I write many reasonable opinions on international affairs in this blog. Or perchance they would like to fly me to Washington to give a speech to a well heeled crowd of influential policy makers?
My eyes quickly scanned the contents and this is what I saw.
On the right is an official DNC letter and the first thing one will notice is the membership card on the top right. I was pleased to be informed that I am now a 2010 Democratic National Committee member. I’ve never been a member of anything political before and really felt important!
I was thanked for my donation and that I “deeply care about getting America back on the right track.” After the catastrophe of the Bush years voting for Obama was a no-brainer so fair enough, I’m on board.
Now, just for the record, I still support Obama and realize he is operating in one seriously awful period of circumstances beyond his control. Yet, it would seem that here in the USA when there are problems we are now in the habit of pinning the blame directly on the United States of America.
1. No Job? – Blame the President
2. Oil Spill – Blame the President
3. Healthcare or no healthcare – Blame the President
4. Having a bad day? – Blame the President
But getting back to the DNC letter, I was informed that there are still battles to be fought and how my support is absolutely critical. The way they asked me to help was not put forth in the body of the letter but instead in the post script which reads:
P.S. Right now is a make or break period for President Obama’s ambitious agenda. I hope that you make another $25.00 gift or more at this time, or even consider joining Team Obama.
I have to tell you the whole episode made me feel a little like this:
I slowly put the letter down, as again, my high flying ambassador dreams went up in smoke. I then took out the other two items from the letter and have to tell you I had a good laugh when I saw the postcard with Obama’s image on it. It kind of reminded me of those Chairman Mao portraits.
Now, I’m not saying that I do not support Obama or am not in agreement with his policies but just found it kind of funny for the reason just mentioned. I wonder if I should frame it and put it on my nightstand? Yet, for those honors it would have to be signed. On the back it says, “With humble gratitude for your unwavering support.” President Barack Obama. I gave it a closer look to see if it was in real ink and was SHOCKED to see slight hints of ink smudges. Could it be???? I grabbed a magnifying glass to see if it was authentic. But, again, I was disappointed although I do offer the DNC kudos for making it seem as real as possible.
Finally, there was a pamphlet to “Join Team Obama.” The membership levels are as follows:
1. Platinum Level – $50 a month
2. Gold Level – $25 a month
3. Silver Level – $10 a month
As you can see in my previous posts I’m highly against joining anything with monthly payments unless I receive a direct benefit. So, to see what I would be getting out of the deal, I looked at the section “How your monthly gift works.”
1. As a member of Team Obama, your monthly gift is automatically made on the 20th of every month from your credit card to the Democratic National Committee. The first charge is made immediately.
– Not seeing a direct benefit here. Also, I’m kind of under the impression that the Democrats weren’t exactly working with Obama on a few of his priorities at the beginning of his term. Therefore, this is strike one as I’m really an independent at heart and support Obama more-so than the DNC.
Heck, if they would have said your $10 monthly donation will help ensure the President can buy his Starbucks coffee in the morning I might have considered it. After all, the President does have to be wide awake to make important decisions so that would be cause worthy. But if it is just going to the DNC then I’m going to take a pass. AND, daily Starbucks would probably have to be at the $50 a month level….
2. You can cancel, decrease or increase your membership level at any time simply by letting us know.
– Again, no direct benefit here and I’ve been suckered before by a few companies that offer to make automatic payments from my credit card then make it as difficult as possible when I want to cancel. For example:
a. Japanese internet service – They just refused to cancel so I had to cancel my credit card. The real kicker was that even though I cancelled my card, apparently it can still be charged according to Citibank and there is nothing you can do about it until you talk with an upper level supervisor and bitch at him/her for a while
b. AOL – Anyone remember trying to get out of AOL online service? That was a nightmare
c. CD clubs – This goes back a bit but trying to get out of these is like trying to get out of Alcatraz.
d. Comcast – Comcast has the crappiest website on the planet and even though they offer to let you make a “one time payment” it often crashes. Then, you’re not sure if you’ve paid or not and if you didn’t you get slapped with a $25 late charge. That happened to me and I had to talk to Rashesh,,, er,, I mean “Tom” on their customer service chat. For those that have not done this, here is a brief snippet:
Tom: Thank you for contacting Comcast, my name is Tom how can I be of service today? I understand you are having trouble with a payment?
Me: I’m fine, yes, can you please correct it? I payed, have a tracking number but it didn’t go through.
Tom: Thank you. I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble.
Tom: Please let me research this for you
Tom: Thank you. How are you doing today?
Me: I’m fine
Tom: Thank you. Have you thought about joining our Xfinity phone service for only $30 a month?
Me: No. Any luck on tracking the payment?
Tom: Thank you…………
Then I was thanked 15 more times but they did fix the problem and I got a credit so I really owe Tom.
But due to these experiences, I’m highly against letting any company charge my card repeatedly if there is any way out of it so point #2 didn’t fly with me
3. You receive a personalized Team Obama membership certificate
– Finally, we are getting somewhere. Throw in a signature in real ink and you’ve got a deal. Keep in mind I have no idea what President Obama’s signature actually looks like so you could even have an intern sign it and I would be happy. But, this is not promised yet so point #3 fails as well.
4. You also receive a special Team Obama coffee mug at the Platinum membership level.
– Hmmmm a coffee mug for $50 a month…….. You’ve got me going a little but I’m really attached to my Brutus Buckeye Ohio State mug at the moment. I would have thought I would at least get free tickets to special political events for $50 a month. Doing the math, I figured out that in one year’s time I’m half way to buying a seat at an Obama fundraiser with that kind of price so no deal.
In conclusion, I’m still pretty happy to be on board with Obama and feel a little special about being part of something as large as the DNC but if the best they can do is a coffee mug I’m not going to play ball.
Ominously, I’m also starting to think that if a party promises to reduce my taxes by a reasonable amount I might even go and join their club! After all, I am a social person and like to belong to clubs. But unfortunately, the other club includes the likes of Limbaugh, Palin and Beck so until the Republican party comes back from crazy land I think I’ll stay with the guys that sent me a free postcard and a wonderful faux signature.
Hopey, Changey still trumps crazy, stupid in my book.
And speaking of crazy, stupid here is what I found at the mall not long ago
I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…….