“You Cut” — More Republican Crowdsourcing, this Time on the Federal Budget

May 12th, 2010

For more, see this take on the fundamental insincerity of YouCut

Just got a call from a reporter looking for context on the latest pay-attention-to-me trick from House Republicans, announced today by Eric Cantor — they’re now going to allow citizens to vote every week via email or text to pick their favorite from a list of five potential budget cuts, on which the Republican House leadership will then attempt to force a floor vote via parliamentary maneuver. It’s a gimmick, of course. The proposed cuts will be cherry-picked to feature items designed to annoy the conservative base (taken out of context, almost ANY government program can be made to sound stupid), and none of them is likely to pass. Plus, the last time I checked, we don’t DO budgeting by direct democracy, particularly considering how well the budget-by-citizen-initiative process has worked in California.

But it’s a good excuse to email that activist list every week, and if it helps keep the base engaged through the summer (remember that Congress will go out of session early this year to begin campaigning) and recruits a few new potential donors, then it might do them some good. Gimmicks are no substitute for a comprehensive online outreach plan, though, and this initiative also has the secondary effect of opening Republicans up to criticism of their OWN record on the budget — something onto which Democrats were quick to hop. (For an earlier look at Republican crowdsourcing, see this piece on Tim Pawlenty.)

Update: 70,000 names in the first day? Not bad! Of course, we don’t know how many of them are NEW list members, but still. But also still a gimmick…


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laze boee  |  May 13th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I guess e.politics means electronic politics which makes you a journalist and as it says above “dissecting the craft of online political advocacy”, means that you are telling the truth.(RIGHT?) Will your statement about Eric’s intent or “youcut” stand up in a court of law or are you like most modern day writers, damn the truth, believe my spin.
    I see several inaccuracies (lies) in your unbiased statement-ha-. I Don’t have a dog in this fight except to see all Gov. programs cut 10% across the board and several eliminated totally. My Suggention is that you tell the truth, Not my truth, not your truth but in this case truth that will hold up in a court of law.
    What I am saying is tell the truth or admit that you don’t know the truth and that what you are saying is just spin.

  • 2. cpd  |  May 13th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Um, can you point to a specific statement in the article that’s a lie or is otherwise untrue? Calling “You Cut” a gimmick is an opinion, which is by definition neither true nor false — it’s just an opinion, and I’m entitled to mine just as much as you are to yours. As far as whether the proposed cuts are legit, again, that’s an opinion and not intended to meet the standard of truth required by a court of law.

    And about Cantor’s “intent,” well, neither of us has access to anyone’s thoughts, so all we can do is speculate. Which again, I’m free to do and you’re free to disagree with. But there’s a big difference between speculating and potentially being wrong and intentionally saying something that’s a lie. I’ll stand behind everything I write until someone proves me wrong with actual evidence.

  • 3. YouCut makes you Kevin Kl&hellip  |  May 15th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    [...] Plus, as it turns out, this is a pretty good way to build and maintain a strong list of activists. [...]

  • 4. e.politics: online advoca&hellip  |  May 22nd, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    [...] the various programs YouCut participants vote to “kill” is slanted (just about any government program taken out of context can be made to sound ridiculous), but that’s politics. And yes, [...]

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