Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mike's Methodology

This morning's Press & Argus featured not one but two stories about Mr. Rogers' speech to the Howell Chamber of Commerce.

On the front page, he disses the Senate bill to help homeowners facing foreclosure, even though he said that helping those families was his "top priority." Inside, he calls for a "new energy outlook".

Both are classic examples of RogersSpeak, adoringly and unquestioningly reported.


So, rather than refuting his many erroneous statements with pesky facts -- yet again -- let's use these stories to distill the basics of Rogers' Rules of Politics.

Rule #1. Always side with your campaign donors. Help out families in foreclosure? Not likely when the Finance and Real Estate sector was your Number 2 donor in '05-'06 and '07-'08, and your top donor in '03-'04.

More drilling for oil in the US? It's a great idea, especially when the Energy and Natural Resource sector were your #5 donor in '03-'04, #4 in '05-'06, and #3 in '07-'08.
(All figures from .) Oh, and don't forget that Rogers was the ONLY member of the Michigan Congressional delegation to support drilling in the Great Lakes.

Rule #2. Ignore the needs of your constituents. Just because Michigan continues to lead the nation in joblessness, why should you support efforts to extend unemployment benefits and state health care programs? When it comes to helping Michigan families who face foreclosure, say that it's your "top priority" but don't actually do anything about it. Double bonus points for loudly criticizing legislation that other people have crafted without actually coming up with anything of your own. (See "troop surge" for double bonus points in action.)

Rule 2a.) Better yet, sneer at your state's efforts to help people:
Some states, such as Michigan, are already having a hard enough time managing their finances, Rogers said, let alone selling homes. "I just think it's a disaster waiting to happen," he said.
Rule 2b.) Sneer at other states' efforts to help, especially if California is the state in question.
"California would still be allowed to design American cars, and the only thing worse than that is to have Congress designing our cars," Rogers said in a statement. "American families ought to decide what cars they want to drive, not the state of California where extremism continues to damage the manufacture of American cars and hurt American workers."
Rule #3. Cite incorrect or outdated information in support of your position. Repeat as needed. This is particular favorite of Mr. Rogers', as shown during the S-CHIP debacle last fall. In today's story on the foreclosure bill, Rogers said that the bill "would, for the first time, allow bankruptcy judges to alter homeowners' mortgages." No, it doesn't. That provision was dropped when the Senate forged the bipartisan compromise bill currently under discussion.

Rule #4. When these tactics don't work, call for reform. Be sure to gloss over the fact that you're a multi-term incumbent who helped to create many of the policies that aren't working... This is a fave Rogers tactic, especially when it comes to national security issues. Triple bonus points when you combine national security and energy policy in a froth of righteous indignation.

Counter-intuitive? You betcha! But it's worked well for Mr. Rogers.

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