Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Give Congress a piece of your mind – they could sure use it. [UPDATED]

The political blogosphere is like a virtual universe. Every political view forms its own galaxy in this universe. And like the real universe, travel between those galaxies seems to be impossible. Oh, we can take a peek at those galaxies through a telescope (or a quick visit to the other side of the political divide), but our interaction with them is extremely limited. This leads to the claims that the blogosphere is little more than an echo chamber where beliefs are reinforced, but rarely changed.

When this blog was originally founded by a diverse group of bloggers it was intended to be a place where rational discourse could take place. It has proven to be a fairly civil place that is troll-free. However, even here the dialog is mostly one-sided.

If there was one thing we wanted from this blog it certainly wasn’t a one-sided conversation. The tag line for the site is “Progress through politics.” There can be no progress if we are only reinforcing each other. That is why we’ve decided to take a tiny step forward to break that echo chamber.

One way to effect progress is to make our voices heard outside the blogosphere. Encouraging our members to write letters to the editor would be useful. Encouraging them to engage their family, friends, and coworkers in conversations about current events would also be useful. But the most effective way to have your voice count is to let your representatives in Congress know what you are thinking.

I couldn’t count how many times I’ve said to myself, “What were those idiots in Congress thinking when they did that?” God knows, they could certainly use a boost to their brainpower.

Well, now there’s a way to give them a piece of your mind. The Moose is getting ready to add a section to our site that will allow you to click-through to a site that will allow you to send a message to your Congressional representative and to your senators with one submission. This works through a site called (many thanks to NavyBlueWife for the discovery).

We are creating a page that will not only provide a link to the site, but also have a list of pre-written texts for various subjects of interest to our readers. You can view the draft of that page here.

Before we link to that page from the main site we’d like the MM community’s input and feedback on the idea. Please suggest subjects for form letters. We could also use help writing those form letters. If you feel strongly about an idea write it up and one of our editors will proofread it and then add it to the list.

Here’s a chance to have your voice heard – please speak up.

[UPDATE] We have several regular contributors who feel strongly about Civil Rights, especially those involving the LGBT community. It would be really helpful if one of you could write a form letter for DADT or DOMA. Make it short, sweet, and to the point. Please limit to less than 2000 characters so the auto-submission won’t fail.

[UPDATE 2] Here is a sample letter I wrote in support of the public option. I’m posting it here to give everyone an example of what we are looking for in the way of form letters. Editing suggestions welcome.

It is obvious to any thinking American that health care reform is urgently needed in this country. As a constituent and voter I want to let you know my feelings on the issue of a public option in the current reform effort.

The private insurance industry has had several decades to deal with the problems regarding the availability of health care. They have only made things worse. The only way to get them to take this matter seriously is to provide people with a choice that does not involve private companies. Only then will they face up to reality.

Government employees, including representatives such as yourself, receive health care paid for with taxpayer dollars. Are the average citizens of this country any less deserving than government employees?

Please support the option of a strong public plan in the current reform. A plan that will be able to negotiate prices with providers in the same way that private insurance companies do today.

Any reform bill without a public plan option will be a weak bill and will reflect poorly on those politicians who support it.


  1. fogiv

    I’d like to do an anti-“clean coal” letter.  I can get all Yelly Yellerson about that particular dumb idea (among others).  🙂

    Seriously, this a a great idea ya’ll.  

  2. DTOzone


    Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana’s second congressional district faced an audience of 80 skeptical elderly constituents at the Pilgrim Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in the small town of Plymouth, Indiana Tuesday.

       One woman, Dona Darling, 86, voiced worry that if Congress enacts the overhaul of health insurance which Donnelly and his colleagues are debating, she wouldn’t be able to see her doctor, because he’d be too busy dealing with all his new insured patients who used to be uninsured.

    Me, Me, Me!


    A man in the audience told Donnelly that it’s not just federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid and the new health insurance plan – it’s all federal spending that’s gotten out of control, leading to massive borrowing from China and soon “we’re all going to have to learn Chinese.”

    Guess he hasn’t paid attention to the problems China has been having too.

    For the record, Donnelly isn’t exactly helping, pushing the lie that HR 3200 actually increases the deficit;


    “I won’t support any plan that actually costs the taxpayers money,” Donnelly assured the audience. He added that the House Energy and Commerce Committee bill, H.R. 3200, “is not deficit neutral right now.” CBO has scored it as costing $232 billion over ten years and, he added, “That’s $232 billion we don’t have.”

    Actually it is, since we’re going to be raising that money through taxes and spending cuts elsewhere.  

  3. It is so vague that it is pretty useless. However, I trust Carl Levin, as much as you can trust any politician, to do what is right for the greatest number of people. The only times he really disappoints progressives is when he sides with the auto companies. I can’t fault him for that, because he in that case he is supporting his constituents interests over the interests of the nation at large.

    Dear Mr. Allen:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding health insurance reform. I appreciate hearing from you. I have long supported the goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

    In recent months, I have heard from many individuals across Michigan who have offered their views regarding various aspects of health insurance reform. These views range broadly, from support for the President’s and Congress’s efforts, to opposition to any government enacted reform, to advocating for certain priorities to be included in the legislation. Many also have expressed their thoughts about which services ought or ought not to be included in health insurance plans, about an individual’s ability to continue coverage through their current providers, or on how this legislation would affect established benefits and services.

    Nearly forty-seven million Americans live without health insurance, and many more live with intermittent or insufficient coverage. Rising health insurance premiums and unemployment have contributed to the continuous rise of these numbers. With Americans spending one out of every five dollars on health care, we need to reform our health insurance market to create a stronger, more efficient, and more stable health care system.

    Two Senate Committees share jurisdiction over health insurance reform. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently unveiled a health insurance reform bill, the Affordable Health Choices Act. The Senate Finance Committee continues to work on bipartisan legislation. The goals of this legislation include: ensuring that those who are uninsured no longer fall through the gaps in the current health insurance system; reducing and stabilizing health care costs; and increasing access to high quality health care for all Americans. Once the Finance Committee completes its work on this legislation, it will be reconciled with the HELP Committee’s bill prior to coming before the full Senate for consideration.

    The House of Representative also has been working diligently to craft health insurance reform legislation. On July 31, 2009, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R.3200). This legislation must now be reconciled with the bills passed by the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee before being brought before the House floor for a vote.

    It is unclear what the final health insurance reform bill will look like at this time, but I will continue to monitor its progress and will fight to ensure that any health insurance reform legislation includes provisions that protect Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care. I am hopeful Congress and the President will come together to enact needed health insurance reform this year.


    Carl Levin

  4. Hollede

    with an echo chamber (even if this really is one). I see the Moose and other blogs as a bridge to the world. I really believe republican policies are generally wrong. I have felt this way for all of my adult life. I do not always think that Democrats are right, but they are usually on the correct side of the fence.

    I see forums like the Moose rallying our base and helping folks see what they can do to really impact the debate.  

  5. Jjc2008

    Let me know if more is needed:

    Sir, (Madam):

          As a constituent, I am strongly in favor of the inclusion of Section 440 of H.R.3200 in any final health bill. Please work to include pre-natal counseling, education for families concerning healthy eating, healthy family activities.

        As we see more obesity in younger and younger children,  we see more children with cholesterol issues, blood pressure issues, at ages we never did before.  This alarming trend has to be challenged head on and one way is educating families on eating healthy, family exercise habits and how to eat healthier on a budget.

        Waiting on these issues is akin to parking an ambulance at the bottom of an abyss when the bridge is out.  Educating parents on prenatal care, healthy eating and exercise habits, is like putting up directions for a detour before driving a car off a bridge.  It would, in the long run, be cheaper for all and decrease the incidence of disease at an early age.  

         I urge you to support being smart and efficient about health care.

                                                                            Thank you,

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