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Brass Balls
Paul Corrigan

I am somebody, or so I am told. The Republicans want me. I received a letter from Marc Racicot, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, inviting me to "represent the state of Massachusetts as a member of the RNC's Chairman's Advisory Board." He writes that "this honor is reserved for only a select group of leading Americans," and comes at a cost to me of only $4,000. I have only 21 days to reply before this "highly sought after" position is released "to another deserving Massachusetts leader." Racicot, like a grifter, zeroes in on his mark with an appeal to ego.

The fact that you were selected for this high honor is no accident. You see, I asked our executive search committee to recommend new members for the Advisory Board because we are in a new era of Republican leadership. And we need to be fully prepared—politically, financially, and organizationally—to provide the maximum support we can to President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress. You stood out in our new member search effort because you have demonstrated leadership in your community and a deep commitment to making America stronger, safer and more prosperous.

Despite Racicot's promise of a "new era of Republican leadership," his letter includes the GOP's tag line from every election they ever ran: "If the Democrats won control of both the House and Senate, can you imagine Congress EVER passing additional tax cuts, reducing government spending, or keeping government spending in check?" The emphasis is Racicot's. Has there ever been a bigger lie in American politics than the tired clicé that Republicans are fiscally prudent and Democrats are fiscal thieves? Have not the last nine years proven the GOP's mantra to be a fraud?

Racicot's letter also included the obligatory attack on liberals. "These liberal leaders have proven time after time that they will stop at nothing to protect their special interests and return to power." The Republicans have made a career out of accusing the Democrats of doing what the Republicans do best. The GOP, party of the $1.6 trillion tax cut and Ken Lay, accuse the Democrats of protecting "special interests." There is no lie like the barefaced lie.

Racicot's sales pitch reminds me of the David Mamet classic, Glengarry Glen Ross. If Racicot is hitting on me for a donation, then the Republican salesmen must be out of the "good leads." The Republicans are always closing sales, but like the salesmen working for Mitch and Murray, what they promise is not what you get. In 2000, the Republicans stole first prize, the White House, and left Al Gore and the Democrats with second prize, the equivalent of steak knives. For the Republicans, the ends justify the means. Their philosophy attempts to capitalize on anything and everything. "President Bush continues to focus most of his energy on the war against global terrorism," Racicot assures me, once again using the mass murder in New York and Virginia to promote the GOP's interest, not America's. Politics to the Republican Party has been reduced to nothing more than a con game, with no sense of integrity, morality, or fair play.

I have a simple message to American voters. Next time George W. Bush, Marc Racicot, or any other Republican tries to close on a campaign contribution or on your vote, remember what they are really selling. Like Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross, the Republicans have "brass balls" to offer you but not much else.

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