White House Switchboard Swamped
President Obama's speech last night called for Americans to contact their Congressional representatives in an effort to demonstrate their displeasure with the progress of the debt ceiling negotiations. Using a nationally televised address to call out Republicans while advocating for his "balanced approach" of higher taxes, the President hoped that by rallying a mob of supporters to swamp Congressional phone lines he could demonstrate that he acting on behalf of wishes of the voters to craft a deal.
The message he hoped to send is that the people have been called into action by the President and now are having their voices heard loud and clear. To the President and his supporters, this campaign effort is evidence that the "balanced approach" of higher taxes and phantom cuts are the solution that all serious minded voters have been searching for.
What is missing from these reports of Congressional phones being swamped is that it appears the White House switchboard is also suffering from a similar meltdown. After making repeated attempts throughout the day to get through via the White House comments line (202-456-1111) and switchboard line (202-456-1414), I have been unable to connect a single call.
Without any encouragement, a grass roots effort to contact the White House seems to have developed to voice displeasure with the President's plans, or lack thereof. A backlash of voters who see the President's efforts to put the nation further in debt while promoting a class warfare theme whereby he gets to choose how much money we keep. Speaker Boehner didn't mobilize millions of supporters to swamp the White House with voices for fiscal sanity and smaller government. He did, however, speak to those who understand that the President's "balanced approach" does mean paying more in taxes to an ever-growing federal government that can't stop spending.
President Obama may have been hoping that Congress would be bullied by a cascade of phone calls to Congress making demands for higher taxes on their fellow citizens. As an orchestrated tactic, it appears to have worked. Unfortunately for the President, it seems that his call to his dwindling supporters has also rallied those who oppose him and Speaker Boehner didn't even have to plot a phone call mob on his behalf.