Warning: GOP House members are prepared for your questions at August townhalls (immigration, amnesty)
One of the best ways to block amnesty is to ask tough questions at the townhalls that will be held this month by GOP House members. The key word in that sentence is "tough": the normal questions that are asked won't be good enough.
If regular citizens just get up and rant and rave or ask weak questions, politicians will be able to turn those questions around.
In fact, they're getting prepared. From this:
As they prepare to leave the Capitol for a month-long August recess, Republican members of the House of Representatives are taking with them legislative summaries and informational packets to tackle tough questions in their districts about immigration...
"Our members will be well-prepared to talk with constituents about this important issue," said Nate Hodson, a spokesman for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., chairwoman of the House Republican Conference...
And some Tea Party affiliates plan to make sure representatives hear from the opponents to what they say is an "amnesty" for people who broke the law to be here...
"It's not a battle that we picked," said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, referring to her group's typical focus on government spending.
"It isn't an issue that was even on the front burner for us. But because of what the Senate has done and the House is now doing, it's something that we have to pay attention to."
Martin said her group is working closely with NumbersUSA and others to hold rallies, attend town-hall-style forums and ensure that Republican members of Congress know the opposition they'll face if they support any kind of immigration reform they don't approve of.
And, from this:
To avoid political risk, some Republicans leaders are suggesting members change the subject. An August planning document by Washington State Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairman of the House Republican Conference, suggests coming problems with the health-care roll-out and “stopping government abuse” as town-hall topics.
Leadership aides say they are briefing members this week on how to respond to questions about immigration if they arise at public events next month, said a person familiar with the strategy who wasn’t authorized to talk publicly about it.
Obviously, House members will be prepared, so if your goal is to block amnesty then you don't want to play into their hands.
However, having members of the Tea Party "Patriots" being the ones asking questions would play right into the hands of those Republicans who want to support comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, there's an example of how that might work in the first quoted section: their use of the word "amnesty". As soon as one of the "Patriots" calls it amnesty, the politician will latch onto that and use it to segue into a discussion of how it isn't amnesty. See the fourth paragraph on the reform not amnesty page.
Now, I know what those in the Tea Parties sphere are thinking: "but, it is amnesty!" Calling it amnesty "amnesty" to an amnesty supporter will result in a debate about semantics, when what we should be debating is the impacts of amnesty.
If you want to have debates about semantics and provide set up questions that politicians will use to segue into their talking points, make sure regular citizens ask all the questions at the August townhalls.
If, on the other hand, you want to successfully discredit amnesty, then ask my carefully-crafted questions, which are in the posts on the Question Authority page.
My questions are designed to answer objections and work around common techniques that politicians use.
Ranting or asking weak questions will not stop amnesty. All those who are able to ask questions at townhalls and who want to stop amnesty need to put their pride aside and ask my questions. Your concerns will still be heard, what you do will just be more effective.
See bad questions for dozens of failed questions people have asked over the years, and see the posts on the Question Authority page for questions. I'm also willing to write or edit questions for specific politicians, leave requests in comments or even better via @24AheadDotCom_ .
UPDATE: Rep. Bob Goodlatte is distributing an “Immigration Resource Kit” to his GOP colleagues (embedded PDF, link). It describes various House proposals, such as Goodlatte's own "AG Act" guest workers program. It also lists "Key Points To Make" about the House proposals. It also contains answers to ten "Talking Points" they expect to hear from their constituents. Most of those answers contrast the Senate bill to the House proposals. They're using the Senate bill in the same way that a salesman might initially offer a bad deal and then sweeten it, without revealing that both deals are bad. The Kit also includes a sample editorial and sample script for a web video; comparing those to, for instance, the Kelly Ayotte OpEd is left as an exercise.
Obviously, the House GOP leadership is working to make sure that their members are prepared for the weak questions and rants they'll encounter. See the links above for how to fight back effectively.