Back in April, the Democratic National Committee did something that conventionally appeared to be super-nice and thoughtful: It paid tribute to Boston's first responders and their bravery during the Boston Marathon attacks, by inviting visitors to its website to share their gratitude.
Of course, they also asked those who signed up to provide their email addresses and their ZIP codes. And so, there was a Twitter War, the Boston Globe reported.
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, called the data mining “disgraceful” and in “very poor taste” in a Tweet posted Monday. He accuses Democrats of “capitalizing on terrorism and Boston’s first responders to boost their fundraising lists.”
DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse flipped the criticism back to Republicans, saying on Twitter, “What’s disgraceful is that @GOP would politicize expressions of support for first responders. You should be thanking them too.”
Woodhouse would go on to insist to the Boston Globe that "the DNC would not be using any of the email data for fundraising." (Which is strange, because I would totally use the email data for fundraising if I were in his position.)
Flash forward to Wednesday, when CBS News reported that the National Republican Campaign Committee is soliciting donations for some flowers and a "get well" card for President George W. Bush, who is currently on the mend after receiving a stent to relieve arterial blockage.
"We wanted to create an outlet for Americans to show that their thoughts and prayers are with President Bush as he recovers," NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement. "Everyone here is wishing him a speedy recovery."
But the donations are expected to surpass the funds necessary to send Bush a bouquet of the Texas state flower, Bluebonnets, according to the Dallas Morning News. The NRCC didn't return calls for comment on what will happen with the additional money, though it's not a stretch to surmise that they'll be used to help elect Republicans to the House of Representatives, which is the NRCC's role.
So I guess these formerly criticized campaign tactics are okay now? I guess it depends on whether you choose to believe that the DNC wasn't data mining in the first instance, and that the NRCC is just going to buy the most bomb-ass bluebonnet bouquet and Hallmark card in the latter instance.
In a decision that will probably surprise no one, I choose not to believe anybody, ever.
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