Q. So, Naomi, as of today you sent the identical three-page letter to every single United States Senator. Tell us the steps you took to get this job done.
A. Sure. I’ll even offer some dopey tips about staying strong when you have to address senators you can’t stand with the “Hon.” that must precede each name. Hon. Ted Cruz, Hon. Mitch McConnell. Et alia.
Q. Wow, sounds, uh…disgusting.
Q. How did this venture begin?
A. With a post objecting to TV ads supporting Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Although my readership level soared with the search string “who paid for Neil Gorsuch TV ads?,” I did not feel that my fervent objections to Gorsuch on this blog had as much smack as they would in every senator’s in-box.
Q. Tell us what kind of chutzpah you drew upon to compose this letter.
A. Oh, I worked in offices for forty years, that kind of chutzpah. I am an expert in a couple of important areas relevant to writing letters to important people:
- Typing, very fast. This is crucial when you type the names and addresses of 100 separate people onto Avery label form #5160 (3 x 30, transparent labels). Although typing at 200 wpm offers no special help when you have to peel each of 100 labels off the backing to paste it onto an envelope. Each of 200 labels, actually: 100 of them were my return address labels. (Making sure you correct your spelling of “Roy Blunt” as “Boy Blunt.” Or maybe not.)
- Remembering to get to Staples to replenish your 5160 labels. As well as blank #10 envelopes, with self-seal strips. You do not want to be licking 100 envelopes, even if you’re not paranoid enough to imagine your DNA will somehow wind up in the FBI data base.*
- Knowing that senators’ names must be preceded by “Hon.,” meaning “Honorable.” (That’s why you can get slightly sick when you properly, formally address Joni Ernst.)
- Knowing that a proper, formal letter of this kind must have a separate page indicating every senator’s name, alphabetically. And each name must be highlighted and placed into the envelope with the same name. (I amused myself by using a blue highlighter. You know, blue states?) The only way to get through this really boring typing chore is to challenge yourself as to which state each senator represents. So I now can ask: who the hell are Steve Daines, Deb Fischer, John Hoeven, James Lankford and James Risch? (Have you ever heard of them? Have you ever heard that any of them has done anything at all you would have heard of?)
*Q. Wait–is it possible your DNA from licking envelopes could wind up in the FBI data base?
A. No. Because I’m not paranoid. If you are paranoid, yes.
Q. Why did you decide to write to all senators, rather than just the ones you like?
A. Didn’t want to exclude anyone from experiencing my peerless prose, especially people I’d slap if I saw them on the street. Besides, I have the teeny hope a couple of those senators might be shocked into momentary rationality one of these days. Without my slapping them, I mean.
Q. Any tips about putting together the letter?
A. Definitely. Make piles on the floor. I learned how to do this when putting together legal documents. I’ve got a letter page 1 pile, a letter page 2 pile, a letter page 3 pile; a pile of envelopes to which I’ve already affixed my return address label; a pile of address labels; a stapler, and a pile of stamps. This is an assembly line procedure. It takes about as long as putting together a Tesla.
Special stamp mention: I went to the post office today and found a new issue–a series of twelve gorgeous stamps of WPA posters, directly from the WPA Work Projects Administration designs.
I am so thrilled to be able to put these particular stamps proclaiming one of the great Democratic Party legislative successes on my letter to the whole Senate, half of whom are doing everything they can to demolish the entire New Deal, of which the WPA was a sterling part.
Hurry to your post office, though. The manager of mine told me the WPA stamps are flying out of the post office.
See next post for the text of the letter.