A Very Exclusive Gold Card

Well, it seems my friend and Marc Racicot have become regular political pen pals.

Racicot is the former Enron lobbyist who now chairs the Republican National Committee. He recently sent a special questionnaire on national issues to my friend, saying that she had been carefully chosen to represent the opinions of all Republicans in her area. He asked that she respond promptly to the questions so he and other party leaders could know what grassroots Republicans in her area were thinking.

He also asked that she send $500. She didn't do that, but she was pleased to do her duty and answer all of the questions, feeling quite privileged to represent local Republicans thinking on America's crucial issues -- especially since she's a Democrat.

You might think that would have been the end of that, but, no, Racicot came right back with a second missive, enclosing an exclusive RNC gold card for her. "The Charter Member Gold Card is awarded annually to recognize grassroots activists like you," wrote Racicot. Well, my friend thought it was mighty big of the GOP to honor even activists like her -- who actively oppose the autocratic, plutocratic agenda of the whole Bush gang.

She was especially touched by the chairman's personal appeal at the end: "President Bush and I are hoping you will join us today," the letter said. That's very thoughtful of the president, she said to me, but really, shouldn't George have other things on his mind besides worrying whether I'll join him?

Once again, Chairman Racicot asked that she send some money to the party, explaining that this would be a nice gesture and show that she appreciated being one of the "select few" Americans to achieve gold-card status at the RNC.

This is Jim Hightower saying . . . Once again, however, she declined, thinking it would be a bit tacky to sully such an honor with cold cash. But she says she has never had a gold card, and she's looking forward to making a special trip to Neiman Marcus to buy something nice with it. And she sure hopes Marc keeps writing to her.

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