Yesterday, a shadowy political action committee gave tens of thousands of dollars to a cheesy Washington D.C. political consulting firm called Candidate Command to send letters to large numbers of voters in the first congressional district of Kansas, telling them that U.S. Representative Timothy Huelskamp shouldn’t be re-elected to Congress this year.
Exactly who from the political action committee made the decision to make this pronouncement to Kansas voters, we can’t know. The PAC doesn’t reveal its inner machinations to the public. However, we do have some sense of the motivation of this mysterious group: It’s deciding to interfere with congressional elections in Kansas because it believes that something terrible is about to happen, and if we don’t do what it says, right now, we will never have a second chance to prevent the disaster.
The prophecy of doom is revealed in the very name of the PAC that spent that money to fight against Tim Huelskamp: It’s called the Now Or Never PAC.
The phrase “now or never” has a very specific meaning. It’s used as a warning that, if specific action is not taken right in this very moment, there will never ever ever be another chance to put things right. If we don’t act right now, the idiom warns us, then we’ll be sorry later, and it will be too late.
The odd thing about the Now Or Never PAC, however, is that it’s made this kind of claim before. A few weeks ago, the Now Or Never PAC was spending money to influence the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Mississippi, warning voters that they had to act immediately, right then, to avoid disaster.
So which is it? If we have to act NOW, which now does the Now Or Never PAC mean that we have to take action in – early July 2014 in Mississippi, or late July 2014 in Kansas?
Further confusing matters is the fact that the Now Or Never PAC seems to have been formed two and a half years ago. So, the moment of NOW that the name Now Or Never refers to is actually early 2012. That’s when the Now Or Never PAC warned that unless we all obeyed its demands, the United States would be faced with certain doom.
Now, years later, it seems to be now or never all over again, which means, I think that now is more now than ever before. This time, the disaster is really, truly, upon us, the Now Or Never PAC warns. The PAC’s web site declares, ”We are truly out of time. It’s Now or Never.”
For a political organization that believes that we are truly out of time, the Now Or Never PAC is doing an awful lot to prepare to continue it’s Henny-Penny-Sky-Is-Falling message of urgency into the future. The Now Or Never PAC web site has been registered ahead of time, until February, 2016. That means that the Now Or Never PAC actually plans to keep on telling people that we are truly out of time, and it’s now or never, for at least two years into the future. So, actually, if the PAC was being honest, it would call itself the February 2016 Or Never PAC.
The Now Or Never PAC doesn’t seem to have caught up with this particular now moment in its latest Now Or Never ultimatum, however. The last blog entry the Now Or Never PAC made on its web site was in January of 2013, a year a half ago. So, it seems that the Now Or Never PAC has actually become the Year And A Half Ago Or Never PAC, which doesn’t make much sense.
Of course, what the Now Or Never PAC says doesn’t have to make sense. It only has to alarm people. The Now Or Never PAC doesn’t expect to be held accountable for its repeated predictions of imminent doom and gloom. It’s playing an old game, the game played by traveling tent revival evangelists who would tell their followers, year after year after year, that the world would end very, very soon. Those preachers would even give specific dates for the end of the world. It didn’t matter when their predictions didn’t come true, because people enjoyed the sense of impending doom enough to forgive the obvious untruth of it all.
The people being the Now Or Never PAC know that it doesn’t matter whether what they have to say is coherent, just so long as they wave their hands a lot and warn of horrible catastrophes that are just around the corner. It’s Now Or Never, As Ever.