I couldn't agree more that it is important to understand how they think, but there's a lot more diversity among "them" than we realize. For example, If you listen (about half way through the program) to Pat Leahy on why he opposes "piracy", you can hear that he has been blinded by his passion against stealing. So the approach to take with Leahy is to explain that eating Gilfeather turnips isn't stealing. I think we might be getting through to Leahy, and we might even be able to turn him, but first we have to understand him.
Certainly things are getting shaken up here in Vermont - first Leahy's announcement that he's backing off the DNS parts of PIPA, and then Vermont Public Radio reported that Senator Leahy's chief of staff is leaving to become Obama's liaison with the Senate - maybe good news for Vermont, but bad news for the country.
FYI John Gilfeather, of Wardsboro, VT, cut the tops and bottoms off his turnips before selling them so they couldn't be grown by anyone else - DRM for the 19th century. They escaped his control, however, and are very popular here in Vermont.
If the white house is really against PIPA, why is Leahy's chief of staff Ed Pagano leaving to join the White House, to be Obama's liaison to the Senate, as just reported by Vermont Public Radio? Pagano has been Leahy's chief of staff since 2005. Prior to that he had worked for Leahy on the Judiciary Committee.
The good news is that maybe there's a major shake up here in Vermont and maybe we're getting through to Leahy that eating Gilfeather turnips isn't morally wrong. The bad news is that Pagano is undoubtedly on the wrong side of SOPA/PIPA.
For those who don't know, the developer of the Gilfeather turnip (popular in Vermont and developed here) cut the tops and bottoms of them before selling them so no one else could grow them. Sounds like digital rights management (DRM) for the 19th century to me.
Can you imagine Stewart getting Pat Leahy on as a guest? He could ask Senator Leahy if he likes Gilfeather turnips (developed in Vermont and very popular here). Does he know the story about how the developer of the Gilfeather turnip cut the tops and bottoms of them before selling them so no one else could grow them? (He probably does.) Then remark, sounds like digital rights management (DRM) for the 19th century to me.
Then Jon could say something like "You are so passionate about piracy because for you it is a moral issue. So, if John Gilfeather never gave permission to grow (or copy) these rutabagas, is it wrong to sell them and eat them? Why?" It gets a little hard to imagine how the conversation will proceed at this point, but I think you can see where we're headed now.
Another Vermonter here, and calling Leahy's office now, as well as calling Sanders whom I believe is genuinely undecided, is more important than ever, because we have their attention. And do let's keep it polite, because they are watching. Make it clear that it's not OK to keep the managers' amendment under wraps until after the cloture vote is held. That's not an open process.