What McCarthy did not mention, and what was reported last week in the
The New York Times, is that the EPA used government resources to
coordinate with environmentalist groups in order to achieve this 90
percent support. Through an intense effort in what is known as
"grassroots lobbying," the government worked to encourage people on one
side of the debate to make their voices heard, so as to skew
perceptions of public opinion.
In addition to meeting behind closed doors with environmentalist
leaders supportive of the rule, the agency used a social media tool
called Thunderclap. It is like Kickstarter, but users donate social
media shares instead of money. By getting just under 1,000 left-wing
activists to sign on, the EPA was able to urge 1.8 million people in
their political circles, all at once, to comment favorably on the
proposed rule. This helped generate levels of support for the rule more
appropriate to Saddam Hussein's re-election results than to any serious
issue discussed in a democracy ......