Jan
01
2010

The steadily ebbing OfA tide.

I take exception to the last sentence of this passage from an excellent essay by Micah Sifry:

In the face of strong questioning from Melber about signs of declining support for Obama among young voters, and in the vastly lower counts he is getting on his Youtube video, Plouffe refuses to give out hard, checkable metrics on the health of the Obama base. Hearing Melber describe the disgusted reaction of uber-blogger Markos Moulitsas to a recent OFA fundraising email, Plouffe somewhat hotly replies, “It’s easy to take potshots, but I’m very closely in contact with the people who make up the heartbeat of the ground level of Obama for America, who are still out there.” (Telling that he says “Obama for America,” not “Organizing for America.”) He asserts:

“We’ve had a couple million people out there volunteering for health care, quietly in communities, helping maintain support. It’s different from a campaign; you’re not out there saying, ‘Register eight voters today.’…. I quite frankly am thrilled that over two million people, which is a lot, have done something on health care, meaning: they’ve gone out and knocked on doors; they visited a congressional office; they helped organize a press conference. It’s happened in all 50 states, and we think it’s a small part of why health care will get done.”

I’m sorry, but when two million people are in motion in favor of something, because they put themselves in motion, we know what that feels like. It’s called a movement. It started to happen in 2007-08, and it hasn’t happened since.


In point of fact, we had a movement arise last spring – bottom-up, populist, self-generating, and over a million strong at this point.  It’s just that it was called the Tea Party movement, and for some reason certain people apparently don’t want it to count.  I don’t actually know if Micah Sifry is one of them, of course.

Anyway: read the whole thing, as they say.

Moe Lane

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