Background: Organizing for Action is just as bad at pushing actual policy positions during Obama’s second term as its previous incarnation was as bad at pushing actually policy positions during Obama’s first term. I know that this will disappoint everybody who was expecting OfA a +5 Vorpal Juggernaut, but this was not exactly an unexpected outcome. Well, unexpected by some: there’s possibly an emotional aspect to some analyses these days*. OfA also seems to be not bringing in the cash – the phrase ‘potholes in the road’ was used, which is code for We seriously overestimated how much more money we could squeeze out of our usual donor base. But don’t worry: there’s still hope!
Even donors who acknowledged the group was off to a slow start predicted that just as the campaign heated up, so will OFA.
“When the president really starts to push these issues like immigration, that’s when you’re going to see this operation going at full speed,” said one top Obama donor. “This is why people elected the president. It wasn’t necessarily about him but what he could do.”
Continue reading Organizing for America is still underperforming. Shocker, I know.
You know, this one?
With lawmakers scheduled to return to work on Monday to begin intense discussions before a looming fiscal deadline, Mr. Obama’s aides are trying to harness the passions that returned him to the White House, hoping to pressure Republicans in Congress to accept tax increases on the wealthy. The president’s strategists are turning first to the millions of e-mail addresses assembled by the campaign and the White House.
Already, supporters are being asked to record YouTube videos of themselves talking about the importance of raising taxes on the rich. Aides said those videos would be shared on Facebook and Twitter and would be forwarded to centrist Democrats, as well as to mainstream Republicans, who they hope will break with their Tea Party colleagues.
Continue reading …Wait, where have I heard this ‘Rallying Obama for America’ story before?
You know the one: it’s the one where we get told about how OfA is… organizing itself for America. The group’s getting itself together, rebuilding and getting ready for the titanic struggle of 2012!
…Which is not to be distinguished from the titanic struggle of 2009-2010, which utterly failed to stop the GOP from taking the New Jersey governorship, the Massachusetts Senator’s seat, and pretty much the entire state of Virginia. Or the other titanic struggle of 2009-2010, which utterly failed to convince the American people that health care rationing was a good thing. And, wait, there’s that third titanic struggle of 2009-2010, which utterly failed to keep the Republican party from retaking the House of Representatives, literally decimating the Senate Democratic caucus, and cleaning up in state legislatures across the country.
Heck of a lot of titanic struggles there, really. Fortunately, they all had happy endings.
You know, I had a point to all of this; really, I did. At least, I had one besides ‘genial mockery.’ But I’m blessed if I can figure out what it is, at this point.
(Via Hot Air Headlines) Well, they always had planned to do that (which wasn’t exactly the best-kept secret in the world), but now it’s kind of obvious. This is, in fact, turning into the Great Democratic Hope of 2010: the goal is to convert that potent, potent force known as the ‘youth vote’ into a mighty hammer of civic engagement that will keep in office… the political party that is responsible for roughly one in five of them currently being out of work.
But OfA is planning a phone bank for right afterward! Personally, I’d have waited an hour or two to give all those volunteering livers a chance to metabolize the ethyl alcohol that will undoubtedly be consumed on Saturday, but don’t mind me, grasshoppers.
Executive summary: the Democrats are handing out people’s phone numbers to anybody who feels like phone banking for them. Specifically, they’re handing out people’s full names, city and state, gender, age, political affiliation, and phone number. Presumably, these would be people who contributed to either OfA or the Democrats generally – which means that these are people with credit cards. In other words, this is identity-theft softcore pr0n.
This is NOT standard practice for political parties. When a party has a volunteer work their phone bank, they typically have the phone bank worker sign documentation (paper or digitally), usually stating that they won’t misuse the information to which they are being granted access. The phone bank typically controls access either with a password account if the system is online, or by physically limiting access to where they have the phone bank if it’s an office style set-up. You don’t just let any person wander in off the street, rifle through your voter files and make calls on your behalf.
But that’s just what the DNC and OfA are doing here.
True, it’s a cherished tradition in American cultural life that actions should have consequences, but throwing 25 bucks to a plausible-sounding flim-flam man in 2008 probably shouldn’t put you at risk at having your identity stolen in 2010. Or even having your name and relevant info put in a robocall spammer database. Although the Democrats clearly disagree; and I bet that nobody involved with this program is in the database…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: If you’re a Democrat who doesn’t see why this is a big deal, then you need to stop and think. Seriously. This is one time where thinking like a paranoid and a conspiracy theorist would actually be helpful for a change…
Oh, this should be fun:
Plouffe stepping up role as adviser to White House
David Plouffe, the man who managed President Barack Obama’s campaign, will be taking on an expanded role as an outside adviser to the White House, according to sources familiar with the plan, a move that comes just days after a stunning defeat for Democrats in a Massachusetts Senate special election.
And why is it fun? Because as the Fix kind of notes, Plouffe’s relevant career can be summed up by two iterations of ‘OfA:’
- Obama for America. A group dedicated to electing Barack Obama President. Accomplishments: the nomination and election of a single-term Senator with no executive experience President of the United States, in the face of both primary and general election opposition.
- Organizing for America. A group dedicated to championing and popularizing the legislative and executive achievements of the Democratic party. Accomplishments: two words, one of which is ‘jack.’
So… the White House is bringing in a guy that’s good at running a group that makes one other guy look good, and who is involved with a group that is noticeably bad at making a political party look good. And who has wasted no time whatsoever in telling members of said political party to simply intensify what they’re doing, now.
I repeat: oh, this should be fun.
Crossposted to RedState.
(H/T: Hot Air) There’s an assumption here that should be challenged as a matter of course:
“We heard story after story from current Organizing for America volunteers about how they were getting disillusioned with Obama because he wasn’t fighting for the public option,” [Progressive Change Campaign Committee flack Adam] Green said. “Obama’s email list may soon become a hollow shell if he does not fight Joe Lieberman and insist that there be a public option.”
…’become?’ Organizing for America is a hollow shell. It’s been a hollow shell from pretty much the moment that it stopped being a ‘sexy*’ campaign tool that didn’t actually require its members to do anything except hand over money and votes. See here and here and here and here and here and here and here for more commentary along those lines. OfA will probably be very useful to the President when it comes time for his re-election – anybody still taking it seriously by then will be a prime source for campaign contributions – but as an instrument of enabling policy changes?
Let me put it this way: OfA wants people like me to fear it. Not mock it.
*For given values of ‘sexy.’
Crossposted to RedState.
(Via Hot Air Headlines) I mean, really: is this a trick question?
What happened to Obama’s massive network of grassroots activists?
They sold out, is what happened. They sold out and cashed in, which is why the representative of the faction that wanted to make OfA a fully-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party is enjoying a six-figure salary and the representative of the faction that wanted the group to actually take the President’s campaign promises seriously is enjoying the balmy tropical paradise of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Did you know that the average temperature for January in that location is just under 14 degrees? Fahrenheit, of course.
All of which TNR knows, of course – except maybe the average temperature of Sioux Falls – but then again, they need to keep telling themselves that the ongoing Democratic civil war over health care rationing represents ‘momentum,’ so I suppose that their ignoring this is a relatively minor act of goodthinking in comparison.
Crossposted to RedState.
Failing that, he’ll just have Organizing for America use them as a fundraising foil.
Yes. Foil. Greg Sargent:
This has to be the Obama camp’s most direct and premeditated shot at the media yet: His outside political operation just blasted an email to supporters directly faulting the press for falling down on the job of debunking health care “lies.”
The email from Organizing for America, which was forwarded by a reader, is obviously not addressed to the media and explicitly focuses blames on the press for the traction that reform foes have gained. Hitting the media riles the base, and the email also asks for donations to fund OFA, because “stepping in where the media fails is a daunting challenge.”
(Copy of email here)
Glenn Reynolds (H/T) thinks this is the current administration running through the arc of the last administration’s second term at double speed: I think that it’s a natural result of the Democrats going out and finding a left-wing duplicate not of George W Bush, but of their flawed and partisan perception of George W Bush. The two views are probably not incompatible, of course. It’s also kind of funny to see Sargent’s self-consciously understated disapproval; reading between the lines, he’s as affronted as a cat being served kibble instead of tuna – but his own comments section is highly sympathetic to the ‘right-wing media’ fundraising ploy, so he can’t show it too plainly…
Crossposted to RedState.
Mind you, it’s me – so it’ll be about zombies. On the other hand, I might be able to sneak a comment or two in about this OfA desperate rally at the fallback point conference call. Goodness knows it’s not really a subject change.
Crossposted to RedState.