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View Diary: My Comment upon Unsubscribing from OFA (145 comments)

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  •  AARP has . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Munchkn

    roughly 35 million members.  Change to Win is over 4 million members.

    AARP is one of the most influential lobbies in DC.

    If the end-game isn't influence, I'm not really sure why anyone would give their time or money to the organization.  If it's just reading talking points of the White House, then they aren't really an advocacy organization for dues paying members.  There's an inherent conflict in the way the organization operates.

    •  I Think That's Where The Conflict Is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Newsie8200

      You're right: Thye aren't an advocacy organization for dues paying members.  Members don't pay dues.  You can't compare OFA to AARP or Change To Win.

      I have to believe you're playing kind of dumb here.  You know there are many millions of Americans who like the White House and agree with the White House?  Just like OFA (when it was still "Obama For America") was about communicating Obama's message then, and we had plenty of people lining up to do that.  OFA is the bully pulpit divided by millions and targetted.  It's a way to quickly rally support for initiatives that the party and the White House think are important, and there are simply millions of people who think that's a good idea.

      If you're not one of them, that's cool... but I don't think it's a huge mystery why people support the organization.

      •  There are millions of Americans . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, Surly Cracker

        who gave time and money to Obama's campaign and who voted for him, who are not members of OFA.

        I realize that there are people who support Obama without caring too much about what the substance of the policies they're advocating for end up being.  

        If the endgame is influencing policy though, OFA probably isn't the vehicle for them.  It's more akin to a fan club centered around a personality than it is an organization founded around policy objectives.

        For some maybe this was clear at the outset; based on my own view though this was something that I didn't really appreciate until recently, because there isn't really a precedent for OFA.  Traditionally, presidents would do their lobbying and PR through existing grass-roots organizations.  In exchange these organizations would also have an influence on the contours of policy (e.g. Focus on the Family).  It was a two way street.

        With OFA this doesn't appear to be the case.  

        •  Ahh That's What It Comes Down To (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Newsie8200

          I realize that there are people who support Obama without caring too much about what the substance of the policies they're advocating for end up being.  

          People who agree with the President don't care about the substance of his policies, and OFA is a cult of personality.  I wondered when we'd get to the part where people who disagreed with you were unintelligent sheep.  I do not agree of course, but at least I know what angle you're coming from now.

          •  Not right . . . (2+ / 0-)
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            churchylafemme, Surly Cracker

            More accurately:

            People who agree with any president without regard for the substance of policies are by definition blind followers.

            People who allow themselves room for disagreement with any president are not blind followers.

            Most people fall somewhere between those extremes.

            In the case of OFA a person is essentially putting their trust in Obama's acting in good faith more often than not, since they have no real input on the substance of policies.  Obama occupies their seat at the table.

            The OFA is an instrument for helping to sell his policies.  

            For people with strong opinions on specific policy issues, it's going to be hard in most cases for them to defer that authority to any one representative -- especially for those who view ALL politicians with a degree of skepticism.

            So the question arises, what is the best organization for keeping OUR politicians honest? (I include Obama in the "OUR" category, since he was someone who I supported and campaigned for during the election).  

            The OFA serves a useful function, but it doesn't really serve that particular function well.

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