Skip to main content

Today I unsubscribed from OFA. I'm sure my thoughts are nothing new around here, I've just been lurking more and commenting less for 6 months or so, and I finally wrote something long enough to qualify as a diary. If you comment, I'd appreciate suggestions on how to get involved in the 2010 elections without the "help" of OFA and have a real impact beyond my local area. I can't in good conscience send the DCCC or DSCC money.

Until your administration makes meaningful progress toward financial reform, health care reform, energy policy reform, campaign finance reform, and all the other things we were promised in the campaign, I can't continue to actively support OFA. I'm tired of the old cliches like "politics is the art of the possible," et cetera. You have allowed people like Joe Lieberman to hijack the process. You are giving your opposition too much say, and they aren't interested in governing, they're interested in destroying you.

You were elected with the largest popular mandate we, the volunteers and organizers, could manage. We got you here based on the message of hope and change that you sold during the campaign, and on the promise that you'd run America with the same commitment to those principles. You've abandoned that, and put in place an administration that resembles every other recent Democratic group; disorganized, off-message, and full of insiders who pay only lip service to the needs of their constituents while taking their marching orders from special interests and lobbying groups, always kowtowing to that needs of another election, another big donor.

We're not asking for these things because we WANT them, we're asking because we NEED them. Sweeping reform in almost every sector of government is needed, and is needed NOW. For instance, the "financial services industry," (did that even exist 30 years ago?) in the wake of Graham-Leach-Billey, brought down the economy in the name of greed. You've got many of the architects of that fiasco working for you to "fix" things. The result? The best year EVER on Wall Street in 2009, and a deepening recession on Main Street. Funneling OUR money into THEIR pockets. Does it surprise you that a bunch of guys who work for Goldman Sachs would make "fixes" to the economy that would profit them personally, as opposed to helping America? Meanwhile, my parents lost their house. Their house, Mr. President. The place they live, and it could have been saved with 1/100 the amount of an average Wall Street bonus.

Note that I sound like a harsh GOP pundit. That's important, because I am a lifelong liberal Democrat who remains committed to the American system and to helping candidates who support policy I believe in get elected. I worked hundreds of hours, and donated over a thousand dollars in 2008 (I made 38k that year) to Democratic candidates at all levels, some from states I've never even visited. I am the person you can't afford to lose. You are losing me, and thousands like me.

I realize you've done a lot of good. I realize we are infinitely safer and better off having you in office that the alternative. And I realize that the left wing of your constituency at times asks you to do the impossible. However, history shows that time and time again, we have been right. The greatest triumphs in policy and progress in America were born of Liberal ideas, ideas that were "radical" and "too far out" at one point or another. Our leaders, people like FDR and MLK pushed forward anyway, and achieved the impossible, to the betterment of every citizen of this country.

I AM asking too much of you. I DO demand an intellectual and moral honesty and rigor that is unachievable in "Modern Washington," in the partisan corporatist cesspool that has replaced our representative democracy. I don't care. I want you to get up there and do it, use the bully pulpit and your "political capital," and whatever else you've got to leverage and fix my country. I want you to stop compromising with people who seek to destroy you. The time for their ideas has passed, and America knows it. I don't want the GOP to have input in the process, because they are wrong about almost everything, and have been for twenty years. And neither does the rest of the country, a fact that should have been apparent when we voted the bums out in 2008. We did what was asked of us, and you must now hold up your end.

Start radically reforming the Energy Industry to end our dependence on foreign oil, and use government money to create jobs to build the infrastructure until it can start turning a profit.

Re-enact Glass-Steagall, and rein in the global casino where Wall Street elites gamble with our pensions, retirement accounts, and mortgages.

Make a radical investment in higher education. Start with subsidies for public university and community college tuition for adults, and extend long-term loan forgiveness programs to Government employees at every level; cops, firefighters, lawyers, cafeteria lunch ladies, and everyone in between.

Order mortgage companies to make immediate and meaningful adjustments to the loan values of people who are underwater. Target these initiatives to homes worth between $50k and $250k to insure the middle class receives the benefit. If Wall Street doesn't like it, remind them that they were the ones who created the bubble in the first place, and that it's better to adjust a $200k mortgage to $100k than it is to foreclose and eventually sell the house for $60k. If they don't like it, tough. They CAUSED the problem.

Repeal don't ask don't tell. Discrimination is of no use to your administration.

Do a couple of those things, at least. Do something. Until then, don't waste your money emailing me. I'm ready to fight in 2010, ready to dig in to the midterms. But it's up to you to provide me with the motivation, with the accomplishments that make me believe you and your Administration are the best hope we have.

Originally posted to Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:19 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Ohh Hai 5! (0+ / 0-)

      Another purist who's going to let us know how awesome they are and even reprint their "I'z full of teh awesumz. Delete my fucking account, Obama!" letter for all to mock see.

      I used to have a signature but it disappeared and I just couldn't be bothered writing another so please feel free to ingore this.

      by second gen on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:02:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's cute. (7+ / 0-)

        And since there's nothing to be concerned about anymore, and the President has already done everything he promised, I guess I should just shut my mouth.

        No one ever got anything done by raising points about the shortcomings of government, after all. No, all progress we've made in this country has been based solely on mocking and belittling the feelings and opinions of people who we probably agree with on 90% of issues in public forums, right? That's how we Democrats are going to save this country, but labeling everyone a purity troll and talking to them like they're a fucking two-year-old.

        I'll check back in another 6 months and see how much we've accomplished by not holding the President accountable.

        Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

        by Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:18:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My unsubscribe was a lot shorter (10+ / 0-)

          I figure they aren't going to listen anyway so I said

          Rahm Emanuel say's people like me should "sit down and shut up."  Unfortunately for you, when I sit down  I can no longer reach my wallet.  However, if at some point in the future we have real health care insurance reform with a robust public option that contains costs, the party platform endosrsing women's rights is not abandoned, our troops are no longer occupying foreign countries, and war criminals from the previous administration are in the docket, no one will be able to keep me from standing up and cheering.

          Til then... my attitude is towards the DNC, DCCC, DSCC, and OFA is good luck and thanks for all the fish.

          Don't think we're not keeping score, brother.

          by 8ackgr0und N015e on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:30:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  A little defensive, aren't you? (5+ / 0-)

        What's your issue with constructive and cogent criticism? Not everyone thinks mockery is effective.

  •  We're barely at a year now... (5+ / 0-)

    President Obama isn't done fighting.  The OFA emails might be a bit annoying (I'm on the list twice) but they will be more effective as the election draws closer.

      •  Here's a thought for you: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, second gen, cyeko

        this is what it looks like when we fight, you just don't know what success looks like.

        •  "Success" seems to look a lot like failure then.. (6+ / 0-)
          •  Saving the US from a depression, lilly ledbetter, (7+ / 0-)

            most open WH EVER, largest change to social contract in 30 years ... what are you smoking?

            •  Obama has done nothing more than any other Dem (7+ / 0-)

              would have done, and could have done far more in a number of circumstances.

              I'm not going to break out the pom-poms just because this President isn't as bad as GWB.

            •  I think you're fighting... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckeyekarl, GN1927, Whimsical, second gen

              a losing battle in this diary. Some folks refuse to give the President credit for anything, and want to blame him for everything.

              Doesn't make sense, but it is their right.

              "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

              by Cure7802 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:13:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  True, it's their right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cure7802

                But they don't have the right to affect analysis on this site for the rest of us with their running stream of negative commentary.

              •  Excuse me (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NotGeorgeWill, rubine, Munchkn, Cure7802, laker

                I don't think that's what I was doing at all. In fact I went out of my way to give the President credit, and I didn't blame him for anything in this diary except not living up to his promise to use OFA as a conduit for involving people in the process, as opposed to a fund raising list.

                Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                by Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:36:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand your frustration... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Surly Cracker

                  but it seems some of it is misplaced. From my POV, I am quite pleased with how much the President has been able to accomplish in this first year in office. Let me see if I can address some points from your diary.

                  First:

                  I AM asking too much of you. I DO demand an intellectual and moral honesty and rigor that is unachievable in "Modern Washington," in the partisan corporatist cesspool that has replaced our representative democracy. I don't care. I want you to get up there and do it, use the bully pulpit and your "political capital," and whatever else you've got to leverage and fix my country.

                  You yourself are saying that what you are demanding is unachievable in this political climate, and yet you "don't care". Think about what this means, and how it reads.

                  On energy and climate:

                  Start radically reforming the Energy Industry to end our dependence on foreign oil, and use government money to create jobs to build the infrastructure until it can start turning a profit.

                  Between ARRA and the FY2010 budget, the Administration has allocated roughly a quarter trillion dollars to clean energy. The DoE, EPA, Dept. of Interior, and numerous government agencies have all placed climate and energy at the top of their agenda. All executive agencies are now required to become more energy efficient. CAFE standards were drastically raised, which will lead to a transformation in the US auto industry. Additionally, the House has already passed a cap-and-trade/energy bill (the first in the history of this country). We're now waiting on the US Senate. I would say that this transformation you're asking for has already begun.

                  On finance reform:

                  Re-enact Glass-Steagall, and rein in the global casino where Wall Street elites gamble with our pensions, retirement accounts, and mortgages.

                  Glass-Steagall is an obsolete regulatory structure. I too would like to see fairly radical finance reform... and the Administration is pursuing it. Likely we are not going to get a drastic restructuring of the sector, but they have pushed hard on this, within the current constraints of our political system. The House has already passed a bill, and now we are (again), waiting on the Senate.

                  On education:

                  Make a radical investment in higher education. Start with subsidies for public university and community college tuition for adults, and extend long-term loan forgiveness programs to Government employees at every level; cops, firefighters, lawyers, cafeteria lunch ladies, and everyone in between.

                  There were tens of billions in education subsidies in the ARRA, and in the Presidents budget. The Administration has also moved to completely cut private lenders out of the student loan business. Again though, we need congressional action.

                  ON mortgage relief:

                  Order mortgage companies to make immediate and meaningful adjustments to the loan values of people who are underwater.

                  The President of the US cannot just order private companies to do what he wants. There are many steps he can take (and he should push harder on this), but we do not live in a dictatorship.

                  On gay rights:

                  Repeal don't ask don't tell. Discrimination is of no use to your administration

                  .

                  Barney Frank and others have said that this will happen this year. Let's give him the year... and then complain if it is still on the books.

                  Speaking directly to OFA, they are organized to enact the Presidents agenda, not necessarily a progressive agenda. If you disagree with them, fine, but painting them as simply a fundraising arm is disingenuous. They made over a million calls for health-care, and are trying to keep the Presidents supporters in the loop on what is happening. Sure they are fundraising... but that is also part of their mission statement.

                  You (and I, and many others) spent the better part of two-years getting this man elected President. It seems self-defeating to give up on him after he has spent less than half that amount of time in office.

                  "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                  by Cure7802 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 12:28:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Different interpretation . . . (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    churchylafemme, Surly Cracker
                    1. "You yourself are saying that what you are demanding is unachievable in this political climate, and yet you "don't care". Think about what this means, and how it reads."

                    No, the diarist is saying pretty clearly that the odds of success are unlikely, but that the president still owes it to his supporters to use his bully pulpit and political capital to change the status quo.

                    The diarist clearly cares about changing the status quo; the diarist though doesn't care about excuses that politicians use to avoid taking on the task.

                    1. "Between ARRA and the FY2010 budget, the Administration has allocated roughly a quarter trillion dollars to clean energy."

                    Unless you are counting standard year-to-year funding for government agencies as part of the "clean energy" allocation, I am counting less than $100 bill for new R&D programs between the two bills.

                    1. Financial reform.

                    The administration hasn't done jack squat at this point on the issue -- unless you count a PR event involving Wall Street bankers as "policy".  Obama's financial people too are basically punting on this issue.

                    1. Mortgage relief.

                    Agreed that the problem is mostly in the Senate right now.  Although a more adept leader could have found ways to leverage this issue via Treasury.  The Treasury Dept. has been excessively deferential to the big players.

                    1. Gay rights.

                    We'll see.

                    1. Giving up on the president.

                    It's not "giving up on the president" to criticize his actions, or to hold him accountable for campaign promises.

                    •  I will let the diarist... (0+ / 0-)

                      tell me what he/she is "saying pretty clearly".

                      ...and you seem to be willfully ignoring the clean-energy work that the Administration has done.

                      I elected the man to a four-year term, and I am going to give him my support during that time period. You are free to criticize and denigrate as you like.

                      "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                      by Cure7802 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 03:29:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The diarist tipped . . . (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        churchylafemme, Surly Cracker

                        my comment, maybe that too is not clear enough evidence for you that my interpretation of the diary is in the ballpark.  So be it.

                        In reference to the clean-energy work, I am not "willfully" ignoring work that the administration has done.

                        You made a specific claim: "Between ARRA and the FY2010 budget, the Administration has allocated roughly a quarter trillion dollars to clean energy."

                        The evidence that I find in those bills for clean energy spending doesn't support the claim you are making.

                      •  This: (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        churchylafemme

                        the diarist is saying pretty clearly that the odds of success are unlikely, but that the president still owes it to his supporters to use his bully pulpit and political capital to change the status quo.

                        The diarist clearly cares about changing the status quo; the diarist though doesn't care about excuses that politicians use to avoid taking on the task.

                        is correct. My point in saying:

                        I DO demand an intellectual and moral honesty and rigor that is unachievable in "Modern Washington," in the partisan corporatist cesspool that has replaced our representative democracy. I don't care. I want you to get up there and do it, use the bully pulpit and your "political capital," and whatever else you've got to leverage and fix my country.

                        was that I disapprove of the "Way Washington Is" and I expect the President, among his many other obligations, to try and fix it.

                        It's a big job. But that is ostensibly why we have hugely expensive and lengthy elections, to determine who the best man or woman in the country is for the job. It's the part where we're lately just choosing the lesser of the evils Corporate America has already pre-approved for us that really pisses me off.

                        Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                        by Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 04:26:59 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If you folks truly believe... (0+ / 0-)

                          that the President has not tackled these issues and is a "corporate sell-out" in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary, then nothing I can say will possibly convince you otherwise. Some of you seem to enjoy negativity for whatever reason, enjoy being jaded, cynical, and angry.

                          You are perfectly within your rights to have this attitude, but personally, I think it is a waste of time and energy that could be put to far more constructive uses.

                          Go ahead and be angry though. It is your lives.

                          "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                          by Cure7802 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 04:54:37 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You should examine (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cure7802

                            What our motivations for writing that comment are. You are the one rushing full speed to label me as angry and cynical, and continue to insist that I'm bashing the President.

                            On the contrary, I was implying that President Obama is probably our only hope to counteract the culture in DC that has led to much of the governance of this country being dictated by the agendas and balance sheets of the corporations that lobby and donate to political campaigns.

                            However, until he starts taking some serious actions that will benefit Americans without regard to what Goldman-Sachs and Blue Cross and whoever else think about them, I can't accept on faith alone that he's acting in my interest, as opposed to the interests of the companies that, despite a lot of talk of "small donors," made up the majority of the cash he raised on '08.

                            I want him to do this stuff, and believe he wants to do it as well. I'm just not willing to put blind faith in anyone.

                            Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                            by Surly Cracker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 05:53:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  typo - "YOUR motivations" nt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cure7802

                            Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                            by Surly Cracker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 05:56:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I see your point, and I should not have... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Surly Cracker

                            lumped you in with some of the more hostile commentors. I hope you understand the frustrations of the those who are still very supportive of the President though. It is infuriating to come here to what is ostensibly a partisan Democratic blog and see the sitting Democratic President denigrated in the way that he has been, especially after less than a year in office.  

                            I also do not believe I am putting blind faith in the President. I certainly have faith, but I am also quite confident in the research and thought I have put into supporting him. I have been following Obama since even before his convention speech in 2004 (watching him demolish Crazy Alan Keyes) and what he says now is largely what he was saying then. I am actually impressed with how much he has been able to accomplish in spite of the political climate in Washington, and how little his message has changed over the years. I suppose that is the major difference between us.

                            As far as him kowtowing to corporate influence, I would make several points. One is that while he challenged special interests during the campaign, he was never an Edwards bash-the-corporations type candidate (even Edwards wasn't an Edwards-type anti-corporate candidate...he just wanted folks to think he was). The President believes (as I do) that corporate enterprise is an integral part of the US and global economy. Would we like to see less corporate influence in Washington? Undoubtedly. But frankly, if he declared jihad on all corporate influence in Washington his agenda would die on the vine; Goldman, Blue Cross, etc. are part of the system, and unraveling that is not going to occur quickly even if he railed against them every day from the Oval Office.

                            More broadly, and though you may disagree, the President doesn't view corporations as evil, and I agree with him. GE might be hated for their contribution to the financial crisis and their media empire, but I would guess most of us are thankful for their industrial unit being able to build cutting-edge, hgh-output wind turbines. Big banks are even more hated, but we are going to need their financing for all sorts of clean energy projects going forward. Lumping the tens of thousands of corporate entities into one big pile and slapping an "evil" label on the thing seems to be grossly simplifying the issue.

                            Boiling it down to the essentials, I believe that the President is the best friend progressives have, and that supporting him and having patience in him is the most effective way to get done what we need to get done.

                            That is my motivation.

                            "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                            by Cure7802 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 07:02:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutley. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cure7802

                            I was attempting to make basically the same point. I don't think the concept of corporate enterprise is evil, just that companies, after a certain point, tend to function solely based on dollars and not on their impact (positive or negative) on actual humans. It's a natural progression for a big business, but one that I think government has a responsibility to monitor and intercede in when harm is being done. Hell, it's funny you mention GE, as my job is at least partially dependent on a product they manufacture, so clearly I owe them something in my personal life.

                            I don't think the President is bad, and I don't think his accomplishments thus far are anything to sneeze at. However, he was elected by riding the wave of a very populist message, and there are people in this country (not people around here so much as people like my parents who I converted from Republicans to Dems over the course of about 20 years of effort) that don't follow every issue closely, and rely on MSM to tell them what's going on in the world. These people are being told every day that the Administration is in dissaray, that Obama hasn't lived up to his promises, etc. Now, most of that "reporting" is bullshit, but honestly, it's hard to sell my mom on Lily Ledbetter when she doesn't have a job at which to be discriminated against. There is a feeling among people who aren't policy wonks that they've been had to a certain extent.

                            I'm somewhere in the middle, in that I understand and follow the policy, but I am not so caught up in it as to be oblivious to the fact that it's not generating enough positive change in the day-to-day lives of the middle class currently to help us much in the 2010 elections.

                            Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                            by Surly Cracker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 10:47:40 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I guess I'm just not that worried... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Surly Cracker

                            about the 2010 elections this far out (call me a moderate optimist). If trends hold, by late summer unemployment will be dropping (though still too high), the economy will have been growing, health-care and some form of energy/climate bill will have passed, and some of the longer-term stimulus funded infrastructure projects will be well underway. Meanwhile the Republicans have lost their fucking minds, teabaggers are busy funding primary challengers to some of the most conservative congress-critters in the country, and the Democrats are outraising Republicans by leaps and bounds.

                            If we're in the same place in October that we are now, then I'll be real worried. I just don't see that happening.

                            ...and as far as the President being elected upon a populist wave, I will agree to an extent. However, Obama never really portrayed himself as a populist, and personally, I am glad he is not. I like cool rationalism, not populist anger. And as far as the media doom-and-gloom goes, there is not much we can do at this point, other than direct people to other sources. Additionally, you know how the MSM likes a narrative... the current one is the President is a disapointment. Soon enough though, they'll have the "Resurrection of Obama" meme going.

                            I think patience and strategic vision is the name of the game.

                            ...btw, I've enjoyed this conversation. Far less heat and far more light would help the discourse around here immensely.

                            "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                            by Cure7802 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 11:39:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Likewise. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NotGeorgeWill, Cure7802

                            People around here take themselves too damn seriously sometimes. :)

                            Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                            by Surly Cracker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:44:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Possibly the understatement of the year! nt. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NotGeorgeWill

                            "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                            by Cure7802 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 04:36:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Saved from the depression? Maybe just delayed. (9+ / 0-)

              I don't believe we've been saved from a depression.  A stimulus bounce without growth in the productive economy is not being saved.  In fact the stimulus was so misdirected, I believe our chances of entering a depression have increased.

              If he had fought the Bank interests like he said he would, he really could have transformed the economy.

              His mark in history, so far, is opportunities lost.

    •  I realize that. (14+ / 0-)

      With each passing day, the President has less and less chance to pass meaningful legislation. With each concession and compromise, he empowers the GOP.

      When they were in charge, they pushed through laws so outrageous we laugh about them now. I refuse to believe that our side isn't capable, at least on paper, of passing our own.

      The difference is ours would help people.

      However, I'm starting to lose hope that American is anything other than a fully-owned subsidiary of various corporations, and that it's impossible to get anyone elected that wants to change that, or for them TO change it even if they happen to get in office.

      Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

      by Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:29:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Surly Cracker? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Southside

        Is that like "Angry White Man"?

        I used to have a signature but it disappeared and I just couldn't be bothered writing another so please feel free to ingore this.

        by second gen on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 11:05:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't feel I need to explain my name (0+ / 0-)

          to you.

          Believe me,you're not the first person to misinterpret it in a way that would allow you to feel superior or make a stupid joke. Search my comments (you'll have to go back a ways) for the conversation I had with meteor blades about it, THAT was someone I felt was worth justifying it to.

          You, I could care less about.

          Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

          by Surly Cracker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 06:03:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I now believe there is no time limit (9+ / 0-)

      Early on it was "he's only been President for a month". Now it's "barely at a year".

      I've got that feeling that some of us will extend him goodwill through the next campaign in 2012, as in "he said he'd get this done in his first term".

      Which is true. He did say that. "Before my first term is over", I believe are the actual words.

      Then if he should be re-elected (and I hope that he is!) perhaps we'll hear that he can't get much done because he's a lame duck.

      In any case, my point here is that eventually we want to see results and want to see him working towards fulfilling his promises. And I don't want to see any of you mocking me for wanting to see those promises met! I'm shocked by weirdos saying "aww, you didn't get your pony" as if there's no reason to honor his campaign pledges.

  •  DADT (9+ / 0-)

    There seems to be a lingering misconception that President Obama can repeal DADT. He cannot, Congress must repeal it. It is a law not an Executive Order or some arbitrary military policy. (granted is does seem to feel like the later) And on that note -
    Rep Barney Frank on the repeal of DADT -

    The effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will likely come next year as an amendment to the Defense Department spending bill, rather than through a standalone bill, according to gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank said in an interview with the Blade that repealing the 1993 law barring gays from serving openly in the military would happen as part of the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill.

    “The House will take up and the Senate will take up ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal,” he said. “That will again, like hate crimes, even more so, will have to be done, I believe, in the context of the defense authorization. You can’t do the standalone bill. It belongs in the defense authorization.”

    Frank said lawmakers would seek to amend the defense measure to include a provision repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Such a move would mimic the way Congress recently enacted the hate crimes measure.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:30:59 AM PST

  •  I unsubscribed a few weeks ago during the height (7+ / 0-)

    of the healthcare debate and was annoyed by a fundraising request to help get healthcare reform passed.  It was also at the time that the President escalated the war in Afghanistan.  I gave OFA my reasons for unsubscribing at the time.  I hope you posted your letter on their website.  It's very good.  

    I do have some second thoughts about unsubscribing.  It has been just a year since the administration took office and they do need a chance to get some changes in place.  However, I've been very discouraged by the way the White House handled this debate on healthcare,  by the continuance of some of the Bush-era policies and by the escalation of the war.  

    My plan is to support people like Alan Grayson, Eric Massa and others who stand up  for policies that I support.  Locally, I will work toward getting Bill White elected governor in Texas and replacing Pete Sessions.  

  •  that's right give up (5+ / 0-)

    that'll show 'em. It's the quitters who make history after all.

    Jake McIntyre says I might as well have voted to invade Iraq. Jake McIntyre sucks.

    by SeanF on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 09:37:47 AM PST

  •  Delete my fucking account Obama! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whimsical, Eclectablog

    This new generation of Democrats seems to lack spleen, gives up when the fight's just getting started.  

    Well, I didn't figure we'd have the short-termers for long any way.

  •  Can I copy this? I had the exact (7+ / 0-)

    same reaction to their poll and email to get involved.  I think it is a great response and well over due.

  •  I unsubscribed and (10+ / 0-)

    explained why.  Furthermore, I have no intention of being held hostage by people who say, "Would you rather have Sarah Palin?"

    All I wanted was to see Obama try to get a public option passed.  Instead, he repeatedly indicated he was willing to surrender on that.  As far back as he televised speech to Congress Obama announced that progressives might have to accept a bill without a public option.  I'm a Realtor.  Now, can you imagine what my customer would do if I began his negotiations by telling the other team, "We're going to you a $100,000 for that property.  But insist on $200,000 we'll be OK with that."  I'd lose my license.

    My decision to withdraw from OFA was an act of tough love.  I'm hoping to give Obama a reason to rediscover his balls.

    Political liberal / Bible believing Christian / Lousy at litmus tests

    by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:04:26 AM PST

  •  By the way, you asked for suggestions. Mine (6+ / 0-)

    is to support liberal congressional candidates through Act Blue.  And also to tell Obama and other representatives why you've left OFA.  They need to know they're losing the enthusiasm of their base.

    Political liberal / Bible believing Christian / Lousy at litmus tests

    by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:15:19 AM PST

  •  OFA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cyeko

    is actually meeting a lot of its objectives, much like many of the non-party organizations out there that get short shrift from the netroots. I'm curious as to what you would consider an organization that fought and succeeded? (And by succeeded, I mean made a difference, not just a group that claimed credit for something others did.)

    •  I don't blame them for not succeeding. I blame (9+ / 0-)

      Obama for not trying hard enough to accomplish specific things he promised.

      Heck, Obama even resorted to lying, saying he never campaigned on a public option.  Then he tried to marginalize those who were disappointed in him, by calling them "the left."  That's funny -- 18 months ago he was calling us his "supporters."

      Political liberal / Bible believing Christian / Lousy at litmus tests

      by VirginiaJeff on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:21:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The disparate network . . . (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubine, Munchkn, Surly Cracker, LSmith, laker

      that is the netroots has has an impact on getting candidates elected.  Without Netroots activism the Dems would not have retaken control of the Senate in 2006 (both Tester and Webb would have lost); the 60 seats margin was provided in 2008 in part by netroots activism.  

      In terms of policy influence, this is still an open question.  OFA seems more like a PR wing of the administration rather than an active participant in shaping policy.

      •  Politics is PR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Newsie8200

        They are making phone calls, knocking on doors, and holding rallies for Health Care reform.  It's accurate that they aren't getting deep into specifics, but that's not really their role.  They just keep pushing 'Reform, reform, reform.'

        •  Politics is more than optics . . . (0+ / 0-)

          and PR.  The end game is always policy.

          OFA is unlike the AARP, the UAW, Change to Win, or any other major lobby in the city in terms of the way that it operates.  

          If the AARP just did PR and it didn't also get involved in the weeds effecting policy on behalf of its constituents, it too would start losing members.

          There's an inherent conflict in having the OFA so closely tied to the administration; it would be like the UAW abandoning its dues paying members.  

          •  But OFA is a Battering Ram (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Newsie8200

            Five million volunteers aren't capable of the kind of finesse you're describing.  

            I don't think it's fair to compare the money flowing up model of the AARP and the lobbyists they employ with the activism flowing out model that OFA uses.

            •  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-)
                      Recommended by:
                      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.

            •  I know my local OFA staff (3+ / 0-)

              personally. Have known some of them since the campaign, and some for years before that.

              I've yet to see them do anything other than distribute the White Houses' talking points and drum up support for their policy.

              Now, I realize that's what the WH wants, but OFA (when it was Obama for America) was an entity that made people feel empowered, and at least maintained the illusion that there was a grassroots, trickle-up flow of ideas and information. When I had an idea on the campaign that could help, I was often empowered to execute it, or at least it was run up the flagpole in a meaningful way, with a response.

              Now I'm just an old guy yelling at a cloud. I realize the President doesn't have time to take my call, or care about my life, but when I try to talk to OFA people about policy, about anything, it's a brick wall. A one way street.

              Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

              by Surly Cracker on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 12:16:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hear you . . . (3+ / 0-)

                this was something that I didn't really appreciate until today.  I have an Aunt too who was involved with OFA during the summer who expressed similar disappointment in the org.

                Structurally, the org seems like it has limitations.  I can see how the top-down approach now might have some political value, but I suspect the top-down structure is likely to sap some of the energy that you find with grass roots orgs.

                The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is actually centered around influencing policy debates -- it only has 300,000 members right now, but it is looking for a two-way, not one way street.  

                Seems like it is providing one possible alternative to the OFA.

              •  OFA's power is in its ability (0+ / 0-)

                to reach those who aren't reachable through other organizations, so it has to be done in easily digestible bits. And its power is also in sheer numbers and ability to be 'local' as opposed to some national org just helicoptering in.

                Coalition politics is required to move the progressive movement forward. OFA's role is to reach out to those who aren't labor union members and aren't interested in LCV, PPFA, and any of the other progressive organizations with significant offline grassroots presence.

              •  I remember at the initial OFA house party (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Surly Cracker

                we were told that we were only to work to support Obama's agenda. We were not to advocate any other policy position other than what Obama had advocated. That concerned me right then and there. What if you thought that the President needed to be prodded in a more progressive direction? IMHO, this rule primarily served to undermine the various local OFA workgroups. AFAIK, none of the workgroups/committees started at that first meeting are still functioning. For instance, the peace folks want to be able to protest the troop increase in Afghanistan.

  •  Can we please stop posting 'unsubscription' (0+ / 0-)

    letters on this site? If you need validation for your action, go somewhere else!

    open your mind or someone else will open it for you, but be careful you don't open it too much for you brain to fall out.

    by carlos the jackal on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 10:37:42 AM PST

  •  Who said this? (hint: July 3, 2008 (7+ / 0-)

    Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this site and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions. No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this Administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens. That holds true -- not just on wiretapping, but on a range of issues where Washington has let the American people down.

    I learned long ago, when working as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, that when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable. I'm not exempt from that. I'm certainly not perfect, and expect to be held accountable too. I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support to change the country. That is why we have built the largest grassroots campaign in the history of presidential politics, and that is the kind of White House that I intend to run as President of the United States -- a White House that takes the Constitution seriously, conducts the peoples' business out in the open, welcomes and listens to dissenting views, and asks you to play your part in shaping our country’s destiny.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site