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.