If this type of organization has existed before in American politics on any similar scale, I’m not aware of it.
There are excellent reasons why we haven’t had mass groups devoted to powerful leaders in this country. Our whole system of government is designed to provide checks to protect against the accretion of too much power, to forestall mob rule. A mass organization that does the bidding of a single individual who also happens to be the president of the United States undermines such intentions.
I don’t think Obama has plans to do something nefarious with this group. I think he wants a streamlined organization that will help him achieve his domestic agenda. But once such an organization is uncorked, it is impossible to tell what path it and its leader may travel as the frustrations with governing grow or crises ensue.
Other mass movements in the United States, including the political Parties, are devoted to ideas or causes. They have checks within them, factions that debate and influence each other. But this one is the reincarnation of Obama’s former campaign and, presumably, it will respond to his dictates.
After the 2008 election, the campaign apparatus was at least nominally stuck within the Democratic Party and largely put on ice until the next election. Not this time.
What’s more, according to Politico, OFA will be classified as a 501(c)4 group, which means donors can give it as much money as they want and none of the contributors’ names need be released.Never mind that Obama has ardently opposed this kind of thing for years.
Known during the campaign as Obama for America, the group includes the millions of people signed up to receive emails from the Obama campaign and thousands of activists ready to man phone banks, knock on doors, annoy their lawmakers and otherwise make things happen for the president.
The group was superbly well organized under campaign manager Jim Messina, who will maintain leadership. Senior Obama operatives like Robert Gibbs, David Plouffe, and Stephanie Cutter will sit on the board. The group will no doubt employ many of the leftist community organizing principles Obama learned years ago in Chicago.
“We’ve got to keep working on growing the economy from the middle out, along with making meaningful progress on the issues we care about — immigration reform, climate change, balanced deficit reduction, reducing gun violence, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” Obama wrote. “I’m not going to be able to take them on without you.”
During a Monday meeting to discuss gun violence with Democratic members of Congress, Biden told the small group that he and Obama have the campaign’s organizations at its disposal as it seeks to influence public opinion on guns.
Then again Thursday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Biden again made reference to building a campaign out to support Obama’s agenda.
“We’re going to take this fight to the halls of Congress, Biden said of the gun control fight. “We’re going to take it beyond that. We’re going to take it to the American people. We’re going to go around the country making our case, and we’re going to let the voices, the voices of the American people be heard.”
Hmmm.....sounds almost like someone is planning to 'abolish' Congress all together.
In case there was any mistaking the very personal nature of the new organization, Obama himself announced it in an email to supporters and included a link to a video of Michelle discussing the group and mentioning things like “one of my first dates with Barack.”
Organizing for Action will put American politics on a new path. A treacherous one.Hmmm.......Flashback: "Video: Obama Blames “Founding Fathers” For Making It Difficult For Him To “Bring Change”But..."I will keep plotting"
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