2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Friday, December 12, 2008

“Is mybarackobama now the new name for the Democratic Party?”

The above is a mailing from former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe inviting Obama supporters to gather this weekend for "Change is Coming Events." (originally posted at Heidi Li's Potpourri.)

I’ve said it before: The Onion video showing bereft Obama supporters with nothing to do after their idol was elected president is more an accurate portrayal of reality than satire.

Not to worry.

Political Intelligence (Boston Globe) reports:

“One of the big questions following Barack Obama's victory last month was how engaged his supporters would continue to be once the initial euphoria wore off. If this weekend is any indication, they're showing no signs of letting up.

‘“Obama supporters will gather at more than 4,200 ‘Change is Coming’ events this weekend to discuss where to take the movement from here, according to his campaign. That's nearly three times the number of events that Obama aides had been expecting. More than 200 meetings are scheduled for tonight, with thousands more tomorrow and Sunday.

‘“Obama's website quotes Jan Biederman from Cleveland: ‘The goals of our get-together will be multi-fold, not the least of which will be to keep the grass-roots momentum going ... I plan to facilitate a discussion on what we can do locally to help bring about the change we all want, and not just wait for Washington.”’

This is more evidence the Obama Administration intends to follow the misguided path of its predecessor. During his eight years in office, George W. Bush never learned the difference between campaigning and governing; Dubya positioned Karl Rove, his chief campaign strategist, in a nearby office in the White House. Likewise, Obama is taking his top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, to Washington with him.

But the Obama “movement” is going a step or two further than Bush. A few days ago Heidi Li Feldman posted a mailing from the Obama team inviting supporters to participate in the above “Change is Coming” House Meetings. Feldman, a Georgetown University law professor, wrote:

‘“What IS this? It reads like some sort of tent-revival/teeny-bopper/new-age infotainment ad. Why is mybarackobama now the the new name for the Democratic Party? Is Obama for America officially operating with 2012 in mind, as I have suggested previously, hence we are receiving messages from David Plouffe in his capacity as ‘Campaign Manager, Obama for America?’

“In the United States of America, political parties do not have Constitutional status. They are not to be conflated with the government, which, in contrast to parliamentary systems, is not in the possession of the prevailing party. And neither the head of any political party nor the President of the United States is to be conflated with government either - that would be a totalitarian regime.

“President-elect Obama must come to realize that these messages coming from his campaign manager, using the resources of the debt-ridden DNC, are unbecoming to say the least. As a Democrat, they make me cringe. I have no problem with patriotism; I have no problem with politicians building their base. But as a Democrat and a democrat, I shy away from messages that sound cultish or invoke the style of Sunday morning TV preachers to ‘encourage’ everybody to ‘plan the next steps for this movement.’ What movement? Mr. Obama: you are the President now. Your job is not to lead a movement, if it ever was. Your job is to lead the country, the entire country, not just those who supported you or voted you. You are the chief executive officer of the United States of America. Form your cabinet, staff the executive branch, and lead the country. In the meantime, please note, it is, again to say the least, unseemly to have your Campaign Manager sending messages with a graphic that makes no mention of the United States but just continues to refer to ‘CHANGE’ and displays your personal symbol. We need a president, not a guru.

“Compare the above with Reverend Moon's organizational materials to catch the similarities in style, if not content. Examples here.”

Feldman is right, of course; we do need a president, not a guru, but it’s a guru, we’ve got. In these perilous times, we are about to inaugurate the most inexperienced president-elect in contemporary history. In the meantime, we are asked to support the “movement” that swept Obama into office on vague promises of hope and change.

Pardon me if I remain a bit skeptical.


  1. There is so very much here that is disturbing; the continued use of Obama's personal symbol, the campaign-mode style of decision-making, or lack of decision-making. Obama IS more as a guru than a leader, but that is how he sees himself. Has he ever demonstrated that he is in this for something bigger than himself, and not for the adoration of self? I must keep reading the prayer on your web page. With the swirling news of the Illinois political corruption, the players all attempting to distance themselves from the game when they are clearly in over their heads and making every effort to avoid transparency rather than provide answers, these are hard times for the nation. The fourth estate has fallen down on the job, the American people are distracted by financial worries, and a rookie is about to take office as POTUS. Still, I have faith that all of this too will be overcome. I maintain my own personal sense of hope, and it has nothing to do with our President-elect...

  2. I'm with you, Becky. I don't need a charismatic politician to give me hope.

    Like yours, my hope springs from a far deeper source.

    And you are right. There is a lot that's disturbing about the continued campaigning of Obama supporters.