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eridani

(51,907 posts)
Mon Dec 19, 2011, 08:41 PM Dec 2011

What I really expected from Obama--

--was that he would run his administration like he ran his campaign. When it came down to Obama or Clinton, it made no difference to me one way or the other on the issues. Both are confirmed corporatists. Obama was slightly better on the wars, and Clinton slightly better on health care. Both were mostly funded by the same corporate interests.

I made my choice to support Obama strictly on the grounds of his campaign organization. In our caucus state, the Clinton people came in and told local Dems that they'd better get behind the inevitable winner, or those wanting political careers would be made to pay. And she hired worthless pieces of shit like Mark Penn.

Obama, on the other hand, hired experienced organizers and used a lot of his early financial booty to set up software that people could use for self-organization. The paid people came in and mostly approved of what local people were already doing. They contacted local party leaders and PCOs, and listened to what we had to say.

The 2008 general election was THE canonical model for how elections should always be run. In past years, the "coordinated" campaign, supposedly working on state and national candidates concurrently, has always been totally uncoordinated chaos, featuring newbies who blew into town and did their own thing, totally ignoring what local party members were already doing. I don't know how many times I answered calls for door-knocking volunteers and wound up walking a precinct that already had literature hanging from all the doorknobs, put there by a local PCO.

In 2008, the people sent from the national organization immediately connected with the local party people. They asked us for lists of precincts with and without PCOs, and accepted our evaluation of just how likely any given PCO was to actually walk his or her precinct. My legislative district contains parts of 3 congressional districts and 5 cities, so I recommended subdivisions by geography which the coordinators immediately accepted. With a near-perfect blend of the online campaigning pioneered by Dean and tradtional personal outreach, there was this very rewarding sense of being on the same page as everyone else and getting something done right for a change.

Silly me. I expected that to carry over into Obama's administration. When OFA became Organizing for America, all that changed. No one wanted to hear what any of us local people had to say anymore. We were given the word from on high about priorities, and ignored when we wanted to suggest priorities of our own.

I knew that 2010 was going to be a disaster when the OFA people had meetings where they presented charts and graphs and lists of microconstituencies that benefited from particular programs. There was not even a single mention of values or messaging, whereas the 2008 campaign had been heavily values-based. I quit going to those meetings, and did as much canvassing as I had time for on my own, given that I was also organizing against the Catfood Commission. I got a lot of very good response to mobilizing people against that, from Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. Given that caucus states tend to have much stronger local party organizations, WA State resisted the red tide. Still, I could have done much more without the Obama-imposed distraction of the Catfood Commission.

And here we are at 2012 almost, and not a single word from OFA other than that "we have to educate people about Obama's accomplishments." Actually we shouldn't be doing anything of the sort, despite the fact that much useful stuff has gotten done. Why? BECAUSE THE GENERAL PUBLIC DOES NOT GIVE A BLOODY GODDAM ABOUT LAUNDRY LISTS! They care what is going on in their lives and about values, and no one can tell me what Obama's values are, except they seem to have something to do with government not being able to create jobs, regulations being bad and tax cuts being good.

The economy is still going straight to hell for the majority. This majority would still be strongly behind Obama if they felt he was on their side, no matter how bad things get. I don't feel that at all, and am working hard trying to convince all the 2008 PCO dropouts in my legislative district that we have to get more progressive people in locally and at the state level before we can change anything at the national level in any meaningful way. I'm having some success passing the word on what Republicans plan to do to Social Security and Medicare. I'm into politics for the long haul, but I'm part of a shrinking minority.



51 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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What I really expected from Obama-- (Original Post) eridani Dec 2011 OP
I expected a Constitutional Law professional to support the constitution FreakinDJ Dec 2011 #1
They care about values? Most don't care about politics, nevermind values. nt babylonsister Dec 2011 #2
They certainly do eridani Dec 2011 #3
People use values to figure out whose side the politician is on. AdHocSolver Dec 2011 #19
This is the best political OP pscot Dec 2011 #4
+1 -- was just about to say the same thing. nashville_brook Dec 2011 #5
Word XemaSab Dec 2011 #20
i'm seeing a lot of new energy on the state/local level (occupy energy) nashville_brook Dec 2011 #6
Likewise. I'm having some luck in convincing people that local races eridani Dec 2011 #9
Good luck... I practically need bifocals to tell the difference between Obama and Romney on policy.. LooseWilly Dec 2011 #7
Politicians promise everything prepperdad Dec 2011 #8
It takes far more than voting every couple of years to change things n/t eridani Dec 2011 #10
President Obama has KEPT 159 of his campaign promises so far. Tx4obama Dec 2011 #13
This is the kind of laundry list bullshit that could lose us the election in 2012 eridani Dec 2011 #17
What do you mean 'bullshit' ??? Tx4obama Dec 2011 #21
Because the general public does not give a bloody goddam about laundry lists eridani Dec 2011 #23
I wonder what exactly is so hard to understand about what you wrote? SammyWinstonJack Dec 2011 #29
I 'understand' what was written, I just don't agree with it. Tx4obama Dec 2011 #32
Obama did not have to appoint a useless bankster whore like Geithner eridani Dec 2011 #40
Because not ALL promises weigh the same. bvar22 Dec 2011 #31
Your laundry list is great! As long as no one compares it to ... AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2011 #34
That list is bullshit too n/t eridani Dec 2011 #37
I expected a similar creative energy to the election. Starry Messenger Dec 2011 #11
The creative energy of the campaign came from below eridani Dec 2011 #12
I think it is working its way into OWS. Starry Messenger Dec 2011 #14
That's a good thing, but it still matters who holds office eridani Dec 2011 #18
Thank you. Good analysis. JDPriestly Dec 2011 #15
Good commentary. K and R. n/t AdHocSolver Dec 2011 #16
Wouldn't it be a good idea to wait until Obama gets into full campaign mode before ... Tx4obama Dec 2011 #22
Unfortunately, OFA is pushing the same kind of laundry list nonsense that got us creamed in 2010 n/ eridani Dec 2011 #24
Saying we got creamed in 2010 do to lists of Obama's accomplishments is baseless n/t Tx4obama Dec 2011 #25
In 2010, our local OFA refused to talk about values eridani Dec 2011 #26
It is part of why we lost, that sort of tactic and the mentality that says Bluenorthwest Dec 2011 #38
Yes! People want you to hear about their lives, and want to be convinced-- eridani Dec 2011 #41
Well we will have to agree to disagree, because the lists I post are helpful to folks Tx4obama Dec 2011 #43
Interesting and insightful. Thanks. k&r n/t Laelth Dec 2011 #27
I wish there were a way to get a Canadian's take on what you just said. n/t leeroysphitz Dec 2011 #28
"Obama-imposed distraction of the Catfood Commission" LOL great white snark Dec 2011 #30
+1 redqueen Dec 2011 #33
It was not necessary. We did not NEED a fucking Deficit Commission putting eridani Dec 2011 #36
I got a fundraising call from OFA a few weeks ago dflprincess Dec 2011 #49
Please reconsider the resignation eridani Dec 2011 #50
Oh I'll still caucus dflprincess Dec 2011 #51
The young people I know here are much more energized by Occupy and advocating for social justice suffragette Dec 2011 #35
Obama's 2012 campaign hasn't kicked off yet. Just wait a bit :) n/t Tx4obama Dec 2011 #44
No, but OFA is holding workshops long on laundry lists and short on values n/t eridani Dec 2011 #48
Great post. Obama is now like water to carry Bluenorthwest Dec 2011 #39
Indeed. Duty more than joy eridani Dec 2011 #42
I really like your post, and thanks ... dawg Dec 2011 #45
I keep hollering about Repukes whacking us for 30 years because they eridani Dec 2011 #46
Agreed. dawg Dec 2011 #47

AdHocSolver

(2,561 posts)
19. People use values to figure out whose side the politician is on.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:45 AM
Dec 2011

If they cannot understand the policies and how it affects them, then the voters will try to determine whose side the politician is on by looking at that politician's stated values.

The wealthy elite one percent used the mantra that "Democrats will raise your taxes" to convince people that Democrats were not on their side, and Republicans promised no tax increases. Of course, it worked because Republicans have been proclaiming for years that all taxes are evil. This is a value statement, not a policy statement.

The 2010 election results suggests that what a politician says is as important, if not more important, than declared policies.

Obama overdid the "reaching across the aisle" theme. He actually helped Republicans appear "reasonable", which gave them credibility and confused voters about whose side he was on. Many of the people he added to his administration added to the confusion about "whose side he was on", and had a negative effect on the voting in 2010.


nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
6. i'm seeing a lot of new energy on the state/local level (occupy energy)
Mon Dec 19, 2011, 11:58 PM
Dec 2011

on the ground, at our occupy, i've not once heard anything positive about the presidential race. people feel abandoned, and the local OFA group is about as clueless as it gets.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
9. Likewise. I'm having some luck in convincing people that local races
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:15 AM
Dec 2011

--are important, and that change at higher levels has to percolate up from below.

But damn, I sure miss that 2008 experience. I was hoping for something similar in 2012, but it doesn't look like its going to happen.

LooseWilly

(4,477 posts)
7. Good luck... I practically need bifocals to tell the difference between Obama and Romney on policy..
Mon Dec 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
Dec 2011

And even the argument that you can't trust a word that comes out of Romney's mouth to be true doesn't catch a lot of traction after Obama went from "no mandates" to "mandates mandates" on the only semblance of a liberal policy he's successfully passed, HCR.

As far as I can tell, fear of Republicans is really all that's left to bring voters to Obama.

Luckily Americans are easily feared. And Republican policies are pretty feary... fearalicious.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
17. This is the kind of laundry list bullshit that could lose us the election in 2012
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:40 AM
Dec 2011

People vote on their values and what is going on in their lives. What values does Obama have that put him on the side of the 99%?

Tx4obama

(36,974 posts)
21. What do you mean 'bullshit' ???
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:51 AM
Dec 2011

When people say that The President hasn't kept his campaign promises the only come back is showing a list of campaign promises that were kept.

Do you realize that Politifact/St.PetersburgTimes won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize?

Why would talking about 'promises' kept lose us an election? Sorry, but that sounds ridiculous to me.

Why don't you take some time yourself and look though the lists here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022255 of what Obama has done that benefits the 99%ers, women, minorities, the LGBT community, students, seniors, etc.

When there are TOO many things to type out - a list always comes in handy

Have a great week


eridani

(51,907 posts)
23. Because the general public does not give a bloody goddam about laundry lists
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:59 AM
Dec 2011

The economy sucks for most people. Does Obama even care that 48% of the country is low income or outright poor? That foreclosures are at record highs? That food banks are overwhelmed, and that homelessness keeps growing? That the bankster fuckers won't lend any of their bailout money, but instead are using it for more speculative bullshit?

He wouldn't even need specific policy successes in these areas. All he would have to to is to make it clear that these things are problems, and that he intends to put up a real fight to do something about them.

Where is his explicit defense of public goods for their own sake, like we are hearing from Elizabeth Warren?

SammyWinstonJack

(44,130 posts)
29. I wonder what exactly is so hard to understand about what you wrote?
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:25 AM
Dec 2011
Why is so necessary for some to always defend Obama? NO matter what! Even when his lack of inaction or his wrong direction is indefensible?

Tx4obama

(36,974 posts)
32. I 'understand' what was written, I just don't agree with it.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 06:21 PM
Dec 2011

Why is it so necessary for some to always BLAME Obama for every thing?

Obama can not FORCE the bankers to lend out their money to folks that they do not want to - BLAME them, not Obama.

Obama is not the one that got our economy into the shit-hole, Bush did! Where are the folks BLAMING Bush for the mess instead of Obama.

And President Obama HAS made it clear that those things listed in the other DUer's comment are problems.

Just because someone doesn't 'hear' everything that Obama says doesn't mean it hasn't been said, and just because apparently some folks haven't been paying attention to all the things Obama HAS done for the poor, homeless/jobless, women, minorities, etc doesn't mean that he hasn't been getting things done!

Honestly reading some of the things 'some folks' say sometimes seems like some folks not been paying attention to anything that Obama has actually done!

Have a great day.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
40. Obama did not have to appoint a useless bankster whore like Geithner
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:14 PM
Dec 2011

--as Treasury Secretary. Obama has a bully pulpit--he should be using it to attack those responsible for the financial wreck. He could armtwist Holder to go after mortage fraud (at its highest level in years, but with record lows of acutal prosecutions) instead of going after medical marijuana dispensaries.

Obama is the one who should be blaming Repukes, but he is more interested in caving in to them.

bvar22

(39,909 posts)
31. Because not ALL promises weigh the same.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 06:10 PM
Dec 2011

For Instance, keeping the promise of getting his children a dog
is not NEAR as heavy as promising to make EFCA the Law of the Land.

Breaking that one BIG promise cancels out over a hundred of the little promises.




You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their excuses.
[font size=5 color=green][center]Solidarity99![/font][font size=2 color=green]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/center]

Starry Messenger

(32,342 posts)
11. I expected a similar creative energy to the election.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:20 AM
Dec 2011

The one where the grassroots pulled up their shirt sleeves and ideas were welcomed. Instead, a sort of insularity set in. I was hoping for a more populist WPA type energy, instead the yuppies dominated again. Some of that might be the nature of the system, but I thought that the electoral mandate might push past that roadblock. And no one forced him to give Arne Duncan a job.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
12. The creative energy of the campaign came from below
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:30 AM
Dec 2011

--and all the official paid people worked very will with it. Too bad it couldn't have gone on.

Starry Messenger

(32,342 posts)
14. I think it is working its way into OWS.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:51 AM
Dec 2011

The grassroots energy is still there, it got channeled into a different path. I wish the Administration could have worked with it too. But even FDR needed to be pushed from below, so maybe this isn't as unusual from a historical viewpoint as it might seem.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
18. That's a good thing, but it still matters who holds office
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:43 AM
Dec 2011

My vision is the Wellstone Triangle, in which community and issue activists interact with accountable office holders in a positive feedback cycle. It seems very far away when so many issue people disdain electoral politics, and so many Dem party members care about nothing else.

JDPriestly

(57,936 posts)
15. Thank you. Good analysis.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:55 AM
Dec 2011

The base is in the local Democratic Clubs, and there is no party without a strong base.

Tx4obama

(36,974 posts)
22. Wouldn't it be a good idea to wait until Obama gets into full campaign mode before ...
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 02:55 AM
Dec 2011

griping about what he isn't doing or saying regarding the 2012 election?

I'm sure everyone will get their fill of TONS of what he will Obama will be saying especially after the GOP primaries are over

eridani

(51,907 posts)
24. Unfortunately, OFA is pushing the same kind of laundry list nonsense that got us creamed in 2010 n/
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 03:01 AM
Dec 2011

eridani

(51,907 posts)
26. In 2010, our local OFA refused to talk about values
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 03:09 AM
Dec 2011

Republicans ran as defenders of Medicare, saying that HCR cut it. This was of course bullshit, as HCR only eliminated subsidies to privatized Medicare Advantage.

Obama and the Dems absolutely refused to counter this attack with a values-based defense of the highly successful GOVERNMENT Medicare, and that cost us the election.

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
38. It is part of why we lost, that sort of tactic and the mentality that says
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:57 PM
Dec 2011

'Show the list' when people express actual life concerns. I know you see it otherwise, but to me that list flashing thing is not support, it is like brushing off discussion rather than engaging. I think it is alright once as part of a discussion, but any redundancy is disrespectful. Sorry. I know you think it is helpful. I do not agree with you. In my State, we win elections, Democrats win. Is that the case there where you cite lists as your modality of campaigning? Is Texas not red as an ape's ass? But hey, I'm sure you are right. What's winning elections got to do with politics?

eridani

(51,907 posts)
41. Yes! People want you to hear about their lives, and want to be convinced--
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:17 PM
Dec 2011

--that you are on their side. They want to know what your values are. They will accept quite a bit of policy failure if they see you as a persistent fighter who does not intend to give up.

Tx4obama

(36,974 posts)
43. Well we will have to agree to disagree, because the lists I post are helpful to folks
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:41 PM
Dec 2011

There have been MANY people even here on DU that have thanked me for posting lists regarding Obama, throughout the year,
and not everyone reads all the same threads - so posting every now and again helps to get the word out to the folks that don't know about the links.

And as far as Texas goes, I betting you don't have a clue about all the Democrats down here or even how many votes Obama got down here in 2008.
Obama beat McCain in all of our largest cities/counties: Dallas, Houston/Harris, Austin/Travis, San Antonio, El Paso, etc - except for only ONE that McCain won (Ft.Worth)

Texas is more PURPLE these days than it it red

Obama's margin of loss % was a heck of a lot less than in most of the other states McCain won:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Presidential_Election#State_results






great white snark

(2,646 posts)
30. "Obama-imposed distraction of the Catfood Commission" LOL
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:37 AM
Dec 2011

It's the unreasonable left that couldn't let that go...even fear mongering by naming it such. So much obsession about the death of S.S. and you call it Obama imposed? Obama made them knee-jerk?

As said above, you are preemptive blaming when President Obama hasn't even started to campaign.

Also throw in the usual "bad lists, bad" and your unwillingness to accept his promises kept.

Suffice it to say I disagree with most of what you say.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
36. It was not necessary. We did not NEED a fucking Deficit Commission putting
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:36 PM
Dec 2011

--Social Security and Medicare on the table. Obama did not have to convene it, nor did he have to appoint a Super Congress this year. So people near retirement age should have just ignored these threats? The fact that they did not come to an agreement had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that their constituents gave them holy hell for even thinking about cuts?

What in fucking hell do you think that Obama meant when he said the following--

“Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns.”

No he fucking well doesn't, and he is flat out wrong besides. Just about all the voters in his party don't want any fucking CUTS at all!! (Not to mention which, Republican and independent voters don’t want any cuts either.)

CHANGES like raising the FICA cap are fine. CHANGES like having the government do bulk price negotiations for Medicare drugs are fine.

He hasn't said a damned thing in favor of either of these things since the 2008 campaign season.

dflprincess

(28,134 posts)
49. I got a fundraising call from OFA a few weeks ago
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 12:01 AM
Dec 2011

and the twit tried to tell me that Obama using Social Security as a bargaining chip was a good thing because we have to do something about the deficit

I was on my out the door to a local DFL meeting when I got the call. By the time I got to the meeting, I was in such a snit that I walked in and resigned. Forty years of being active in the party and now I'm wondering why I didn't find something more productive to do with my time.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
50. Please reconsider the resignation
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 12:06 AM
Dec 2011

There are many, many options for electing progressives at lower levels of government.

dflprincess

(28,134 posts)
51. Oh I'll still caucus
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 12:17 AM
Dec 2011

and I have some interest in the Congressional race in my district. But I won't bother to hold any local party office - I just can't work up the mandatory enthusiasm for Obama that that requires & don't even get me started on our incumbant senator, Amy Klobuchar.

suffragette

(12,232 posts)
35. The young people I know here are much more energized by Occupy and advocating for social justice
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:13 PM
Dec 2011

issues.

They aren't energized by the Obama campaign as they were in 2008. There was a buzz then about Obama. Now the buzz and positive energy are focused on Occupy.

Not saying that couldn't shift at some point, but it hasn't yet.


K&R

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
39. Great post. Obama is now like water to carry
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:00 PM
Dec 2011

Not exciting, guess it has to get done. His 08 organization was glorious. I too thought that might spill into the WH. Not so much.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
42. Indeed. Duty more than joy
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:19 PM
Dec 2011

It is not easy to get people invested in the long term work that will be necessary to actually change anything.

dawg

(10,631 posts)
45. I really like your post, and thanks ...
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:46 PM
Dec 2011

for all the work you seem to have done.

I agree. The lists don't even work on us malcontent DU'ers, imagine how flat they would fall on "swing" voters.

eridani

(51,907 posts)
46. I keep hollering about Repukes whacking us for 30 years because they
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:47 PM
Dec 2011

--talk values, and we keep refusing to say what our values are, instead going for charts, graphs, powerpoints and laundry lists.

It is so frustrating when Dems refuse to see that.

dawg

(10,631 posts)
47. Agreed.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:58 PM
Dec 2011

The thing I hate the most is this notion of the "middle". So often, we're told that we have to speak and govern more conservatively in order to appeal to the middle. Centrists imagine everyone arrayed along a strict ideological spectrum.

But the reality is that we are all liberal in some ways and conservative in some ways. When we move to the right in order to sway swing voters, what we really manage to do is to activate their conservative frames. We should be trying to appeal to their liberal frames instead.

And above all, they shoud know what it is that we value. In simple, impossible to misunderstand, terms.

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