Published February 27, 2013
We all receive junk mail on a daily basis touting a miracle weight loss vitamin or promising everlasting good fortune if we forward the message on to 13 friends, but I never imagined that the most annoying spam would come to me from the president of the United States.
This past summer, while logged on to Facebook, I clicked on an icon that offered to confirm if I was officially registered to vote in the presidential election. (I had voted for Obama in 2008 but decided to vote for Romney in 2012)
After confirming I was registered, I was automatically added to an email list for Organizing for Action, a self-described grassroots movement with the following credo: “Organizing for Action will support the legislative agenda we voted on, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our communities.” According to a video of Michelle Obama on the website, it’s up to us to define how the OFA will develop.
I receive as many as three OFA emails a week from either President Obama, Jim Messina (Chair) or Jon Carson (Executive Director) that repeat the same platitudes and bromides used in all of Obama’s speeches: We must move forward by working together and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
The OFA may be well intentioned, but is also highly partisan, so I don’t see how it can be anything other than completely ineffective in terms of implementing policy. With the OFA Obama is once again preaching to the choir rather than attempting to do his actual job by persuading legislators from both parties to work together.
In his State of the Union address, the president mentioned that “It’s not bigger government we need, but a smarter government.” A smarter government requires fiscal responsibility achieved through bipartisanship, and this is something I don’t believe Obama is either interested in or capable of accomplishing. In all of their emails the OFA refers to itself as a grassroots movement despite being the exact opposite.
Sincere grassroots movements start at a local community level but OFA was launched on a national level from Washington and is attempting to galvanize voters through Obama’s standard use of class warfare.
The president has proposed many wonderful initiatives for the poor and middle class but offers no realistic way to pay for any of them. While this type of action may work effectively for a community organizer, it is nothing but political obstructionism and time wasting behavior on the part of a president.
The OFA is also used to raise money for the democratic party, and it reminds me of the vague requests from television preachers who ask for contributions without ever explaining where or how that money will be spent.
This cheap hucksterism is anything but presidential and as someone who believed in and voted for Obama in 2008, its a great disappointment. At that time I believed Obama was a Washington outsider who wanted to change American politics for the better. Boy was I wrong.