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I'm sure many of you have received the email survey from the Obama campaign asking, "what now?" It's a wonderful gesture on their part, and fitting. It gives us ample room to express our thoughts and desires, so please take advantage once you see it in your inbox.

Here's what I wrote in response to the question, "what would you like us to do in the coming years?"

As President Obama said in his emotional speech to volunteers in Chicago, the good he can do in the next term will pale in comparison to what our youth will do in the coming years. I agree. But it would be a mistake to think that's true without the structural and tactical advantages that you've spent 8 years building.

I believe this org is as much THE engine for progressive movement in the coming years as anything the President will achieve by 2016. After all, even if he gets 100% of what he wants, it could all fall apart once the GOP gets its crap together and wins.

You've been the brain and soul of our progressive victories. But the heart of your work has been the president and his agenda. Many volunteers stepped up because they believe in him. While that could be frightening for those of us focused on winning in 2016 and beyond, I think there's an opportunity here. Assuming the president spends a lot of his time keeping us in the fight for the next four years, I have high hopes he can move our hearts on to the next candidates up and down the ticket.

He can do this by trumpeting this organization as the key to progress for all Americans to plug into. I'd like to hear about the org as often as I do any other political subject. In fact, I'd like to hear it mentioned along with every political news item, like a stock ticker that runs while a talking head talks about the business. Or like the "Like" button. Imagine a world where newscasts do a story and the segment ends with SPONSORED crawling text that says "Text the president at 76989 to see what you can do." Imagine  the same message being pasted to the end of every Huffington Post story. Hell, if you pay for the space even Fox would put it on there!

Okay, that's a little optimistic.

The bottom line is that I want to see a call to action after everything and I want your org to be the button that's activated by our passions. When we show interest in making a difference, you should be there.

Sure, it's a lofty goal but it's one I think you could accomplish if you think big. Yeah, it'll freak out the GOP. They'll call it a reprogramming project, a socialist trojan horse, blahblahblah. But as President Obama goes on with his life in 2017, the fire he's lit could fade without his org there for us to plug into. With your tremendous talent and leadership to back up our hope and hard work, progressives finally feel empowered. For the first time in my lifetime, I've moved past wanting to make a difference. Now I know I can make a difference.

Thanks for your hard work.

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Comment Preferences

  •  50 state strategy. Take the country back. (25+ / 0-)

    One local office at a time.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:11:21 PM PST

  •  Put a Midterm Election on Your Calendar. (23+ / 0-)

    Why not try for the ability to govern?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:16:53 PM PST

  •  I did not complete the survey. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, canyonrat, bnasley

    They are requiring you to enter your birthday information (month, date, and year).  I refuse to provide that information for privacy and security reasons.

    •  use fictitious birthday info. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, NWTerriD, Floande, CroneWit

      Name + date of birth = identity theft risk.

      It's a very common mistake in a lot of places online (look in your DK profile info, there's a place to enter it if you choose; it should not be there) because it seems so innocuous: Happy Birthday To You!, and Oh, its my birthday!, and all that stuff.  

      But identity theft rings go looking for that information, on blogs and in cleartext email, and through phishing, and E-vites and E-greeting cards (two of the stupidist inventions of our times), and fake web forms, etc. etc.

      Very few entities have any legitimate need-to-know for having your birthday.  Government forms and a few types of financial documents and health documents, and that's about all.  Only provide that information via secure web pages (look for "https" (the S is for secure, encrypted) rather than "http"), encrypted email, and paper documents sent via the Post Office.  

      For all other: fake it.  Change the day, the month, and the year, each by some random distance from your actual birthday.  

      We got the future back.

      by G2geek on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:57:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I used correct Month and date but incorrect year (0+ / 0-)

      GOP: Get on the train or get the hell out of our way. Forward! This is our moment...this is our time! President Barack Obama

      by ankae on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:07:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Comprehensive immigration reform. Not only is it (3+ / 0-)

    absolutely the right thing to do for the country, there's the added bonus that its very beneficial for your party.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:23:05 PM PST

  •  WOW! (4+ / 0-)

    Yeah I got the survey too.  May I have permission to copy and paste your response?

  •  Organize, and support (6+ / 0-)

    I want to see OFA work in general to provide infrastructure and support to Democratic candidates, at the state and local as well as federal level.  Like good open-source software, it should support whatever outcomes the users choose.  A closed-source model eventually produces the kind of politics we saw in, let's say, Richard J. Daley's Chicago -- so promising in 1955, so broken by 1976, and no matter how visionary (even in the last years of his life, Daley was, among other things, incorporating into public policy the potential impact of globalization on the city before any other US big city mayor), a politically broken model is going to be out of touch with the country's needs in critical ways.

    But do not, whatever you do, let it atrophy.  At the very least, make the information available and make the procedures you've learned part and parcel of educating Democratic activists.

    Priority number 1 -- we have a moment of danger called 2014, with 20 Senate seats up for defense in what is the most conservative-leaning Senate class of states, and a tremendous need to build strength in state legislatures and statewide offices.  Prepare.  Prepare.  Prepare.

  •  i don't care about the organization (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisePiper, bnasley, Floande

    except as it serves the issues. use the organization to serve the issues. use it to change the narrative on the issues. like that we don't need to be worrying about deficits and do need to be developing and passing new forms of stimulus to grow the economy.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:28:54 PM PST

    •  Yeah. They tried that. Dismantle the whole thing. (4+ / 0-)

      They tried that with that whole "organizing for america" experiment. The whole thing was silly.

      What OFA does is obvious: it wins national elections. it isn't good for advocacy. it isn't a think tank. it isn't even good at community based changed. What it does is what it was designed to do from the beginning: win national elections.

      So therefore, if I were allowed to make the decisions, I would dismantle the whole thing and break it off into several distinct entities:

      1. Campaign tactical research and development. You take the Analytics and Message folks and put them here. (sort of a laboratory for new campaign software and tactics...supported by money from the DNC.)

      2. Leadership & Management training and development center. You put Feild Ops here. (here you train party operatives in the "Obama way" so that campaigns up and down the ballot get better management. (You get politicians to pay to send their advisors there and pay for it.)

      3. Social network. You put the volunteers here. Basically offload the whole obama network of volunteers into a socail network with its own app. let it evolve into whatever and see what happens. (make all the people who are on it the new owners of it...maybe they'll take it public one day or god knows what)

      That way the next Democrat who comes along has a campaign in waiting. And the party up and down the ballot will improve its ability to win elections.

      •  While I agree that the focus of the group... (0+ / 0-)

        has been at the national level, the fact is this is a VERY talented team. From managers to engineers to architects to political operatives to local, the whole package was the most impressive display of grass-roots organizing ever (Obama and Dean FOREVER!)

        There's nothing stopping them from retooling the org to focus on what is best for progressive causes. To not even ponder the possibilities at all levels, federal, state, local, would be a mistake. The strengths and weakness they have today would change as they adjust, but they must adjust. To me, that means crafting the opportunity to be involved everywhere. Making the opportunity to get involved should be in our faces on the news, in the articles we read, in the blog posts we read. Once that "button" is pushed, well, you can't get any more local than that!

        I think this team has the talent and money to get us there. Imagine a country where effective, no-barriers participation in the process is baked into how we consume news and information.

    •  With the president continuing to adance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, Floande

      the fiction that the debt must be addressed right now in the midst of an exceedingly fragile recovery, I can only conclude that

      1) The administration is ignoring the lesson of 2010 and believes they can play the "Republicans are worse" fear card one more time to generate Dem voter turnout in the midterm election;

      or (more likely)

      2) Republican retention of the majority in the House actually serves the interest of the president's political agenda.

      Despite Obama's populist rhetoric in the lead up to this past election, we have four years of ample and glaring evidence that the president's core ideology is out of sync, in many key respects, with the majority of the Democratic base.

      With a divided Congress, Obama retains the ongoing excuse that, "Hey, we're doing the best we can, given the roadblock in the House."

      I have no illusion that OFA has the ability or the desire to morph into a policy centered organization generating grass roots support for substantive and necessary reform. OFA is, and will continue to be, an electoral entity. While they were hugely successful in saving the country from a mittster presidency, they'll not likely duplicate that success in the midterm election.

      The fear of a Romney presidency was a huge motivator for millions of Dems. With the passage of some version of Obama's Grand Bargain (whether it occurs now during the lame duck session, or shortly after the convening of the new Congress), Dem base enthusiasm in 2014 will be just as anemic as it was in 2010.

      I'll put my hopes in a reinvigorated Occupy movement to generate support for progressive policy. OFA is fatally compromised by its primary mandate - rationalizing the president's goals and actions, no matter what they may be.

      "And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory." - Krugman

      by WisePiper on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:03:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but we should! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      The organization can only serve the issues if we are also willing to take care of the organization.  Issues don't serve themselves.  

      We got the future back.

      by G2geek on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:33:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my half whimsical answer to the title (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    have Joe and Hillary play a game of rock paper scissors and the winner gets the "password"!   Or whatever it is that gives the winner control.

    crossing my fingers hoping Hillary called rock and Joe calls scissors!

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:29:28 PM PST

  •  Pressure President not to allow social security (7+ / 0-)

    or medicare to 'be on the table'.  He ought to listen to his campaign people, after all.

    Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

    by triplepoint on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:30:00 PM PST

    •  It's never been on the table. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2, G2geek, jan4insight

      It's the Obama version of dog whistling.  He suckers Republicans into telling the truth about their plans for earned benefits by sounding like he's amenable to negotiating.  If SS & Medicare were negotiable they'd have been cut during the debt ceiling debacle.  

      Part of Obama's success in this election lies with his ability to get the truth out of the propaganda BS.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:40:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would like to be as confident as you are! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD

        Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

        by triplepoint on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:59:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check into his improvement of Medicare, (0+ / 0-)

          the SBA, overhauling drilling regulations and pipeline requirements, and ask how the debt has been reduced.  He's already got what he needs to know about cutting defense spending, and he's overhauling how contractors are paid.   He can OK Keystone because they'll never invest what's now required.  There's a kickass requirement to pay for environmental damage that will bankrupt them and they know it.  It was worth pushing if Romney was elected, not so much now.  Expect them to back out.  

          It's startling what he's done that no one knows about.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:32:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Virginia & Louisiana have 2013 Gubernatorial Races (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ponder Stibbons, G2geek, mali muso

    Need I say more?

    Use the two states with off-year races to continue the gains in Virginia, and work on restoring sanity to Louisiana.

    Use the OFA organization in close concert wtih the Democratic nominees in the states, including for various constitutional offices, e.g. State Secretary of State, County Registrar of Voters, etc.

    Regards,

  •  election/voting reform, first & foremost. no more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, NWTerriD

    repeats of the mess from this yr.

    relief for underwater mortgages, which would give the housing market a big boost AND stimulate the entire economy.

    overhaul education & throw out all privatization schemes of it.  NCLB is nothing but a money-making scam for testing & textbook companies.

    clean energy initiatives like germany & other countries are doing.

    legalize marijuana & tax it.

  •  I told them support candidates in state elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ponder Stibbons
  •  get serious about climate change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD

    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change
    get serious about climate change

    see where I'm goin' with this?

    and legalize/decriminalize weed while he's at it

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:15:04 PM PST

  •  Don't go home (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tailspinterry, NWTerriD, CroneWit

    Instead we should Tea Party. The Obama coalition is at least as large, we know how to spell and are better dressed. I suggest that we target the GOP Reps that had the closest general election race. We need to recruit quality Democrats to challenge these guys and raise  money. We only need 18 more GOP votes and we should wrangle them.
     

    "I feel like I'm still waiting to meet my true self. I'm assuming it's gonna be in a dark alley and there's gonna be a fight." ---Rachel Maddow

    by never forget 2000 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:33:12 PM PST

  •  just say Thorium. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD

    Thorium fission.  Climate-clean power, intrinsically-safe reactors, zero potential for nuclear weapons proliferation.

    And it's a put-up-or-shut-up for the Fossil Fools on the Hill.  

    We got the future back.

    by G2geek on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:37:44 PM PST

  •  What now? Go into a negotiation asking for.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD, CroneWit, benjaz

    ...way, WAY too much, that's what!

    Barry usually goes into the room asking for what he wants. The Republicans go into the room and ask for 5 times too much of what they want and Barry moves to the middle and gives them only twice as much as they wanted.

    Go into the room with a plan to cut corporate welfare and other huge incentives for the wealthy by a good trillion. Settle for half a trillion. We have leverage on this one and yet nothing gets done about it.

    Go into the room and demand that the capital gains tax be doubled to 30% and then settle for 22.5%--an increase of 33% from where it is now.

    Go into the room demanding transaction fees for the Wall Street elite and double whatever it is you want the fee to be and then settle for the number you realistically had in mind.

    Be fully prepared to leave the room if the House doesn't sign off on the Bush Tax Cut extension for everyone's income up to $250k. As long as you call their bluff that means they can't be calling yours.

    Go into the room saying that the sequester cuts on defense should remain. Settle for a fraction of that and I'll call that progress.

    Go into the room asking for all that you want and then some on the Dream Act and then settle for having to give up on the "then some".

    Go into the room demanding the permanment re-authorization of the Assault Weapons Ban and then settle for a 10-year extension.

    Whatever you do, go into the room asking for WAY TOO MUCH so that when we do settle, we finish somewhere on the center-left instead of on the center or center-right like we did with Obamacare or on negotiating away almost 40% of the Stimulus on tax cuts that were only a short-term boost for consumption instead of being money that should have gone into jobs.

    Republicans get their way because they ask for the moon and settle for the earth.

  •  OFA provides really good GOTV support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles

    and it was wise to set up an organization with offices in counties across the US and keep building it up for the entire 4 years after 2008.  It probably made a big difference.

    But, having talked to people trained and on staff with OFA, I would have to say that this organization probably won't be able to make a shift to become anything other than the GOTV effort for winning national elections.  

    For that reason, it may be a good idea to keep it online for at least 2014.  

    It probably is better organized than most local Democratic Party efforts.  So it has a use.

    I could wish that this could turn into a basis for a more expanded mission into helping train more people in active local citizenship and leadership, as future leaders of the community, the states and the nation.  

    But I don't know that this organization can in fact make a transition to become such a thing.  

    GOTV onward.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:26:30 PM PST

    •  OFA is simply too top down to work in off-year (0+ / 0-)

      elections.  Look at how disastrous they were in 2010.  What they need to do is make their data, methods, and resources available to down-ticket races instead of maintaining such a tight control of it.

      •  Yes. The model doesn't work as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles

        for midterms and many Obama supporters don't understand why they matter. Most of the FOs in my area did it as a break between college and grad school/law school and are not headed for careers in politics.
           However, I think Votebuilder is available to all Democratic campaigns.

        ....the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR 1933

        by Tailspinterry on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:06:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  VoteBuilder is available nationally (0+ / 0-)

          The OFA get out the vote structure adds a lot of manpower to the Democratic Party's ordinary efforts.  In some areas, it is hugely important because the candidates and the party are behind in being well organized and knowledgeable about how to use the finer points of VoteBuilder.  

          hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

          by Stuart Heady on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:32:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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