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Obama for America evolved into Organizing for America to promote the President's re-election. But now it has devolved into Organizing for Action, a one-way propaganda arm that might better be described as offal, or even awful.

Perhaps this kind of devolution is inevitable for political organizations. It happened to Democracy for America, Howard Dean's invention, as well. They start out soliciting members and intellectual contributions and then, at some point, taking in dollars and giving directions end up being preferred. Being responsive to members is hard work. Is that why organizations devolve into accumulating money and doing nothing else. Is that what's happened to our political parties and labor unions, as well?  Is accumulation the predicate for the inevitable collapse? Why everything that gets too big fails?

Give us your dollars.
Then give us some more,
Unless you're too tired and poor.
Then just go away.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How is it that accumulation becomes (3+ / 0-)

    obsessive? Is it just habit taking control?

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:49:40 AM PST

  •   l disagree and find your title (27+ / 0-)

    offensive.  I chose to join Organizing for Action and even made a small contribution.  I think it will help policy outcomes.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:19:00 AM PST

    •  Well, I disagree. Neither the immigration nor the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      weapons agenda strike me as well thought out.
      Turning the whole nation into a segregated enclave does not strike me as progress. Equality does not erradicate repression. It is quite possible for whole populations to be equally deprived of their human rights.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:52:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who needs organizing? (17+ / 0-)

      When did organizing ever accomplish anything?  We should focus on getting the philosophy right and forget about using those databases.  /snark off

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:59:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that the perennial debate here? (0+ / 0-)

        The side that thinks philosophical purity is the same as a political belief and the side that says your philosophy is merely self indulgent wordplay if you don't try implement some of it?

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:49:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd put it more generously (0+ / 0-)

          I'd say that there are plenty of people at all points in the spectrum who see their ideology as very important to the political process, but people have different tolerance levels for differences in the people they vote for and support.  

          It's very much a continuum.  So you see some people who tolerate no ideological difference in the person they plan on voting for.  They may be inclined to vote third party, or not at all if someone doesn't align perfectly with the ideology they hold.  

          And you'll see people all along that spectrum who will accept more and more differences in the person they vote for.  

          Streichholzschächtelchen

          by otto on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:35:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What happened (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, SilentBrook, 3goldens

    at OFA?  I had hear that they were asking OFA to get out tere and help with getting the president's policies passed for now.  In what ways I am not sure.  

    I assumed they would ramp up again on electoral work closer to the 2014 election.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:20:41 AM PST

    •  The blogs and commenting have disappeared to (5+ / 0-)

      be replaced by injunctions to donate money and call Congress. Ctizens as free lobbyists. Oh, and the store continues.
      If a citizen feels the urge to contact the organization, s/he's referred to the official White House site, which is currently under renovation and offline.

      Rachel Maddow did a segment on what struck her as a poor time to urge citizens to contact Congress (4:30 PM on a Friday), but Steve Shmidt, the Republican campaign consultant and now contributor to MSNBC assured her that it was fine to send out test messages and see what kind of response they get before developing a strategy.
      This strikes me as community organizing on the wholesale level and making it one-way.  Feedback at the ballot box is all that's required. It is the Cons' perspective on democracy. It's not government BY the people; it's just rulers being selected by ballot, rather than by bullet, crozier or crown.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:48:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. (6+ / 0-)
        The blogs and commenting have disappeared to be replaced by injunctions to donate money and call Congress.
        That is beyond the pale. It's almost as if OFA were an organization whose main purpose is to coordinate people who will take part in certain activities in order to advocate for the administration's policies.

        That doesn't sound nearly catchy enough, though. I think we need some kind of quick name for a group whose purpose is organizing for action.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:53:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well how do you contact them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens

          or find a way to provide ideas or feedback?  It is supposed to be a grassroots activist organization too, no?


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:44:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's grassroots... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lost and Found, SilentBrook

            ...insofar as it uses the grassroots volunteer and organizer networks built by the campaign to support the administration's priorities. Do you really think OFA's agenda isn't going to mirror the Obama administration's agenda?

            If the White House is setting the agenda for OFA, why not direct your feedback and ideas toward the White House (the people actually calling the shots) rather than toward OFA (the people organizing around the WH's priorities)?

            What makes you think you'd be able to steer the White House's agenda through feedback to OFA?

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:52:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I did notice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace, 3goldens

        a month or so ago, that there was no way to contact OFA (except the White House contact), or at least none that I could find.  I forget why I wanted a contact but I thought it was really odd that you could not find any way to contact the management or organizers there.  Really weird, actually.  


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:43:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, you've convinced me. (13+ / 0-)

    Of course, you didn't really provide any evidence in your diary that OFA is doing anything objectionable, but you've juxtaposed "Obama" and "offal", so that's good enough proof for me.  These intriguing ideas force me to the position that I should like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

    by TFinSF on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:55:54 AM PST

  •  I do wish OFA had kept the blog but they (8+ / 0-)

    were a very effective tool for calling voters in this past election. I made calls through OFA and it was very organized , very easy to do, and very helpful. I hope it continues in 2014 where we can use the OFA site to call voters. As we really need to work on ramping up turnout for mid term elections. That is where OFA can be very effective.

    There are also varioud groups on OFA that deal with a variety of issues and policies.  I rather like it.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:57:15 AM PST

    •  The groups seem to have disappeared. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, 3goldens

      The issues and policies sections refer to pronouncements from on high. The community blogs were always difficult to access. Now they are apparently gone.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:09:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess the groups were just for the election (0+ / 0-)

        and not long term.  That is unfortunate as I liked the groups.  But I hope they do use the calling tool for the mid term election. As I was amazed how easy and well structured that calling from home feature was.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:23:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure OFA has failed (22+ / 0-)

    And your diary gives me no evidence that it has.  It is natural for political organizations built to get a specific candidate get elected to either dissipate or change focus when ultimately successful, or mutate into something different that still serves a purpose.  It's early yet to know what the fate of OFA will be. They have a huge database, some very talented operatives, and a mission - to mobilize the public to support the President's initiatives, especially comprehensive immigration reform, gun control, and push-back on excessive GOP efforts for entitlement reform.

    It seems like a sensible mission.  Whether the organization can make the transition from a re-election campaign to a community organizing campaign remains to be seen.  However, this President has been better at community organizing, establishing a ground game, mobilizing action. They have also been much more data-driven. So, while I have some doubts, my inclination is to accept that they have some real skills and see what they are able to accomplish.

    If your complaint is that they are still asking for money, then don't donate.  I don't think the Obama campaign was profligate or wasteful with their resources - in fact I know they weren't because I volunteered and saw how the field offices were managed.  So they can ask for $ and maybe I'll donate, but the fact that they ask for money is no more offensive to me than the fact that non-profits bug supporters for cash, or that museums are always hitting up members for more donations.  It's a minor and necessary annoyance.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:08:41 AM PST

    •  And with respect to your specific concern (11+ / 0-)

      that they no longer have a blog or easy means for feedback, the solution is to become part of the organization and change it from within... or to link it to other organizations doing similar work.  Organizations are responsive to good ideas, but the ways in which those good ideas get introduced varies.  I'd rather an organization is agile enough to accept input from those organizing within and without the organization than that they have a blog or some feedback mechanism that is more marketing than real.  The fight now, now that it is not election season, is to rally support for specific initiatives.  That may be propaganda, but the mission of the organization is to drive a legislative agenda forward.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:12:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Having been a member since the DNC (5+ / 0-)

        membership was transitioned into OFA, I, perhaps erroneously, considered myself a member. It is disconcerting that the input mechanisms are all gone and all that remains is propaganda and looking for donations. To log in and be confronted with a request for a specific amount of dollars is insulting. Since there is no opportunity to provide feed-back on the site and responses to emails get nothing but a canned "thank you," I intend to resort to other venues.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:21:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And... (13+ / 0-)

        As I understand it...

        The fight now, now that it is not election season, is to rally support for specific initiatives
        ...

        ...comes with the fringe benefit of keeping folks active and involved between now and the 2014 midterms (which was a post-2010 criticism after that catastrophe). It also is intended to help recruit the OFA legions to help "sell" Obama's legislative agenda (another criticism post-ACA).

        Which makes this diary appear to be a case of "damned if you don't, and damned if you do."

        Either that or an expression of disappointment in certain features of OFA in the second term parlayed into meeting a personal goal of using the word "offal" in a public context this week. If the former, it's not effectively communicated in the diary itself (the grievances about the blog and groups aren't fleshed out until replying to comments). If the latter, mission accomplished I suppose.

        •  Personally, I don't think the President's job (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north, penguins4peace, 3goldens

          is to "sell" anything; nor do I expect him to set a legislative agenda. The Congress, which we the people elect, is supposed to do that. Congress shoving its responsibilities off on the executive and then whining about tyranny is an old trick, which I don't happen to appreciate.
          The habit of letting Democrats implement Republicans' bad ideas, I appreciate even less. Just as NAFTA and welfare reform, adopted and implemented by Clinton/Gore have turned out to be disasterous for the American people, the proposal to turn the U.S. into a segregated enclave and to deal with deadly weapons by making lists strikes me as wrong-headed.
          I don't have opinions on the basis of who shares them or who espouses them. Good intentions don't make up for bad policy.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:43:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You and I... (11+ / 0-)

            ...will just have to agree to disagree on the Executive branch's role in influencing legislation that will eventually carry the President's signature. I don't recall EVER seeing anyone refer to the New Deal as being exclusively the legislative product of Congress in the '30's. The New Deal was conceived in and FDR presidential inauguration address, and elements of it were enacted by multiple sessions of Congress. Fortunately, FDR did not share your POV in regard to setting a legislative agenda.

          •  Well if that's what you believe (8+ / 0-)

            I certainly hope you were never one of those people here criticizing the President for not using his "bully pulpit" to get  a larger stimulus, the public option, single payer, etc., through Congress.

            •  Or someone who thinks the deaths from (0+ / 0-)

              drone strikes are the President's "fault". It is refreshing to see that some people understand the President isn't the end all and be all for public policy.

              "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

              by stellaluna on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:55:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, I have been pretty regularly inveighing (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              penguins4peace, hardhatmama, 3goldens

              against the Capitol Hill gang which has gotten into the habit of coercing support for their own tenure in office by withholding money and threatening adverse legislation unless the major employers in their districts deliver the vote.

              Democrats keep asking how come people vote against their economic interests. They don't. Given a choice between employers who threaten lay-offs, if the right people aren't elected, and democrats promising rewards they can't deliver in the future, they do what the boss wants. Never mind that in some districts Democrats don't even field candidates (3 in Georgia this time around).

              We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

              by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:04:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Presidents have always advocated legislation. (3+ / 0-)

            In fact, the Constitution requires that the President recommend legislation to Congress:

            [The President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...
            Article II, Section 3
            I'm really not sure where you got this idea that the President is supposed to be completely uninvolved in the legislative process.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:56:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  rec'd as I can see how the message is lost (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hannah

          when viewed as inflammatory and derogative, the title predisposes commentary of a negative fashion.

          This is a worthwhile subject, I'd hate for this to make the Thursday "worst diary" list.

          Hannah, edit please.

    •  You hit on the reason for the $end money (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, penguins4peace, 3goldens
      They have a huge database, some very talented operatives, and a mission - to mobilize the public to support the President's initiatives, especially comprehensive immigration reform, gun control, and push-back on excessive GOP efforts for entitlement reform.
      First goal:  Keep the infrastructure and "critical hires" employed.

      That's also a concern, as Hannah points out, institutional bloat happens.  It's a fact.  Red Cross puts more money into the organization, than into direct aid.  Hell, they hit-up their volunteer workers and First Responders.  My answer to them, eliminate 1/3 of the cars, clip boards, media relations, junior deputy associate directors for... positions, and put more boots, less suits into the fray.

      Didn't make me any friends at ARC.
      Nor FEMA, who likes to hold meetings with cameras.
      Three suits with FEMA on windbreakers address 100 First Responders pulled from the field, to give The Plan.  On camera, showing 100 faces listening to The Word.

      The Plan is to put you people in the field, helping the public.
      Now... let's get to it!
      You get a room full of tired, wet, dirty people with badges and patches giving each other the WTF look.

      That's institutional bloat, where a class of managers and spin-driven functionaries arrive, breed, and consume all resources.

      Those people CAN BE useful for the Second Goal:

      mobilize the public to support the President's initiatives,
      Though to be honest, it's not just the goals of BHO which get advocated.  The White House is Mayors Against Illegal Guns (and all guns are illegal), MAIG is also the DNC, the DNC is the DSCC, the DSCC is OFA, OFA is The White House, which is the DCCC.  Click on one, you get led to the other.

      Each berates me for only $3, except for the personal appeals for $200, and the donor-matched if I contribute $1000 or more before midnight.

      I just checked my photo ID, still doesn't read Soros, Clooney, nor Bloomberg.

    •  I prefer accountability to Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      The structure of the Democratic Party, DNC, etc. provides a process of elections to fill leadership positions determine policy. It empowers the rank and file members of the Democratic Party.

      A private, non-profit organization that is not accountable to anyone except its donors is not a substitute for a grassroots governed political structure.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:13:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd rather have the Democratic Party... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, 3goldens

    ...as the grassroots advocacy operation, to be honest.  I think OFA is a dead-end product of Obama's now-discredited model of change and a purely conjunctural hostility to a party he rightly identified with the Clintons.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:01:38 AM PST

    •  Now discredited model of change, eh? (8+ / 0-)

      Do I really need to list the things Obama has accomplished that Clinton failed to do? And Clinton was not handed two wars and an economy on the brink of collapse, either.

    •  The Old Guard in the party preferred Clinton (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, 3goldens

      and did not welcome Obama, much as they hadn't welcomed Howard Dean either. The latter's position as the head of the DNC had to be engineered by the grass roots.
      The political parties have been quite content with the division of the electorate between those who are willing to be done to and those who are willing to be done for. Neither of the traditional big men on the political campus are/were keen to have people governing (setting policy) and public servants actually serving. It's a real come-down to go from ruler to ruled.
      If there's government by the people, then political parties are superfluous. We don't need political bosses any more than we need labor bosses--unless these organizations can reinvent themselves and provide a useful public service, like developing a "bench" of qualified candidates who know how to legislate and actually provide for the public welfare.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:58:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not So (0+ / 0-)

        Remember how, during one of the primary debates, Obama said something critical of the Clinton presidential years and Sec. Clinton said, "Well -- you should know. All his old advisors are running your campaign!"

        Clinton cabinet members, including Robert Rubin, were all Obama supporters during the primaries. As were many leading Democratic Party donors, like the Pritzker family of Hyatt Hotels fame.

        Sen. Clinton was the underdog and the candidate whose message was, ultimately, too liberal for the Beltway, who preferred the more conservative candidacy of Obama.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:33:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The party regulars do not appreciate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens

          the advisors and consultants presidential candidates send into states. They also don't appreciate that some states are battle grounds and others are virtually ignored. That's not new. It was true of the Dukakis campaign in 1988 and when Clinton/Gore virtually ignored Florida in 1992 (the closest they came was Valdosta, Ga because Florida was presumed not to count). Then in 2000, Florida had its revenge, in large part because Gore wanted to discount the areas he presumed not to have voted for him.
          Presidential candidates do not enamour themselves to the locals when they have no coat tails and don't send any money.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:20:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think I misunderstand (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          puakev, SilentBrook

          in what way was Secretary Clinton the underdog to Obama when each first declared their candidacies?   Among political insiders, certainly not in public opinion polls and name recognition.

        •  Uh, Rubin backed Hillary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, missLotus

          as this NY Times piece from November 2007 titled "Rubin to back Clinton" shows.  And I have no idea where you get this notion that Hillary was the underdog and that her message, crafted by staunch progressives like Mark Penn and Douglas Schoen, was too liberal for the Beltway.  Both Hillary and Obama ran very centrist campaigns.  The history revisionism here is pretty stunning.

          “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

          by puakev on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:41:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Agree, OFA is attempting to replace them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, 3goldens

      As flawed as the DNC and the national Dem Party has been in the past, they're at least accountable to all Democrats, from the national to the state and local levels.  Their members are elected by Democrats at the grassroots level and can be replaced as needed.

      OFA in its various iterations, is not accountable to anyone.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:09:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arguing about form in politics is pointless (7+ / 0-)

    This is why I'm not as active as I might be, because I find people complaining about methods instead of the substance of what a group is pushing to be a waste of everybody's time.

    But then, some people care more about the package than what's in it.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:14:15 AM PST

    •  Well, I dislike the policies and when I went (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, 3goldens

      to register that objection, I discovered that the mechanisms for doing that had been removed.

      Likely the removal of the blog and groups was an efficiency measure because they don't get nearly the traffic of writers as of readers. Ditto for this site.  There are many more readers than writers. However, that's no reason to discard the writers.
      Yes, staff can be hired to propagate issues and fill in gaps when the conversation lapses, but shutting off the access is short-sighted.

      I'm sorry the title is offensive, but shutting two-way communication off is an offense and, besides, the title did spark some discussion.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:49:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who decides the policies? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, SilentBrook, missLotus
        Well, I dislike the policies and when I went to register that objection, I discovered that the mechanisms for doing that had been removed.
        How much daylight do you really think there's going to be between the White House and OFA?

        If the answer is a realistic "none," then why would you direct your feedback to the arm of the administration that is attempting to organize to put the administration's agenda into action, rather than to the administration itself which is setting the agenda in the first place?

        Do you really think you could steer the White House through feedback to OFA?

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:55:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The White House "contact us" page is (0+ / 0-)

          inoperative. White House staff routinely submit posts to OFA. The problem is that it has turned into a one-way street.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:01:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG, puakev, Eyesbright, SilentBrook

    get your name removed from their mailing list.

    Then go away and let them do their thing.

    No skin of your nose.

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:41:31 AM PST

  •  OFA organized the Day of Service 1/19 (6+ / 0-)

    While gun nuts were shooting each other and getting shot during Gun Appreciation Day, thousands of us who had been contacted by OFA (in my case, by both email AND phone) were volunteering to help others. I worked at a safehouse for battered women. Two shifts of four volunteers deep-cleaned the house. It was clean, of course, but we cleaned the window blinds, deep-cleaned the pantry, moved the fridge and cleaned, emptied and cleaned all the shelves, etc. We left that house sparkling and we felt GOOD.

    Others read to and played board games with seniors at assisted living centers, cleaned up playgrounds, etc etc.

    I didn't like your diary :(

    "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

    by BadKitties on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:55:33 AM PST

  •  I wish there were a strong, independent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, SilentBrook, missLotus

    grassroots movement pushing a liberal agenda and pushing our politics to the left.  But as far as I can tell, one doesn't exist, at least one with any real clout.  That has been one of the biggest problems I've seen with our politics these last few years.

    Occupy did change the conversation but hasn't done much else.  The only new movement that has actually influenced policy and governance in the last four years has been from the right in the form of the Tea Party, whose influence might be waning but still has 80 members in the House, and is why we had a debt ceiling standoff that led to trillions in cuts in addition to setting up fiscal showdowns that continue to this day.  Whatever might be said of the Tea Party, they have been pretty effective in setting the terms of our political debate and in affecting the course of our governance, much more so than anything on the left.  

    In the absence of any major, independent force pushing things to the left, I think OFA, however flawed, is at least something with might, organization, clout, and numbers that can push gun control and immigration and other progressive policies.  This was the case in Obama's first term and remains the case today.  To give an example, I attended several health care townhalls in the summer of 2009 at the height of the debate, and I recall that the only group aside from SEIU that came out in force to counter the Tea Party was OFA.

    Until I see an effective, robust independent movement or movements pushing our politics leftward or being effective in advocating progressive policies (the notable exception in the last few years has been the LGBT movement) I find these complaints about how worthless OFA is to be somewhat absurd since OFA appears to be getting a whole lot more done in terms of organizing and pushing for tangible results than anything else (the LGBT folks excepted) on the left that I can see.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:03:43 AM PST

  •  Did you consider putting "Shit" in the title? (0+ / 0-)

    Look, I have no interest in your underlying contention or the counterargument.  But, whether you used the word or not, that's what the title states.  And that's offensive.

    I used to do archaeology in a small rural town, mostly populated by decent, but conservative folks.  They frowned on cursing.  So, I learned to use the phrase "Male Bovine Scatalogical Remains", when I wished to describe someone's use of faulty logic.  I thought that was clever, in my early 20s.  Now, I understand that I was just being condescendingly offensive.

    If you want to make a point, make it without resorting to slurs.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:35:01 AM PST

  •  The inevitable devolution of human institutions (0+ / 0-)

    because success leads to indolent greed is, it seems to me, what you are addressing here. And you ask a good question:

    Is accumulation the predicate for the inevitable collapse?
    Unfortunately, your title and your attack on a moderate  organization (I can't honestly use the term "left" when referring to OFA) that stands opposed (moderately) to a massive wave of well-funded batshit crazy rightwing stupidity, is a pretty poor method for getting that point - which I agree with - across.

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:44:14 AM PST

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