Saturday, December 06, 2008

Flavors of change

Josh Marshall observes this morning:

HOLY COW: Obama's actually going to be president.

The fact remains a little breath taking.

And apparently Obama is really going to try to keep some portion of his mobilized base together, ready to have his back. A couple of days ago, campaign volunteers got an email over the signature of campaign guru David Plouffe, urging us to host or attend local "Change is Coming" house meetings on December 13 and 14. Want to find one? Sign up here.

That's ambitious and certainly a good idea, but where this got interesting was the choice of local house meetings I found available when I followed the link. All flavors of activists are jumping on the idea. Some examples [the descriptions in bold text are my additions]:

[An issue specific meeting:] Prisons are overflowing. The US incarcerates more prople than Russia. Join Change We Need volunteers to discuss proposed changes in the criminal justice system, particularly expanding the use of RESTORATIVE JUSTICE within prisons. We will consider all views.


[A post-partisan meeting:] Many of you have already submitted your feedback through the online survey. The team in Chicago is reviewing an impressive number of detailed responses, and your input will help guide the future of this grassroots movement. ... Now is the time to put aside partisanship and politics, find common ground, and work together. Please forward this invitation to those who might not have been involved in the campaign, even those who might have supported our opponent.

[A disappointed left-leaning meeting] When is Obama going to appoint someone who reflects the progressive base that brought him to the White House?

He won the crucial votes on the strength of his anti-Iraq War stance, and many progressive peace and justice activists worked hard for him against John McCain.

So why in the world is he choosing Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State when she was one of the loudest hawks on Iraq and threatened to obliterate 75 million Iranians?

And it's not just Hillary.

Obama's OMB pick, Peter Orzag, is a Clintonite disciple of Robert Rubin.

Obama's AG pick, Eric Holder, is a Clintonite who represented Chiquita Bananas. ...

[An ambitious institutional organizing meeting] For the last 22 months, progressive activists across California organized their communities in response to Barack Obama's call for change. Together we built a powerful volunteer-based campaign organization and helped deliver many key battleground states on November 4. Now many of us are asking "what's next?".

California's Field Director Mary Jane Stevenson and other campaign staff are working to launch - a new statewide progressive organizing network. In conjunction with Barack Obama's "Change is Coming" house parties, we will hold two organizing meetings, one in Southern California and one in Northern California. Help us brainstorm on how best to keep California's new-found political energy alive, build on what we learned campaigning for Obama, and support community organizers across the state.
You can find your local variants through Change is Coming. Will anything come of any of this? On the one hand, this process seems a recipe for chaos, pulling and hauling in all directions. On the other, the most organized campaign in modern experience -- now attached in some way to the office of the President -- is behind it, so maybe some of this goes somewhere.

Hard to know, but I guess I should go to some of these meetings! I have choices.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I think it's great that his "community organizer" spirit is being kept alive and hope it energizes a lot of people. I'n already involved with a lot of projects in my community -- I don't need anymore meetings!!!!

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