Despite the fact that we're still a year and a half away from the presidential election, Obama's campaign manager. Jim Messina, is wasting no time. I think he may have an inkling that the president's (former) base is feeling the disenchantment, so he has a solution: Forget the past. Let's start all over, shall we? Pretend we never called you whiners and sanctimonious purists for not getting the Public Option. Make believe Obama is not an incumbent who sold you out. Imagine he is a brand-new, fresh unknown community organizer again. Let's make it a resurgent campaign. Surge like it's a war. Do the metrics. Grow some more grass roots! (actually, being a sometime gardener, I was under the impression that you grow plants from roots, and that roots are either there or they're not.) Here's what he sent out today. Judge for yourself.
Ari Berman of "The Nation" recently wrote an in-depth piece about the curious choice of Messina as Obama's campaign manager. After watching the video, I can see why he would rub would-be volunteers the wrong way. He talks at, rather than to, his audience.
"Messina begins the re-election campaign with a significant amount of baggage", Berman writes. "As a former chief of staff to (Max, D-Montana) Baucus and deputy to (Rahm) Emanuel, Messina has clashed with progressive activists and grassroots Obama supporters both inside and outside Washington over political strategy and on issues like healthcare reform and gay rights, alienating parts of the very constituencies that worked so hard for Obama in 2008 and that the campaign needs to reinspire and activate in 2012. Obama’s fixer has arguably created as many problems as he’s solved. 'He is not of the Obama movement,' says one top Democratic strategist in Washington. 'There is not a bone in his body that speaks to or comprehends the idea of a movement and that grassroots energy. To me, that’s bothersome.' ”
You can read the entire article here: http://www.thenation.com/article/159577/jim-messina-obamas-enforcer
So....ARE YOU IN, OR NOT? Messina wants to know, he wants to know now, and he wants it to go viral. NOW! (Nothing like the old soft sell).
Here is my proposal. If President Obama goes on national TV and swears on the Bible of Lincoln that he will unequivocally support the Progressive People's Budget, support universal health care, stop the wars, raise taxes on the rich -- then I will think about it while remaining highly skeptical But first he has to show he means it. Maybe by reversing that signing statement and taking back his order holding Gitmo prisoners indefinitely without charges? That would be a start. Then he could announce a special surcharge on Wall Street.
Sorry, Jim Messina. As much as I would like to believe Obama is a born-again fresh candidate, I gave up believing in the tooth fairy a long time ago. All the words in the world will not enable him to grow those ephemeral roots in a soil that is barren and depleted.
And no, Bambots - criticizing Obama is not tantamount to supporting the Republicans. Obama is a Republican anyway, so what have we got to lose?