Free Markets, Free People

Community Organizing From the White House (Budget and AIG)

Once a community organizer, always a community organizer, I suppose – from an email I received recently from the Obama campaign email list:

The current debate in Washington over President Obama’s budget has made one thing clear — ensuring our long-term prosperity won’t come without a fight.

Partisan voices and special interests are showing real resistance to President Obama’s call for making the necessary reforms and investments in energy, health care, and education. That’s why we need to bring the conversation back into homes and communities across America.

Last week, thousands of you pledged your support for the President’s economic plan and encouraged your friends and family to join you in a national display of support. Now I need you to take the next step.

This weekend, supporters like you are organizing Pledge Project Canvasses to talk to people in their communities about this plan and mobilize support in neighborhoods across the country.

The eternal campaign continues with attempts to solicit the same ground support “magic” the campaign was able to solicit during the presidential campaign. However, doing that during a campaign when the focus is a person and his promises vs. attempting to do that when the person in question has gained the office and is now talking about concrete proposals which may or may not be in the best interest of the country isn’t quite as easy.

A couple of thoughts on this sort of an attempt. One – the tie that binds (getting Barack Obama elected) doesn’t necessarily extend to things like the budget or other specific issues. So the group that accomplished the former aren’t necessarily unified on the latter. That tends to promise lower turn out in the community events or, if they show up, some discord.

Two – the assumption is these events will demonstrate the will of the people and put pressure on Congress to act as Obama asks them to act, i.e. pass his budget. But there’s no direct linkage with this sort of activity and Congress like there was during the campaign when this sort of activity could be converted to votes. The Obama campaign used to brag about the “house parties” that were held at a grass-roots level demonstrating the power of his campaign and the promise of the votes to come. None of that translates into the same sort of power when aimed at Congress.

Three – it again demonstrates that the administration still hasn’t managed to get itself out of the campaign mode. Another example of that has been the AIG bonus debacle. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and AIG CEO Edward Liddy discussed the bonuses on the 11th of March. Liddy sent Geithner a letter on the 14th explaining the reason for them and the possible impact of not paying them (explained in the AIGFP Employee Retention Plan). It’s not about “retaining the best and brightest”. In fact, it is a calculated method of hedging their risk and ensuring the tax payer doesn’t end up on the hook for even more billions in bailouts.

Instead of calmly explaining this in a joint press conference with AIG, Geithner and the administration chose to fan the flames of outrage and use it for political gain.  That isn’t leadership, that’s politics.  And it is also an administration in the campaign mode.  That’s a dangerous mode to be in, especially at this time and place.  When given the opportunity to have a frank and tough discussion with the public about bonuses it knew were going to be paid and explaining their necessity, the Obama administration reverted to the populist campaign mode of demonizing AIG instead of calming the emotions and fears of the public.  


20 Responses to Community Organizing From the White House (Budget and AIG)

  • The more public confidence crashes, the worse the crisis gets. The worse the crisis gets, the more the administration will (they assume) profit politically by posing as our defenders against the imaginary nogoodniks who profit by making the crisis worse. 

    It’s working for Chavez. It worked for Mugabe until there was no economy left to ruin. I’m not sure it’ll work here. Jeez, I sure hope it doesn’t. 

    Mind you, it’s not deliberate. None of these idiots understands that he’s making things worse. They all believe their own speeches. They think they’re doing well by doing good, so to speak. 

    There is nobody in the administration who has even the minimal brains necessary to read some history and notice that this kind of witch-burning approach to crisis management is inavariably disastrous. Even FDR wasn’t this stupid. 

  • Once again – Leadership Not Observed

  • As I keep saying, this is all about narrative manipulation.

  • Yep, “thousands” of people are “canvassing” for The Clown’s™ “Let’s Destroy America” Plan, and I bet the media reports on this. Somehow, however, they refuse to report on the tens of thousands, or even hundred of thousands, who came out this past weekend to protest the plans of The Clown™ and His Clownettes™.

    We can’t have any accurate reporting of that, you know. Because, somehow, those people might be party of Robert Gibbs’ “Republican cabal.”

  • I think such canvassing will do more harm than good to their side.

  • You’re making the assumption that the results of the canvasing will be reported accurately, aren’t you?

  • I think you may be underestimating the gullibility (or, less charitably, imbecility) of Obama voters as well as the arrogance of the Congress.

    In the case of the former, if they were stupid enough to trust this empty suit and put their faith in “hope and change” without bothering themselves about how that slogan translated into actual policies, why on earth should they be expected to wise up now?  Look no further than the various comments on this blog for examples of blind faith in TAO.  They’ll be told – ASSURED – that his budget proposals represent just the sort of hope and change they voted for.  Free health care!  Free college educations!  Tax cuts for everybody except those rich bastards (snarl!) who’ll FINALLY be made to pay their fair share.  Reduced deficits!  Science over politics!  Realistically, TAO has done nothing but fear-monger, lie and foul up throughout his first fifty days in office, yet he remains (as libs like to smugly point out) fairly high in opinion polls.  People continue to LIKE the guy.

    In the case of the latter, they rammed Porkulus and the omnibus bill through, loaded with earmarks and other garbage.  They give themselves automatic pay raises and lots of other perks, confident that nobody will note the glaring hypocrisy when they berate corporate executives for doing exactly the same thing.  Republican in Congress have shown themselves more than willing to go along with massive spending so long as they get a piece of the pie for themselves.  These “Pledge Project Canvasses”, given suitable treatment by MiniTru, would be perfect cover for Congress to spend huge sums: “the people WANT it”.  And even if these things weren’t true, we know that Congress typically has a 90% reelection rate.  Hell, al-Murtha called his constituents a bunch of racist hillbillies and they STILL reelected him.

    Finally, TAO, Congress and MiniTru have a set up “greedy bankers” as the perfect Goldstein.  People won’t have much anger to vent on TAO and Congress for busting the budget when they’re railing at AGI for giving out bonuses on the taxpayer dime.  When the AGI hoopla finally dies down, I think we can confidently expect TAO and his henchmen to find a replacement Goldstein, be it Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, the oil companies, or some other boogeyman.  “Continuous war”, only the “enemy” is other Americans.

    Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

    George Orwell

    Does this not describe TAO’s stooges?

    As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a ‘categorical pledge’ were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.
    For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes. Syme, too-in some more complex way, involving doublethink, Syme swallowed it.

  • You can see in the comments to that Hollis post back down there (“The Brokest Generation”) that the sniffling jackanapes from the University of Maine is trying to pooh-pooh the notion that Obama is a socialist.

    In those comments, I briefly summarize Obamas credentials as a true movement socialist: tutored as a young man by his grandfather’s friend, CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis; introduced to the Gramscian “cultural arts,” including his own academic blackness, at Columbia; trained in the Alinsky method on his first run to Chicago; thereafter settling in with the teaching of James Cone’s Marxist “black liberation theology” via Cone acolyte Jeremiah Wright (it wasn’t just about race, no).

    Various plug-ins along the way: Bill Ayers, Edward Said (please add here, and to the basic bio as time and information allow).

    For elucidation of the method said sniffling jackanapes is employing, refer to John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, “In Denial, Historians, Communism & Espionage,” Encounter Books, 2003. That might be slightly off-target on content, but the method is the same. Beware, however, as you read, rage will come upon you.

  • Let’s just go ahead and say what the White House is expecting ..

    We love you Barack Obama  ..  we want to have your baby .. give you our tax money

  • It’s one thing to mobilize all that support when the primary motivations of the lemmings was to elect the guy who was going to “pay for their gas and mortgage”

    Now he’s in, I suspect they could care less about mobilizing for  Lightworker’s program for AIG or the budget.

    Never has the Presidency been laid so low.

    • It’s one thing to mobilize all that support when the primary motivations of the lemmings was to elect the guy who was going to “pay for their gas and mortgage”

      You are forgetting something! 
      This is not a grassroots everyday working Joe army he is mobilizing. It is a federally paid (this is their job) army he is mobilizing. These people (ACORN) are paid money to go out and do his bidding.

  • Looks like Lightworker’s AIG agenda will be moot…..Reid/Schumer is going to make a special bill to tax the payouts at about 90%

    • I heard tonight that it was 100%.

      I guess the complex interplay AIG derivatives contracts will go into default now and the money put into AIG will be gone gone gone.

      Elected heads on a pike anyone?

  • Am I the only one who keeps thinking he should host one of these event, if only to have a captive audience to state the facts to?

    Can you imagine their horror when they find out I don’t serve kool-aid?

  • For my money, the most surreal aspect of this is that we’re evidently expected to get worked up about a couple hundred million dollars out of the nearly $2 trillion that government has shovelled out the door since last fall.  You don’t have to approve of Wall Street miscreants to be absolutely gobsmacked by the lack of dollars-and-sense perspective, here.

    • Nor, apparently, do you have to be able to spell.  That’s dollars-and-cents, not dollars-and-sense.

      • No, you’re right, it’s dollars and sense – though you needed to add the word “NO” perhaps in front of the word sense.

        • Or he could just add ‘non’ to the word.  Dollars and nonsense.

          Makes sense to me 😉

  • “Partisan voices and special interests are showing real resistance to President Obama’s call for making the necessary reforms and investments in energy, health care, and education.”

    The bottom line is that Obama’s plans are merely changes and changes that were formulated by special interests and are being pushed by partisan voices, with the most vocal being the Partisan in Chief.   Obama and his cabal in the WH, along with those he is colluding with in the NFP/NGO fields, and  coordinating with in the MSM is no less a faction (actually a conglomeration of factions as you note in the “tie that binds” remark) than those who are opposing them.

    That, IMHO, is the most important point which need to be made first and made with every opportunity by everyone opposed to them and then detail what’s, why’s when’s, where’s and how’s that these changes are bad.

  • Obama’s Debt Star … it may be heading your way