Monday, June 27, 2011

Obama Reelection Campaign Off To A Smug Start

True to this blog's name, I will herewith give you my take on OFA's vainglorious kickoff reelection campaign event.

AS you may know, I am a proud progressive, beholden to no political party - a political atheist - and one who volunteered her ass off for Obama from the day he announced to the day he won the election. From the day of his inauguration - when he had Rick Warren give the invocation against all pleas from the LGBT community and signaled that he was already pandering to the right - til today, Obama has been a classic enigma wrapped in a mystery as one who seems so disdainful of the base that was critical to getting him elected - progressives. Why? I do not know. And now that attitude has seeped into OFA's approach to the reelection campaign. At least from my perch.

Resigned to making sure the Taliban Tea Party doesn't impose their crazy sharia-like dogma on us and have us all return our college degrees, I am picking myself up, brushing myself off and volunteering for O's reelection. As per an earlier post, very early, like 55 days after his inauguration, it became clear that Obama didn't feel he had to appease the left because there was no place else for us to go: His calculation is correct but...

So, I went to the first OFA meeting for the reelection wanting to check in and see how they were going to play this, this time around. About 20 showed up...hey, it's early, very early...and the leader led off with a powerpoint of Obama's accomplishments called, Promises Kept (reeking of a subliminal way to reach out to the right, to Promise Keepers?) listed stuff under Rebuilding Our Economy, Historic Healthcare Reform, National Security, Education and Civil Rights. I wanted to blue pencil all of them. Glaringly missing Global Warming/Climate Change.

This was beginning to feel like a propaganda machine as our leader raised the pitch and tone of her rhetoric and picked up steam. She touted Obama's record and excoriated those who didn't buy it telling us that people she had encountered were "out of their minds" "not into reality" "living a fantasy" if they said "he hasn't done anything" or didn't agree with the party line. She was entirely dismissive of anyone who disagreed with "the list of accomplishments" "after all, he's only been in office for 18 months" and so on. Now is that any way to embrace the disaffected? I felt my very measured enthusiasm going pfffft like an overblown balloon.

So, then after being berated for being a progressive, another OFA guy gets up and, again, goes on about Promises Kept...are you getting the feeling this is an indoctrination rather than a welcoming? Anyway, he just sounded smug. But the kicker was the repeated refrain from both these OFAers that - and this was repeated so often it must have been a talking point and a tactic as a way to ameliorate the left - "he's not perfect, no one's perfect". What?! Do you really want to remind everyone that Obama is not perfect? This line definitely doesn't move the needle on my empathy meter. I can't believe they are going to continue with this. Someone call Jim Messina and run this by him.

But back to Obama's calculation that progressives have no place else to go, that they will show up at the polls and vote for him because the alternative is so frightening. Is that how you want to win, Mr. President? Because you're the only option? I thought you were president of ALL America. What happened to Progressive America? Diminished enthusiasm begets apathy, and if OFA is counting on everyone from the last election to jump on board, well, there's campaign fatigue, frustration with wimpy Democrats and disappointment with the administration to distract us so they're going to have to dangle some pretty delicious carrots to get us to volunteer - and vote - again. Oh, that I could believe my own fairy tale that Obama is reserving his fire for his second term when he'll get it done for all Americans...wooohooo, Mr. Red State/Blue State President...we're over here on the left!