Monday, August 9, 2010

Obama's group, OFA, steals my idea - from June 2009

I guess I should be flattered, right?

My video from June 2009:

My post listing example after example of Obama, OFA and the Democrats calling everyday Americans - who happen to oppose their agenda - "special interests." Excerpt:
Regarding the battle over President Obama’s budget
“And we believe in the power of people to drown out the cynics and entrenched interests in Washington to bring lasting, meaningful change...”
Email from David Plouffe, 2008 campaign manager for Barack Obama
March 13, 2009

“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.”
Email from Mitch Stewart, Director, Organizing for America
March 16, 2009

“What you do now will decide what kind of debate they have -- one that's dominated by special interests and partisan voices intent on keeping the status quo, or one that reflects the priorities of citizens like you.”
Email from Mitch Stewart, Director, Organizing for America
March 25, 2009

And now, today, OFA send out this email, titled, "I am not a 'special interest:'"

Liberty Belle --

Right now, my job -- along with those of my colleagues -- could be in jeopardy.

I'm a public school teacher in Philadelphia. And, like most states across the country, Pennsylvania is facing some bad budget shortfalls.

Without federal help, a lot of teachers like me -- as well as other public servants like police officers and firefighters -- will lose their jobs. Maybe you know some of these people. Maybe it's you.

Democrats in Congress are trying to do the right thing, proposing emergency assistance for states to preserve more than 100,000 jobs like mine. They're racing back to the Capitol for an emergency session this week to pass this bill and save these jobs.

But Republicans are standing in the way. Minority Leader John Boehner is calling the bill a "payoff" to "special interests" and attacking every Democrat who is fighting for us.

But I'm not a special interest. I'm a teacher.

Can you join me in telling House Democrats that they have our support as they fight for our jobs?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- and the entire Democratic Caucus -- have decided to rush back to Washington to make sure that hundreds of thousands of workers like me will get to keep our jobs. In addition, the bill will actually create even more job growth by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas.

But the Republicans are going to do everything they can to prevent this aid.

Please stand with me, in support of Democratic leaders who are standing up for folks like me:

Thank you,

Wendy C.
Ambler, Pennsylvania


Nothing to see here folks!


  1. If the NEA is not a special interest, then I do not know what is.

  2. Amen, Brother. NEA is about a hard-core Special Interest as you can get!!!

  3. The definition of "Special Interest" that applies here is identifiable group that benefits from some sort of government policy or action, except for groups that the person using the term "Special Interest" is a member of.

    Examples include, but are in no way limited to:

    Trade unions
    Trade organizations
    Defense contractors
    Business lobbies
    Health Insurance Companies
    Environmental organizations
    Religious organizations that involve themselves in politics (Focus on the Family, etc.)

    When a teacher or a one of the nice folks in the video say "I am not a special interest" they are right. But unless you are in a position to donate huge amounts of money to political causes (which arguably make you a "special interest"), you're not in a position to sway politicians.

    Republicans and Democrats alike love to say "We're for the regular people, not the special interests!" But both parties rely heavily on special interests for campaign funding. Most politicians get elected by doing a better job that the opposition of marketing themselves to special interests for the funding and to regular people for the votes.

    Accusing the other party of being "beholden to special interests" is disingenuous because both parties are to more or less the same degree. The only difference is which specifically which special interests they are beholden to.

  4. Dancar, I find myself...possibly for the first agreement. I would only add that the more money a group throws into a political party or campaign, the more SPECIAL its INTERESTS become.

  5. After seeing several incidents of teachers' unions acting in their own interest, rather than even in the best interest of the teachers' long-term employment (let alone the best interest of the students and schools), I can't help but roll my eyes at that teacher's comments. You'd better believe unions are a special interest and that our president is beholden to them.

  6. Dancar is right -- to have any influence at all in today's money-drenched political system, every group has to become a "special interest". The right has succeeded in pinning this label on the NEA, as if it were alone in fighting for its interests by the same means that everyone else is using. Midnight Rider points out that the more money an interest donates to parties, pacs, and campaigns, the more special it becomes. By this rule, the NRA and defense contractors and business lobbies are quite as special as environmental groups and labor unions. It's a rotten system. Both Democrats and Republicans are deeply involved in it. The only difference between the two parties is that occasionally, the Democrats are become dimly aware that the system is corrupt, and feel uneasy about it. That is all. Shine, perishing republic!

  7. "The only difference between the two parties is that occasionally, the Democrats are become dimly aware that the system is corrupt, and feel uneasy about it." Surely you jest!

    The Democrats never even admit that they have constituent groups that are "special interests" much less admit to dim awareness and feelings of unease. Whereas Corporate PACS give to both GOP and to the Democrats, Labor Unions give massively only to the Democrats. And whereas the NRA lobbies for or against policies that affect the 2nd Amendment, unions like the SEIU lobby for laws that expand the dues-paying membership of unions and for stimulous packages that engorge their purses and power.

    Don't even try to make it look like the Democrats are not bottom feeders and swamp dwellers. They just have better PR than the GOP because they have Establishment-Media in their hip pocket.

  8. Midnight Rider,

    Attempts to rein in the influence of money through campaign finance reform come from the democrats, are opposed by the republicans, and are shot down by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court, which argues that bribing Congressmen with campaign contributions is a constitutionally protected form of free speech.

    I suppose you can argue that the democrats are hypocritical -- playing along by rules that they think are wrong. I think that that is true. Their alternative course of action is to cease to exist politically.

    As for democrats being particularly swamp feeders, MidnightRider, please note that K Street is an equal opportunity corrupter.

  9. Jesse Fell: "Their alternative course of action is to cease to exist politically."

    You keep pretending to be objective about how politicians in both political parties get lots of money from special interests, but you always end up making excuses for the Democrats.

    The poor widdle democrats have to cheat because the big bad repubwicans make them do it.

    Gotta go to work. Have fun holding hands wif the poor widdle democrats.

  10. its funny how no one talks on here about all the great things bush did and how this guy is stuck fixing his mess

  11. Midnight Rider, It's a fact that you can't run for office these days without a huge pile of money to spend on mass media advertising -- if you disagree, please try running for Congress at your earliest convenience. The Democrats, in deciding not to go out of existence, have made a pact with the K Street Devil, against their conscience. This makes them the less authentic of our two parties -- the Republicans are perfectly happy with the situation. So which party is in better shape -- the Democrats who have sold their souls, or the Republicans who appear not to have any? These two parties will be our choices, as voters, until we find some way to clean up this money mess. I'm not optimistic.

  12. Jesse, you are giving WAY too much credit to Dems. How do you know they actually have souls to sell? How do you know that they "really, really wish we could campaign without special interest money, but darn it, we have to keep up with those soulless Republicans!"? Because they say things like that? No way. I don't buy it at all. Please. The top rungs of both parties love where they're at. They love the money, the power, and the special interests that get them there. That's why, when I receive Obama's OFA emails about the evil, evil special interests funding Republicans, I laugh out loud at the disingenuousness. You do yourself a disservice by believing that the Dems have a soul to sell. They ALL love their big money.

  13. Liberty Belle,

    I am afraid that a lot of what you say in your last posting is true -- a good many Democrats have come to love the K Street money as much as the Republicans. Still, look at where all the attempts to reform the system come from -- always from the Democrat side. The Republicans invariably oppose reform. The conservative faction on the Supreme Court has said that handing a congressman a check for $100,000 with a little note saying that by the way HR123XYZ might be an awful bad idea is a consititutionally protected form of free speech.

    What we need to think about -- any maybe you Tea Partiers can help out -- is "what is free speech and what do we think that it is important?"
    My understanding is that free speech is important because it advances the common good. It does this by allowing ideas to compete openly in the free marketplace of ideas. It requires openness and assumes the people are rational and capable, at least to some extent, of arriving at disinterested conclusions about the right and wrong of things.

    I don't see that this conception of free speech has much in common with handing Congressman Smith that check for $100,000 with the informative little note attached.

    Please advise.


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