Organizing for Action

It has been a busy news week which saw President Obama unveil a sweeping proposal for gun control and the Republicans completely and utterly caving (and I hate that word) on the debt ceiling, but this may have been the biggest news of the week considering its future implications.

via TPM

President Barack Obama on Friday announced that the remnants of his campaign organization will be reborn as a new political group called Organizing for Action, which will be able to accept unlimited donations.

“Together, we’ve made our communities stronger, we’ve fought for historic legislation, and we’ve brought more people than ever before into the political process,” Obama wrote in an email to supporters. “Organizing for Action will be a permanent commitment to this mission.”

News of the move was broken by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday, which reported that Organizing for Action would be set up as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” nonprofit organization, and that an official launch was set for Sunday, when thousands of former campaign staff and volunteers are expected to attend a daylong “Obama Campaign Legacy Conference” in Washington D.C. Obama will take the oath of office for his second term the same day.

It may be too early to speculate, but the implication, at least from my perspective, is that the president will be a significant proponent of progress far beyond the end of his second term in office.

Democratic presidents typically are, but this suggests a far larger role than any previous president has assumed because OFA will have far more power than any other Democratic PAC. And that is comforting to me because it reassures us that it will remain in the right hands.

It's ironic to think that Organizing for Action, a hulking monstrosity by any conservative operative's reckoning, will be an inadvertent creation of Citizens United. And in hindsight, those on the Left who called for unilateral disarmament in the face of unlimited corporate cash look even more foolish now than they already did.

The Right gained very little in 2012 by opening up the financial floodgates to Karl Rove following the Citizens United ruling, but the Left has gained a permanent, reliable ally.

  • cgregor

    Bob, I have a couple of problems with the conversion. First, it’s 501(c)(4), which means Big Money will be the puppeteer, and we’ll never know. Second, Obama is really pretty much a Herbert Hoover, lower than a Rockefeller Republican in my book, and will do nothing to resist the Wall Street bubble he has been operating in. Third, it means yet another nail in the coffin of campaign finance reform.

    • ranger11

      And you’re a Naderite Anarchist. Who cares….

  • SlapFat

    I still think it’s kind of freaky that we’re moving closer to an embrace of Super PAC’s than a dissolving of them. We’re centralizing power in a way that nobody should want.

    • ranger11

      No choice.

      • SlapFat

        No choice.

        I’d disagree with that. Russ Feingold and countless other people are working to get money out of politics in the way Citizens United ruined things. You’re totally oversimplifying the possibilities to claim that there’s no choice on this issue. There is, and something has to change.

        • JMAshby

          Russ Feingold… hah the people’s champion who, when the going got tough, decided not to challenge Scott Walker.

          Feingold has become a grifter.

          • SlapFat

            Feingold has become a grifter.

            You’re saying that the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act has become a grifter? And dismissing him because he didn’t run for a position that he was previously voted out of? That isn’t adding up at all. The guy spent a significant portion of his career taking money out of politics, and I don’t feel like your remark takes that into account at all.

            Yeah, he’s not of the political status he may have once been at, but that’s no reason to belittle him. There’s plenty like him that want money out of politics and creating a Super PAC, like how the administration has just done, is not a way to assist in that endeavor. At least not how I’m reading this now. If anything it seems that this becoming the new way of influence. And that sucks.

            The effects of Citizens United can be negated. There has to be a will to pursue that nullification, including admitting that there is a problem. This seems to be where you and I differ.

  • You read my mind! Seriously, I just signed up with OFA to work for its next incarnation. 🙂

    Republicans better look out, cause we are gonna kick ass!

  • jjasonham

    Citizen’s United —> OFA? Just had a Brady Bunch “I never thought of it that way” moment.