January 26, 2009

Obama wants to turn his "YouTubing-Facebooking-texting-Twittering grass-roots organization ... into an instrument of government."

According to the NYT, Obama has been telling his aides this is "a top priority, even before he was elected."
His aides — including his campaign manager [David Plouffe] — have created a group, Organizing for America, to redirect the campaign machinery in the service of broad changes in health care and environmental and fiscal policy. They envision an army of supporters talking, sending e-mail and texting to friends and neighbors as they try to mold public opinion.

The organization will be housed in the Democratic National Committee, rather than at the White House. But the idea behind it — that the traditional ways of communicating with and motivating voters are giving way to new channels built around social networking — is also very evident in the White House’s media strategy....
The effort needs to be moved out of the White House in order to escape a legal restriction against using the 13-million-person e-mail list his campaign built up.

"Organizing for America," how do you like that name? It resonates with the presidency's "community organizer" provenance, and it has a distinctly lefty vibe. I note the "for." Why not just "Organizing America"? (But I don't want to be organized!) So there are those other people, those 13 million, who are organizing. For us.
There is a clear interest in keeping the Internet-based political machinery that made Mr. Obama’s brand so iconic and that helped him raise record amounts. The new group’s initials, O.F.A., conveniently also apply to his Obama for America campaign.
Anagram for "oaf," from the man who famously took the "oaf of office."
Still, sensitive to ruffling feathers even among fellow Democrats wary of Mr. Obama’s huge political support, Mr. Obama’s aides emphasized that the effort was not created to lobby directly or pressure members of Congress to support Mr. Obama’s programs.

“This is not a political campaign,” Mr. Plouffe said. “This is not a ‘call or e-mail your member of Congress’ organization.”
It's not a political campaign?
Instead, Mr. Plouffe said the aim was to work through influential people in various communities as a way of building public opinion.
So what is this distinction? The group won't be directly pressuring Congress. It will be stoking and massaging public opinion. Members of Congress can respond at their leisure.

Meanwhile, at the White House, there is a "new media" director, Macon Phillips. He's redesigned the White House website, which "will be continually updated to add presidential orders and blog postings that make the case for administration policy, often echoed by talking points that Organizing for America is sending to supporters."
In an interview, Mr. Phillips, 30, said the site would give the White House another way to reach the public without having to rely on the mainstream news media.
This is the sort of thing George Bush should have done. Funny that Obama, who's got the media fervently on his side, is the one to figure it out.

We'll see how it works out. What was a campaign becomes a big propaganda machine. What proportion of the 13 million want to be on the receiving end of that? And as for new media, how many of us new media outlets will passively pass along the talking points? My idea of new media is that we take the raw material and do something with it. It needs to get out of the control of the one who's sent out the original message. You can distribute your propaganda, but you can't organize it. You can't organize us. The internet is self-organizing, and we will see how it organizes itself. It can't be according to the will of a President.

120 comments:

GeorgeH said...

Will they get Brown Shirts and neat armbands?

fcai said...

In USSA, twitter watches you!

Chris Wren said...

"We'll see how it works out"

I've never encountered a single instance where that phrase means anything other than "I've already decided in advance it's going to be a flop".

Ron said...

OMG, ROTFL @ OAF!

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dick said...

And if you try to lobby against it you will be investigated and you will have to submit to an equal time provision but they won't.

This just seems so wrong on so many levels. What he is essentially doing is making the DNC an organ of the government and doing it without any legal means.

Simon said...

How cute! A proto-Komsomol!

TosaGuy said...

So Obama is the next boy band?

Ron said...

What's next, Senate cloture through Twitter feeds?

Ron said...

Once was once Gallup polls, will become Technorati ratings....

Franco said...

Will this form of communication be covered under the Fairness Doctrine? Yes or No.

Balfegor said...

The organization will be housed in the Democratic National Committee, rather than at the White House.

What, no Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment? What a cop out.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

This is so exciting. I am so proud to be an American.

I am totally ready to be organized.

How was everyone's morning loaves?

Please share your morning loaf stories. I hate being the only one here detailing my loaves.

Let's talk loaves.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

I can't wait to hear what Rush has to say about this today.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

I wish we had audio capability on this site so we could hear each other pinching their morning loaves.

I think hearing each other pinching a morning loaf would bring us closer together. It would be a very intimate experience.

Was Lem drunk last night?

Simon said...

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...
"Let's talk loaves."

Such is already the subject of Althouse's post.

Freeman Hunt said...

So the President will now have a personal citizen propaganda arm carried over from his personal campaign and housed in his party's headquarters since he is barred from making it officially part of government? Do not like. Not just for Obama but for any President.

EDH said...

The OFA filtering process should be interesting.

As I recall, McCain allowed people to comment openly on his YouTube site during the campaign, Obama did not.

I get the feeling that online access to participation in OFA will be limited, and general access will be linked to money somehow.

Put-up or shut-up, so to speak.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

I think it would be cool if there was a "Pinching Loaves" section on this site where we could post and share our loaf stories. I would be the Pinching Loaf Administrator and would maintain the integrity of this section of the blog.

Think about it Althouse. It could bring in a whole new commenter. One who brings creativity, worldly experience, and a variety of loaves.

Tibore said...

Great... YouTube... home of the 9/11 "Watch this video and learn the TRUTH!!!" movement... terrific company there.

And Facebook! Yes, I love going to one of those sites and being assaulted... er, I mean regaled by the page owners favorite vapid pop song.

(*Shakes head*)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What was a campaign becomes a big propaganda machine

Financed by coerced taxes from the few remaining working drones and businesses that pay for the free benefits enjoyed by the majority of non tax paying citizens. Also established so the non contributors can decide how much more blood, sweat and tears to wring from the drones and how much more to appropriate for themselves.

Scared yet?

What, no Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment?

A rose is a rose is a rose and this one stinks.

Next.....mandatory twittering, face booking and monitoring of all correct thinking in such communications at the peril of re-education

Henry said...

The most prominent example of the new strategy is his weekly address to the nation — what under previous presidents was a speech recorded for and released to radio stations on Saturday mornings. Mr. Obama instead records a video, which on Saturday he posted on the White House Web site and on YouTube...

Name me one president after FDR who's weekly radio address was meaningful.

The media is not the message. If Obama doesn't offer real content -- pointed ideas, strong opinions, and unexpected judgements -- then he can do his YouTube videos in mime for all the influence they will have.

I suspect Obama's media handlers will prevent real content from ever leaving the White House.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

In the "Pinching Loaves" section I would also take questions regarding your loaves. Kind of like Ann Landers.

So it would not only be loave stories but questions regarding your loaves.

Your loaves trials and tribulations. Loaf setbacks and successes.

It would be a win win for all who participate.

EDH said...

Titus,

Did you notice Organizing for America, OFA, is a partial anagram for LOAF?

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

Commenters could share their loaf pictures and we could try and match the loaf with the specific commenter. We could have contests on who guesses the most correct loaves with each commenter.

I would send little presents to the commenter who picks the appropriate loaf with each commenter.

David said...

One more loud peal in the death knell of the MSM.

The MSM are (is?) going to be pissed to be marginalized, and this could hurt O's worshipful coverage. Also it will be interesting to see how well O's people control the messages coming out of this machinery. I expect some renegade lefty action and dissonant tones and a White House press secretary who will have some 'splainin to do from time to time.

The most interesting question is how Obama will react when his relationship with the press gets to a more normal--that is, adversarial--basis. Or will Obama be able to keep them in lapdog mode for four or eight years? That seems unlikely. On the other had he got through an entire Presidential campaign without a good vetting.

Do you say "MSM is" or "MSM are?" I'm obviously not sure.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

I could also put up a loaf picture and we could take a poll on who's loaf it is.

That would be really fun.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

I would want everyone to be honest though and not take credit for a loaf they did not pinch.

As a result there would be a rule where you have to actually send me a videotape of you pinching the loaf.

I don't want anyone to lie about their loaf.

Who's with me?

Henry said...

It also strikes me that there is nothing very new about this. Every successful political campaign wants to keep going its mailing lists, and donor lists, and grassroots organizer contacts going.

"Organizing for America" is not a new idea -- it's just a new brand name.

Finally, Obama may be attempting an impossible act of triangulating. It's one thing to balance off fairly centrist institutional forces on the left and right as Bill Clinton did. It's another to try to balance off institutional forces with grassroots radicals.

Grassroots radicals aren't known for their constancy or measured views.

The last powerful liberal president was LBJ, and look what happened to him.

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

We could also give awards for different category of loaves.

Most runny.

Firmest.

Brownest.

Largest.

Best Creases and Lines.

Variety of Color.

I would be open to anyone coming up with whatever category they feel best describes the aformentioned loaf.

This is going to be exciting.

MadisonMan said...

There are many bad ways this experiment could turn out.

Tibore, you are conflating myspace with facebook.

Marcia said...

The President should be worried about "Obama fatigue." Clearly he is not, if he thinks its a good idea to increase his media exposure (which is unprecendented as it is). Which means he must believe himself to be a transcendent figure, not subject to the rules that apply to any other celebrity or politician.

I have a hard time believing people can maintain this level of hero worship for four years.

traditionalguy said...

The use of new communication tools is going to happen. The loyal opposition just needs to catch up and use those tools better. The DANGER lies in Obamas' capability to filter out all opposition views with a little help from his Google Friends. In war strategy the first rule is to plan to be able to defend from the enemy's capabilities, Not just his "intentions",which you can never really discern until it's too late. So lets go Repubs, get into the game and rally around a leader like Gov. Palin. Waiting and seeing is using the Pearl Harbor defensive plan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Did you notice Organizing for America, OFA, is a partial anagram for LOAF?

OR if you add a Y at the end....

Wacist!!!

The Drill SGT said...

“This is not a political campaign,” Mr. Plouffe said. “This is not a ‘call or e-mail your member of Congress’ organization.”

Yeah, right. and I have some risk free mortgage backed securities earning 20% to sell you as well.

- Besides the direct Protestant model: e.g.

The One to Many model

- I expect they will deploy the indirect Catholic model as well.

The One to Astro turf community groups to the masses.

- Expect the community groups(e.g. ACORN clones) to also have their hands in the grant till when The One deploys the Manditory Volunteer Service Corps (only approved progessive causes need apply. we don't need no war mongering JROTC or gay bashing Boy Scouts)

TitusInTheNameofLoveYeah said...

Funny Story.

I just stepped away from my computer to Pinch a Loaf just at the time I was writing about Pinching a Loaf.

How ironic is that?

TosaGuy said...

Not everyone is wired into these things. Sure, Obama's base is, but what about the millions of others who have jobs or lifestyles where they don't have time or the urge to blog, twitter, facebook, text, etc. Could backfire and provide a false or insulated sense of popularity. Chances are that he will only be singing to the choir instead of talking to all Americans.

Patm said...

Althouse says "this is the sort of thing George Bush should have done."

If Bush had done this, it would feed into the whole "he's a nazi, he's a fascist" narrative - the baseless charge that the left was so in love with. Except - had Bush done it - it would have been, for once, an accurate charge.

But Obama's bringing the fascism, so it's all gonna be happy times and "smart" politics as far as the press and the dems are concerned. Nope, no fascism here!

I don't like this at all. In less than a week Obama has turned me from 'guarded but hopeful' to 'full-on wary' about him. I'm heading into 'maybe I don't like this dude at all...'

DBrooks17 said...

"I have a hard time believing people can maintain this level of hero worship for four years."

As is said, "Familiarity breeds contempt." Will Absolute Familiarity breed Absolute Contempt?

AllenS said...

"I have a hard time believing people can maintain this level of hero worship for four years."

Well, we just watched eight years of hate.

SteveR said...

Talking about the social networking sites one evening with my kids, I had an AARP moment and called it "My Face". Ha Ha Ha as in "you are in My Face Book"

Well this idea is trying to hang onto cool. Whenever the "system" co-opts these kind of things, they lose cred. About the time people over a certain age figured out email, younger folks had moved onto texting, etc etc. My 18 year old treats email like I do USPS.

Kind of creepy too.

chuck b. said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but didn't Ronald Reagan have his a Christian army backing him up too? What if Obama's army was anti-abortion, anti-tax, pro-school choice, pro-whatever else... Would that still be a bad thing for many of you? I don't see why it would be. Or even should be.

chuck b. said...

I haven't pinched a loaf yet. (Unless you count my blog comment.)

Nothing to report.

Henry said...

Chuck b. -- Right on.

The only thing new is the branding.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you think that Big Brother is not watching you....there is this

Scared yet?

I'm with PatM on this issue.

I don't like this at all. In less than a week Obama has turned me from 'guarded but hopeful' to 'full-on wary' about him. I'm heading into 'maybe I don't like this dude at all...'

Imagine if Bush had set up a monitoring system like this one. Remember the screaming temper tantrums on the left about the monitoring of communication traffic in order to track down terrorists? They weren't even "listening" in on the conversations, just monitoring traffic in order to be able to focus on where to begin looking for terrorists and to THEN ask for a warrant to actually wire tap and listen to conversation.

How is this new and improved program any different? Oh Ohh Ooooh.....I know. It is sanctioned by Democrats and by "THE ONE" instead of the evil Bush-Hitler. With the exception that this program isn't looking for terrorists, just monitoring "everything" that private citizens do on the Internet,it's basically the same.

Again....a rose is a rose is a rose and we are getting another stinky bouquet.

Paul Zrimsek said...

How cute! A proto-Komsomol!

A good word for this sort of thing would be Castroturfing.

EDH said...

But Obama's bringing the fascism, so it's all gonna be happy times and "smart" politics as far as the press and the dems are concerned. Nope, no fascism here!

We'll have to listen to what Jonah Goldberg's critics have to say, won't we?

Crimso said...

"I have a hard time believing people can maintain this level of hero worship for four years."

Orwell showed us the way.

commenter said...

so i can be expecting some connection to some kind of internet tax soon?

MadisonMan said...

Well, we just watched eight years of hate.

I also saw 8 years of blinders-on denialism.

It hasn't evolved to that, yet, I don't think, with Obama, with all the players reversed. But it's getting there.

Clyde said...

@Titus

President Obama's loaf count was five, with two fishes...

Simon said...

Titus, would you mind kindly shutting the fuck up? Good God, man, give it a rest. A couple of comments is one thing; ongoing erbal diarrhea is quite another.

PogoПОССУМ said...

Is чудесный, wonderful, this Obama. Fast he learns.

What could be wrong with control of press?

Simon said...

Paul - LOL. Nice.

David said...
"The MSM are (is?) going to be pissed to be marginalized, and this could hurt O's worshipful coverage."

If the campaign taught us anything, it's that the ability of those who are in love with Obama to find ways to rationalize absolutely anything he does, no matter how at odds with what he has said before and what they themselves believe. Any other politician who had behaved that way on public funding would have been run out of town on a rail, but no, it was rationalized away.

Simon said...

PogoПОССУМ - увы, да. В времени, Oбама пошлет нас все к ГУЛАГ.

commenter said...

excuse me, it won't be an internet tax. it will be a digital tax as tv turns over to digital in february. The lines between tv and internet blurring more and more and we get another media fee.

with all the recent push to sign me up for services in watching movie watching, program watching, music listening and now with intermittent interuptions from the white house.

well, i see where this could be heading with another fee and tax added on.

remember when we all used to say... too much crap in all these packages. gee if only i don't have to subscribe to all this stuff and i can just get what i want to see.

ahh, but the packages are all so enticing and they'll come adorned with this new government service.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama should be wary of being viewed as the establishment. It will destroy his starry-eyed base and make being a conservative cool.

k*thy said...

I’m with Henry, on this. It seems to be just a new media to stay in touch with supporters. I suspect that as you drill down through to each new level of commitment or participation, the numbers will drop off precipitately. As with any media, it loses all control of the message once it’s in the hands of the recipient. Of the 13M receiving updates, how many will take up a call to action, minus those who have already started ignoring their emails, FB comments and tweets? In the end, the grassroots will be carrying the weight, and yes, aren’t too willing to compromise. Chill.

vbspurs said...

I don't think it's going to work. How does Obama wipe lint off of his shoulder and give the bird on Twitter?

dannyboy said...

Barrack Hussein Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

vbspurs said...

Let's talk loaves.

I'm kinda glad Obama won because this would've been McCain's first presidential tweet.

MadisonMan said...

Does going straight to the public work if the message is crappy? Witness Rod Blagojevich. Sure, there's this big media blitz...but is the public listening?

I want to ask that if he's willing to avoid the trial by appealing to the public, will he accept incarceration if that's what most of the public wants?

Comparisons to the Soviets don't quite make it, IMO. Russians had a long history of servitude. Is listening to the Govt and believing it part of their culture? More than it is here. Can anyone think that Americans like to be told what to think/do, or that they have a history of doing what they're told to think? Certainly it doesn't stop the Government from trying, but the American mindset is distinctly leave-me-along and let me do my own thing.

Pogo said...

Comparisons to the Soviets don't quite make it, IMO.

True.
We'll probably knuckle under to authoritarianism much like the Brits have.

vbspurs said...

Would that still be a bad thing for many of you?

Can't speak for everyone, but quasi-civilian militias are creepy, no matter who is doing it.

Inherent in your argument is that all right-wing people liked being part of Reagan's "Christian" army, or condoned it.

I think there is a fine line between individual enthusiasm given shared causes, which is what Obama had in the campaign, to a national leader directing his followers to do his bidding in an avalanche of online directives.

And Obama has one foot over the digital brownshirt line.

Cheers,
Victoria

amba said...

DBQ, you beat me to it with the "Y."

Official anythings are so lame and unspontaneous and boring and cleaned-up and sterile, this will go nowhere. Some suck-ups who are naïve enough to believe this gives them personal contact with the president will hang out there.

America has a wonderful anarchic streak. It will not be Organized! (I came to appreciate this when I stepped out into the street to hail a cab once in Germany. The cabs were all identical, spotless tan Mercedeses, and several citizens descended on me angily and made it clear that I had to stand meekly in a certain spot and wait for the next cab in line to come to me in that spot. I was so proud to be an American,and specifically a New Yorker, where hooking up with a cab is a cross between a football scrum and a drag race.

garage mahal said...

Imagine if Bush had set up a monitoring system like this one

You're a little late to the party. But I'd be more concerned with actual eavesdropping than, say, cookies in your browser. Spying on Americans is now legal, did you miss this?

MadisonMan said...

Well, Pogo, the brits have this culture/history thing of listening too much to their government, and believing it, as well. Your opinion of the ability of Americans to bridle against being told what to do is too low, IMO.

Joe said...

The last powerful liberal president was LBJ, and look what happened to him.

How is that comparison apt? LBJ was caught up in an un-winnable war in a totally irrelevant part of the world that nobody gave a shit about...

Never mind.

vbspurs said...

Some suck-ups who are naïve enough to believe this gives them personal contact with the president will hang out there.

Yes, I'm guessing the over 8 million who signed up for the VP text message are part of those "suck up"s.

The problem with this kind of thinking, not that I dislike its rational tone, is that you don't need all the people to foment radical change. You need one charismatic leader who gains power, a committed and talented staff, unscrupulous associates and resentful underlings.

The stars. They are aligning.

Bender said...

One more loud peal in the death knell of the MSM. The MSM are (is?) going to be pissed to be marginalized

That's doubtful -- they're all part of the same team.

Pravda has long been run by the Party, just as the government is now run by the Party.

Can't speak for everyone, but quasi-civilian militias are creepy, no matter who is doing it.

I hope you mean that quasi-political paramilitary organizations are creepy, Victoria. "Militias" are, by definition, quasi-civilian, an armed populace ready to defend against all threats, including those threats posed by the government (e.g. the British subjects of the colony of Massachusetts rising up militarily against the then-government and his army). Quasi-political paramilitary organizations, like the SA and the SS, on the other hand, are of the same strain, even if more extreme, of what Obama is pushing.

Pogo said...

...the brits have this culture/history thing of listening too much to their government, and believing it...

Americans have a culture/history of voting for their own fetters, and believing this to be wise.

Not 1984 but Brave New World.

BJM said...

Is this not domestic surveillance wrapped in a warm and fuzzy web interface? Where are the critics?

Google is tracking and data mining WH dot gov web visitors.

"In a post for CNET yesterday, privacy expert Chris Soghoian revealed that President Obama’s White House “has quietly exempted YouTube from strict rules relating to the use of cookies on federal agency Web sites.” Federal rules prohibit the use of what are called “persistent cookies,” that can track an online users activities and behavior. Soghoian cites the new White House privacy policy that states, “A waiver has been issued by the White House Counsel’s office to allow for the use of this persistent cookie.” Google’s YouTube received this exemption, notes the White House site, “to help maintain the integrity of video statistics.”

BTW- How are Google and others obtaining govt business without bidding?

vbspurs said...

Picky, picky Bender! ;)

Yes, that's it. I wanted to differentiate between the spirit of the enterprise rather than the actuality of massing together in camps, etc.

Obama is an American, and thus culturally unable to use what all tinpot dictators use when rallying their troops together. Uniforms, logos and salutes.

So frankly, unless he encourages doing this as part of his agenda, most Americans won't be alarmed.

(And please note for the terminally obtuse, I'm not implying he's a tinpot dictator)

Simon said...

vbspurs said...
"[Y]ou don't need all the people to foment radical change. You need one charismatic leader who gains power, a committed and talented staff, unscrupulous associates and resentful underlings. ¶ The stars. They are aligning."

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." The idiocy of voting for "change" is its amorphousness: he promised change, not that it would be change for the better.

vbspurs said...

OMG, ROTFL @ OAF!

Oh, God, I thought it was a misspelling, and you were talking about your morning oaf, Ron.

They'll say that "Organizing for America" or OAF, beats The Campaign for the Re-election of the President, CREEP, anyday.

dick said...

Will this be subject to the Presidential Records Keeping Act or will these be a way to short circuit the whole mechanism of holding the prez to the rigid standards they are trying to in the legislation about emails. Do not like this one little bit. Really seems too Orwellian Big Brother to me.

John said...

"Could backfire and provide a false or insulated sense of popularity."

That is exactly what is going to happen. The nitwit left was convinced they were going to win in 2004 because the only people they ever saw or spoke to was one another. The idea that a bunch of nitwit Obama bots are going to go out and change public opinion on this or that issue is laughable. At best they can ride the wave and follow public opinion that is already favorable. But if the wave turns, no amount of texting and twittering is going to change it.

It is funny how the left thiks. They really believe that people are morons. Take their obsession with talk radio. They really think that people wouldn't believe in small government and freedom if only they didn't that evil Rush Limbaugh out poisoning their minds. They also believe that people would buy what they have to sell if only they were told the truth. yeah right.

vbspurs said...

The idea that a bunch of nitwit Obama bots are going to go out and change public opinion on this or that issue is laughable.

John, real Leftists don't care about grown-ups. Well, except for Useful Idiots, who will frogmarch to whatever they say.

No. They do what they do for the long haul, to get the next generation. They want the kids.

So if you see "Sign up to participate in Democracy!" posters around grade schools, or teachers of a sudden deciding it makes for a good class project, then worry.

John said...

"No. They do what they do for the long haul, to get the next generation. They want the kids."

True enough. It is always about coming for your kids.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Sounds like Obama is going to spend so much time planning and organizing, he won't have any time to actually do anything. Maybe this is a good thing. But he also has his "gym time" and his "family time" and I wonder which will suffer. What I really hate is the possibilty he might burn himself out. Rooky mistake that.

The Drill SGT said...

Will this be subject to the Presidential Records Keeping Act or will these be a way to short circuit the whole mechanism of holding the prez to the rigid standards they are trying to in the legislation about emails. Do not like this one little bit. Really seems too Orwellian Big Brother to me.


they will try to have this both ways.

1. they will run part of the propaganda apparatus from WH.gov and offload the tracking to google/youtube

2. the rest of the propaganda is going to the DNC where all th email lists nd secret contributor lists will be kept.

3. then they will claim that neither of these things is in anyway connected to President Obama and therefore not subject to any record keeping requirements even as WH.gov is used

BJM said...

Pogo said: True.
We'll probably knuckle under to authoritarianism much like the Brits have.


Exactly, the coach of the 100-0 basketball team has been fired, for winning and hurting the losers feelings.

I call bullshit.

My high school football team lost a game 69-0. The humiliation made us more determined to win and we won the division and 6 straight championships.

We're producing a nation of wussies who will not have the will to defend themselves or compete in the world.

PatCA said...

"Mr. Obama’s aides emphasized that the effort was not created to lobby directly or pressure members of Congress to support Mr. Obama’s programs."

No, that would be his other organization, usaservice.org, which will organization people to harass their legislators (and their friends and families) to vote for O's polities.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Meanwhile, at the White House, there is a 'new media' director, Macon Phillips. He's redesigned the White House website, which 'will be continually updated to add presidential orders and blog postings that make the case for administration policy, often echoed by talking points that Organizing for America is sending to supporters.'"

I'm going to miss the Christmas Barney videos, cheesy though they were. Wonder if the Obamas' new dog will do videos?

TitusGoAskAlice said...

I can't wait to hear what Rush has to say this.

Rush will be all over this.

Rush is da man.

Rush for president 2012.

Shanna said...

So frankly, unless he encourages doing this as part of his agenda, most Americans won't be alarmed.

They did that for Obama on America's Best Dance Crew last week, but they do symbols for every crew, so that doesn't mean normal people will do it.

Shanna said...

As for this stuff on WH.gov...do people actually go to that website for any reason (unless they need tourist tickets)? I don't see that it's going to matter if nobody gives a shit.

Obama is just using this "tacking it to the people" BS to do what he wants and pretend like the american people have told him to. Whatever.

reader_iam said...

Quite concidentally, today in homeschooling we are starting a unit on fact vs. opinion. I kid you not.

LOL.

commenter said...

C'mon this would have happened either way.

even if you voted for the lesser of two evils, you still voted for evil?

i learned from experience , you just can't cry date rape afterwards no matter how much it hurts. No one is going to listen.

Now a commercial interruption not for "hope", but for "don't worry too much."

Don't worry at least 45% didn't vote. we chose to ignore "evil" and "the lesser of two evils. We are the larger force.

JAL said...

MadisonMan: [quoting] Well, we just watched eight years of hate.

MM then comments: I also saw 8 years of blinders-on denialism.

It hasn't evolved to that, yet, I don't think, with Obama, with all the players reversed. But it's getting there.


It is clear that you somehow you missed the flak President Bush was getting from "His Team."

I saw disagreement among the Bush voters all throughout the eight years... While some on the left might take credit, perhaps thinking the disagreement was "the reality community" (ha! That has always struck me as bizarre) the truth is there should be disagreement among civilized people even within a party. It's ok. It's healthy.

But the issue here isn't the screening of patterns in millions of phone calls. It is collecting information on individuals who choose to visit the White House site, and gives that program access to those surfers' info. That is not generic patterns, that is the Federal government, not Amazon tracking my shopping habits.

To violate citizens privacy “to help maintain the integrity of video statistics” flies all over me. Since when are video statistics more important than the Bill of Rights?

And to specifically exempt Google ... mmmmmm

I think I might request my Senators and Representative to request the White House put a disclaimer on a splash screen before anyone enters the WH website:

Your internet movements on this computer are being collected and saved for possible review, courtesy of Google and YouTube, and per order of the administration of President Obama (D).

Think that will fly?

How many reporters want to be tracked? Or are they exempt with a special secret password?

JAL said...

Err... Vic --

Obama is an American, and thus culturally unable to use what all tinpot dictators use when rallying their troops together. Uniforms, logos and salutes.

Remember the kids in camo singing and saluting?

http://campobama.blogspot.com/

http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/540781,CST-NWS-camp04.article
(Takeaway line: "The next tip is to be absolutely ruthless.")

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=307928498550592

Google Camp Obama

vbspurs said...

Quite concidentally, today in homeschooling we are starting a unit on fact vs. opinion. I kid you not.

LOL.


In future, we won't need homeschooling after following Kommissar Nancy Pelosi's injunction to have less children. It's good for the economy, you see.

vbspurs said...

Google Camp Obama

Sometimes, JAL, I let others make my point, 'cause then I get to link to a past post on the very topic.

Bob said...

So Obama uses this to text or tweet one of his advisors. Does that not break the Presidential Record Keeping Act? I seem to remember a dustup over emails Rove sent or received using a RNC account. How is the DNC hosted system proposed by Obama not essentially the same as RNC hosted system Rove utilized? Ah, never mind.

m00se said...

Two things...

1. How does this differ from the Bush administration paying bloggers for favorable posts? that light up the left for some time.

2. To truly maintain a "party" in the Soviet and Nazi sense, you rarely want to any substantial part of the populace as part of the inner cadre, so to speak. Obama's message will be for the party faithful, and he will use this conduit to circumvent the nomral process of the media questioning the message.

If this doesnt make Maher and Stewart stand up and throw pooh at Obama, they can clearly be written off. This is the worst sort of backchannel manipulation I've ever seen.

Kirk Parker said...

"Obama wants to turn his ... organization ... into an instrument of government."

"... the traditional ways of communicating with and motivating voters are giving way to new channels built around social networking"

Wow, the conflation between campaigning and governing here is downright terrifying God help us if it's Obama himself doing the conflating rather than the press or some 20-something campaign worker.

Nichevo said...

Happy now, Anneleh?

Christy said...

Amba, I read with amazement your account of German Taxis. In German ski lift lines it is every man for himself. I thought it quite rude but then decided my superior knowledge of physics gave me an advantage in knocking people out of the way and embraced the scramble. (Only half kidding)

Surely I am not the only one here to have been invited to participate in one of these groups? I declined because I didn't want to be the contrarian in the group (and I was out of town at the time and not coming back soon.) Still I couldn't help but respect the fact that she had invited someone she had been arguing with for the past 8 years about policy. Was Obama encouraging his minions to reach out? Still and all, this was a health care group and I understand one of her participants is an avid and vocal non-vaccinator. So I'm glad for the state of my health and blood pressure I didn't participate. Did I miss a grand opportunity to a part of an important new movement? I think not.

MadisonMan said...

It is clear that you somehow you missed the flak President Bush was getting from "His Team."

It is clear you added the word only to my statement. I didn't use it.

davod said...

Obama previously talked about a civilian defense force with as many people and as much funding as the Department of Defense.

Much of the funding to come from a reduced defense budget.

How quickly can you make a list of countries that went bad because of a political party or leader with its own militarized civil organization.

Revenant said...

I don't see this as cause for much alarm. It sounds to me like he's setting up an official echo chamber for his followers to live in.

The other 287 million of us will be on the outside of said chamber, talking to one another.

Simon said...

vbspurs said...
"Obama is an American, and thus culturally unable to use what all tinpot dictators use when rallying their troops together. Uniforms, logos and salutes."

Obama salute. Obama logo. Obama crest. As for uniforms - do bumper stickers count?

Tibore said...

"Tibore, you are conflating myspace with facebook."

Oh, duh, yes, you're right. Guilty.

Bender said...

Exactly, the coach of the 100-0 basketball team has been fired, for winning and hurting the losers feelings. I call bullshit.

This is off-topic, but there is no need to call that. The school administration only did exactly what that coach did.

He and the team had the power to impose its will on the other team and destroy it, and they did.

The school administration had the power to impose its will and destroy the coach, and it did.

The team was "within its rights" to run up the score, and the school is within its rights to fire his ass.

Palladian said...

Here's a photograph of official White House™ New Media Director, Macon Phillips back when he was working on the Ned Lamont campaign. Remember Ned Lamont? The New Media candidate chosen by the "net roots" people as their new toy after they failed so miserably with Howard Dean? The government is now filled with these pasty hipster dorks. These are the people that are going to Change America™. These are the people that are going to be steering the direction of our lives for the next 8-10 years. Don't you feel better? I do. I really want my government to Twitter on my dime.

Here's Macon and his friends in another photograph taken back when they were "kickin' ass" for Ned Lamont. Let's hope they all "kick ass" for America like they "kicked ass" for Lamont.

Palladian said...

I can't look at the "Obama salute" without thinking of goatse. I'm not going to link to goatse. If you don't know what goatse is, I suggest you be extremely cautious before you decide to do a google image search for it.

vbspurs said...

Obama salute. Obama logo. Obama crest.

Good job, young grasshopper.

It's just lacking a coordinated effort to bring all these shibboleths together under one movement.

As for uniforms - do bumper stickers count?

Which puts one to mind what colour they would choose for "Obama Nation" uniforms.

I say silver.

vbspurs said...

I suggest you be extremely cautious before you decide to do a google image search for it.

Holy chopsticks! Palladian that was not warning enough!

Palladian said...

Sorry Victoria. There's a Flickr Group where people post photographs of other people's reactions to seeing goatse for the first time. Very funny.

Pogo said...

There are fewer than 6 degrees of separation of Obamanation and goatse.

traditionalguy said...

I recall visiting an aquarium and being facinated by the floating, wispy, dilicate, living jellyfish exhibits of beautiful and many truly ancient species. Try 300,000,000 years for hanging around time.The exhibit mentioned that three qualities are sine qua non for any organism to survive:(1)The ability to find food, (2) the ability to reproduce in sufficient numbers, and (3) the ability to defend itself. Thinking our being about the world's favorite hate target (the "great satan with its evil Presidents") made me notice that we are always being asked to make amends for our crime of success by giving up first(3), and then (2) and soon (1). We are told we must turn over our Military, and stop polluting the world's air with our babies and our livestock. We will have to aquiese in these demands when our money supply has turned to World Bank money and our Co2 quota has been lowered by world climate change tzars. I have one Big question. Whose side are these Obamacrats on? I personally think the Obamacrats are all living in a delusion. Somebody has to break their spell no matter how risky it seems to be to challenge this charming Black President and his news media.

BJM said...

Shanna said...

As for this stuff on WH.gov...do people actually go to that website for any reason (unless they need tourist tickets)? I don't see that it's going to matter if nobody gives a shit.

I think it matters a great deal given that Google caved to the Chinese govt and has it's tentacles in everything on the web. It's not too far fetched to imagine opposition site visitors being covertly tracked by an organization with WH access.

Which for some reason reminds me of the Far Side cartoon "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

vbspurs said...

Palladian wrote:

Sorry Victoria. There's a Flickr Group where people post photographs of other people's reactions to seeing goatse for the first time. Very funny.

Bloody hell, man. I'm still in shock. That Flickr set of photos has at least one that resembled my face.

Although I must say, you could easily say the same about viewing the people looking at goatke.

Ay

Eek

Man or woman?

vbspurs said...

LOL! Insider goatse (not goatke sorry) humour.

PJ said...

No no, That's backwards or at least onesided. There needs to be an army of youtube supporters texting each other and their neighbors and then shaping his opinion.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"I can't look at the 'Obama salute' without thinking of goatse."

Seems perfectly apt to me, then.

Kev said...

I don't like this at all. In less than a week Obama has turned me from 'guarded but hopeful' to 'full-on wary' about him. I'm heading into 'maybe I don't like this dude at all...'

I'm about to join your club there, PatM and DBQ. Go ahead and fit me for the secret decoder ring if you want...

AlphaLiberal said...

Free association, baby.

Jason said...

I, for one, welcome our new libtard overlords!

commenter said...

I wrote this about obama back in May 2008 on an advertising blog.

Here's the thing a more decisive eye will notice about Obama. He's reactionary to everything. It's quick reactionary but a quick eye notices the lag. He must have a million feelers [meaning lackeys] out there assessing the situations, then he comes back with an action or speech that is profound. But the person who sees in nano seconds doesn't need the instant replay in 3-d perspective screening to notice the lag.
He's good, like the race horses today are good. But still there's some question in my mind if the questions that apply to the recent Ky Derby horse breeding and racing don't apply to this presidential race, too. Who knows? It could be [what] America wants and needs. I really don't see any profound change on my life if any of the three win. I am not a betting woman, anyway, so don't take my advice.

In October when i went to vote early because all of a sudden I got this surge of duty in me, how important it was. There was a long line and my plane was leaving so i didn't have time. Then i remembered what I wrote back in July of 2007 concerning these stupid youtube videos that were taking over the internets psyche.

Ahh, the jerry springer affect solicited from some old lady craving attention. Superb.
Well, I used to think voting was important, every voice had to be heard.
Then I considered myself ill informed, and I postured that voting for the wrong person is worse than not voting at all.
Reluctantly, I continued to vote for who I thought was right, aka vote my conscious, but they never won. I came to the assumption that voting never changes anything and may as well be forbidden or rigged.
After seeing this, I gather that we are in a brand new phase of voting. It may have numbed our minds, but not our nuts.

I think that word brand and race are all over today. but don't take my word for it.