How Obama Is Threatening People's Money And Why It's Important For Democracy


cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

rikyrah just told me she thought my last post about the Ohio debate should not have hidden the article I referenced in the end. I agree. Much of my case for Obama rests on his premise that "activating the civic gene in Americans" (my term) is ultimately what's necessary to solve our biggest problems.

Ok, sounds good. But where he differs is in offering the tools to realize that engaged public. You can find it in his technology plan and government transparency initiatives. Any politician can "talk" about getting citizens engaged, but it's a rare one who also promises to provide the tools of said engagement.



So that's two points.

1) he talks about increased transparency and civic engagement
2) he promises to offer the tools to make that engagement effective

But wait, there's more. He has already delivered on this idea in the financing of his campaign. That's where this article by Robert Parry comes in. Parry explains the significance of Obama's non-traditional financial support. Obama is beholden to the people. Hillary is beholden to more established, moneyed interests.

The more I think on it, the more significance this point makes. Go back to the piece I wrote where I discussed the compromises all ascending politicians make by necessity and the concept of "who does Obama owe?" Well, increasingly, he owes us.

But read on, and check this excerpt:
While some cynics still view Barack Obama’s appeal for “change” as empty rhetoric, it’s starting to dawn on Washington insiders that his ability to raise vast sums of money from nearly one million mostly small donors could shake the grip that special-interest money has long held over the U.S. government.

This spreading realization that Obama’s political movement might represent a more revolutionary change than previously understood is sparking a deepening resistance among defenders of the status quo – and prompting harsher attacks on Obama.

Right now, the front line for the Washington Establishment is Hillary Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign, which has been stunned by Obama’s political skills as well as his extraordinary ability to raise money over the Internet. Obama’s grassroots donations have negated Clinton’s prodigious fundraising advantage with big donors.

Powerful lobbies – from AIPAC to representatives of military and other industries – also are recognizing the value of keeping their dominance over campaign cash from getting diluted by Obama’s deep reservoir of small donors. It’s in their direct interest to dent Obama’s momentum and demoralize his rank-and-file supporters as soon as possible.

Money rules the world. If the money is increasingly from the people, then we have a shot at actually getting a seat at the table. It's not just talk. It's not just promises. It's the real deal.

If you want to add to the donor pool, go right ahead. It's a good investment.

Fired Up!