Obama’s Failing Emails

| 10/12/2011 11:34:09 AM

bill-mckibben-utne-visionaryThis post originally appeared at TomDispatch.


For connoisseurs, Barack Obama’s fundraising emails for the 2012 election campaign seem just a tad forlorn -- slightly limp reminders of the last time ‘round.

Four years ago at this time, the early adopters among us were just starting to get used to the regular flow of email from the Obama campaign. The missives were actually exciting to get, because they seemed less like appeals for money than a chance to join a movement.

Sometimes they came with inspirational videos from Camp Obama, especially the volunteer training sessions staged by organizing guru Marshall Ganz. Here’s a favorite of mine, where a woman invokes Bobby Kennedy and Cesar Chavez and says that, as the weekend went on, she “felt her heart softening,” her cynicism “melting,” her determination building. I remember that feeling, and I remember clicking time and again to send another $50 off to fund that people-powered mission. (And I recall knocking on a lot of New Hampshire doors, too, with my 14-year-old daughter.)

It’s no wonder, then, that I’m still on the email list. But I haven’t been clicking through this time. Not even when Barack Obama himself asked me to “donate $75 or more today to be automatically entered for a chance to join me for dinner.” Not even when campaign manager Jim Messina pointed out that, though “the president has very little time to spend on anything related to the campaign… this is how he chooses to spend it -- having real, substantive conversations with people like you” over the dinner you might just win. (And if you do win, you’ll be put on a plane to “Washington, or Chicago, or wherever he might be that day.”)

richard dye
10/30/2011 1:47:37 PM

I'm not an American....I'm not a democrat, I'm not a republican....for obvious reasons, I never will be. I'm at such a loss though, just as I was in 2008, when I hear things like Bill Mckibben has written here. I understand there was a nonsensical wave of enthusiasm...and psychology tells us just how powerful such social psychology is....but for the life of me! Bill, you seem like a thoughtful and honest man. Yet...how could you not know that Obama was getting funding from big corporations....wall street...big oil...big pharma....more than....well any candidate I remember? It was being reported, albeit, not prominently in your ultra-liberal media. He was so far into their pockets...he owed them big-time...and it has paid off for them. His functionally-useless spending has at least paid back many favors. Anyhow, I felt then, that you had voted in the most incompetent president of my lifetime...and I'm am sincerely saddened to be proven right. His foreign policy, economic policy, environmental policy....just about every aspect of his presidency has been horribly mismanaged....and above all that, he doesn't know how to get anything done politically...instead turning everything into posturing and grandstanding. We (and by that I mean the whole world) are paying the price. I'm sorry, but you, and everyone else who voted for him, were, and I know this sounds harsh, scammed. Period.

10/18/2011 1:45:11 PM

Yes, the man's sad, yes, there's no-one better, but recall that you didn't vote for him alone, but (as his message hinted) YOU were the people you were waiting for. So what now? Occupy Wall St is your forum now—use it. The few dollars or euros you have are your daily votes to cast and withhold, far more than revocable formalities each 2 or 4 years. And all this, the Arab Spring, the European urban upheavals, the Occupiers, are a long 2011 prelude rising to a crescendo as a positive Shock galvanizes the world. Don’t wait and see, WORK and see! Take a new version of Pascal’s wager and bet on a better future—you have nothing to lose but More Of The Same!

10/17/2011 11:03:33 AM

Sure Obama has been disappointing, but not near as disappointing as his competition. He has done a decent job considering the opposition, and he may be at last long learning to fight. Community organizers instill leadership in their communities so they own the changes that occur and are willing to fight for them. He did not seem to realize fully in the beginning that Americans need someone to blame for their own inaction. So go ahead and bite off your nose to spite your face, and end up with a Tea Party obstructionist. That's what you voted into the House and that appears what you will be getting more of.

Facebook Instagram Twitter