The Permanent Campaign Hasn’t Ended

In The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama criticized President Bush for being a partisan and running a permanent political campaign following his re-election in 2004:

Maybe peace would have broken out with a different kind of White House, one less committed to waging a perpetual campaign–a White House that would see a 51-48 victory as a call to humility and compromise rather than an irrefutable mandate.

The ironies are thick. Obama, too, was re-elected by a 51-48 margin, but certainly hasn’t seen that fact as a “call to humility and compromise,” nor has the Democratic Party. Moreover, Bush genuinely sought bipartisanship, and it is Obama who knows no higher calling than extreme partisanship. So if you thought the campaign was over, you’ve got another think coming.

Today I received this email from

Subject: Time to go shopping?

Dear MoveOn member,

We won!

We worked hard, and it wasn’t easy, but we all pulled together and President Obama won re-election, and Elizabeth Warren will be in the Senate.

They’ll take it from here, and we can go shopping and enjoy the holidays.

Wait! What??? Didn’t we learn anything last time!!!!

Progressives have all the momentum after last week’s election—and the President’s leading the charge to put an end to the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and to protect the middle class and poor from cuts.

Note how seamlessly the far-left activist base has picked up on Obama’s shift from 1% to 2%.

But to win we’re going to have to stay totally mobilized—online, on the ground, and in the media—to train our fire on Republicans for being intransigent on keeping tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires AND to organize Democrats to stand up against benefit cuts to the programs that built the middle class.

“Train their fire on Republicans”? Isn’t that an incitement to violence? I’m confused…

Also, I was under the impression that good-paying jobs in the private economy built the middle class, not government programs.

That’s why we’ve come up with a plan to win this Fiscal Showdown. It starts with immediately redeploying the grassroots army we built for the election. But to do it, we’ll need to raise $350,000 right now. Can you pitch in?
Can you contribute $5 to make it happen?

So what are they going to do with the money? They don’t really say:

Here’s what we have planned:

1. Hold Republicans accountable for taking the American people hostage while they push an extreme agenda—continued tax breaks for their friends: millionaires, billionaires, and corporate CEOs.

2. Fight to make sure the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire on time. After years of waiting for the rich to pay their fair share, we’ll demand it happens on January 1—no excuses, no delays.

Actually, the top 2% pay around double their fair share currently. No one outside the top 10% pays his or her fair share, if you believe that income should be taxed equally, regardless of who earns it.

3. Run an all-hands-on-deck campaign to make sure every Member of Congress knows any deal that extends the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% or cuts benefits under Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security is a non-starter.

    Can you contribute $5 to fund this Fiscal Showdown?

These next six weeks are going to be a defining moment for the next four years. If we can keep the momentum from last week’s election going and break through the Republican intransigence, there’s no telling how much change we’ll be able to make going forward.

Thanks for all you do.

So, fasten your seat belt. The Democrats’ appetite for political combat has only been whetted.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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