Psst: Know any good organizers?
February 23, 2011 - 12:35 pm
This summer, Organizing for America will train a new team of summer organizers. The Summer Organizing Fellowship is a grassroots program that aims to put boots on the ground and help foster a new generation of leaders — not just to help win elections, but to strengthen our democracy in communities across the country.
“Boots on the ground…strengthen our democracy.” And “not just to help win elections.” For what, then? OfA is, after all, part of the Democratic National Committee, and therefore wholly partisan.
It’s for the “agenda,” man.
They will be trained in the basic principles that have always built and powered effective grassroots movements, and will be assigned to a specific community where they’ll work to organize supporters street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. They’ll recruit volunteers, run events, knock on doors, and do what it takes to support the President’s agenda. And, in the end, their work will take our grassroots power to an impressive new level.
Street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, do what it takes… This brings two things to mind.
One, Obama’s “civilian national security force” from the ’08 campaign. Has he ever explained what on earth he was talking about?
And two, Stanley Kurtz’s book, Radical-In-Chief, in which he exposes community organizing for what it is: the vanguard of socialist street activity. It looks like OfA is taking the Midwest Academy’s tactics national, permanently.
The organizer recruiting email finishes on a futuristic flourish:
Successful movements have always been built and grown by ordinary people who take responsibility for organizing their fellow citizens to make their voices heard. We’re looking for folks who are ready to work hard to support the President’s agenda and lay new groundwork to carry this movement forward for years to come.
That “organizing their fellow citizens” bit carries more than a whiff of strong-arming people, or whipping them up to push grievances. Hey, you do have to get out on the streets and “get a little bloody,” right? OfA wants these new recruits to “lay new groundwork to carry this movement forward for years to come.” What “movement,” and how many years? Worst case, Obama’s presidency is over in 2017. Right?
Andrew Malcolm blogs that this email recruiting drive comes off as militaristic, and I have to agree.