Organizing For America Targets GOP On Health Care: Why Not Blue Dogs?
We’re starting to see an iota of pressure — at least symbolic pressure — exerted by President Obama’s powerful and popular campaign arm, ‘Organizing for America,’ on the health care reform front. Now housed within the Democratic National Committee, the group hopes to mobilize their once-energized members.
The Times reports that yesterday the group emailed 13 million who registered in support of Obama’s Presidential campaign, urging them “to descend on the offices of the 32 Republican House members who represent districts that voted for Mr. Obama in 2008, but who also voted against health care legislation in the House on Saturday”:
In the e-mail, Mitch Stewart, the director of Organizing for America, encourages Obama supporters to tell these Republicans to get with the health care program or they may be booted out of office.
The Republican representatives, the message says, “must understand that caving to the well-heeled lobbyists in D.C. has consequences at the ballot box back home.” […]
“This is not about confrontation,” the e-mail message reassures recipients. “It’s simply about expressing your opinion and being heard. Democracy is not a spectator sport,” the message concludes. “And right now, we need you in the game.”
My problem with their public pressure campaign is this: why is this getting emailed only to those Obama supporters who reside within the 32 districts that have Republican representatives? Why not target the districts of obstructionist Democrats who are subservient to the Health Insurance Industry — the Blue Dogs? Obviously, this latter group would be much more susceptible to pressure exerted from Obama supporters than Republicans. Obama supporters are not going to turn Republican Congressmen against their own party’s barking orders. It appears the Blue Dogs have been intentionally immunized from this public pressure campaign.
This just exemplifies how parties will always put their own political interests ahead of the public interest. They’ll jeopardize their own legislative agenda — legislation which could save 45,000 American lives a year — before they’ll apply pressure against a single member of their own party; even if targeting their own party members would likely yield better results.