Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Thank you for documenting the issues in grassroots organizing, which has been happening in the party since 2004. The party is indeed loosing valuable organizing assets and volunteers.

I have experienced this issue first hand. As a college grad, I worked both for the outsourced grassroots fund raising company mentioned in the article (an issue that deserves its own attention) and a state party on the national campaign in the last two months of the election in 2004. While I never directly worked for the DNC, it was direct enough that I came up as an expenditure for the 2004 campaign. I was enthusiastic, passionate and deeply disappointed when we lost.

Not once since I left my job on the day after Kerry's concession speech have I heard anything from the national organization. Even with the 50 State Strategy in force, the party which I committed to, which invested in me as an organizer, discarded me with the loss in 2004. There are many of us floating around, forgotten by the party. It wouldn't have kept much to keep us involved, but the party didn't do it.

I hope they can learn from 2004 and in 2008 do the following not to lose those who are involved this year:
As part of the contract with GCI get names of the canvass staff in order to thank them and get them to volunteer with the party in the future (many are college students who would be wonderful campus organizers)
Contact the paid staff at the end of the election regardless of the election outcome and thank them. They work long hours for low pay out of passion.
Keep in touch with the paid staff. Help them get involved when they move (since large numbers of them move after the election), finding projects on they local level they would like to volunteer for, or smaller campaigns which need part or full time staff.

The Democratic Party needs to value everyone who participates and keep in touch, beyond the candidate level.

Caren Arbeit

Minneapolis, MN

Feb 25 2008 - 12:27pm

Web Letter

Laura Flanders has way too much confidence in the DNC and the American people. The DNC is once again backing two unelectable candidates. Worthy as they may very well be, neither Hillary or Barack Obama will sway what is still a largely conservative, narrow-minded and misinformed nation of voters. The tragic and frightening truth is that much of the nation has learned nothing from eight years of division, corruption, fearmongering and war. Just look at the rise of John McCain. All a candidate has to do is to press the "national security" button and be wrapped in a flag and America will follow. The only candidate who would give McCain a run for his money would be Edwards--but the DNC will never support him fully.

John Giarratana

Jersey City, NJ

Jan 30 2008 - 9:07am

Web Letter

The Reagan era was as depressing a chapter as there's been in contemporary American politics. I don't understand why a progressive would invoke Reagan's presidency as anything but an example of how easy it is for a charismatic President (which isn't the same thing as a good one) to trash the ethical core of this country. Reagan didn't care about the details of his own policies, let alone anyone else's. Fact is, he was too lazy and out of it to bother with hard work. That was left to cynical advisers and operatives who made Nixon's henchmen look like Boy Scouts. He didn't know much about history or economics. He didn't care about unionized workers or the environment or women's rights or anything else that might have been deemed a "progressive" cause at the time. And he lucked out when the Soviet Union fell during his time in office after a decades old arms race finally took the fight out of the "evil empire."

It was only "Morning in America" because Jimmy Carter was stuck with the Iran hostage crisis... and because the major media hated Carter for not being a polished Ivy League liberal.

Tom Laskin

Madison, WI

Jan 25 2008 - 1:20am

Web Letter

I am not a big fan of the DLC. The national party organization doesn't have a clue about what is going on locally. Each state should determine who runs within or from that state. They know the ground, the people, and the sentiments within the state.

If you look beyond the rhetoric, there is very little difference between the leading three candidates, and, regardless of who is elected, there will be no real policy changes at the national level. Both Clinton and Obama campaigns are staffed by former Clinton people. Edwards talks about "green" jobs, but the real jobs, with their industries went overseas, and they need to be brought back or replaced. They are lying in their teeth when they say these jobs are gone forever. Dump "free trade," redevelop our "national" economy and the US will redevelop.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Jan 24 2008 - 5:26pm

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