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The Knock on the Door

March 19, 2009
Lona Manning
3/18/2009

A sitting President of the United States is “organizing a political organization loyal to him, bound by a pledge, outside the government and existing party apparatus. The historical precedents are ominous.”

What is so ominous about an organization? Americans, Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, “constantly form associations…. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society.”

Certainly, thousands of organizations seek to influence the political debate. There’s Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions or the left-wing People for the American Way, for instance.

Political parties are another example of an association, of course. Before, during and after political campaigns, the Democrats and Republicans promote their agendas. As legal entities, they have their own constitutions, their rules of business, their chairmen and officers. They have to be accountable to both the government and their members.

But there is a new organization on the political scene — “Organizing for America,” announced by President Barack Obama in late January but officially unfurled last weekend.

Obama describes OFA as a “grass-roots movement” but OFA is a “project” of the Democratic Natrional Committee.

As Politico reported, OFA will take the 10 million person database built up by the Obama campaign “to mobilize support for the president’s legislative agenda.”

The story continues …..

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