Re: Common Purpose

April 9, 2009 at 7:22 am | Posted in Barack Obama, Democratic Party | 2 Comments
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Ben Smith writes about the coalition of liberal organizations/bloggers called Common Purpose that has formed in the wake of Obama’s election to push through White House goals. But Jane Hamsher wags a finger at the group’s too close for comfort relationship with the WH, complaining that its involvement has undermined the progressive and independent nature of the liberal blogger/activist. She writes:

“There’s a big problem right now with the traditional liberal interest groups sitting on the sidelines around major issues because they don’t want to buck the White House for fear of getting cut out of the dialogue, or having their funding slashed. Someone picks up a phone, calls a big donor, and the next thing you know…the money is gone. It’s already happened. Because that’s the way Rahm plays.”

The problem here isn’t the WH, per se. The problem is and always has been this constellation of single issue liberal coalitions and activists that exist under the umbrella of the Democratic Party. And when the more vocal and uncompromising of those liberal groups are unhappy with a moderate party line, they’ll elbow their way out to be heard, often at the entire party’s expense. But, for the first time in nearly 8 years, the Democratic Party can lay claim to some semblance of unity. And, to keep the Republican Party on the run, the White House must maintain this new-found united front. Getting involved in a close dialogue with these liberal coalitions is exactly what they should be doing. The other complicating factor is…surprise, surprise…Rahm, the often ruthless godfather of the White House who will cut you out if you cross him. The way I see it, Rahm needs to back off. If he can’t play nice with others, he should stay on the sidelines…and when it comes to the activist wing of the liberal blogosphere, Rahm may not realize he’s playing with fire.



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  1. Forgive my confusion, but do you suppose Common Purpose in Europe is in any way related to the Common Purpose to which you refer?

  2. no, this is a coalition of left-wing organizations, blogs who are trying to move obama’s agenda forward.

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