I watched with glee the Obama speech to the AFL/CIO today, and well it got me fired up!
(it is on c-span, and on huffpo)
I hope he continues the rhetoric on Wednesday's big Hcare speech.
Wobs-->What do you know about the charge from Jane Hamsher that liberal groups are being corralled in a "veal pen"? How many of these calls have you sat in on?
Soon after the election, the Administration began corralling the big liberal DC interest groups into a variety of organizations and communication networks through which they telegraphed their wishes -- into a virtual veal pen. The 8:45 am morning call co-hosted by the "liberal" Center for American Progress, Unity 09, and Common Purpose are just a few of the overt ways that the White House controls its left flank and maintains discipline.
My own experience with the Veal Pen came indirectly, when some of them had the temerity to launch a campaign against Blue Dogs. They were rebuked and humiliated in front of their peers as a lesson to them all at a Common Purpose meeting, which is run by lobbyist Erik Smith. White House communications director Ellen Moran attends. It isn't an arms-length relationship between these groups and the administration.
A few weeks ago, Rahm Emanuel showed up at a Common Purpose meeting and called these liberal groups "fucking stupid" for going after Blue Dogs on health care and ordered them not to do so any more. Since that time, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have.
These organizations may kid themselves that they're doing no harm, but that's not true. They are the institutional liberal validators who telegraph to liberals that there are problems, that things are happening that are not good for them. They are trusted to decode the byzantine rituals of government and let the public know when their interests are not being served, that it's time to pay attention and start making a racket. When they fail to perform that task, the public is left with a vague feeling of anxiety, intuitively understanding that something is wrong but not knowing who or what to blame.
I think the calls are a great way to coordinate message, and I think it is a long over due response to the previous admin and Rep party's incessant talking points. BUT, left advocacy groups will be toast if they use the "access" to merely "get in line" rather than "line up their interests"
It boggles my mind that Obama is pushing the left to tow the line, when it is the f'in blue frogs that suck, and most need some kind of reform to improve their election prospects...