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Guest Thinkers

Why Organizing For America Needs To Get Personal

It’s pretty obvious the time the GOP spent this week debating a healthcare repeal bill that has absolutely no chance of becoming law instead of deliberating over more practical matters is the first in a long line of tactics designed to obfuscate the fact that they have no real plan to introduce legislation conducive to domestic economic growth. The saddest thing, though, about this whole stunt the House Republicans have stage managed are the emails I got from Organizing For America, the new name of the old Obama For America organization.

I went to my email account and searched “” this morning. OFA does a fantastic job of getting people primed to vote—they sent at least 31 emails to me over seven weeks last fall, emails that never failed to ask me to go somewhere, call somebody, or register people to vote. By contrast, I got 3 other emails on the healthcare repeal topic for a total of 4 emails, the first of which came on January 5th, with about the same level of emotional urgency as the tepidly worded missive I got today.  

Don’t get me wrong. OFA does great work. It is the biggest, most successful field operation the Democrats have had in decades, and it runs mostly on people power instead of corporate donors. But modern life makes facetime in front of the camera lenses of the media a necessary reality for political organizations. What I don’t understand, since healthcare reform is not only the president’s baby but the biggest piece of legislation the Democrats have enacted in years, is why OFA doesn’t plan a national seven week campaign to show public support for the Affordable Healthcare Act, the kind of support that would visually counter the GOP’s efforts in a way the general public can appreciate.

Why not search out people like the ones I saw all over the internet comment boards yesterday who are expressing their disgust with their own Republican Party now that they are personally benefiting from the Affordable Healthcare Act and give them a venue on your site to vent? Why not email us a link to a page where anybody who has benefited personally from healthcare reform can upload video recordings of their own stories, and then email us links to the top ten videos each week? I had to go to the OFA website to find the video below that shows a compilation of some of its healthcare rallies around the country.  

As cartoonish and juvenile as the Republican Party’s “Repealing The Job Killing Health Care Law Act” is, each and every effort that takes place in front of the cameras still counts in the minds of the public. Doubly so if there is no opposition in sight. It’s the same as a forfeit in a sporting event.

When you don’t show up, you lose.

And when you don’t have millions of supporters around the country constantly calling healthcare reform by its real name, the Affordable Healthcare Act, you end up with trusted journalists like Brian Williams referring to your signature legislation by the Republican talking point moniker “Obamacare” on the nightly news.

So get on the ball, OFA. Take your troops on a test run or two. See how many of those millions of supporters you had in 2008 are still committed to your cause…

…and give the GOP’s supporters something to cry about when they are lying in bed at night.


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