24 March 2010

Biden's Turn to Beg

For amusement purposes only, let's say that I was inspired by the begging letter I received yesterday from Tim Kaine to give money to the Democratic National Committee. What could I do now, in such a scenario, that another letter has arrived, this time from the Vice President? He also wants money for Democrats, but this time it would go specifically to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, an organization dedicated to regaining a "filibuster-proof" majority for the party by boldly targeting three Republican incumbents -- Burr of North Carolina, Blunt of Missouri and Portman of Ohio -- for defeat this year.

Wouldn't my theoretical previous donation have furthered this goal? Looking back at the earlier letter, Kaine wrote that my money would "not only aid our political efforts to defeat Republicans in the 2010 congressional elections, but will also provide more urgently-needed funding for our Organizing for America project, which is using the techniques that proved successful in the 2008 election to build grassroots support for President Obama's agenda."

I suppose some people like to target their donations, but why not allow them to do so while making a single donation to a single, central Democratic fund? There's a redundancy at work here that doesn't exactly argue for efficiency under party rule, but it is probably making money for someone.

In any event, Biden's letter echoes Kaine's litany of Democratic accomplishments and its anathemas against Republican obstruction. Not only does the GOP resist expanding health care or enacting financial reforms; Republicans also "want to stop us from rebuilding our economy and creating the jobs that Americans so desperately need." That's pretty worrisome. It sounds like an America Forever conspiracy theory.

In one point of particular interest, there's no more ambivalence about the Tea Party movement. In Biden's opinion they are the enemy.

The GOP is guided by the Tea Partier crowd, which doesn't seem to appreciate that progress in this country isn't about yelling the loudest, and that blind obstruction is not a serious answer to the serious questions we face. There are only two possible motivations for their actions ... Either they want to return to the destructive policies of the Bush-Cheney administration, or they think the only way they can succeed is by causing us to fail.

As far as I know, most Tea Partiers remain ambivalent, to say the least, about George W. Bush, though their hatred for President Obama has led some to start waxing nostalgic for Dubya, if not for Cheney, whose name Biden brandishes to provoke his readers into angry action. My perception was that the TPs saw Bush as a sell-out, as much a stooge of the "big" establishment (government+corporations) as Obama is now. But I can understand why the differences between TPs and Bushites seem minimal from a Democratic or progressive perspective. In any event, Biden depends on his potential donors hating Tea Partiers as much as they hate Bush and Cheney. If he's right, then the Tea Parties have failed as a remedy to political polarization in the country, if they were ever meant as that. In a Bipolarchy, I suppose, anything that isn't on your side can be used as a bogeyman for fundraising purposes, though Kaine neglected to mention the TPs in his begging for the DNC. It makes me interested to learn which begging letter ends up drawing more money.

No comments: