They Love You, Then Leave You

Portrait of Francisco D'Andrade in the title role Don Giovanni by Max Slevogt, 1912
Portrait of Francisco D’Andrade in the title role Don Giovanni by Max Slevogt, 1912

There is a story in the June 15th Intercept by Jordan Schwartz that quotes U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders regarding the 2008 Obama For America (OFA) campaign, “ [The] ‘biggest mistake’ he made after running ‘one of the great campaigns in American history’ was saying to the legions of people who supported him, ‘Thank you very much for electing me, I’ll take it from here.’”

I was Chair of the Wahkiakum County Democratic Committee at the time and recall the OFA people. I noted back then that OFA was basically a new party. They even had their own logo. Myself, on the other hand, was schlepping for the Democratic Party. Our leadership was elected under a structure that is established in the Regulatory Code of Washington. The OFA people were political appointees.

It was apparent to me that this arrangement was yet another way to stifle the grassroots of the Democratic Party — which like the GOP is effectively a State Party.

Schwartz writes, “Obama’s campaign had 3,000 organizers who recruited thousands more local leaders, who then helped mobilize 1.5 million volunteers and 13.5 million contributors.” These folks did not volunteer for the Democratic party. I took this into consideration in 2009 when I chose to leave the party and become a political independent looking for a new home. Continue reading They Love You, Then Leave You