Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Obama's Permanent Campaign
Obviously there's nothing unconstitutional about President-elect Obama's efforts, flagged by Kevin Drum here, to transform his electoral campaign into a political organization. But it seems to me that the representatives of the people are the Representatives. A President who, through direct appeal to a grassroots constituency, pressures Congress is not that far removed from a President who, through direct appeal to a grassroots constituency, bypasses Congress.
I wasn't that comfortable with this idea when President Bush tried to apply it to the press.I don't like it any more when it's applied to Congress. There are already two grassroots political organizations through which voters can pressure their representatives. They're called the Democratic and Republican parties. This is one of those ideas that sounds great in principle, but deserves a healthy dose of curmudgeonly skepticism in practice. Consider this that dose.