It is both fascinating and horrifying to watch Barack Obama’s unfolding power grab.
The “shortly to be” president has set up a new organisation, “Organising for America” to hold together and build on the mass movement that brought him to power.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Republicans and some Democrats fear that the new organisation will give Obama both a power base independent of the Democratic Party and a club with which to beat independent minded lawmakers back into line.
As Barack Obama builds his administration and prepares to take office next week, his political team is quietly planning for a nationwide hiring binge that would marshal an army of full-time organizers to press the new president’s agenda and lay the foundation for his reelection.
The organization, known internally as “Barack Obama 2.0,” is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country’s most potent political machine.
Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with the plan say Obama’s team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers — particularly wavering Democrats — to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy.
The plan could prompt tensions with members of Congress, who are unlikely to welcome the idea of Obama’s political network targeting them from within their own districts. Already, Democratic Party officials on the state level worry that it could become a competing political force that revolves around the president’s ambitions while diminishing the needs of down-ballot Democrats.
Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members — possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.
To paraphrase Lenin;
“It is not the gaining of power that is important-it is the KEEPING of power”.