The President’s Troopers
On some level, this makes sense, and thus far, it’s just an idea, but frankly, it’s unsettling and has the potential to go very, very wrong (emphasis added):
After Obama declared victory, his campaign sent a text message announcing that his supporters hadn’t heard the last from the president-elect. Obama conveyed a similar message to his staff in a campaignwide conference call Wednesday, signaling that his election was the beginning, and not the culmination, of a political movement.
Accordingly, the president-elect’s http://www.change.gov transition Web site features a blog and a suggestion form, signaling the kinds of direct and instantaneous interaction that the Obama administration will encourage, perhaps with an eye toward turning its following into the biggest special-interest group in Washington.
Once Obama is sworn in, those backers may be summoned to push reluctant members of Congress to support legislation, to offer feedback on initiatives and to enlist in administration-supported causes in local communities. Obama would also be positioned to ask his supporters to back his favored candidates with fundraising and turnout support in the 2010 midterm elections.
So the least of what Obama’s troopers will be doing is getting in their neighbors’ faces, as he put it during the campaign. I also wonder whether this database will be the field from which he’ll cull the first ranks of his national security force.
Presidents always remain partisan, of course, but I’ve had a sense, at least, that they put aside or hand over some of their “movement” infrastructure so as to lead the entire country. Presidents are persuaded by special interests, of course, and tend to have more affinity with some than others, but almost by definition, they are supposed to concern themselves with the national interests. Intellectually, the leap to tyranny looks smaller and smaller.