Thursday, July 10, 2008

tacking center...

ha, i think i had long hair still the last time i posted. thats weird. and adrian has apparently tagged me 7 times or some such nonsense.

anyway barack's got me mad enough to actually come post again. I'll assume the readership here (hi, adrian!) is familiar with what went down in the senate yesterday, what barack had said he was going to do about FISA/telco amnesty, how he actually voted yesterday, and why that would make someone like me mad.

so what to do about it?

i actually havent given barack any money so far, and right now i'm glad of that. but i know plenty of people going "he's not getting any more donations from me".

thats great, but he's already gotten a lot of those donations, and they cant ask for their money back once he wins the nomination, "moves to the center", and starts fucking them all over.

what we need instead is a constant stream of small donations. get together a whole lot of people who want to support a candidate. each person donates however much money they want. the money goes into a really big pool. the candidate recieves small amounts of that money (daily, lets say) every day so long as those doing the donating are still happy with them. should they suddenly change views, the money stream is literally turned off, to be restored when the candidate makes recompense (or else returned to those who did the donating, whatever % of their donation had yet to be paid out).

in the age of the internet, this would be excedingly easy to do.

seems like the only way to hold a candidate to the promises he or she makes during the primaries is to threaten to take their money away once they start heading into the general election should they drastically change views.

and of course, only those passionate enough about the issues to be/stayed informed throughout the process are making the donations in the first place (and none of the contested-for swing voters are, presumably, or else they would have already decided on a candidate and thus by definition not be swing voters).

"Oh, but barack's just doing what he needs to do to win"

yeah. so much for "a diffirent kind of politician", huh. the biggest reason i'm so pissed is cause i actually let myself believe that stuff when he was selling it a couple months ago.

anyway, the turn-offable money faucet would take:

1) a very large number of people donating a (combined) very large sum of money. we'd need to be imperative to the success of the campaign to have any real influence.
2) a specific set of positions on a specific set of issues that, if breached, results in the turning off of the money stream.
3) a website (trivially easy in these days).

Glenn Greenwald et all have done a really good job raising funds for specific issues, something like this money faucet seems completely feasible to me. and if nothing else, it would give us a lot more leverage than we have now (since, like everyone else, i'll be voting for barack in november despite this). and we could punish/reward specific bad/good actions on the candidates part, more than just symbolically.

so who wants to set it up for 2012?