Monday, November 21, 2016


This isn't about me (I promise! Really!) but something I've observed over the past 15 years or so is how people who go into dogooder politics often get frustrated and fed up and choose to find a way to cash out instead. The frustration is due to the fact that the rewards for dogooder politics are limited. The financial rewards are limited, the successes are limited, and frankly the respect is limited. Your supposed allies (Elected Democrats, mainstream well-funded interest groups which are more into having a seat at the table than getting anything done #notallmainstreamwellfundedinterestgroups) treat you with derision up until the point when they take credit for your successes. In the electoral politics game this is pretty obvious. The people who make the big bucks are consultants and ad people, the people actually getting people to register to vote are volunteers or are being paid about as well. Win or lose the former seem to do okay. I know that quoting a wikileaks email is akin to voting for Putin, but I'll let Paul Begala speak:

As Tom knows from our conversations, I am a strong supporter of this proposal. And if that means we don't work with some of the big-name, big-dollar admakers, I consider that an added bonus.

I am nauseated by the notion that Shrum has a villa in Tuscany while young soldiers are bleeding in Iraq because of his goddam incompetence.


(I like Paul. I'm sure politics has been pretty good for his wallet, too, but he has always seemed like a genuine dogooder to me, not just a mercenary with a career)

Congressional staffers sometimes rightly see that they can cash out and work for lobbying firms, sometimes even on the same issues if with a slightly diluted purpose, for multiples of their salaries. Probably the most useless organization in DC, HRC, sucks up all the big donor money and takes credit for anything remotely pro-gay rights that happens.

And when the opposition takes power, suddenly every organization in DC positions themselves as the scrappy underdog ready to fight the power. Some of them even are! Often they aren't. I get pretty furious every time a fundraising solicitation lands in my inbox these days. That emotional response probably isn't always correct. Some of those organizations are probably worth supporting and now would be a good time to support them! Still there's something annoying about "give us money! help us stop Trump!"