2012, already?

Written by erik


Though I should have seen it coming, I was still a bit taken aback when the first fundraising appeal hit my inbox last week after President Obama announced (to no one’s surprise) that he would be running for re-election in 2012. So soon, I thought?

As you may have heard, the President’s team will attempt to raise a billion dollars to finance his reelection effort, that being the going rate for all the advertising, direct mail, social media, and on-the-ground campaigning required to bring home the big prize. And a friend of mine was reaching out via email out to see if I was ready to start doing my part.

The argument in favor is obvious to anyone who has watched in horror as the Republican-controlled House works to strip the EPA of authority and funding, and to overturn scientific findings relating to climate change. Think about how much worse it would be if we didn’t have President Obama in the White House with a veto pen.

I get that, but still, I can’t help feeling let down by the President. It’s not so much that we didn’t get real action on climate change these past couple years, or even that the term isn’t even deemed important enough to make an appearance in the 2011 State of the Union. It’s that he didn’t seem willing to try. And I really don’t believe he’s likely to try any harder in a second term. Do you?

To be clear, there’s no way I would vote against him, or sit out the election. President Romney/Gingrich/Trump et. al. would be a far worse outcome than another four years of not much happening on the climate change front. But should my money go to supporting the re-election campaign, or to organizations like 350.org, which are taking the climate change agenda to the streets in hopes of getting our policy makers to pay more attention?

I’m curious as to what Footprint readers think. Please let me know in the comments.

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  1. darooda

    $1B can do a lot of good or it can buy a lot of commercials. Politicians are barrometers of the collective concience of the country. They chase trends and and champion them. I feel climate change policy won’t become important enough in politics, until a large majority of the population share a common belief about it. Until then I fear politicians will make promises and fail or have no intent to deliver.
    Personally, I choose to give my money where I know it will create action and start working today.

  2. Bryan

    $1 billion has bought us an unnecessary war in Libya. I’m very disappointed in Obama, for Libya and other reasons. I would consider alternatives from the Democratic Party.

  3. Keith

    I cannot think of any reason I would ever send money to a politician. I give money to http://www.feedthehungry.org monthly ( we sponsor a child in Belize ) and would consider http://www.350.org as a very worthy cause to support, but I cannot see sending money to a politician. The most I am willing to give them is my vote, and discussing where they stand on the issues with other voters. That should be enough!

  4. Paula

    There won’t be alternatives from the Democratic Party because they won’t want to split the vote. Erik is totally correct that the choice will be Obama against whoever floats to the top with the Republican ticket. I am really sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, and it will once again be one of those years in 2012. I also agree that my money will go to something that advances what is important to me – not Obama who has been a terrible disappointment.
    One reason to give to a politician is so that it isn’t just the corporations doing it – not that our pittances will outweigh the money coming in there.

  5. Ed

    At his inauguration Obama said (in theory to the Muslim world), “We will extend our hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Republicans’ strategy from the start of his presidency was to give him the clenched fist. In retrospect it’s been an effective strategy: if Obama can’t get legislation passed call him ineffective; if he does pass something (like health care) that they don’t like, say he’s ramming legislation down America’s throat.
    Add a rotten economy to the mix, and throw in words like Government and European-Style Socialism, and the fact that he’s not a dictator, and that climate change isn’t high on most people’s priority list.
    My guess is that if he had Rammed Through climate change legislation he wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in a warming world to be reelected.

  6. lee

    the problem is that if Obama is not re-elected, all your donations to organizations like 350.org will be in vain, as the Republican Party is clearly hell-bent on destroying any and all environmental regulation (see this article currently at NYT). the real solution is publicly funded elections along with instant runoff voting. and fat chance we’ll ever see either of those ever happen in the U.S.

  7. Ed

    In his farewell address in 1961, President Eidenhower said, “As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, pludering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking also the loss of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”
    Last time I checked, Eisenhower was a Republican. I wonder if he would be allowed in the Republican Party today.