Obama, FISA, and Social Networking

Posted by Katherine | July 3, 2008 – 12:30 pm
Payphone with sticker: this phone is tapped
[Vaguely Artistic / Flickr]

Voters are using my.barackobama.com to tell Obama they don’t like something he’s done. Specifically, they don’t like his promise to support the FISA bill in Congress. So they’ve created a special group called Get FISA Right. It was started on June 26th and already has over 15,000 members.

Here’s the intriguing bit: many people credit my.barackobama.com for the social networking that fuelled Obama’s primary success. The question now is whether he will “feel the sting” of that technology, as Mike Stark asks on the probutcool group blog Open Left. Stark says Get FISA Right is just about the only unsupportive group on my.barackobama.com. And this new challenge, he points out, is actually what Obama claims he wants (thanks, Sue Salinger):

It is exactly what Barack Obama wants to see happen; it comports perfectly with his vision of an engaged electorate. Over and over again on the campaign trail, Obama has talked about what YOU have done. He aspires to represent “we, the people” and consistently disparages the old system of lobbyist-fueled special interest politics.

This is echoed in the Obama quote at the very top of the Get FISA Right page: “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” (See our previous post about this quotation.) Any bets as to how Obama will respond to this web-2.0 protest?


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