David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Dear David –

It feels a bit odd addressing you by your first name, since we have never met, nor are we ever likely to. To you, I am just another name in the somewhat disturbing Obama campaign database that Salon.com reported on yesterday. Someone you are soliciting campaign funds from, as you have before and undoubtedly will again. Still, your e-mail to me today addressed me by my first name and was signed David, just David, so we’ll go with that, shall we?

You wrote to me today to tell me the exciting news: that the Obama campaign had raised $52 million in donations during the month of June, much of it coming from, to use your words, “hundreds of thousands of ordinary people.” Money donated to your “campaign for change.”

Well, good for him, then.

Yet still, you say, it is not enough. We must give more in order to ensure victory against the Republican party. To quote you again, you say:

It’s going to take everything we’ve got to defeat John McCain and the Republican National Committee in November. And we can’t do it without your continued support.

And so you ask me yet again for $100.

I went through my records and that $100, when added to the donations I have already made to the Obama campaign over the course of the past year, would come close to paying my rent for a month here in Redstatesville, where I live.

A drop in the bucket to you. A month of shelter for me.

If you had asked me for the money before the FISA vote last week, I might have been more favorably inclined toward your request. Oh, I wouldn’t have given you $100. I can’t afford that at the moment, because, hey, grad student here. But I probably would have tossed in some money. Fifteen, twenty, twenty-five dollars, maybe.

Because I do believe that we need a change of course in this country. And I hope that, if Barack Obama is elected in November, we will be able to start making those changes, and undoing some of the damage the last eight years have brought.

But here’s the thing: I’m not happy with Senator Obama’s vote on the FISA/telecom immunity matter last week. It was an opportunity to stand up for the constitution and the rule of law. And yet somehow, the fourth amendment just kind of fell by the wayside, and Senator Obama was one of the ones who voted to allow that to happen. How is that a change for the better?

And for what? I still don’t understand what possibly could have motivated him to vote the way he did. Or perhaps, I do understand, but don’t want to believe it of him.

Can he really believe that this expansion of the power of the executive branch is warranted? That we should have no right to privacy anymore? That the telecom companies should receive immunity from suits arising out of their violations of the law – a law that was put in place to protect citizens from unwarranted intrusions by the government – without Congress so much as holding hearings to determine just what exactly was done in the name of “keeping us safe from the terrorists”?

No, I am not happy with the Senator at the moment, David.

I’m a grad student, David, so I am on a tight budget. Especially with food and fuel costs going through the roof. My discretionary income is limited. There’s only so much that I can give to political campaigns I support each month.

I would imagine many others who have contributed to the Obama campaign would say the same.

So tell me, David, why I (or they) should give those dollars to someone who didn’t stand up for the constitution, for the rights of Americans, this month?

Others did.

Hillary did. Maybe I should go to her website and give the money to her. Help her pay off some of that campaign debt.

Maybe I should give the money to Kucinich, or Dodd, or Wexler. They seem determined to at least try to stop some of the rampant corruption and decay in the executive branch.

Maybe I should give the money to the local women’s shelter for domestic violence victims, or to the Red Cross, or to some homeless vet who’s living on the streets. They all have far greater need than any politician.

But I do not think I will be giving my money to Senator Obama this month, David. I’m mad at him at the moment, and likely will continue to be for some time.

Again, I would imagine many others who have contributed to the Obama campaign would say the same.

Check back in a month or so. By then McCain or Bush will almost certainly have said or done something so appalling that I may be more inclined to pull out my debit card and send some money your way.

But right now, I’m just going to be mad for a while.

Best wishes,

jane doe

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