Chris Cillizza reports that Organizing for America, the successor-organization to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, is going to kick into gear for the first time to try to mobilize support for the president’s budget. That seems like a good idea to me. Ordinarily, you think of a brand-new president’s main initiatives as being able to attract a fair amount of support from opposition party legislators whose constituencies he carried in the election. After all, an Obama platform of letting the Bush tax cuts expiring and auctioning carbon permits in order to pay for health care and a tax cut for working people carried the day in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and Iowa so you might think that Richard Burr, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Voinovich, Dick Lugar, Mel Martinez, and Chuck Grassley would be a bit leery of opposing a budget framework that just lays out those campaign promises. But instead Obama’s seemed to have trouble getting Democrats on his side—including Democrats in whose states he’s popular.
Organizing, roughly speaking, is the difference. The top two percent and the pollution lobby don’t really care who won the election, aren’t impressed by slogans about how elections have consequences, and don’t care if people have health care or if the working class gets a tax cut. They just go to work every day to press for their agenda, and they’ll get their way unless people are pressing back.