MoveOn.org has announced that its members voted to endorse Barack Obama in a poll supposedly requiring 2/3 support. I'm on their email list (which they interpret as being a member), and I did some calculations based on the email I received from them announcing the endorsement.
MoveOn claimed 3.2 million members, and gave the vote results as 197,444 for Obama and 83,084 for Clinton. Running the percentages, I found that 6.2% of MoveOn members voted for Obama, which I personally would not consider a landslide. 91.2% of MoveOn's members were not counted at all in considering the endorsement.
Now maybe you are thinking, "Well, they could have voted and expressed their preference, couldn't they?" When the email announcing the poll came, I went to the poll, but there was no way to express my preference. There were only two options - Obama or Clinton. MoveOn deliberately disenfranchised all its members who did not favor endorsing either establishment candidate. We didn't count. There is no way of knowing how many of the 91.2% of MoveOn's members who weren't counted went to vote but didn't because they didn't favor either option, or didn't bother because from the email itself it appeared they would not be allowed to express their view. It is quite possible that these numbers would have dwarfed the numbers who voted for Obama.
MoveOn claims to be a citizen organization which does what its membership wants. However, this kind of phony poll is typical of the organization. They appear to operate by deciding at the top what to do, and then devising some way of making it appear that this is a membership decision.
Why would an organization which claims to be anti-war only offer its members the options of supporting one of two candidates who both a) have voted for funding for the Iraq War, b) have refused to commit to removing all U.S. troops from Iraq during their Presidency if elected, c) favor increasing the size of the bloated military budget, and d) favor increasing the number of active duty soldiers? Before giving some ideas on the answer, let me note that this is not the first time MoveOn has disappointed its anti-war members. Just last year, MoveOn engaged in a major campaign for
funding for the Iraq War.
What is MoveOn about? It was founded, well before the current Iraq War, by two wealthy businessman who were upset by both sides of the political spectrum - conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats. When it disappoints its progressive and peace-minded members, it is just reverting to form. Its basic purpose appears to be to protect the establishment against all threats.ACTION:
Go to MoveOn's Comment/Suggestion page
and express your outrage at their phony poll and their endorsement of a pro-war establishment candidate.
UPDATE 2/2/08: Eli Pariser, MoveOn's spokesperson, also has said that MoveOn will vigorously support Clinton if nominated. MoveOn didn't even make any pretense of a poll of members on that decision. Members were never asked about that. This is another indication that the purpose of MoveOn has not changed from the beginning, before Pariser started another group with the same name and smooth talked the original group into a merger with him as prime spokesperson, to defend establishment Democrats against both the right and the left. The difference is that pre-Eli they were pretty straightforward. It is Pariser who has honchoed the massive deception by proclaiming it to be a progressive organization.