Synchronicity

SYNCHRONICITY…. The Politico‘s Andie Collier had an interesting item about MoveOn.org over the weekend, noting that the group asked its membership to identity its top four priorities for the organization. The priorities were member-generated, and would help dictate MoveOn’s future.

What they chose: universal health care; economic recovery and job creation; building a green economy/stopping climate change; and end the war in Iraq.

What they didn’t: holding the Bush administration accountable; fighting for gay rights and LGBT equality; and reforming campaigns and elections.

MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser says that this happy alignment with Barack Obama’s agenda — and fortuitous absence of conflict with same — comes in part because “the people he’s listening to and the people we’re listening to are the same people.”

But it also may be a sign that MoveOn’s members want to move ahead — and that they’re willing to make some ideological sacrifices in exchange for real progress.

Pariser’s right that this is all very beneficial for the left — that the agenda embraced by progressive activists and a progressive president is practically identical will likely benefit both.

But it’s more than just a “fortuitous” accident, and it goes beyond Obama and activists listening to the same people. My hunch is that MoveOn members picked those four priorities precisely because Obama has convinced them that this is what the country needs most.

I was thinking along the same lines as Yglesias: “He’s the most admired man in America and particularly among the MoveOn [members] who supported him back in the primaries he’s very very admired. There are probably things Obama could do to alienate his base, but there’s also a great deal he can do to induce that base to align their ideas with him. Especially about something gentle like the question of priorities, he has an enormous ability to get people to see things his way.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.