Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Obama's Speech, Hecklers, and Reverse Fundraising

I wrote a piece for Global Comment tonight on Obama's speech, so I'll post a link when that goes up. For now, though, the thing I wanted to share is way, way cooler.

So Congressman Joe Wilson, of South Carolina's 2nd district, was the one who shouted "Liar!" at Obama during his speech. Always classy, since the good old days of taking handouts from Jack Abramoff, that Wilson. I've been bitching about him since I lived in SC, but no one really cares about South Carolina politicians until they screw up on a national scale. People still buy into the red state/blue state divide and just assume that South Carolina republicans are untouchable.

But Joe Wilson pissed off a lot of people. And petitions started circulating on Twitter as soon as people found out who had been the heckler. But some people (me being one of them) decided that a better way to punish Wilson would be to donate to his opponent, a nice guy named Rob Miller who ran and lost in 2008 but forced a more competitive race than Wilson has faced in my memory.

Well, as of a few minutes ago, Rob Miller's campaign was $40,000 richer. Just on the ActBlue page, at press time (since it keeps changing) he's raised $29,312. His home page was down the last time I tried it from traffic.

Twitter activism might fade out quickly, but perhaps fundraising/reverse fundraising is the best use of that flickering moment when thousands of people are all good and pissed off. The people who donate to Miller tonight may not remember him in 2010 (unless they live in SC's 2nd) but their dollars will go a long way toward making the race competitive.