Unity08 is a corporation filing a confidential lawsuit against the FEC to take unlimited donations in its quest to elect its own presidential candidate to the White House. A large majority of its contributors in the last three months of 2006 were large finance capitalists. Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris told me personally that she made the effort to personally contact every single one. Unity08’s leadership is studded with insider political consultants and lobbyists. Yet Unity08 somehow describes itself in public as a “grassroots” “People’s Movement” to “take our country back” from — guess who? — lobbyists, consultants and rich fatcats.
It’s been amazing to me over the past nine months or so that nobody in the major news media saw through the Unity08 charade. I don’t know why that was, exactly, but I have a few guesses. In some cases, reporters covering Unity08 had personal ties to the insider leaders of Unity08. I also imagine that reporters yearn for some kind of twist to the traditional two-party contest. They want a different story to cover, and Unity08 provides the faux sepia tone for a vision of America without disagreement, without debate, where everybody just holds hands and loves each other and stifles that nasty disagreement thingamabob that is just so distasteful to a segment of the American consuming public.
But now I think we’re seeing Unity08 finally start to sink under the strain of playing an insider game, pretending to be grassroots, and holding actual grassroots people at a very long arm’s length. Today is the day I think Unity08 actually jumped the shark.
A few days ago, someone started posting repeating comments to Unity08 asking the Unity08 leadership when they were going to start giving visitors an interface that let them make decisions and participate more fully in building consensus on policy issues.
Yesterday, those comments began disappearing under a “Sorry, You Don’t Have Access to View This” mystery deletion.
Today, as independent critical comments and questions kept being posted onto the Unity08 front page, Unity08 simply removed all public, grassroots comments from its frontpage.
Unity08 may pull some kind of surprise out of its hat. That, and Bush may apologize for running this country into the ground. Also, pigs may fly.
Really, though, I think it’s time to begin the Unity08 Death Watch. That hypocritical, insider, elite-funded exercise in fake-populist manipulation is on its way out — and I really don’t think it will be missed outside the DC dinner circuit from which its leaders and donors hail.