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Love Notes From a Charlatan


I should unsubscribe to Organizing for Action (OFA)—a group supporting the election of Democrats, but I won’t, because I’m mining data from the obscenely insincere. The emails open with a clever ploy, use of the familiar, my given name. It’s almost intimate. Some are signed “Barack”. Here’s one, minus a few sentences:

Missy —

My administration is taking steps to cut carbon pollution, prepare our nation for the unavoidable impact of climate change, and put America’s best and brightest to work to solve this issue on a global scale.

One thing we know is we’ll face a well-organized and well-financed opposition by the special interests that profit from keeping things the way they are — and there are members of Congress who fundamentally deny the science on this issue.

I need to know you’ll fight alongside me. Say you will. [Subliminal, using the title of a love song.]

Over the next few months and years, I’m going to need the millions of OFA supporters who understand that we have a responsibility to future generations to fight climate change to join me, and be a force of change in your communities.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to take action — and now is the time.

Today, I’m here to tell you I am committed to doing my part.

Say you’ll do yours:



This deserves only an “oh, please.” But I have to challenge, because many “progressives” are applauding the recent climate speech.

And Barack’s “…we’ll face a well-organized and well-financed opposition by the special interests that profit from keeping things the way they are…” is maddening. As if he ever obstructs these profiteers. And what about those who don’t deny the science, yet fail to change the status quo?

Tossing the “children and grandchildren” card is exasperating when Barack’s consigned to the young a future grimmer than dismal. His climate plan is less ado about something, a gift to the special interests for whom he’s expressed disdain. And any time he says “children” and “future” I immediately think about the consequences of his domestic and foreign policies.

In pledging to do his part, Barack implies he’ll nurture our ecosystem, yet his loyalty is to the fossil fuel industry. His words speak a different language than his actions.

The next message, from the Executive Director of OFA, Jon Garson, is sent on Barack’s behalf. Again, I’ve deleted some sentences, but here’s most of it:

Missy —

I love this:

President Obama is going to meet three supporters backstage at an event next month.

If you’re picked, you’ll get flown out for free to meet him — and you can even bring a guest.

Think of how happy you’ll make the loved one you pick to join you — and the photos you’ll be showing off to your friends and family for years to come of the experiences you’ve had as part of the movement for a progressive agenda for the nation.

Wow, I want to be selected. I have so many peace friends who’d like a face-to-face encounter with President Obama.  Maybe, I’d invite A. as my guest. After reading one of my articles, he emailed. During an exchange, he wrote, “Current update on my Home country”—followed by:

In Baluchistan province of Pakistan, today the terrorists have blown up the museum-grade residence of father of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah; after few hours a bus full of female students of a women university was blown up in Quetta; and one and a half hour latter a tertiary hospital’s emergency ward was blown up where the injured female students were brought for treatment. Such is the state Pakistan is living after it has allied with the US in War on terror in Afghanistan.

Yes, A. described a single day. One day among many days and nights of terror—carnage countenanced and implemented by Barack Obama in countries across five continents, now.

Oh, my, I see two new messages from Jon Carson, neither of which needs to be opened. One of the subject lines is:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling this morning made history.”

I’m happy for the euphoric whose civil rights are recognized. I hope they’re inspired to end injustice in every area.

But really, this is our government deflecting, declaring DOMA unconstitutional while gutting the Voting Rights Act. As the NSA rapes our privacy. And GET this: A Democrat, one whose wife has received Gen. Wesley Clark’s endorsement for the 2016 presidential run, signed DOMA into law.

Again, I should unsubscribe to these OFA emails. But I can’t. They’re fascinating examples of hypocrisy. Like love notes from a charlatan.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email:


Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail:

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