Posted by: Patrick Barbanes | September 7, 2008

The $10-Million Dollar Challenge

OK, here’s an idea that’s a win-win-win: Republicans get to prove that they actually respect community service and community organizers; community organizers get more than just a hollow apology or spin from the Republicans; one lucky community service organization gets up to $10- million! Here’s how it works:

The spin from the Repubs is that they were not insulting community organizers. Oh, no. They were just laughing at the Barack Obama’s “claim” (?) that his community organizer experience counts as executive experience.

Well, you can listen to the words they used again, if you have to. Sounded like more of a smear on the whole idea of community organizing, but, hey, that’s just me. And…thousands of…you, based on the reactions across the web and all media. We just have no sense of humor.

But, OK, let’s take them at their word. Let’s use Michelle Malkin’s spin – I mean…explanation –
as our starting point:

Let me clarify something. Nobody is mocking community organizers in church basements and community centers across the country working to improve their neighbors’ lives. What deserves ridicule is the notion that Barack Obama’s brief stint as a South Side rabble-rouser for tax-subsidized, partisan non-profits qualifies as executive experience you can believe in.

Again, that’s not what was said or implied, by either Giuliani or Palin, but let’s ask them to put their money where their mouth is.

Let’s find a community organizing group, who usually sponsor work like Ms. Malkin
describes, to set up a new fund. And I’m asking you NOT to donate to it. Unless you’re
a Republican. That’s right. Let’s see if Republicans really mean what they say, and will
actually sponsor some community organizers. Republicans: it’s time to put up or shut up.

We want small donations, like Barack asks for. Say, $5. And we want to get to $5 million.

For those Republicans without that Ivy League education they seem to scorn, that will mean 1,000,000 Republicans must donate $5. each.

How long do you think that will take?

But, to be fair, let’s have non-Republicans put up, too – in the form of matching funds. And let’s add a sort of sinful gamble to it, by adding a timeline.

If Repubs donate 1,000,000 $5. donations by September…11th – that’s a good date – then non-Repubs promise to put up $5 million of their own.

If Repups donate 1,000,000 $5. donations by September 30th, then non-Repubs promise to donate $2.5M.

That way, we’re all fair and square. And some nice community organizing group gets up to
$10M to play with. That’s much better than an apology.

What do you think? Anyone reading who can get this rolling?

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