McCain Wades Into Email Fight Over Stimulus

Sen. John McCain is now taking his opposition to the stimulus online.

The Arizona senator sent an email on Tuesday urging supporters to sign a petition opposing the Democrats' stimulus plan, a move that comes days after President Obama's new political organization, Organizing for America, launched an effort to build support for the stimulus with house parties around the country. OFA has already sent two emails recruiting supporters for the campaign, including one from President Obama himself, and it is hosting a private, national conference call on Tuesday evening for neighborhood leaders. Democratic activists are already debating whether the massive effort will undermine participatory politics, (as TechPresident's Nancy Scola reports).

McCain's push, on the other hand, is unlikely to have much impact. Politically, Republicans have already been uniting against the stimulus. Organizationally, McCain's campaign email list is very thin, since the majority of addresses were purchased, not organically recruited, according to a senior GOP source.

Still, McCain's bid to mobilize grassroots opposition to Obama's very first initiative -- and solicit PAC donations -- reflects his strong desire lead the fight against Obama's agenda. It also reveals the meager returns of Obama's bipartisan courting. On style and substance, from hosting McCain's inaugural dinner to offering questionable tax cuts, the Republicans return Obama's favors with fire.

Ari Melber writes for The Nation, where this post first appeared. He twitters politics at Twitter/AriMelber.