Marc Ambinder’s article in The Atlantic, HisSpace outlines a vision for technological revolution under an Obama Presidency similar to Candidate Obama’s nimble use of social media to harness support -
Obama clearly intends to use the Web, if he is elected president, to transform governance just as he has transformed campaigning. Notably, he has spoken of conducting â€œonline fireside chatsâ€ as president. And when one imagines how Obamaâ€™s political army, presumably intact, might be mobilized to lobby for major legislation with just a few keystrokes, it becomes possible, for a moment at least, to imagine that he might change the political culture of Washington simply by overwhelming it.
What Obama seems to promise is, at its outer limits, a participatory democracy in which the opportunities for participation have been radically expanded. He proposes creating a public, Google-like database of every federal dollar spent. He aims to post every piece of non-emergency legislation online for five days before he signs it so that Americans can comment. A White House blogâ€”also with commentsâ€”would be a near certainty. Overseeing this new apparatus would be a chief technology officer.
Ambinder also points out the the potential pratfalls of opening up two-way discourse with the American people – reminding us that it’s a representative democracy for a reason. The potential for transparency may usher in a new era of government accountability to to me bodes well for both fiscal conservatives and civil libertarians.