Time will tell if this grassroots campaign will succeed as well as it did during the election cycle; chances are it won’t replicate that measure of success. After all, as Terry Nelson, a senior GOP official who managed part of McCain’s presidential campaign, states in the WaPo article: “In legislative advocacy, the actions are not as connected to the legislative outcome.”

This argument, that the power of the people is inevitably diminished when it comes to effecting change in legislation, may seem to thwart Plouffe’s argument—and the hopes of the grassroots campaign—that there is power yet to be harnessed from the bottom-up. But it’s also a bit wide-eyed to think that the Obama administration isn’t completely aware of that fact—or, to be frank, the fact that invoking the specter of public outrage carries immense political capital. The Times would have done better to reframe its story to hone in on that aspect of the story.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.