Joshua Green writes in The Atlantic about Senator Obama's fund-raising machine. It's the model of the new politics - and real grass-roots democracy, IMO.
The article talks about how the Obama campaign has brought together (largely anti-Bush/anti-GOP) activist zeal and social networking websites to generate almost $200 million online from (now) over 1.5 million donors. And many of these donors also volunteer, and organize others to donate and volunteer.
Green points out that much of this - the huge power of small donors - is due to campaign finance reform, which aimed to end the influence of fat cats on politics. Money still plays an important role, but it is no longer restricted to a select few millionaires/billionaires. And it is highly likely that Senator McCain will get vastly outspent in the Presidential race - because he was one-half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform team. The irony!