Just how bad it had gotten
And just how sick I had become
But it could change with this relationship
De-derange, we’ve all been through some shit
And if we’re a thing I think this thing’s begun
Tell me now what do I have to do
To prove my love to you
For a guy facing a tidal wave, the president was so ebullient, you had to wonder if he knew something we didn’t. Maybe he simply read the unabridged poll numbers rather than the CliffsNotes summaries of cable news. Those numbers are hardly as monochromatic as advertised. Obama’s approval rating, for months a consistent (not imploding) 45-ish percent, still makes him arguably America’s most popular national politician. The polls also continue to show that, while both political parties are despised, Democrats are slightly less despised than Republicans. In The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, for instance, 36 percent of those surveyed rate the Democrats positively, compared with the G.O.P.’s 30 percent. It’s only when the November horse-race matchup is limited to “likely voters” that the tidal wave rolls in, giving the Republicans a roughly 10-point lead.
That spread is the Democrats’ dread “enthusiasm gap.” And since that gap can’t be bridged in two months by new government programs or divine intervention for the nearly one in six Americans who are un- or underemployed, what could give the Democrats even a slender reed of hope? If there’s any plausible answer, it can be drawn from the single poll finding that is most devastating for Obama, the question (as worded by The Washington Post/ABC News) of whether “he understands the problems of people like you.” There his numbers really have imploded. When he arrived in office, 72 percent answered Yes and 24 percent No. As of last week, Yes had fallen to 50 and No had doubled to 48.
Last week, Greenwald had a long list of legitimate dings on the President explaining why many are not that thrilled with Obama, but this entire “enthusiasm gap” is something I simply do not understand. It is something where I have a legitimate blind spot, because for me, even if I am not that thrilled about voting for Democrats (and I’m going to have to bring an air sickness bag and put menthol cream under my nose while voting for Oliverio this fall), I am entirely enthusiastic about voting against the Republicans. I don’t like a lot of things the Democrats have done, and Obama has sure pissed me off on any number of issues, but the other guys are CRAZY.
I can’t be alone. I would go hopping to the poll on one leg like the black knight. I would crawl through glass. I would literally do anything I had to to make it to the polls to beat back this wave of stupidity. I just don’t understand why more don’t feel the same way. And yes, I understand, “My guys suck a lot less” really isn’t a good GOTV message, but the other guys are SOOO bad it is more than enough to motivate me.
You’re right, because that’s a process you should be “crawling through broken glass” to uphold. We must fight for the right to vote for abject dogshit.
Until the Democratic party makes even the slightest effort to reform the Senate, none of this fucking matters. Not your vote, not mine. It doesn’t matter who controls the House if the Senate can so thoroughly sabotage governance in this country, while at best, 35-40 of its members even care in the slightest.
I think there are probably many who think like you, but media doesn’t cover them much because it doesn’t fit into their narrative, of the enthusiasm gap and Oh noes Democrats is in trubble!
Yes. I’m neither Dem nor Rep but I will vote for Dems for exactly that reason.
Amen, amen. And I would be saying that even if I wasn’t going to have the giddy pleasure of voting against Sharon Angle.
The non-blogging Democrats I know have been somewhat demoralized not by things Obama has or has not done, but by the escalating and relentless ugliness of the Republicans. I think there is a large group of people who are feeling that trying to improve this country in the face of this towering mountain of stupid is an exercise in futility. This is an effect of teabaggery that doesn’t receive enough attention: the Republican base gets energized while the Democratic base looks on in horror and says “Maybe this country doesn’t deserve nice things after all.”
some other guy
I’ll be voting D, of course, but I know a lot of folks who voted for Obama in 08 that have no intention of voting this year.
These are the so-called “low-info” voters who look around at the shitty economy and wonder what the point of politics is at this point? They don’t see the immediate and personal benefits of HCR, the stimulus, financial reform, etc. They do, however, see themselves and their friends/families/neighbors losing their jobs and houses. They read the breathless headlines about INFINITY + 1 deficits and debt and how the United States is just like Greece and it doesn’t give them a lot of hope or confidence in the system, whether it’s run by guys with “D” or “R” after their name.
And because I’m an unapologetic liberal, not a pretend “independent” “moderate” whatever, they more or less dismiss my argument for them to turn out in November as partisan propaganda.
My thoughts exactly. The craziness and stupidity of what passes for Republican/”conservative” thought is so awful, I’d have to be dead not to be against it.
As long as you don’t excuse Obama for the things he’s doing or not doing that he should be doing, then I don’t think those of us unhappy Obama voters will have too much trouble with you either.
@beltane: The despondency of those non-blogging Democrats makes a lot more sense than Loblaw’s comic misery.
Nom de Plume
It’s already been said many times already, but the real campaign has just started. People who haven’t been paying attention will now start paying attention, and that includes most Democrats. I don’t know if the Dems can avoid losing the House, but I think predictions of a bloodbath are greatly exaggerated. It will be close.
Props for the Femmes reference.
And with that, I’ll just co-sign your rant above if allowed. I expect mclaren or glenndacious greenwaldian along to provide the response soon.
I think everyone pretty much agrees that the reason there is an enthusiasm gap is a combination of the economy being so bad and the Republicans exciting their racist base. Not because the firebaggers see a dearth of magic ponies in their stables.
Since most Americans still blame the Bush administration for the economy and (I still like to think) the majority of Americans are not secret Klan members, I can’t see how the Dems can’t turn this election into a referendum on Bush policies, to which the Republicans are advocating a return (plus more unemployment insurance cutting!). We’ll definitely lose the blue dog outliers, but a majority losing bloodbath I don’t see.
The rest is just the Villagers on the left and right being suckered by their own meme-loving, right wing noise machine rhetoric.
Slightly OT: Another tea party rally today in DC — the 9/12 rally.
It seems that all tea partiers know how to do is walk in a line, wear funny hats and tight clothes, carry tied old posters, which usually include some rather bizarre misspellings, and protest how their protests are open and inclusive, and patriotic and Christian, and open and inclusive, blah, blah, blah.
And today’s speakers include such real Americans as Andrew B, Erik E, and every other toad in the pond.
The only good news is that we have the first rainy day in DC in a long time.
@some other guy: You’re right I think, and add to that the GIANT Fox noise machine and a lot of right-wing money (Kochsuckers), and you’ve got lots of people who just can’t get past the ideological disinfo.
People in this country like to believe in stuff, and right now the less complex alternative is sucking the air out of things.
I can haz silent majority?
Ben Jammin' Cisco
Yup, that pretty much covers it. What can a sane person do in the face of such massive, splendiferous stupidity EXCEPT stand up and say, “You guys are nucking futs!” (electorally speaking)?
The “media” wants a narrative, not what is in the best interests of the country. F*ck them.
@jwb: I’m beginning to think that Loblaw is actually Karl Rove, ineptly trying to infiltrate “liberal” blogs and demoralize “lefty” voters.
The problem is for a lot of us, we look at a D, and we look at an R, and are hard pressed to cite the difference. Its the difference between plunging off the cliff at 75 MPH and 100 MPH. If either way we’re going off the cliff, whats it matter?
And yes, I understand, “My guys suck a lot less” really isn’t a good GOTV message, but the other guys are SOOO bad it is more than enough to motivate me.
But the difference between us and the problematic voters is, we’re engaged in this. They aren’t.
Despite the perennial GOP portrayal of Dems as affluent, overeducated types, we don’t win unless we convince millions of economically struggling voters, most of whom didn’t darken the door of a four-year college, to vote for us.
They don’t have much time to think about all this; they’re too busy just struggling to survive. They really don’t have a good sense of how bad the GOP is for them; as just one for-instance, they probably don’t remember that the GOP filibustered the minimum-wage hike from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour, just three years ago, let alone that they fought hard against the previous min-wage hike from $3.35 to $5.15 back in 1996.
So the fact that Obama hasn’t been on their radar screens, fighting to do something for them, for the past year and a half, means that they don’t have a reason to give a shit. They really don’t.
And this is where the Ben Nelsons and Blanche Lincolns of the world really kill us. Rather than our being a party of people who really want to fight for people like that, we’re a party mostly of people who do, but with too many influential politicians who cause the message to get totally muddled up.
And Obama’s been spending a bit too much time on the inside game over the past year and a half. I realize he’s had to count to 60 a lot, but there is something for changing the climate, so it’s not the President asking for your vote, but people out in your state or district who are going to be pissed at you if you vote against their interests.
Obviously, we can never know how well that would have worked as an overall strategy. But what would have been wrong with losing well on a few defining issues? Even now, fighting like hell for a $680 billion (the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts on the over-$250K set) stimulus and infrastructure package would draw a very clear contrast. Sure, he’d lose the battle, but he isn’t going to pass anything meaningful between now and November 2 anyway, so what does he have to lose?
@jwb: Remember back in the ’80s that cult in Oregon that tried to suppress voter turnout by infecting all the salad bars in town with salmonella? That’s what the GOP is doing on a large scale with the teabaggers: spreading disease so everyone stays home on election day hurling into the toilet.
It’s hard to get enthusiastic about watery mashed potatoes when you were looking for steak, or at least a good burger, just because the alternative is creamed spinach.
It would help if the Dems at least tried to cook a burger instead of giving up because Repubs keep dousing the coals with gasoline. And then half of them conceding that why yes, gasoline on hot coals has its place.
And to switch metaphors, yes, I’ll vote Dem because it’s the least shit filled sock available, but I’m not “enthusiastic” about wearing a shit filled sock.
Mike in NC
Every election needs some idiotic catchphrase for the glib, lazy media to trumpet. In the past that’s been “soccer moms”, “angry white males”, etc. This time around somebody invented the “enthusiasm gap”. Something for blowhards like Chris Matthews to trot out every night.
The wingers go into every election filled with enthusiasm, including 2006 and 2008. It’s just a matter of enough sane people showing up to offset the crazies.
perhaps god loves us and wants us to be happy.
Nothing will stop me from voting in Nov. for every Democrat on the ballot. I’m a political junkie and follow this stuff all the time. Many people don’t pay any attention until the fall, and are just now looking at the candidates and what they’re saying. The enthusiasm gap will narrow.
This week Obama seems to have shifted to campaign mode, and I’m feeling better about the election.
I agree with you, John.
I can not stand Michael Bennett, but Ken Buck is crazy. How can I just not go and vote? I was even going to volunteer but now I am not sure if I will. I really don’t like Bennett.
Fixed that for ya.
Comparing the GOP to any kind of nutrition is insulting to noble vegetables and minerals.
It’s this combination, people see we’re surrounded by crazy assholes and get demoralized because the people we’re hoping would do something to combat this are still shit-socks.
A photo of Dick Armey blowing Newt Gingrich might really put a dent in the enthusiasm gap.
Sorry if you read that while you were trying to eat.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Because some people cannot have their principles violated by reality. I normally hate making those generalizations, but their right to protest against Democrats will not be changed by pointing out that the next people in charge will pull their fingernails out.
DAMN YOU, BGinCHI! My brain!
I just don’t understand why more don’t feel the same way.
I think most leftish-leaning people of the low-information sort vote for things (ideas, people, even vague concepts) and not against their opposite. What are they being asked to voting for this time around? More muddling through? That’s not going to get anybody enthused. (n.b. – I’m not saying that’s the right way to think about voting.)
Davis X. Machina
A lot of Obama voters voted for Obama.
This election — Obama’s not on the ballot. There’s little to be done about that.
They probably couldn’t name their Congressperson, or couldn’t until the ads started running on TV. They may well watch or listen to no news at all, or only hear the rip-and-read at the top of the hour on the classic-rock or country-gold or whatever that’s on at work.
And a lot of them voted for Obama to send a message — not one having to to with the top marginal level of income tax, or the mechanism to deliver health care reform, or what timetable US troops should be removed from the Middle East, but just to say ‘We can so elect a black man, with a funny name, president. We’re a big country, not just a rich one, or a large one, or a strong one”. They were doing the “USA! USA!” thing, the same “USA! USA!” thing as the teatards, actually, but for once not in a jingoistic, hateful way.
Yeah, it’s tokenism, when you get right down to it. And it’s as far as real progressivism as checking off the box for the United Way is from joining the Missionaries of Charity and working in Calcutta. But a vote is a vote, and it got Obama over the finish line.
That dynamic is no longer is place.
See, this is where the culture clash exists.
You shouldn’t feel noble for voting for hacks like Michael Bennet. You’re not a glorious lone ranger crawling through glass and hellfire to stop the legions of evil.
Because look at how little it takes to corrupt the process. Bennet was a Conscientious Reformer. A True Progressive. Until one morning his dour-faced campaign treasurer sat in his office and ran down the latest fundraising numbers, and lo and behold, they might not have enough to make the ad buy in the Denver-Aurora market that they wanted to. So guess which True Progressive Hero for the Middle Class is ready to give up the ghost on the tax cut extensions, putting himself in direct opposition to the President who carried his ass politically every step of the way? Take a fucking guess. Hmm, this game is so fucking mysterious, you see. I can’t make heads or tails of it…
Davis X. Machina
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): Nor will it cause them to retain said fingernails….
My impression is that low-information voters don’t really grasp how totally fucken batshit insane the Republican Party is right now. All they hear on teevee is false-equivalence “both sides do it” and “difference of opinion” bullshit.
If everything were a-ok, what would we write about? Look, the professional left are media personalities, pundits & opinion spinners. They have a vested interest in making sure we’re disappointed. They get to write about the ideal solutions, the solutions if everyone had a interest in responsible governance, or could be reasoned with to come to a compromise. The fact that this is not that Congress, well, let’s just gloss over that. Why else would people with a bully pulpit, ie, columns blogs, etc, spend so much time whining that the president doesn’t use his enough, then spend most of their time shredding his speech when he does? Messengers crying about lack of messaging. Nobody cares about Pollyanna, everyone likes watching Darth Vader & Pinhead. Even if you had Kucinich up there with a Congress of Kuciniches, we’d have a enthusiasm gap, because most of our pundits would complain about the quality of their leftism.
Exactly. You have to live before you can fight another day.
@Bob Loblaw: Kind sir, what’s your point? Nothing makes any difference, so we may as well all kill ourselves? If you really believe what you say, what the fuck are you doing hanging out at a blog where people talk politics? Like I’ve said before, dude, you seriously need to get a life.
David Broder should be publicly humiliated.
Maybe he does know something.
I’m pretty convinced- still- that Obama considers it not his job to roll back executive power. He’s a lawyer, who cares a lot about separation of powers, and as near as I can tell he considers it the job of Congress and Courts to WREST that power from him as they’re supposed to do. He can’t lay it down because that would be an acknowledgement that it’s his business to pick it up or not- he needs outside forces to take Cheney-style powers from him, against his best efforts, or it doesn’t count.
And they’re not, they’re simply not. And as ‘the defense’ and not the prosecution, he’s not going to manufacture a mistrial- so as inheritor of the Bush/Cheney state of affairs, he may have walked in on an outrageous system of ludicrous unilateral power that doesn’t belong in American politics and never did.
Maybe he’s enjoying it, since he isn’t proposing to disarm it himself. Maybe he’s USING it. Against who? Gosh, that’s tough. Against teabaggers, domestic terrorists, against whoever. He did get health care passed. He got finance reform passed of a sort, and according to NPR, IN that bill that got signed in to law was a trigger where the government could step in and start owning the banks if they saw fit- the very thing the bank lobbyists LEAST wanted to see.
I don’t think Obama’s going to tell you if things are going well or badly for him. I do know that what we get from mainstream media is worse than noise- it’s impossible to believe ANY fucking thing. It’s very like the apex of the dotcoms or the housing bubble- everything you see says one thing, but the reality may strike at any moment. Herd wisdom isn’t trustworthy.
We have ALREADY seen one startling mass movement against exactly what we face going forward- we got a black, moderately liberal President out of it. We face more of the same- increasing domestic terrorism against Americans like muslims, gays etc in certain areas. That already didn’t win over the mainstream very much last time, and the demographic it supports IS shrinking.
Anytime anyone’s argument is “this is inevitable BECAUSE people are absolute morons and will do the worst possible thing”, you want to bear in mind that everybody votes alone. Don’t get too caught up in the ideological warfare. Work patiently on what facts and realities you can get a purchase on, without flaring up into flamewar, keep sticking to a patient “I don’t agree. This is how I see it” with the implicit assumption that you’re allowed not to agree, allowed to have a unique, individual way of seeing things.
I’m pretty sure Obama remembers this, and I try to remember it too.
This just in. And surprising.
I wonder if all the reporting in the last couple of days on Orange Boner’s outrageous lobbyist connections has helped push this?
Davis X. Machina
@jaleh: Somewhere in there, there’s a new folk/filk song… “How Can I keep from Voting?”
Pretend I’m Enya. (Actually, I’m a size 56, so pretend I’m two Enyas…)
My party sucks, a bunch of tools
They have the spines of seaslugs,
But I hear the tribes of teabagged fools
(They have to be on some drugs.)
Through all the tumult and the strife,
the threats of violence floating,
I keep on thinking to myself,
How can I keep from voting?
Thank you, I’ll be here all week — try the veal….
That just doesn’t compute. By tomorrow, he will have said, “Everyone completely misheard him, you silly people”.
Of all the things that have been a little disappointing about Obama, this is really the only one that matters politically. He and his economic team really don’t show any grasp of how devastating high unemployment is to all of the families affected by it. They should be talking about unemployment constantly, and doing far more than they have to lower the rate. Put the bills out there, convince Blue Dogs that dealing with unemployment is how they get reelected. Doing anything else is just fighting on the battlefield Republicans choose.
Dems’ refusal so far to make this an election about fixing the unemployment rate is the main cause of the enthusiasm gap. Everything else is just inside politics that doesn’t matter to enough voters to make any difference.
@bemused: He is the Bizarro-world Peter Orszag.
Sorry, but this is complete bullshit.
The difference between the parties is HUGE.
Are the Democrats infested with racists, haters, anti-gay bigots, anti-science morons, Christian fundamentalists, anti-sex Catholics, war-is-always-the-answer neocons, anti-intellectual yahoos, and other assorted dirtbags?
There is literally nothing he can’t do that people like you won’t excuse.
In your mind, it’s more decent to uphold separation of powers doctrine than the rejection of testimony obtained under torture. There are two Presidents and four Attorneys Generals that consider torture a viable and legal interrogation method for prosecution. Obama is one of them. Oh, but he’s just a helpless pawn, a good and great man swimming against a merciless tide for us all. A genuine martyr for human rights everywhere.
He’s the executive of an oppressive torture state. Fuck your separation of powers.
Yes. Boehner will sigh patiently explain that he really said, if the only option I have is to vote for ALL of those tax reductions, I’ll vote for it”. You liberal media folk really need to listen more carefully even though I know ‘some” and ‘all’ do sound remarkably alike.
@Davis X. Machina:
I like your song!
Well I don’t quite feel the same way, Brad Miller (NC-13) is my congressman and I’ve been pretty happy about his votes and mostly happy with his work on the Financial Reform act, so I will enthusiastically vote for him again.
My problem is that the Republican’s have nominated a Tea Partier who has several conspiracy theories, and I know that he going to get some votes. Then I see Michele Bachmann on tv and think to myself “my god she’s been re-elected by the people of Minnesota”. It just boggles my mind that people will vote for idiots, and saddens me that so many of my fellow citizens are dupes.
I totally agree with John Cole’s sentiments. The GOP is no longer a functioning political party. They have no ideas or policy, and instead have become a festering hive of resentment and obstructionism. They have deliberately chased moderates from they party, and openly embraced racism and nativism. They willingly subvert the Constitution they claim to love in a naked appeal to fear and anger. And in continuing to embrace Sarah Palin and the tea party movement, they clearly reject the idea that intelligence, competence and any sense of reality have any place in the Republican Party.
@bemused: Either that or the Lindsey Graham strategy of going along, demanding concession after concession, getting most of them, and then in the end sadly announcing he just can’t vote for it.
Maybe they don’t know how to “fix” the unemployment and they don’t want to promise that they do know how.
[I think that the real problem causing high unemployment is lack of money on the part of potential consumers. Unless you give everybody a whole lot of money with which to buy things, how are you going to cure unemployment?]
@cckids: Ditto, but in my case, substitute Jan Brewer.
@jinxtigr: Your jeremiad for Obama is one of the most disturbing things I have read recently.
Every fucking president of the United States has presided over a nation that has, in turn, made excuses for or actively pursued genocide, slavery, lynching, torture, internment camps, etc., etc. as a matter of policy. Feature, not bug. American exceptionalism is no less stupid when bleeding-heart lefties embrace it. If you can’t handle the reality that you are a citizen of an imperialist/capitalist behemoth, then suicide is painless– clearly, the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
Just make sure to leave plenty of towels manufactured in slave-sweatshops in Third World countries and bought on the cheap by we “exceptional” Americans around to mop up the blood or whatever.
@bemused: I expect somewhere in there will be an apology to Rush Limbaugh for not sufficiently defending his Dominican-rent-boychild tax refund.
@Socrates: Who was the proponent in the recent DADT case?
@Kerry Reid: Wow. Empire much?
That’s right. The Democrats are just infested with people who cave in and capitulate to racists, haters, anti-gay bigots, anti-science morons, Christian fundamentalists, anti-sex Catholics, war-is-always-the-answer neocons, anti-intellectual yahoos, and other assorted dirtbags. See, for but one of many examples, the fact that the DADT repeal is looking increasingly unlikely, despite the fact that a majority of the public supports it and the Democrats have huge majorities in Congress and a president who (ostensibly) supports it.
Is having a party who continually capitulates to nutjobs in power better than actually having the nutjobs themselves in power? I would say no. In fact, in some ways, it’s worse, because in this situation, when the nutjobs get their way, the left will get blamed for the consequences.
ahh, the triumph of hope over experience!
@cathyx: well-said, and agreed. there’s a difference between crap and crazy, and i don’t intend to vote for the latter.
@Kerry Reid: umm, not being provocative here but what is your point? americans are wrong, deeply so, about their exceptionalism, true, but i am unclear how it follows from that that everyone should just shut up about it. or did i miss something here?
Fucking pathetic jokesauce.
Did I say this is a GOOD thing, o Shitbrained Twatwaffle? No. But it’s simply the way this country mostly operates.
Quick! Name a “progressive” president with a great record on civil liberties. Hint: You can’t. We don’t elect ’em. I wish we did, but living well off the misery of others is hardwired into the American experience.
hmm moderation purgatory for moi! ah well such is the existence of a lurker.
@Kerry Reid: So just excuse it going forth?
Good plans amigo.
You (and many of us here) don’t get it for a painfully simple and increasingly invisible reason: you’re here. You’re actively seeking out news and analysis from multiple sources, and evaluating what you get for its relationship to verifiable facts. Everyone you know online does the same thing, and likely many of the people you know offline have ceased to rely on legacy media for their news and do some of the same searching you do. Or if they don’t, they count on friends who they know are paying attention to feed them information on anything that will really matter, and that the legacy media don’t cover.
We’re more of a minority than most of us realize, though, and what we’re seeing right now is how false the assumption that most grown-up people will take the trouble to seek out facts not actually curated and presented by legacy media is. Only fans do that (okay, that’s a sweeping and over-broad generalization, but it’s truer than not). Most people over the age of 40 or so are deeply acculturated to a world where the legacy media can be trusted, on the whole and with the occasional crashing exception you’ll never know about, to do a fair and sensible job with the curating, and where there are enough of those media sources so that they can cover most of what a responsible citizen is likely to need to know. That’s not true any more, but people for the most part don’t know that. At most, they’re vaguely aware that they used to have more information about the world around them than they do now.
This makes the environment in which otherwise-sensible, decent people start believing the junk Fox or Glen Beck tell them. There it is, right on the legacy media they’re used to — even if they’re not watching cable or listening to Beck, the papers are covering the faux scandals now as though they were real news because now things like an Islamic cultural center have been turned into “controversies” — and people don’t have the solid underpinning of facts that allow them to see instantly that this kind of thing is the product of paranoia and delusion.
The fall of the legacy media, it turns out, has been like having the metaphorical ship of state’s navigational instruments fail. Voters may be vaguely aware that half the instruments have gone silent; they’re not fully aware that the half that appear to still be up have been hacked and are giving false readings. Plus, even the few who suspect the hacking can’t help being influenced at least a little by the way most of the people around them keep referring to the false readings as if they were true.
All it took was a failure to aggressively manage the narrative, and here we are. It’s too late for this political cycle, but if by some miracle we survive it maybe then someone can explain to the White House and Congress that this? This is why God made Congressional investigations. So that the legacy media is forced to actually talk about what went wrong during the Cheney administration, and the Becks of the world have to spend their time responding to the devastating realities.
Sarah Palin. Newt Gingrich. Jonah Goldberg. Kathryn Lopez. Andrew McCarthy. Bill Kristol. Rush Limbaugh. Mark Levin. Sean Hannity. Mitt Romney. George W. Bush. Karl Rove. Dick Cheney. Liz Cheney. Marc Thiessen. Rick Santorum. Ann Coulter. Laura Ingraham. Rudy Giuliani. Pat Buchanan. Michelle Bachmann. Tom Delay. Glenn Beck. Michelle Malkin. Andrew Breitbart. Roger Ailes. Clarence Thomas. Antonin Scalia. Donald Rumsfeld. Grover Norquist. Ted Nugent. Thomas Sowell. Hugh Hewitt. Tony Perkins. Bill Bennett. Brent Bozell. Dennis Prager. Tucker Carlson. Erick Erickson.
Now tell me there’s no difference between the two parties.
@Socrates: How many of those are running for elected office?
Eat my fuck, asshole. Did I say that? NO. Where’s your fucking Purity Pony Plan to bring rainbows and puppies and ice cream to everybody? Start by pointing out a SINGLE time in this nation’s history when we’ve elected a president who hasn’t engaged in a fungible notion of “human rights” — with the approbation of most voters? That’s reality. If it makes your Galahad-pure self too butthurt to contemplate, fuck off and die.
Just be honest enough to recognize that your lifestyle, my lifestyle, and the lifestyle of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US in the United States (yes, including those below poverty level) has come about because of our willingness to ignore the horrendous misery in other countries that underwrites it. So go ahead and be selective about “Oh my, THIS president is SO MUCH WORSE than BUSH!” while you enjoy your consumer goods created by slave labor.
@Kerry Reid: But can we assume you’ll be making the correct choice and voting for all Democratic candidates this election season?
true, at least to some extent. it was a fortuity for the Ds that Wall Steet wet itself in the fall of 2008. and now it is that same reluctance to seriously grapple with the structural problems of the US that is causing them problems.
@Kerry Reid: hmmm. possibly Andrew Jackson, assuming you’re an adult white male. otherwise not so much, agreed.
but the question seems a bit loaded to me. presidents are supposed to execute, not not execute. it seems a bit preposterous to expect them to not use or expand whatever power they acquire. Jefferson exemplifies this well: he did much for “liberty” before he was in office; afterwards, he expanded his office.
Yes. Because the alternative is worse. Can I assume you’ll be staying home weeping and biting your pillow and screaming about what bastard people we all are? That’ll show ’em, Corky!
Life is about choosing between lesser evils. That’s it. That’s the big fucking secret. Sorry to burst your tiny bubbles.
this entire “enthusiasm gap” is something I simply do not understand
It is what occurs when you treat your base like crap. You know, call your base “fucking retarded” or needing to be
“drug tested” or with other expressions and acts that show contempt for core supporters.
Of course, Obama’s peremptory surrender of single-payer, deliberately ignoring Democratic economists by choosing a too-small stimulus, escalating the Afghan War, refusing to investigate and discredit Bush torture policies which would have kept the abuses of the Bush presidency in the public eye, supporting the Bush spy policies, wimping out on DOMA and DADT, refusing to support a return to traditional civil liberties policies, wimping out on cap-and-trade, hell, you name it; you Obama people were whoring for a Republican-lite candidate. You got what you paid for.
Can I just say once more that the reasons why Glenn Greenwald and other prog-blog lefties lack enthusiasm — many of which are valid, and many more of which are at least understandable — ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT the reasons why “Democrats” might lack enthusiasm? Think about the number of times you have read on blogs about assassination orders targeting an American-born suspected terrorist. Now think about the number of times you have heard anyone else you encounter in your daily life bring up such a thing. That’s just one data point in the overall picture documenting the difference between “liberals angry that Obama hasn’t been more liberal” and “the base.”
The frustrations of self-avowed liberals are a sliver of a sliver among Democrats who voted for Obama: most of those voters weren’t liberals; most of those voters who were liberals aren’t particularly displeased with his performance. The attitudes of discontented liberals in the blogosphere do not explain widespread reports of Democrats lacking enthusiasm. IMHO Shalimar and Davis X. Machina have a much better explanation: economic pain and Obama-specific support driving some of the infrequent/irregular voters who turned out for Obama in ’08 not to feel much like bothering to turn out for Democrat ’10.
@Kerry Reid: You are hilarious my sad little angry friend.
Keep stickin’ it to the man! One vote at a time!
well i suppose the idea here is, given the lack of facts in evidence, assume a strawman?
@FlipYrWhig: Personally I don’t think I should be required to have “enthusiasm” to vote a certain way.
I remember a quote (I think it was Heinlein but I’m not sure) to the effect of “Always get out to vote. If you can’t find something to vote for, you can always find something to vote against”.
I don’t believe in American exceptionalism, I’d just like to see people stop assigning virtue to people when they act decidedly unvirtuous.
I voted for Obama in 2008 knowing exactly what he was and what he was going to do. I’m going to vote for him again in 2012. I’m going to vote Democrat exclusively this midterm, and likely forever.
The difference is that I’m not going to once, ever, proclaim my nobility in doing so. Because there’s nothing fucking noble or decent or honest about American governance.
That’s just cold, hard pragmatic realism. You know, the real kind, not the trumped up starry-eyed authoritarianism this blog tries to pass it off as.
@FlipYrWhig: And I think an underreported, or discussed, category are D people in solid wingnut CD’s. People who may have little or no support structure to discuss issues and outcomes with.
@FlipYrWhig: i find myself agreeing with much of your post.
but might quibble with this: most of those voters who were liberals aren’t particularly displeased with his performance.
might be true but might not. liberal, in D-ville, is much too empty a term, i think.
@El Cid: Me neither, but if you’re someone deciding whether it’s worth it to rearrange your work schedule or have someone else watch your kids or something, or if it’s a shitty day, enthusiasm helps. Again, I’m trying to distinguish “reasons why people who post on blogs lack enthusiasm about this year’s Democrats” from “reasons why people who voted for Obama and still like him lack enthusiasm about this year’s Democrats.”
Also, don’t forget the Republican turnout was depressed in ’06 (sex and money scandals) and ’08 (economy, war, and Bush fatigue)…
This is bullshit. Nobody knew exactly what he was going to do. I wouldn’t have anticipated much of the continuation of the security theater/police state bullshit. I anticipated a lot of it, as I’m sure you did, but *exactly*? Maybe you could point us to some kind of source material so we can check your assertion?
@El Cid: I would read this as indicating that Obama’s strategy of focusing on the top earners is working and the polling for extending the gooper tax cuts for the top earners is actually abysmal for the goopers. This has a small but real potential to derail the goopers triumphal march into Washington, so they muddy the waters by saying they can go along with it. At that point for the goopers it becomes a game of running out the clock using the Lindsey Graham strategy you note.
@Corner Stone: Off your meds again, huh?
After FISA during the campaign why wouldn’t you? Because he was a “Con Law” professor?
progressive president and civil liberties
Listen to beltane.
@jwb: Isn’t this essentially what you are saying? Everyone needs to shut up for the next 6 weeks? Or damage could be done?
Please tell me that is not what you have been saying repeatedly here.
…the ‘other guys’ aren’t just crazy… they’re dangerous!
@sparky: Fair enough — I was alluding (without double-checking) to poll results I’ve seen over the past few months indicating that people who call themselves “liberal” were still very high on Obama. So the number of people (1) to the left of Obama who (2) are so disillusioned with him they’re questioning whether it’s worth it to withhold their vote is, relative to the overall voting population, extremely low. It’s just that on some of the biggest blogs that proportion is actually very high. (Not so much around here, but take a spin through Kos/HuffPo/FDL/Digby/Atrios and it feels like roughly half the commenters are disillusioned lefties convinced that Obama’s problems arise from their particular grievances.)
Was specifically talking about some of the court case arguments on state secrets, also some of the DOMA/DADT arguments. FISA wasn’t a surprise, honestly.
No, in your case, it’s parse out a statement, then claim that is the bulk of the argument.
@El Cid: pish; you just need the right kind of motivation. fortunately the political classes are well-versed and carry a wide variety of “motivating” notions.
@Linda Featheringill: right because no politician has ever promised anything they were unsure exactly how to deliver.
because with the D there will be a safety net and with the R there will be bare jagged rocks with vultures ready to pick at your bones while the R’s look down and laugh at you?
One thing that always bother me is when people on the left complain about Obama, they say he’s not articulating his message enough to the people. What’s hard to understand about everyone having the opportunity to have health care or regulating Wall Street? It has nothing to do with anything he’s doing, but the media, does a horrible job of explaining policy. That is what their job should be, yet they don’t do it. They have to talk about some controversy or something that really isn’t important. It’s always “how will this play with the liberal base” or “will this hurt Obama? It’s bullshit.
@Allison W.: I agree with that idea too: I bet that a lot of people who identify broadly with Democrats have started to feel like, “What’s the fucking point? The Republicans just piss all over everything anyway. Politics sucks.” And then their votes get replaced by people who identify broadly with Republicans, who feel like, “Woohoo! The Republicans just piss all over everything! Politics is great! U-S-A! U-S-A!”
It doesn’t matter if they are running for office. They are listened to, respected and feared. The Republicans running for office are bowing to that list of people. Shaping their policy “ideas” to please those people.
@arguingwithsignposts: Ok, but you were calling bullshit.
IMO, the easy observation of how the Obama admin has handled state security theater is that they are pursuing outcomes they desire.
Some try to rationalize these actions away, or plead to higher authorities in the form of 11D.
IMO it is bullshit to call bullshit.
@Allison W.: How many votes do they cast?
The upcoming elections are about holding people accountable. People with votes.
I didn’t say it wasn’t an easy observation. My calling bullshit was specifically related to the “exactly” in Bob Loblaw’s statement. Looking back with hindsight is not the same thing as saying you knew what they were going to do going in.
It’s always “the economy, stupid!”, (best slogan eva!) If it were working, there would not be an “enthusiasm gap.” Polls have proven the “general public” really doesn’t care about “others” civil liberties. I’ve never seen them discussed continually except in the lefty blogosphere where it’s an obsession w/some. If the average person really thought about it, they would care; but they have lives to live; kids to raise; etc. It doesn’t occur to them until it they have a personal experience that proves it can happen to them.
@arguingwithsignposts: Ok. Let’s dial it back a little. If I had asked you what you thought the admin would do re: handling national security in Feb 2009, where would you have put the needle? On a Bad, Meh, Good scale.
I actually overestimated him.
I figured at least a few people would lose their professional licenses/be disbarred over this stuff.
Nope, I took “look forward, not backwards” pretty much how it’s gone. Obama was not going to do anything to jeopardize the system (and not just domestically, but the entire international military-industrial complex). Ever.
I just figured most people would have the decency not to laud him for it. Or pretend his evils, the evils he chose to bear and act upon, don’t exist.
@ruemara: you actually want to go there?
Look, the professional left are media personalities, pundits & opinion spinners.
how exactly do you know this? oh, right, must be those badges they are forced to wear.
They have a vested interest in making sure we’re disappointed.
um, wouldn’t that interest vest upon disappointment? and what do they get? can i trade in my disappointment for something? a vest? with shiny buttons, pls.
They get to write about the ideal solutions, the solutions if everyone had a interest in responsible governance, or could be reasoned with to come to a compromise.
having an idea about the right way to go about something is bad. who knew?! also, this sentence seems to have wandered off the path somewhere into a bog of sorts, i trust not into quicksand.
The fact that this is not that Congress, well, let’s just gloss over that.
what? which fact? the professional left is not that Congress? Congress is not that Congress? or they are wearing the wrong color vests? badges? and are these folks good painters, because i don’t like brush strokes in my gloss.
Why else would people with a bully pulpit, ie, columns blogs, etc, spend so much time whining that the president doesn’t use his enough, then spend most of their time shredding his speech when he does?
ah, the eternal rhetorical question. because this Congress isn’t that Congress? oh, sorry, that was rhetorical, right? i mean, criticism is un-american, so it couldn’t be that the badging, vestless left (vastless left?) might actually disagree. so yes, you have to be right–there can be only one explanation, and we know this because they’ve all said so, after they ordered their extra-glossy vests, natch. nice of you to remind us.
Messengers crying about lack of messaging.
The Messenger family has a thin skin, do they? O, you mean something else! well, if i were a messenger, i’d be upset too if there were no messages. unless it was raining, in which case i’d just as soon stay inside.
Nobody cares about Pollyanna, everyone likes watching Darth Vader & Pinhead.
i KNEW i should have gone for those extra cable channels!
Even if you had Kucinich up there with a Congress of Kuciniches, we’d have a enthusiasm gap, because most of our pundits would complain about the quality of their leftism.
and so, once again, dear friends, we come to the end of our journey. do watch where you step, especially as that last sentence has nothing in common with any of the prior sentences, or so i’m told. loose pollyannas sink Cleveland! i mean, why else would anyone say that. amirite? don’t answer that.
I noticed there is a guy who’s trying to start a DUMP OBAMA movement. That worked well w/Carter/Kennedy!
What specifically are you afraid they’ll do? Then you might get a handle on why there’s an enthusiasm gap.
Me, I’ll vote for the Dems, but only because they seem to be taking the scenic route into the abyss instead of the direct shot. I can appreciate where people who don’t believe that might give the GOP another shot.
@Corner Stone: Because I’m the Grand Commissar and have been endowed with the power to shut down the conversation… Good grief. But, no, I don’t think hammering Obama and the Dems is a particularly productive way to spend the next six weeks.
Repubs work this angle too. Sometimes I meet people who aren’t wild about the Repub policies but they vote for them because they are so scared of the Democrat strawman. You know, the one who wants Sharia law, socialism, 90% taxation, and for the government to interfere with their Social Security.
@jwb: All I know is, my local grocer has started stocking Honeycrisp apples again, so all is right with the world.
So I don’t have to worry about fucking firebaggers like you and flipyrwhig and Allison W.
@Corner Stone: I’m glad your grocer has started restocking the Honeycrisp Apples. Maybe there is hope for the country after all.
@TJ: Great observation!
Out of our anemic options, trying to stymie the crazies is as good a motivator as I need this year.
I will go to vote because that is what I do.
I will vote Democratic because our two-party (between bad and worse) menu doesn’t give me many options that are acceptable.
I make the noises I make because I don’t want those spineless, equivocating, triangulating frauds to get the idea that my voting for them means I like them.
Meh. It’s been worse than I would have expected given statements on Gitmo, etc.
Who is doing that?
@beltane: I’m going with this as one of the untalked about reasons for all of this. One of the reasons everybody was so excited about Obama winning is that he was such a bright and rational person that we all expected after eight years or so of complete and utter insanity to finally have a long, serious, discussion about what we faced as a country and to act upon it. And the response? Sheer, unfettered, total lunacy. Total lunacy. Instead of serious discussions, we got death panels and Birth Certificates and Glen Beck. Throw in the Republican unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate– all perfectly legal (!)– and the usual crap job by the press to deal with any of this, and there’s a lot of people on this board, on other boards, and throughout the rest of the country who pretty much feel that we’re all pretty frickin’ doomed and there’s no way out of it. It’s definitely a loss of enthusiasm in a way, but more for a loss of enthusiasm on the entire American experiment than with Democrats.
It’s about what is going to happen next.
Explaining the point in the Original Post:
Have you ever been clinically depressed or known someone else who was clinically depressed? Where it feels like nothing you do matters or can help and the world is designed so you will lose and so you start to lose a lot of motivation to participate in a lot of life?
I think people feel a little like this when they are “down in the hole” or when life’s kicking their ass a bit and it can be kind of difficult to shake oneself out of it.
That’s the enthusiasm gap essentially. A lot of progressive activists were asked to go to bat for Democrats because “Republicans are psychopaths” (and they are and Dems are definitely way way better), but they forgot to take care of themselves in the desperation to escape the Bush era, drained their reserves and the Christmas morning prize turned out disappointing and lackluster.
Thus a lot of activists are falling into the hole thinking they are politically powerless and thus losing the motivation for political life. In the exact same way a clinically depressed person finds it much more difficult than normal performing simple tasks like going to work, waking up in the morning, or taking care of basic needs.
And that’s basically it. But it’s also a catch-22. They need a political break because they pushed themselves too much and forgot to appreciate little victories and pace themselves for long struggles. But they can’t afford to because the 27%ers are always eager and ready to vote en masse and do real political damage if they slack off. More problematic, the media sells only right-wing messages so they need to be active 24/7 getting liberal, progressive, and leftist messages out there and for those specific causes these activists care about.
I guess it’s a reminder to pace oneself because thanks to the immense number of fuckwits, even no shit causes are going to be long hard slogs.
@Socrates: Give us a break douchie.
You listed a bunch of fucking clowns that are paid to say what they say, and act the way they act.
I asked how many of them have a vote?
Your firebagger friend Allison W. said they were important because people listened to their ideas. Or some such nonsense.
So stop your god damned firebagging wanking amigo. Take that shit back to FDL where your Lady of Jane is spreading it.
@Cerberus: Mmmm, Alice N Chains…good call.
First of all who the fuck are you calling a firebagger? Second, why do you seem to have this personal vendetta against me?
Cornerstone: you either have a reading comprehension problem or have me confused with someone else. Not a single comment I have made here implies that I am a fan of Jane Hamsher.
@Corner Stone: Go eat some Honeycrisp apples and find that happy spot.
I would think the word “professional” would be your first clue. In addition, the person who wrote the article said so in an interview.
God. Surrounded by firebaggers. Where am I? DailyKos or some shit?
Get thee behind me firebagger!
@Allison W.: Don’t mind Corner Stone, who is clearly suffering from Honeycrisp apples withdrawal. I’m sure it was Obama’s fault that the local grocer stopped stocking the product…
In any case, I don’t read Hamsher either, and can only imagine that she must have put out a call to support the Dems in the November election. So now I imagine that poor Corner Stone is feeling left out, if even Jane has stopped chanting the refrain of “Obama sucks.”
I said in a thread a few days (weeks?) ago that I thought our nation was suffering from clinical depression. My assessment stands, although you have articulated some other things nicely.
Damn useless firebagger.
@Corner Stone: Damn useless broken record.
@jwb: I caution you to reconsider. Your pessimism may cause a furtherance in the gap.
Why would any rational person assume such nonsense?
@Corner Stone: You tell me. It’s your pathology we’re diagnosing and analyzing here.
that’s a better response to your firebagger accusations.
@Allison W.: He’s being sarcastic — I think it’s because we’re talking about the roots of the “enthusiasm gap” rather than declaring that it doesn’t exist, which he thinks is a reversal from our previous practice of seeing everything as good news for Obama and calling the disillusioned people who post here “firebaggers.” So the “joke” is that if we’re accepting that something’s not going well, maybe we’re firebaggers under the skin after all. I think. But also he just likes to be ornery.
The only thing that shuts the teabaggers up is Democratic victories. They were despondent after healthcare passed. Failure to win either House would disable them temporarily again or at least make them despondent again. That’s why I’m voting.
LOL — true dat!
I’m just tired of firebaggers like you comin here and spreading your despondent bullshit. Talking about how powerful individuals in the Republican party are, how they are influential and listened to, and how nothing can be done for the Democratic party this election.
We just don’t need that kind of negativism around here, IMO, and seeing recalcitrant firebaggers like you keep trying your shit is just kinda sad.
beltane: “I think there is a large group of people who are feeling that trying to improve this country in the face of this towering mountain of stupid is an exercise in futility.”
“Leave them to the consequences of their choices” is so damned tempting until you realize we all get stuck with the consequences. However tempting that idea may be…
I dunno but I find it hard to support the firebagger and folks like Rich who somehow figure that we really should do anything but screech to the high heavens about how imperative it is for every registered Democrat to get out there and vote. To kick shit all over Obama and what he has accomplished and how imperfect it all is is just insane given the alternative! Also, how do they think that they impact the enthusiasm gap? Help it?
Man, they can all kiss my ass. I am done with Rich and the other insane progressives who just cannot face not only the reality of the alternative but their unrealistic demands for perfection that were always unattainable outside of a fucking top down, bench clearing, revolution. I am truly having a hard time figuring out who is stupider, the right wing teabaggers or our equally clueless firegagging progressives…
“Leave them to the consequences of their choices” is so damned tempting until you realize we all get stuck with the consequence.
Absolutely right on
@Tecumseh: I think you hit the nail on the head there. But I also think that what the MSM blares at us everyday does not the entire American experience describe.
The true answer to any question about “why” CS said something on this blog is that he’s an embittered sociopathic asshole who has no political or moral agenda other than to sling shit at people in cyberspace — likely because most actual people, including the grocer who sells the apples, hide when they see him coming.
Of course you’re not a firebagger, and he knows it. My advice, don’t waste your time trying to reason with him. He’s a poisonous little toad, nothing more.
@eemom: This coming from the amoral asshole who wanted the flotilla individuals to get dead.
“They weren’t innocent! They brought that shit on their selves!”
@Davis X. Machina: And then after we lose, we can change it to sing “how can I keep from drinking?”
Agreed. Rich is a glorified concern troll. His post today, imo, puts to rest any lingering doubt that Somerby, for all his madness, is totally right about him.
not gonna bother debunking that lie again, toad.
Now that you mention it though — why don’t you get your sorry ass on a flotilla? Do something useful for once.
@eemom: You mean debunk where you said:
Corner Stone is like the the racist tea baggers, when confronted with their racism, point back and cackle it is the liberals who are the real racists. This is but one reason among several, we call firebaggers firebaggers and why CS is one. And then there is Bob Loblolly, who is all puffed up in righteous indignation why we don’t condemn Obama as the liberal Hitler, this from a guy who once supported cutting poor Appalachians off of foodstamps and welfare, under the banner of tough choices need to be made. Phony bullshitting trolls. Both.
Yep. That debunking.
I’m real unsure what impact it would have had on Congressionial Bills for the Pres and others to have taken their causes to the people repeatedly and strongly, but what I am sure of is that Americans in general terms don’t hear things unless they’re repeated and repeated in strong terms. Democrats let the GOP set the terms of the arguments and take control of repetition of message and now they’re paying. How badly they’ll pay is open to some question but the Pres and Congressional Dems bear the blame.
It isn’t just a point of pushing recalcitrant Congressional Democrats to do something specific; it is about being seen and understood to be trying to do something for Americans right along rather than just at election time. The point is to make it “Conventional Wisdom” that the Party is trying and doing in the face of “Stupid.” That is what the GOP has accomplished in the vacume they left, the CW is that the GOP has ideas and opposes on real principles.
This much I expected from this Pres, that his ability to reach and touch people would be exploited steadily and effectively and I’m real disappointed. It doesn’t matter that I figure we got shit sandwiches with honey spread, the honey needed to be touted and the lies scoffed at – endlessly.
@cat48: Exactly. That’s why I always thought 2012 is the critical election because two straight successive electoral victories (and hopefully crushing ones at that) will finally put the final nails in the Republican coffin and will get even get the MSM to wake up to it and stick their “center right” nation shit up their collective asses. I STILL think that what we’re seeing from the Tea Baggers is the dying embers of a losing culture/ideology and that we’re possibly about to start or close to starting a great progressive revival but I’d be damned to let those final actions include running the House and/or Senate for a couple of years.
Actually, I said that, by general rule, urban infrastructure improvements should be favored over rural ones. Also, that fossil-fuel dependent states like Louisiana and West Virginia that don’t value and didn’t bother to improve their own education systems don’t have a future in a 21st century America. I stand by that.
Continue on with your perpetual butthurt that I said this blog was shallow, though. There’s another nice Megan McArdle thread for you to masturbate in. Heaven knows there’s nothing else going on in the world right now that’s more important. *cough* Pakistan flooding *cough*
How dare you, Chuck?! There are fraudulent peace summits that need doing. The Historical Legacy must be carefully maintained!
I do agree with some of the sentiments that the Democrats have not been as forceful and energized in their overt messaging. I have to believe that this reflects the reality that both parties are part of a corporatist culture and dynamic that Obama (even if he wanted to), could not completely reverse by himself.
I think that Obama sleeps well at night. I think that he believes that he is doing his best and helping this country along in spite of a poisonous and extremely well entrenched opposition — much of it in his own party. He can’t make us be different or see what we are not ready to see. We did not have a revolution. All the corporatists, all the right winged crazies are in place, strong and highly motivated — all the institutional infrastructure and bureacracies, the courts, still populated by the right wing.
I personally think that he is doing a great job given that. Some of y’all sound like you would of liked a few more years of Bush and McCain in office to assure that we could build on an absolutely collapsed system. Not me. I had no burning desire to live through that torture. But no worries. Y’all on the left progressives who actually seem to want Democratic failure, you might get your wish and then we can really see what it means to shit on your own side so you can be “right”. The firebaggers are worse and stupider motherfuckers than the teabaggers…
Cornerstones better half you are. Listen dude, insults are fine and dandy, and I can take them as well as dish them out, but they fucking have to make sense. I mean tying anything I do here to McCardle is crazy, about as crazy as Obama calling Obots firebaggers. Get real.
And I am glad you honed up to your positions of starving out poor Appalachians, and me being raised one, will provide a response to you, loblolly, well scrubbed libtard flower of civilized behavior. Go fuck yerself with CS’s dick.
LOL, calling any blog shallow is like calling the Pacific Ocean wet. No butthurt, but you sometimes unintentionally tickle my funny bone. Not that one, the other one.
you’re too kind.
Yes, you are right. All of it. Every word.
@Chuck Butcher: I agree fully, that dems messaging sucks, as it has for a long time. And things do need repeating ad nauseum to soak thru thick American skulls. The wingnuts have perfected it, and one reason they do as well as they do, no doubt. And are not shy about lying through their teeth. I don’t want dems to lie, but they surely could take a note from the wingnut playbook on message discipline. Obama could do better, also no doubt, but when he tried it with Fox, he got slammed by some liberals and the media for being un presidential, or something. He can only do so much, it is the rest of the dem pundit and official class that needs to quit being such independent thinkers, and tighten up into a droning chorus of messaging.
He is not a fire and brimstone Huey Long type personality, and I think if the repubs take back the house, you will see more piss and vinegar, like in his recent speeches. I think you will also see dems in general crank it up some notches before the election, with minority status nipping at their heels.
Right, but a big chunk of congressional Democrats _don’t actually want to do those things_. That’s the problem. If you bellow out “Charge!” and only some of your guys follow and the rest stand around rolling their eyes and picking their noses, you build another narrative entirely: “even many in the President’s own party question whether he’s gone too far.” Now, you might say, of course they’ll say that, they _always_ say that, that’s why “Dems in disarray” is a running gag. But there really are a lot of recalcitrant Democrats who are barely even Democrats, and no one has a very good idea about how to make them get with the program, and trying to run roughshod over them will make it impossible to get anything passed, because they’re thin-skinned scaredy-cats who don’t want to get tagged as “liberal.”
Should be Corner Stone calling Obots firebaggers. I’m a little rusty.
@General Stuck: The wingnuts perfected it because they managed to drive out virtually all of the heretics, so at this point they pretty much all believe the same things about everything. Democrats were happy to pick up those heretics and make a place for them, but now we’ve got a party that includes old-line liberals _and_ a bunch of people with no discernible ideology who are almost as suspicious of liberals as they are of activist conservatives. So Democrats are stuck trying to come up with a unified message on which two completely discordant wings can both agree.
My sense is that the wingnuts came up with the message first and kicked out everyone who couldn’t sign onto it in its entirety; Democrats take any and all Dem-curious people and come up with the message afterwards.
That makes about shit difference if you want to win and pols want to win. What you’re referring to happens in the vacume of the leader of the goddam party being invisible most of the time. Once you’ve voted for something, whether your name is Nelson or whatever, you’re going to be tagged with it – then run on it, steadily, and if the Pres is out front making the case he’ll get the BS heat.
Why in the hell is somebody who was a community organizer getting decreasing numbers for “understanding American’s problems”? The abject silence of the Admin is your answer not policy. In this nation you are either continually in campaign mode or you get shit on.
There are enough historical models of how propaganda works and how to make it work that it isn’t brain surgery or in need of real new specialized thinking that isn’t available. You cannot let the opposition make the case, it is much easier to assert than to defend against assertions. Now the game is catch up and it’s real late in the day for that. This puts the grassroots workers in a damn difficult position and not much to work with.
@FlipYrWhig: OH I think there are more than a few relatively sane wingers out there, and I emphasize “relatively sane” as compared with the southern based tea baggers.
The GOP problem was they invited these crazy motherfuckers into their tent and now they have taken over that asylum and instituted a Sharia pol law of sorts, or, we will let you old guard goopers be seen but not heard, or it’s off within yer head.
Since I don’t believe our shit slingers on the pro left are that many in number, but are very loud, I fully support an exile to the far nethers of Planet Libtard for them. They can vote, or not vote, eat their own drool, or not. After two years of listening to their shit, I’ve grown mean and gnarly in that regard. Bunch of retards.
@Chuck Butcher: Propaganda is easy, yet the Dems fuck it up year after year after year. Possibility one: the Dems are fucking clueless. Possibility two: for reasons of corporate sponsorship and/or moral failings, Dems are paid to suck. Possibility three: propaganda is harder than it looks, even if you understand perfectly well the principles, when you are having to play coalition politics and/or media ownership is hostile to you.
Obama need not be a Grayson, he already has done what he should have been doing, that’s my complaint. They damn well know how to do it, they did it. It doesn’t require the GOP lockstep/heretic removal. It doesn’t require lying, just careful focus.
@Chuck Butcher: I don’t disagree with this take.
Oh hell, there are a lot of reasons left messages don’t get out, at least one being that the policies aren’t as simple as magic words like “free market.” The simple fact that it is more difficult means it deserves more attention – not the reverse demonstrated by the Admin, leadership, and backers.
@Chuck Butcher: I don’t doubt the Dems could and should be doing a better job. But this happens every single fucking year. Either the Dems do not devote sufficient resources to doing it right or, given the reality of Democratic coalitions and the hostile mediascape, it’s a lot more complicated than it seems. It would be nice if it were the former, because then it’s a problem that is easily (albeit probably expensively) solved. But I fear it’s more of the latter, which will be far more difficult because it’s systemic.
there is also the fact that when Dems do “get it right” on the message — like, imo, Obama’s most excellent fuck you to the Orszags of the world last week in saying he won’t keep the tax cuts for the rich even as a “compromise” — the emmessemm and the firebaggers — and yea, even some here on this right Honorable blog — STILL find reasons to trash both message and messager.
And assholic concern trolls like Rich, also too. Fuck him.
this, as well. We don’t have messages that fit tidily on bumper stickers like the rightards do. Simple, stupid messages for simple, stupid minds.
@Chuck Butcher: There are a lot of Democrats who have decided that the way that _they_ win is by poking liberals and/or the president in the eye. They don’t agree with you that the way to win is to all pull together. They want to run on how well they fuck with liberals. They don’t want liberal policy to happen, and when liberal policy does happen they don’t want to run on having helped, and they go whining to the newspapers about how Obama and liberals have put them in a tough position, boohoohoo.
Role-play as a conservative Democrat from a district where liberalism is not looked upon favorably. How is it worthwhile for you to cast your votes with Obama? How loudly liberal do you want Obama to be? Mostly you’d want Obama to shut his mouth and stay as far away from you as possible. If Obama gets vocally liberal, just for your own self-interest you have to put yourself out there undercutting him.
I think we wildly overthink the “why aren’t Democrats better at messaging” notion. The reason is because close to half of Democrats genuinely don’t agree with any clear message–and certainly not a progressive one–and thus it always comes out kind of muddy and ambiguous, because both Peter DeFazio and Heath Shuler have to be somewhat comfortable saying it.
once again, you’ve nailed it. I live in a sort of half-assedly purple district in northern Virginia where we thankfully replaced Tom Davis with a Democratic congressman (Gerry Connolly) in ’08, and he’s running against the same gazillionaire asshole this year that he beat back then — but of course, this ain’t gonna be no ’08.
So last night I went unto Connolly’s website to crank up my enthusiasm meter — and the first thing I see is a proud proclamation that he “broke with the Administration” in endorsing a continuation of ALL the Bush tax cuts “while the economy recovers.”
@some other guy:
THANK YOU, at least I’m not the only one with this problem.
Chances are real good that I don’t have to role play. If you leave a vacume this shit happens. You might also note that I made no representation of a very liberal presentation. I said be seen and be understood to be trying to help Americans.
If the argument has been set by the wingnuts what exactly would you expect to happen in a less than liberal disctrict?
Any form of Change doesn’t happen magically just because you said it, it happens because you change the goddam narrative by being there saying what needs said. Not many pols are going to get out in front of the public, they’ll follow once they’ve noted it is sustained. I’m not writing about getting better bills, I’m concerned with electoral success at this point.
I don’t think the Pres was out in front of the voters, I think he took a pretty good measure, got elected, then forgot about keeping them on his side until election time reminded somebody. I’m saying it doesn’t work that way, hasn’t before and especially doesn’t today.
It just does not matter if every (D) goes along, there are more than enough to do the job. If you’re out there and out there the message of “even this member doesn’t agree” won’t work, the volume buries it and it is way too subtle for what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re not trying to engage me, you’re trying to set the CW.
I still think the country is a center-right nation. I’m starting to learn toward ti being far-right, but, yeah, a few series of election defeats for the right would change my mind on that.
@eemom: Ha, I’m one district to your south, the Rob Wittman district. Only been here since ’05, but maybe that’s why we tend to have similar outlooks on electoral politics.
who is delivering that message? The problem is, like we’ve seen this past week, if a Democrat is standing up for said message, the media gives attention to the member who disagrees, creating the messaging problem.
I’ve heard from more Democrats opposed to ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich than I did from Obama. They have Evan Bayh or Ben Nelson or Gerry Connolly on and ask “Hmm, three Democrats oppose the President, this is never going to happen. Dems in disarray”
As long as you have someone in the party disagreeing, it doesn’t matter how much you’re “out there,” the media will give attention to the dissenter.
and of course that story generally has been overtaken by MosqueGate and KoranBurningGate
Reside in Greenwald’s echo-chamber at your own peril. He hates the Democrats and therefore, is extremely biased against them. If it suited his purposes, Greenwald could turn throngs of folk against Mother Theresa herself. John, you might want to consider reading GG with the same dose of skepticism and objectivity he wants you to look at Democrats with…especially, if you are a Democrat.
When it comes to Greenwald, Mr. Cole has a dome of sunlight and strawberries over his head. No one can pierce that sucker for love nor money,
@Chuck Butcher: You’re making a rational argument about what Democrats should do. The issue is, why don’t “they” do it? And the answer, for my money, is that there is a large chunk of “they” that _willfully refuses_ to do what you want them to do, even though it’s rational, even though they might even be able to win that way. Yes, if Democrats up and down, left and right, all said, “We support the little guy and we do everything in our power to help him out,” and didn’t crumble when Republicans said, “taxandspendtaxlibertytaxspendMexicantaxMuslims,” Democrats might even win more often. But instead you’ve got some Prisoner’s Dilemma/tragedy-of-the-commons shit going on, where the individual rewards of stabbing your partner in the back are outweighing the collective rewards of hanging together.
Did you know that there actually is at least one anti-Mother Teresa book? The one I know of is by Christopher Hitchens.
Ya know, there are a million excuses for doing nothing and doing that gets you that. How the hell do you think your scenario works if 70% of Congressional Dems and the Pres are regularly out there messaging? You’re busy telling me how what has been done doesn’t work in argument with me saying it doesn’t work. What is the point in that? Maybe, since I’m bitching and have been bitching about it, I know what is being done doesn’t work.
The problem with your example is that there wasn’t a steady drumbeat of positive out there and that was my entire damn point. There was a dissenter following very recent statements, not a continuous stream of them to dissent from.
How it’s been working, no one pays a lick of attention to them and gives equal or more time to the other 30%. or focuses mainly on stupid issues like the Fox News Mosque and Pastor Pyro.
Do you think anyone who hasn’t been paying close attention saw anything the President said on tax cuts in the past two weeks? I’ve sat at two dinner tables this weekend with too different sets of low info votes, that answer is a resounding no
That was actually quite interesting. I had always assumed that Mother T was, in fact, a saint — but Hitchens’ attack on her had some legitimate and well-sourced criticisms, from what I could see.
This is why the most important thing in life is to keep an Open Mind.
And that is why I hate sheep-bleating group thinkers, of all stripes.
@FlipYrWhig: Ah ha! I knew she was up to no good. Lol. Maybe I should have used Ghandi instead…or is there a hit book out on him too?
@General Stuck: There was a bit on the Daily Show this week that sort of nailed it. They showed the reaction to Obama’s presser on Fox and everyone on it pretty much said straight out that it sucked. Then they cut to MSNBC and all the “liberal” pundits all said he did a great job but then added “but….” That’s pretty much Democrats/liberals/progressives– we always have to add a “but….” to everything. It’s hard to run a collective message when everyone involved runs on a slogan of “health care was great, but….” or “we passed a stimulus bill, but….”
@Nick: I don’t necessarily agree with the Center Right comment because often polls show the American people are more to the left than everyone in DC (like with Bush’s taxes or on health care) but it’s always conveniently ignored by those in the press who usually determine their views on the issues by what they think the American People want. I’m also not sure about it because we might pretend we’re a semi-conservative nation, but a lot of people will go straight communist the moment talk of cutting their benefits come up.
No, I don’t think so, I think far more often polls put them to the right than to the left, It’s as easy to argue against the rich as it is the Mexicans and Muslims to get them to support stuff like ending tax cuts for the rich, but that’s also not the most important thing on their minds. I’m not so sure about healthcare either. Sure the public option was popular, but so was world peace when people wanted to attack Iraq. Vague positive sounding stuff are popular.
From immigration to national security to government spending, I see a substantial right wing attitude in America, which I blame entirely on lack of education.
Goddam, I wouldn’t be proposing this and catching any shit from any of you if it was what was already being done. You keep telling me how it works the way it is being done and I don’t give a damn about that since it DOES NOT WORK.
Why it doesn’t get done is answered by folks just like Nick is doing. You seem to think this is about changing FauxNews listeners’ minds, it isn’t. It is about keeping those who probably pretty much agree with you on your side and voting.
I don’t propose that this country is made up of morons, it does have a very large percentage who are way too busy living/getting by to check multiple sources and keep up regularly. These people hear things if they’re repeated and out in front of them. If you doubt that look at the GOP success with “free market” and “trickle down.” That is in the face of those being total fictions. They have become some form of CW and that is why the media plays along.
@Chuck Butcher: If you’re Heath Shuler, what form should your messaging take? The “Issues” area of his campaign website lists
Economy and Job Creation
Faith and Family Values
And under “Health Care,” no lie, it says “Coming soon.”
He’s running that stupid national debt clock, and his big campaign ad is called “I know you’re mad at Congress, and so am I.” In it he brags about how he, unlike others in Congress, doesn’t view spending as the solution to problems; and he further brags that he doesn’t act to advance the interests of a party, but of his district’s families. Tired, conventional bullshit.
How do you convince him that he’d be better served sounding differently?
Because the wingnuts engage in groupthink. They can’t think for themselves. The left is far more independently minded and do not rally around the leader. The right is one giant message, the left is 70 million different ones.
Huey Long would be demagogued into irrelevancy in today’s world.
@FlipYrWhig: Especially since Shuler is one of the few Dems in McCain districts polling well.
You’re not catching shit from me. What you say makes sense in a rational political world. I just think you’re not factoring in the degree to which conservative Democrats DON’T WANT to do it your way, perhaps irrationally but nonetheless steadfastly, and there are a lot of them.
Um, that’s exactly why you’re catching shit from us, because you’re asking them to do what they’ve already tried doing and it failed This is not a climate where everyone who runs and serves as a Democrat is on the same page. In fact, that’s precisely why Democrats have a majority to begin with.
Again Obama, Pelosi and Reid don’t decide what the people hear over and over again, Fox, MSNBC, CBS, Yahoo and AP do, and they’re all decidedly on the side of Republicans. You’re blaming the wrong people. You’re still of the mind that if the President and his party talks, the media will drop everything and cover them. We’ve already showed that not to be the case.
We need to purge and change the party. Obviously, this will take more than gum banging or blogging. This is true heavy lifting of the most complete and difficult…
The only way you purge and change the party is to change the views of conservative Democratic voters, or you subject yourself to a lifetime of political minority.
John Cole has to hold his nose and vote for a far right Democrat in the fall because the registered Democratic voters of his district chose this guy over a pretty centrist Democrat to begin with.
There’s a woman running for district leader in my district who is being challenged by the county party by a more liberal Democrat. She’s going door to door spouting Republican talking points while complaining the “system” is trying to get rid of her. She’s going to win anyway…in BROOKLYN
How do you suspect you get Democratic voters who are really Republican to start voting Democrat again?
Now that the fucking ball has been dropped you want me to fix Heath Schuler? WTF is the matter with your reading comprehension, I’m talking about an ongoing continuous tactic and you want me to do something about last minute election driven politics of one guy or a couple? Would Schuler even be in that position had the 08 Election been followed up by what I’m proposing? In the face of the reality of what followed 08 I would figure there might be advantage to it.
Fine, fuck it and do it the way it’s been done. That’s working ever so well.
no one is saying the current situation is working, just that what you’re proposing is not likely to work either, because it hasn’t when it’s been tried.
Nothing will work until we declare war on the media.
You are so right….only one thing creates jobs, only one thing has ever created jobs … people have to want (be able) to buy the stuff you’re selling….you know the demand part of supply and demand…when I hear wing nuts saying on TV that they can’t hire more people until they know for sure what the Obama taxes are going to be I know that they are not serious.
@Chuck Butcher: Basically it comes down to this. I agree with you that if Democrats presented a unified front, exercised crack message discipline, and hammered the points they all agreed on day in and day out, they would probably be in better shape. So why don’t they do that? And the answer is that a lot of Democrats have a different idea, which is that they want to show that they are “independent,” which they demonstrate specifically by undercutting what many actual Democrats stand for, and by reinforcing stereotypes and conjuring up straw-Democrats to oppose. To get these guys to do it your way is a tremendously tall order. How do you convince them?
Bullshit, utter and complete bullshit. Not since FDR has that been done at a (D) Pesidential level and especially not by this WH. I cannot think of a time Congressional Ds have done it.
You forget that by voting record the large majority of Congressional Ds are pretty reliably liberal. Conservative Ds are not all that common but you act as though they are. The system makes them important in small numbers, not by how many people they represent or even their own numbers.
Well you don’t, you’re never going to get the party to be united behind anything, you never did. The difference was in the past the few dissenters were essentially irrelevant.
The Republicans were able to put forward a united front despite having the Connie Morellas and the Lincoln Chafees in the party because the media wouldn’t pay any attention to them unless they had to.
@Chuck Butcher: Dude, first of all, calm the fuck down. Second of all, you’re suggesting (to mix a very weird metaphor) pie-in-the-sky magic bullets: Sure, all Democrats need to do is all agree on things and talk about those things constantly! Well, it doesn’t take a fucking genius to come up with that one. It’s like saying that the key to your favorite football team’s winning more games is improving their talent and playing better.
What you’re not taking into account, at. all., is that you’re asking a bunch of already-existing Democrats to completely change everything they do, even when doing it their way _has helped them win_. Why should they do it your way? Why should they unify when they win by triangulating?
Then I’m not sure what you’re asking them to do. After the 9/11 health bill failed in the House in July, Congressional Dems and the President went on a week long tirade against Republicans that went no where. They were unified in attacking the GOP, the blogs licked their chops, and the end result is no Democrat was allowed on TV unless they were on with a Republican (namely hypocrite Peter King), and Republicans were often given time without Democrats, and the Daily News in endorsing Carolyn Maloney’s Wall Street-backed opponent claimed President Obama never fought for the bill when he actually did. They literally rewrote history.
Depends on your definition of “reliably” liberal. Bart Stupak and Marcy Kaptur are pretty reliably liberal, but NARAL would disagree.
That’s just a cop out, the media presents CW because they aren’t about to offend the sensibilities of viewers and lose eyes. You guys keep talking about some unified front – that isn’t required and I don’t know why you assume it is. You create a volume of assertions continuously and their stuff looks cranky. You’ve got 40+ Senators well left of what gets passed and you’re telling me they can’t drown out 18 who may have limited interest in continuous campaigning for their crankiness? You’ve got an even larger percentage of Reps in the same position and a Pres who is wizard at it.
I get that. You force me to concede that this kind of change aint easy and comes from the grassroots only after the right groundwork is laid..
That groundwork is not laid externally… it is laid by the experience of people. Leaders help explain and define that experience but only after people experience it.
We still have people thinking big screen teevess, tons of clothes, a house with all the trimmins and four cars, are what citizenship is about. They don’t want their kids educated, they don’t want healthcare. They are in the opium den of consumerism and just want to suck that pipe until they have it ripped from their hands and have to get painful but necessary withdrawal…
But you caught my omission. Thanks
Maybe I’ve lost track of what it is you think should be being done, and isn’t. You originally said you wanted
Obama has given a lot of speeches, held a lot of events. But, fine, my answer to why congressional Democrats don’t “take their causes to the people repeatedly and strongly” is that a big chunk of congressional Democrats actively oppose those causes and beg and plead with the party _not_ to make them defend their nominal party’s accomplishments or agenda.
Do you not think that’s true?
You ask the rhetorical question of why logically 40 something people can’t drown out 13. Cause they don’t want to… they.dont.want.to —-
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying because this country is full of clueless idiots who take everything they’re told at face value, so all you need to do is write something or say something on TV and it doesn’t need to be true. The media presents the viewpoints of the 18 as as or more important than the other 40, because those 18 in their minds represent “real America,” so Americans are led to believe their views should be in line with the 50th (or in this case the 60th) vote.
Do you know how many people though the President used taxpayer money to redesign the Oval Office? Everyone I talked to. EVERYONE.
Because as long as there is one dissenter, he or she is going to get the same, or more, attention as the rest of the party does.
Those Democrats to the right of what gets passed bitch and moan endlessly about being caught between defending their party and defending themselves in their conservative home districts. They hate that. And as Nick keeps pointing out, a lot of the Democrats who have stood against their party’s big accomplishments are polling _better_ than some of the ones who backed those accomplishments even when they were unpopular in their districts.
I don’t know just how badly Ds are going to get hurt in Nov, but they’re going to get hurt. If that pleases you, then pie in the sky and all that shit holds real true. Definitely don’t screw with what works. You make assumptions about unified fronts and little short term squirts they tried and that has not one thing to do with what I’ve said.
I’m done with this.
@Chuck Butcher: You’re not even listening. I even told you, repeatedly, that everything you’re saying _should_ work. But, the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t. The reason why The Democrats don’t do what you want them to do is that half of them don’t fucking believe it. But, fine, play the prima donna martyr and act like everyone else likes what’s happening, rather than joining a discussion about the MOTHERFUCKING REASONS why what’s happening is happening. Christ.
Once again, no one is praising the current situation, all I’m saying is what you’re suggesting won’t work either, because it has not. Every time the Dems stand up for something, they get ignored, bashed relentlessly or the subject is changed. They cannot win in the current environment no matter how hard they try. They had a very strong message on the 9/11 health bill and tried their best to relentless deliver it, they were ignored or given less attention.
they cannot win the current environment, ever.
I’m done with this for the simple reason that you keep telling me how it doesn’t work as it is done and I already know that and it is not and has not been done as I suggested. You keep telling me today’s results as though they have bearing on what happens if you radically change the approach – not so.
Then i’m not really sure what you’re suggesting, because I thought you wanted the Democrats to deliver a single repetitive message and I’m trying to tell you they did that re: 9/11 bill and it didn’t work.
@Chuck Butcher: All I am doing is explaining WHY Democrats en masse don’t take up the approach you suggest. If you actually read what I wrote, you will find that I say, repeatedly, that I think _if_ Democrats _did_ do what you proposed _they would benefit_.
If Obama and congressional Democrats went out there and pounded the drum for the health care bill, or the stimulus package, or Wall Street reform, or any of the big stuff, sure, that’d be great. Unless you were a Democrat who didn’t support the health car bill, or the stimulus package, or Wall Street reform. Actually, you’d think that the dissenting Dems would kind of relish the opportunity to spout off about how they didn’t go with the flow of their party; but instead there’s this recurring story you get in the national media about how Democrats in “tough districts” don’t want to have to take “tough votes” or defend their party’s achievements. So they complain–to whom, I’m not sure; I guess the DNC and/or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and such–and in order to satisfy them everything gets toned down. Right? I feel like that’s a pretty accurate description of the dynamic, but I’m not a campaign veteran.
I am loving this thread.
@FlipYrWhig: It is a stacked deck for dems in the media, and touting actual accomplishments has limited effect, especially since many have not taken effect yet, like HCR, and are easy to demagogue by the wingers.
Our politics are volatile right now for a lot of reasons, the most salient being the economy. It is still a fact that in reality Obama and by extension dems have the highest approval rating from dems in history, so every resource needs to be expended to shake their apathy from the natural position of why worry,, George Bush isn’t president anymore, and the guy in the WH is doing okay. The polls tell us this, that dems have three problems right now. First, motivating their voters, that both parties have trouble with in mid terms when they are in power completely. Second, the independents, whose flaky half baked ideas of what is going on is infamous, and they are easy targets for wingnut bullshittery. and lastly, a fired up wingnut base.
Dems can’t do anything about a fired up winger base, same as Reagan couldn’t in 1982 with a fired up dem base, pissed at his real and perceived ideological excesses. But they can get out their voters, which won’t be easy, and is mostly a ground effort rather than messaging, though messaging can help some, but messaging is the key to knock some sense into flaky independents, who pay just enough attention to politics to be dangerous. Dems don’t really need pound their accomplishments, because indies are usually stuck on frugality issues with government, and patriotic jingoes, among other meaningless posturing the wingnuts are good at.
They do need to be reminded at every turn now till November, that it was only two short years ago the goopers ran the country into a ditch. It is race to the bottom politics of negativity, but what the wingnuts have chosen as their message strategy this election, since they have posited no new ideas other than conspiracy theories and more tax cuts. And it has brought them back, at least on paper in polls. It is their strength now, though a dubious one, tinged with stirring up racial fears as the chaser.
And the media has aided and abetted them every step of the way. But the media cannot counter the simple true message that “do you really want republicans back in charge”, It is boiled down negative campaigning and attacks the meme wingnuts have carefully built the past two years. It is short and sweet, and easy to repeat over and over until it sinks in. Beating the wingers at their own game of message hammering a single simple meme, that happens to also be true.
And because it is simple and sweet, I doubt libtards will do it. Rather to hear themselves wax on explaining the minutia in painful detail to every issue that only ends up confusing the average low info voter.
Someone on DagBlog just provided your link in a comment to my own piece on the same subject, and I was heartened to see it. If we can get enough people to see how foolish it is to side with the enemy right now, we may just have a chance in November.
I’m adding your site to my blogroll. This is great. Thanks.
Yeah, I suspected as much…Once they go Green…
Tee hee…very funny.
Call me a patriotic idealist, but I find it unconscionable that any voting-eligible American would purposefully NOT vote.
We have a right to bitch, whine, moan and complain about whatever floats our own indignation boat, but on Nov. 2nd we drag our ass to the polls. Take a first-aid kit stocked with pain pills and barf bag if necessary.
CLUE FOR COLE:
The reason why “the other guys are CRAZY” is because of the “things the Democrats have done…” i.e. the Democrats fail to hold a principled position and so they let the GOP drag things down into crazy land.
It’s exactly like the battered housewife. If she doesn’t fight in some way, then the husband gets crazier.
Voting for the Democrats helps the GOP get crazier, because you are rewarding unprincipled surrender.
As a latter day Democrat who didn’t switch until after he had somehow managed to vote twice for George W. Bush you can be forgiven for not understanding. After all, as a Republican you undoubtedly voted for every candidate with an R behind his or her name no matter how incompetent, crazy, or dishonest.
For some of us who have been voting for Democrats for several decades, voting for the lesser evil has sucked much of the fun out of voting. That hasn’t stopped me from voting in every election (including every local election) since 1968. I once rappelled six-hundred feet down El Capitan in Yosemite, hitchhiked to the Post Office, cast an absentee ballot, hitched back to El Cap, jumared back up the 600 feet, and proceeded to complete the final 2300-2400 feet of the route. I don’t have to apologize to anyone for my voting record.
But what the hell would I do if I lived in Nevada? Nothing could get me to vote for Sharron Angle, but I loathe Harry Reid and think the Democrats would be much better off if he were gone. If there were any chance that the Republicans were going to take control of the Senate, I’d take two Phenergan and vote for Reid. But no matter how crazy I think Angle is (Ans. = totally) or how bad I think she would be in the Senate (Ans. = unbelievably), I still wouldn’t be enthusiastic about voting for someone I don’t want in the Senate; someone I think is harmful to the party and fundamental beliefs of Democrats. The disgust at doing something that would help return Reid to the Senate would sap all the enthusiasm I might have for voting against Angle. Other people might have a different opinion of Reid and voting for him wouldn’t be nearly as difficult for them. I understand that. But that wouldn’t help me when I had to vote for Reid.
Ultimately, I find voting against someone to be very unsatisfying. I believe voting should be a positive activity. If my vote actually were the deciding vote, i.e., the one that kept Angle out of office, that might make voting for Reid palatable. But that isn’t going to be the case.
John, you were a Republican for so long you have a lot of atoning to do. So, yes, you should be enthusiastic about voting against Republicans — each one of those votes may make you feel like a little bit less of a fool for having stuck with the lunatics for so long after they had gone completely crazy. So, by all means be enthusiastic about voting against Republicans. And forgive me for being sick of having to choose between lunatics, aka Republicans, and some just plain lousy candidates, i.e., Democrats.
I think nihilism is infectious. We have witnessed 19 months of unabashed media praise for the party of no. We see angry crazy people crying out that the government keep their hands off their medicare. We witness polls like the above showing no love for Republicans but that they are going to win huge in November.
I think there is a growing chorus of Democrats thinking “Fuck them then. They want more of the same old same old no solutions for anything but more hate and fear and war? Fine, I’ll stay home and let the country hang itself.”
I remember how totally betrayed by the country I felt after we citizens, in our wisdom, reelected George W Bush. I honestly thought that we deserved what we got if we were going to be so butt-hurtingly ignorant with our right to vote. Evidently, polls show we need more punishment.
Not me, – I’ll be voting in November and doing what I can to depress my Republican family members to keep them home in Arizona and Virginia. Wish my vote counted for more, up here in Humboldt County California. Hey, at least I get to vote against Meg and Carly and for pot legalization!
Vietnam? Or do people in Third World countries not count when we’re discussing human rights and civil liberties?