As you can see, our base is demoralized and tuned out, and plan on sitting out the 2010 elections at rates that will absolutely fuck us if they don’t improve by November.
But again, African Americans, Latinos, and young voters aren’t tuning out because we failed to build bipartisan concensus with Olympia Snowe, or because MSNBC or the blogs made them angry. Making such claims is patently absurd. They’re tuning out because we wasted 2009 “negotiating” with bad faith actors like Snowe and Mike Enzi. The tools were available to quickly pass a health care bill, yet Democrats were too incompetent to do so. And on issue after issue, they’ve proven completely ineffective.
THAT’s why the base is sitting things out. They don’t need blogs or MSNBC to tell them that Democrats can’t govern. They already knew that Republicans don’t want to govern, but the Democrats were supposed to be different. And they are, they want to govern, but they can’t. And the voters that worked their asses off to give Democrats the White House and super majorities in Congress are now realizing that it was all for nothing. That all that talk about hope and change was cynical bullshit designed to motivate them. It worked once, but that crowd is learning the art of political cynicism, and it ain’t pretty.
These are fair points, but it’s also fair to point out that John hasn’t been criticizing progressives for saying that Obama was stupid for to bargain with Olympia Snowe, he’s been criticizing them for doing things like joining up with teabaggers (Jane Hamsher), drawing pictures of Obama throwing hippies under a bus (Open Left), and acting like Rahm Emanuel was the second coming of Dick Cheney (numerous progressive blogs).
Obama has done things I don’t like. His economic team’s predictions were wildly off-base, his support for “entitlement reform” terrifies me, he underestimated how intransigent Republicans would be, etc. But he also came a lot closer to getting substantial health care reform through Congress than any other Democratic president ever did. The fact these efforts — which may well have been flawed, admittedly — somehow make him a traitor to the grand cause of progressivism mystifies me (EDIT: I am not saying that Kos has called Obama a traitor to the grand cause of progressivism, but various commentators, here and elsewhere, have.)
And as for Congress, I don’t see how it’s fair to blame the 53 or so Senators who have been solid votes for progressive issues for the filibuster and fickle behavior of the other six Democratic Senators.
Yes, the Democrats have been absolutely pathetic since last Tuesday. But the absurd Firebagger attacks predate the election of president Brown by weeks if not month.
By contrast, in 2005, conservatives were calling Bush a genius even though he had horribly mismanaged a war, presided over the worst terrorist attack on American soil in American history, failed to cut the federal budget, and was in the process of failing to privatize Social Security.
Republican openly revere Republican presidents, progressive outlets openly distrust Democratic presidents. I’m not saying FDL and Maddow and the rest should emulate Powerline, but obviously, this affects Democratic morale.
I don’t think progressives should clap louder, but sometimes I wonder if we couldn’t boo our own more quietly.