Attn: Democrats

Read this:

Although U.S. registered voters are closely divided in their 2010 congressional election preferences, those who say they are “very enthusiastic about voting” this year show a strong preference for the Republican Party.

Gallup has consistently found Republicans expressing a higher level of enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year’s election campaign. Theoretically, those who are enthusiastic about voting would be more likely to turn out to vote than those who are not enthusiastic. This fall, Gallup will be better able to measure the potential impact of turnout on the vote by applying its “likely voter” model to the generic ballot results. That model takes into account a more complete set of factors related to voting, including interest in the election, intention to vote, and past voting behavior.

The read the three blogposts below this. Then factor in everything the Republicans have done the past two years. Then think about the fact that today, they voted against, for the second time, even debating financial reform.

If you idiots are not enthusiastic about going to the polls to vote for the Democrats and against the Republicans, you deserve what you get. And so help me, if one of you says you just haven’t gotten enough change from Obama, I’ll come to your house and punch you in the neck and kick you in the junk. And if I so much as hear one of you whine about the public option, I’ll go all Marsellus Wallace on you.

There’s a war on, and you don’t get to be Switzerland, sitting on the sidelines nursing your butthurt.

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222 replies
  1. 1
    AhabTRuler says:

    Well, I always vote, so no problem there, bit I live in Maryland, so another Dem is coals to Newky.

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    But Rahm said mean things about bloggers.

  3. 3
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Personally, I remain very enthusiastic about fighting these nefarious know-nothings wherever and whenever they want to put down the cardboard and get hardcore.

    /O-BOT…AWWWWWAAAAAAYYYYY!

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    Put it this way: The Democrats might not have given me my pony, but I know that the Republicans will give me a house full of rats and cockroaches. That is more than enough motivation for me.

  5. 5
    AhabTRuler says:

    I even voted for the extremely uninspiring Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, although I hadn’t voted for Glendenning (Gov.) and her (Lt. Gov) reëlection previously. I actually didn’t vote in that election (’98), but had I voted for Gov., I would have voted for the R.

  6. 6
    Guster says:

    This would seem very judicious indeed if you hadn’t written dozens of blog posts mocking people who wanna punch Rahm in the neck. Me, I’d like to kick Obama in the junk first, anonymous blog commentators second. Just as hard, but second.

    Also, prosecuting whistleblowers and letting war criminals walk; I haven’t gotten enough change from Obama. Email for my address.

  7. 7
    ruuffles says:

    I am sooo staying home if Obama nominates Kagan, or *gasp*, Garland for Steven’s seat.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    On the one hand I don’t think that readers of blogs like this would be among those least likely to vote.

    On the other hand, I’m a big believer that it’s a bad, bad, bad electoral strategy for Democrats to focus on the way people ought to turn out and ought to vote versus figuring out who it is that is not likely to turn out and not as likely to vote Democratic and try to change that.

    I agree that it’s unfair that people often act against or fail to act for what they should clearly recognize as being in their own interests, but people are what they are.

  9. 9
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    You know, there definitely was a downside to the Obama campaign inspiring all these new people who “never cared about politics before”. A lot of them aren’t familiar with the idea that, in an election, you pick the lesser of the two evils and you vote, enthusiastically for them–and that’s the only way things get done. Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap–it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

  10. 10
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that yelling at followers of a blog written about politics by one of the most famous blogosphere party switchers means you are preaching to the choir (i.e. if we are here commenting, we vote.) Nevertheless, it’s been snowing all day, there are 3 inches already on the ground and this is the first good laugh I have had all day. Bravo, Comrade Cole!

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    This would seem very judicious indeed if you hadn’t written dozens of blog posts mocking people who wanna punch Rahm in the neck.

    SOMEONE SAID NASTY THINGS ABOUT ME ON A BLOG SO I’M NOT GONNA VOTE.

    No point in getting your address. I can’t kick you in the junk, your head is so far up your ass your shoulders would be in the way.

  12. 12
    AhabTRuler says:

    @beltane: Voting D has been a defensive reaction for most of my life. Otherwise, I might have left the party to the left (or it left me, who the hell can tell anymore). But when all you have is a hammer disparate coalition of loosely affiliated interests given to infighting and disorganization, well, everything looks like a… …&#060sobs&#062

    &#060/sobs&#062
    Now, I am going to very gingerly refresh the main page, and I hope their isn’t another post from John Cole…

  13. 13
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Unfortunately, the political reality is that lefty voters don’t have a lot of reason to be enthused with Democrats. Political realities suck.

  14. 14
    LarsThorwald says:

    Spot on.

    Not only do I plan to vote, I plan to work on a campaign this year, even if my Dem representative voted against HCR and is a Blue Dog. Because if my Dem congressman loses to arch-conservative Andy harris and Harris and 40 other new GOP freshman take over the House and institute Christ Knows What idiocy, then I at least want to be able to look myself in the mirror and say, I tried to stop this.

  15. 15
    David in NY says:

    @Guster:

    Also, prosecuting whistleblowers and letting war criminals walk; I haven’t gotten enough change from Obama.

    And you’re going to like the change a Republican House and Senate will give you? They’ll prosecute those war criminals? How’s that work, exactly?

  16. 16
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    I’ve been making monthly donations (via ActBlue) to the Dem Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees, even when I was so mad at all the spineless wimps during the health care debate.

    Money is a big big deal this year, especially with all the potential for corporate campaign malfeasance.

    Also, I plan to volunteer for at least one close race.

    Hope that qualifies as enthusiastic, even if I have no junk in danger of being kicked.

  17. 17
    rootless-e says:

    But what about me
    and my feelings?
    until they fire Rahm
    there’s no healing
    my chakras are bruised
    I feel so abused
    we need our self-esteem
    haven’t you ever been
    a teen?

  18. 18

    Yeah, I just read that a little while ago. I am guessing that much of that enthusiasm gap comes out of the south and some southern border states. Dems are going to lose a bunch of seats they just picked up in 2008 in those places, no way around it. That was predictable to a degree, as many wingnutty type voters just voted for dems cause they were pissed at Bush and what he did to the economy then. Of course they’ve mostly forgotten that now, and rumors of Obama being a commie is on their tiny minds.

    Still doesn’t explain the general stupidity and lack of informed discernment amongst the citizens of this country, with no thanks to our wanker press. We need a 200 large gain in jobs this month and here on out to keep the loses respectable and congress in dems hands.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    And right on time, JSF bringing the butthurt.

    Waiting on MYIQ and BTD and the thread will be complete.

  20. 20
    Guster says:

    @John Cole: That’d make more sense if I said I wasn’t gonna vote. Of course I’ll vote–I’ll even fake enthusiasm. I just enjoy the way you apportion blame.

  21. 21
    Svensker says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap—it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

    It took me 40 years to figure that out. Preach it!

  22. 22

    Looks like fuckhead is bending over for his turn. Turn your head and cough puma/

  23. 23
    rootless-e says:

    geez, you go down to the mall and there’s this shiny Hope and Change thing, and you take it home and you’re still dumb and ugly – where’s the change in that? So bring it back to the mall. It’s not like there’s a civic duty or anything.

  24. 24
    frankdawg says:

    Yeah – like I have a choice. I’ll vote Dem and be appropriately grateful that they are destroying the country more slowly than the Rs would – gee thanks.

    BTW your Switzerland analogy is off a bit – since our choice looks more like the Waffen or the Vichy its possible to be engaged in combat (not neutral) and not really fond of either choice.

  25. 25
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Nope, just trying to explain political realities to ya.

  26. 26
    dweomer says:

    I’m digging the righteous anger. Keep it coming!

  27. 27
    David in NY says:

    @Guster:

    Of course I’ll vote

    Oh, sorry. Querulous comment withdrawn.

  28. 28
    AhabTRuler says:

    Some days, this is all I can think about being an American.

    I call those ‘weekdays’.

  29. 29
    RJ says:

    Would that I could vote.

  30. 30
    sukabi says:

    couple of points…. it’s a GALLUP poll… they have been caught numerous times skewing their poll results FOR REPUBLICANS, so why would you put ANY stock in what they have to say?

    The Republican party is in disarray, they are being flanked by teabaggers and other assorted nutters… their incumbents will likely have primary challenges too… and from an even loonier batch than currently occupies the offices…

    While the Republican folks that Gallup polls may currently profess to have higher enthusiasm for the next election than the Dems do, the folks they have to pick from are flat out NUTZ, and in the end who are you going to vote for… the guy that’s sat on his ass saying “NO” to everything, some crazy cracker that wants to shove his jesus down your throat, or a guy that might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but is working to get you the “socialist help” you need?

  31. 31
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @rootless-e:

    Internets. You. Win.

  32. 32
    Max Power says:

    This is all about base maintenance, not about the bases.

    The Republican Base is fired up because they’ve been getting red-meat with steroids sauce for two years.

    The Democratic Base is sallow and pallid because they’ve been fed on compromise and weak tea for two years.

    Dems want turn out? Dems need to start feeding the base the right stuff.

  33. 33
    Guster says:

    @David in NY: Sweet rosy Christ. This is a blog post about enthusiasm. Chanting ‘The Republicans are worse’ is utterly true, but hardly a recipe for enthusiasm. The Republicans are psychotic. I will chose, every single time, to do everything possible to eat cilantro pudding for dinner instead of maggots. But please, leave me that little voice inside that says, “Cilantro pudding isn’t my absolutely favorite dish.”

    Anyone who doesn’t vote Democratic is an idiot. But you can’t blame *voters* for lack of enthusiasm, just for refusing to vote. The enthusiasm is the party’s responsibility.

  34. 34
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    John –

    What about going all Kos and putting up some ActBlue links for some worthy Dem candidates?

  35. 35

    C’mon Cole. You’re just itching for a good ol’ Balloon Juice intramural fight, aren’t you? It has been a few days. So what’s next a thread with Tunch, Lily and the bird feeder to calm us all down. I love the Jekyll and Hyde thread days. Nothing like a good whipsawing to remind us why we come here to torment you.

    So who hurt your feelings this time? You can tell us. You’re among friends your semi-loyal commetariat. Calm down, have a cup of herbal tea, put your feet up on the Lazyboy, and cuddle with Lily. It will all work out, brother.

  36. 36
    Kennedy says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Here is another political reality for you – if you are disappointed with what the Democrats have or have not done, then imagine how much better things will be if the Republicans are able to pick up a majority in the House or several more seats in the Senate.

    Is it really that difficult to remember, or even observe currently, how fucking awful the Republican party is when its in power? If that isn’t enough motivation to dry up your emo tears, then you fail.

  37. 37
    eemom says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap—it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

    a-fucking-men. It really is that simple.

    Sheeyit, that would even almost fit on a bumper sticker.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    Research 2000 poll, Apr 19 – 22:

    QUESTION: In the 2010 Congressional elections will you definitely vote, vote, not likely vote, or definitely will not vote?

    ……….DEFINITELY VOTE…..NOT LIKELY…..DEF NOT…..NOT SURE

    DEM……….26…..35…..23…..4…..12
    REP……….30…..39…..14…..3…..14

    NORTHEAST…..26…..34…..22…..4…..14
    SOUTH………29 …..40…..15…..4…..12
    MIDWEST…….27…..37…..20…..4…..12
    WEST……….26…..36…..21…..4…..13

    Unfortunately there’s not a breakdown by region by party. I think this would be helpful.

    On the Favorable / Unfavorable / No Opinion of the Democratic Party, Democrats are 74, 21, and 5 respectively. On the Republican Party, Democrats are 9, 87, and 4.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I actually don’t think there’s much correlation between the purists and PUMAs threatening to sit this one out (“are we really that small a sliver of the party?”) and low turn out. Mid-term voters have skewed Republican as long as I’ve been paying attention– older, wealthier, whiter. To the extent there is a relationship, I think it has to do with, to steal Ezra Klein’s phrase, we have congressionally centered political process and a presidentially centered politlcal media/discourse. People who can’t name their congress-critter probably don’t understand the role the House plays in their daily lives; they probably also don’t get why the filibuster matters. That said, I’m actually encouraged, if not yet optimistic, that OFA (and AZ) may get people going to the polls.

    I think Ohio, New Hampshire and Missouri senate seats are the most important races, and I’ll be contributing what I can. Even if I know I’m gonna get pissed off by Carnahan if she takes my money and makes Claire McCaskill look like Al Franken.

  40. 40
    Guster says:

    @David in NY: Curse you! Then my overreaction is withdrawn, too. (Now please stop this polite insanity before we get all bipartisan-curious.)

  41. 41
    David in NY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: @John Cole:

    I thought JSF’s comment was what he said, a realistic assessment of the situation. Not a lot for the [actual] left to cheer about. Still, beats Republicans all to hell.

  42. 42

    But you can’t blame voters for lack of enthusiasm, just for refusing to vote.

    We can and i will blame voters for refusing to vote. Enthusiasm doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. Except when idiots who use it as an excuse.

  43. 43
    Bill Section 147 says:

    Count me as an always votes regardless.

    Actually I am very enthusiastic about voting. And even if the Democrats were meh – the horror that is the Republican Party reminds me daily that I have to vote.

    I think part of the goal of the right-wing noise machine currently is to spread this theme of enthusiastic v. not enthusiastic. They are trying to energize their base by telling them they have a chance. Meanwhile their base is shrinking.

    Of course they have money on their side so you can never count them out.

  44. 44
    Southwest_of_Heaven says:

    @beltane:

    Goddamn fuckin A right, sir!

    This is why I cannot stomach DailyKos much anymore. Has anyone actually read those recommended diaries written by unhinged ‘progressives’ who bitch and whine like petulant brats that Obama hasn’t done every single last thing on their own personal wishlists, and that he’s no different than the Republicans?

    What in the fucking hell is wrong with these people? “Waaa, I am not voting this year because I didn’t get MY PONY, my little pet left wing cause is SO much more important than the big picture, waaaaaa!!”

    Ok jerkoffs, say hello to a GOP house and watch the rest of his first term get slimed and mud-ridden with endless House hearings on ACORN and Bill Ayers.

    Shit, they impeached Clinton, what do you think they will do to the black president if given the chance?

  45. 45
    rootless-e says:

    I must really be a pessimist, because for me the last 1 1/2 years have been a constant positive surprise. Obama is much more progressive and much more successful than I expected. The expectations of the disappointed seem to me to result from a wildly cockeyed view of the possibilities.

  46. 46
    jeffreyw says:

    Grumble grumble...been out mowin...fuckin grass…the grass isn’t laughing…talk about butt hurt…fuckin mower bounced my fat ass around I’ll tell ya.

    And if I so much as hear one of you whine about the public option, I’ll go all Marsellus Wallace on you.

    For a minute there I thought you was dissin adoption. We’re cool.

  47. 47
    cat48 says:

    I go to the polls and vote for the Dem when one is running here in SC. Not always one on the ballot in my district. I see change even if no one else does. Still can’t believe that hc passed! No enthusiasm problem here but no one ever polls me.

  48. 48
    acorvid says:

    John, there’s no straighter-shooting, clear-minded person on the web. Thank you so much! B

  49. 49
    Cerberus says:

    Well John, I voted from Denmark in the last election, so this election where I’ll be repatriating back, I’m definitely planning to be on the ball and hopefully maybe even get in a couple of weeks of pushing the pavement for a good cause if I need to (though it might be superfluous, the CA seats should be pretty safe, I’m moving to SF area so high Dem, though CA usually has some random initiative to back or try to defeat so there’s always that to “look forward to” as it were).

  50. 50
    PTirebiter says:

    @Guster:

    Of course I’ll vote—

    But who will you vote for? I mean, if Obama really is just like Bush, will you vote to enable him or obstruct him? The problem is that your incessant butt hurt is contagious and the professional victims may not be able to put on your same brave face. Never mind manning phone banks and such.

  51. 51

    @cat48: “Enthusiasm” for democrats should also include keeping fucking wingnuts out of office, if nothing else.

    edit – my comment was not directed at you.:)

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    We can and i will blame voters for refusing to vote

    That’s fine, I do it too (especially 2004), but it seems much more like something said in sorrow after defeat than a strategy to make your party less likely to lose.

  53. 53
    Guster says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: You think enthusiasm doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the refusal to vote? That’s a curious belief.

    (And there’s no reason to be stingy with blame. Plenty to go around. Blame nonvoters for choose not to vote, and the party for making that choice easy.)

  54. 54
    Adam Collyer says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Political realities suck.

    You know what sucks? Actual reality.

    The new Arizona immigration law? Actual reality. The new Arizona concealed weapons law? Actual reality. The Oklahoma abortion law two-for-one? Actual reality. Michelle Bachmann telling people that the census is invasive government that should go unanswered? Actual reality.

    These are all actual realities. So fine, if you wish to believe that the Democrats have given you nothing to cheer about, then that’s your right. I’ll think you’re ridiculous and you’ll think I’m an Obamabot, and round in a circle we go. But if you can’t acknowledge that the alternative to the current situation is a bunch of truly invasive government lunatics, that’s a problem. We’re going to have serious problems in these people take power in any way, shape or form within the next few years; worse problems than we have now.

  55. 55
    Mayur says:

    Jeebus effing Christ, this blog seems to be missing the point so often these days.

    The issue isn’t ponies or unicorns or Lady Windermere’s undergarments, it’s the fact that the Democrats seem to think that running just to the left of their batshit crazy opposition entitles them simultaneously to the benefits of corporate sponsor approval and a lock on both the votes and the popular enthusiasm of the non-batshit-crazy voter.

    I just don’t think it works like that… at least as far as the picture you’re painting. Diehard lefties like me and my friends may bitch, complain, write letters, stamp our feet, and waste time writing useless blog comments, but at the end of the day, we give time, money, and votes to the candidates we want. Because we are educated professionals who understand the realities inherent in having a two-party system, we don’t generally vote for candidates who are unlikely to get anywhere near a plurality of the vote if the person on the other side of the ballot is a Republican. That said, there are PLENTY of people for whom the Dems “not doing enough” is a turnoff, and THOSE people tend to self-classify as “independent.” Contrary to how David Broder tries to portry the situation, Independents aren’t some magical 50-50 mix of Dem and Rep; they just tend to either be idiots who genuinely think that “all parties are the same,” or one- or two-issue voters for whom a properly-enacted policy can make a real difference. The fact is, you will never, ever mobilize those people without some semblance of reaching out to them. Take civil libertarians, for instance. If Obama had done more to push back against the abuses of executive power engendered by the Bush Administration, he’d have a better shot at their votes even if they leaned too far left or too far right to swallow, say, his economic policy platform.

    Really, though, the only blame that Obama has for engendering voter apathy and/or dissatisfaction is pretty symbolic (the civil liberties stuff is still fucking outrageous). The rest of the blame lies with the Dems in Congress, who are the real object of my little nonsensical diatribe.

    Fin.

  56. 56
    policomic says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason: “Voting isn’t about self-actualization.” Well said. If you want to express yourself, try karaoke. Voting is about getting the best electable persons into positions where they are able to do some good (or hold off some bad), not about emotional gestures or demonstrations of personal purity. It’s more like choosing a car insurance policy than letting your freak flag fly.

  57. 57
    Laura W. says:

    @David in NY: Shhhhhh…..foreplay.

  58. 58
    eemom says:

    The “lack of enthusiasm” argument strikes me as the ultimate concern troll-ism.

    Even if it were grounded in the realities of the last 18 months, which it is not, it is just plain beside the point, for all the reasons all the folks whose heads are not embedded up their asses have already noted.

  59. 59
    Genine says:

    And so help me, if one of you says you just haven’t gotten enough change from Obama, I’ll come to your house and punch you in the neck and kick you in the junk.

    That’s a good campaign slogan.

    Yes, I will most definitely vote. Is Obama perfect? No, but I like him. On a political level, things will get much worse with Republicans in office. On a personal level, his administration instituted a policy that, literally, saved my life. (The COBRA subsidy). I mean if Republicans had won, I’d be dead or permanently paralyzed on my left side at the very least.

    It’s only been two years and people are complaining he hasn’t gotten things done in two months! (It’s hyperbole, I know. But it’s not too far off the mark.) I am all for keeping pressure on our leaders, it’s a good thing when done in a strategic way. But this “we’re taking our ball and going home” business is somewhat ridiculous considering we make fun of conservatives who do the same.

    EDIT: Oh! And lovin’ the tax breaks! :-D

  60. 60
    Rosali says:

    I turn out for the local dogcatcher election.

  61. 61
    AmericanJoe says:

    How stupid do you have to be to think that this is a compelling argument to get out the vote?

    ‘We suck, but the GOP is worse’ is Chait/New Republic level of stupid.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    I’m getting lectured on political realities by the folks who insisted for a year and a half that we had 60 and then 50 votes for the public option despite ever telling me who they were, and then when it became clear that they were full of shit and there never were 50 votes, decided their next spin would be that there weren’t 50 votes because the WH didn’t want the public option or Obama didn’t try hard enough.

    So I’ll take your political realities with a grain of salt, thank you very much.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Cid:

    I have to say, that is one hell of a gender gap.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    You don’t get to be Switzerland, sitting on the sidelines nursing your butthurt.

    My impression was that Switzerland didn’t so much sit on the sidelines as it laughed all the way to the bank. So to speak.

  65. 65

    @Guster: OKay. I should have said it “shouldn’t” have anything to do with it.

    but it seems much more like something said in sorrow after defeat than a strategy to make your party less likely to lose.

    It is directed at anyone who comes here to either declare they are not going to vote because they are disappointed in dems, or who apologize for those who do not vote because they are disappointed in dems. Which is what the post thread alludes to.

    People who generally are apathetic to voting is another topic.

  66. 66
    Mayur says:

    To add one thing: Sorry, but the fact that the Reps are too awful to contemplate in power Is. Not. Enough. for the Dems to not only campaign on, but actually govern on. Honestly, even complete fucking anarchy would be better than a Republican-run government these days, but does that mean the Democratic Reps and Senators are, say, justified in just getting up and walking out of session? There really does come a point when the country will go down the shitter *regardless* of which party governs if at least one party can’t keep it together enough to not merely do no evil, but actually do some good.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill Section 147:

    I think part of the goal of the right-wing noise machine currently is to spread this theme of enthusiastic v. not enthusiastic. They are trying to energize their base by telling them they have a chance. Meanwhile their base is shrinking.

    I know it marks me as a hopeless optimist but I have to admit, that’s been going through my mind, too. A lot of polls have been overrepresenting Republicans and underrepresenting Democrats and independents. When only 20% of the electorate identifies as Republican, it’s overreporting to make them 1/3rd of your data pool just to be “fair.”

  68. 68

    @Mayur: If you really believe this drivel. Then you are free to pick a candidate to support who will meet your expectations. That is all there is, when it comes to whether to vote or not. You can agitate the current administration for what you want, but using it as an excuse to not vote is childish, at best. And does nothing to improve anything.

  69. 69
    El Cid says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I know what the post focuses on, but I find it difficult to think that Cole is merely navel-gazing within the tiny world of this and a few other blogs.

    I would think that those supporting Democrats and liberals would be very, very interested in finding out which of those who showed up to vote last time aren’t likely to vote this time, why (or at least why they say such things), and maybe how to institutionally change and address this, from rhetoric to policy and to GOTV campaigns without assuming that people will show up and vote as we think they ought.

  70. 70
    Jody says:

    Yeah John, sometimes I poke around on the internet looking for a fight as well.

    You’re entirely right, of course. If anything the recent actions of the GOP in Oklahoma and AZ have shown me more than enough “political realities”.

    So he isn’t as left as I want. Big deal. Neither is the GOP.

  71. 71
    robertdsc says:

    And lovin’ the tax breaks! :-D

    The refund I received with the tax breaks is keeping me afloat right now when I’m out of work. If there were no tax breaks, I’d be stressing every week.

    I’m fine with my Rep, Linda Sanchez, and will gladly vote for Barbara Boxer. I have my reservations about Jerry Brown, but the fuckups who are on the GOP side are infinitely worse than the fool we have as Governor now.

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jody:

    You’re entirely right, of course. If anything the recent actions of the GOP in Oklahoma

    I’ve been out of the country. What did the Okie GOPie do?

  73. 73
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @policomic:

    It just really angers me. Politics are SUPPOSED to be disappointing and suck, the vast majority of the time. How do you think the civil rights activists felt until ’64? Political realties change at a very. slow. pace. in America. How do you think elected officials feel? A sizeable portion get into politics because they want to change things, and they end up in a regime where they’re constantly making one more compromise to sell out their views in hopes of getting something done. How do you think they keep going? Because they believe that, on balance, they’re doing more to advance their goals than harm them. Anyone who’s serious about changing anything in America has to have the same mindset.

    I think liberal democrats (progressives? the term sort of makes my eye twitch) in particular have to not buy their own cool-aid and realize that although a large portion of voters are culturally derisive of the GOP and vaguely disposed toward the Democrats, only a minority of Americans are in favor of liberal policies in general–a lot of people are temperamentally conservative and suspicious of changing things. That doesn’t mean they can’t be convinced on particular issues, but it means they’re not going to start out automatically believing what you say. It’s so much easier to believe “hey, everything’s worked ok up to this point!” than it is to believe hard work needs to be done to fix big problems.

  74. 74

    @El Cid: There are other reasons why people don’t vote in midterms, some just apathy, some thinking their guys are in power, so why bother. Those folks dem should and likely will goad to get off their couches and go to the polls. But Cole identified so called progressives that have inundated this blog and about all the others on the left with threats to not vote because they didn’t get the ideal they wanted. I personally could care less what they do, and plan to spend no time talking them off their stupid. Mocking and derision is also in play. Just sick of the whining is all.

  75. 75
    Shalimar says:

    I’m going to vote, but I see no reason to help the Democratic Congressman (Bobby Bright) campaign. He’s as far to the right as any Dem in Congress, and I have no doubt that if Republicans fall one seat short of a majority then the a-hole will switch parties. You can mock people for saying there is no difference between parties, but in Alabama there really isn’t.

  76. 76
    WereBear says:

    @Genine: So glad you are doing better, Genine.

    This President’s speeches often make me cry. The last President’s actions usually did.

    That’s plenty of change for me.

  77. 77
    Cerberus says:

    @Mayur:

    So vote in more Dems. One party is trying to actually do things. Another party is trying to burn it all down. One party has a couple members who are using their marginal status to flirt with the burn things down brigade.

    More and better dems makes the burn shit down brigade and their perennial flirters politically irrelevant.

    Or we can have an even greater degree of stalemate as dems need 5+ Snowes to pass anything other than the Impeach Obama Bill.

  78. 78
    Citizen Alan says:

    I’ll vote for Obama in 2012. Hell, I’m voting for Travis Childers this November even though he’s a Republican in nearly every way that matters. I’ll vote for both of them and for the same reason — they’re a little better than the Republican. And that’s really all you want out of Democrats I think. Nothing ambitious. Nothing that might really make things demonstrably better rather than just a hair more tolerable.

    In this country, we only have two political choices. Republicans and Democrats. Monsters and the cowards who won’t stand up to them. Psychopaths who want to open up on the express train to hell, and timid souls who want to gingerly apply the brakes just a little.

    I have voted a straight Democratic ticket in every election since 1992 without exception. By my count, that about six times as long as you’ve been a Democrat, John. I will die before I ever vote Republican or even fail in my civic duty to vote against them, even if only as a protest. But that doesn’t mean I have to shut up and take it when the Democrat lets me down.

    On the defining moral issue of our time — whether this nation will embrace the rule of law or whether we will continue to slide towards fascism — Barack Obama has shown grotesque cringing cowardice, and while he has not gleefully embraced evil as his predecessors did, he has done nothing of any importance to fight against it. I do not plan to shut up about that, least of all at the command of someone who only recently removed his tongue from George Bush’s anus and transferred it to that of Rahm Emmanuel. Is it really that much more flavorful for you, John?

  79. 79
    Graeme says:

    I’m in Pelosi’s district. I’ll vote for her because of the whole health care thing. I don’t think she’s in any danger here. I see more Larouchies than teabaggers in SF.

  80. 80
    Cerberus says:

    Thing that makes me personally extra excited about voting this midterm?

    Depending on where I end up living for the 2010 election, a vote for a Green Party candidate on a city position might not end up being a wasted vote.

    Just thinking about that makes me giddy inside.

  81. 81
    middlewest says:

    After being suckered into Naderism for a while in college, I spent a good deal of time trying to define specifically what was so awful about that movement. I eventually came up with something I called the “Nader Doctrine”: the idea that in politics it is more important to be right than to win.
    What makes groups like the Naderites and online Progressives so dangerous is not that they’re wrong on the issues- they are often horribly, painfully right in a way that mainstream Democrats aren’t- it’s that they refuse to accept that in politics, winning always comes first. In politics, winning means convincing others of your ideas and passing legislation that makes your ideas into reality. To be right without an effective agenda for political victory is so meaningless and counterproductive to the point of nearly being indistinguishable from being wrong.

    But when I was a Naderite, I just didn’t care about any of that- I was so infatuated with my own Rightness that I expected the Democratic party and the American people to throw themselves at my feet and marvel at the correctness of my opinions and morals. And that’s the same attitude I see in far too many on the left these days. Jesus, does anyone actually believe that a Glenn Greenwald column has ever changed anyone’s mind on torture? Does anyone on the left have any strategy for changing the fact that the majority of Americans support torture beyond blaming Obama? How the fuck is chaining yourself to a fence a better way of passing the DADT repeal through the Senate than a thorough year-long military review supported by top Pentagon personnel? And just look at the GOS frontpage: there is currently a post approving Simon Johnson’s contention that Dems should seek a “clear and memorable defeat” on financial reform! Because we all know nothing rallies the American people to action like principled failure! If that isn’t the Nader Doctrine, I don’t know what is.

    Sorry for all the WORDS, but I’ve felt the siren song of Naderism, and it’s important that we all never forget its horrible consequences.

  82. 82
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Oh, and for those who need motivation, I have three words:

    Speaker John Boehner

  83. 83
    srv says:

    The reality is the American Taliban is much angrier than their opposition, and they always will be, until we let them go.

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    But Cole identified so called progressives that have inundated this blog

    inundated: I don’t think that word means what you think it means. That’s like calling BOB an army.

  84. 84

    @Citizen Alan:

    I do not plan to shut up about that, least of all at the command of someone who only recently removed his tongue from George Bush’s anus and transferred it to that of Rahm Emmanuel. Is it really that much more flavorful for you, John?

    Free speech for all. Even idiots like you.

  85. 85
    Genine says:

    @WereBear:

    Thanks, Werebear! I’m glad too. :-)

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know it marks me as a hopeless optimist but I have to admit, that’s been going through my mind, too. A lot of polls have been overrepresenting Republicans and underrepresenting Democrats and independents. When only 20% of the electorate identifies as Republican, it’s overreporting to make them 1/3rd of your data pool just to be “fair.”

    I never believed the Republican number. Republicans just didn’t want to admit they were Republicans, so they said “independent” for a little bit, but they’re Republicans, and they’ll vote that way.

    That said, I’m also more optimistic than the media theme, just based on talking to people around here, which is at least as reliable as CNN, my “sample” of 60 people.

  87. 87

    @srv:

    Inundated is the right word for certain periods, like during HCR, and no doubt will be operable again in the future. And BoB is a spoof and not in this equation.

  88. 88
    bemused says:

    If all the most recent R atrocities, AZ & OK laws, anti bank regulation, egging on racist haters & violence & more, haven’t convinced the ‘disappointed’ to vote D, then absolutely nothing R’s do, no matter how vile, will.

  89. 89
    RJ says:

    @Cerberus:

    “One party is trying to actually do things. Another party is trying to burn it all down. ”

    Regardless of the merits of the things one party is trying to actually do, that’s what differences between Democrats and Republicans boil down to.

    (particularly the `burn it *all* down’)

  90. 90
    demo woman says:

    It would be sad but not terrible if Crist beat Meeks in FL but that’s not the contest. Meek will be running against Rubio.
    Lowden has a chance to be the next Senator from Nevada. Do I admire Reed’s skills, no but the alternative is nuts.

  91. 91
    Quiddity says:

    I’m especially excited this year because the vibe out there* is that Obama will support the Deficit Commission’s recommendations – which will likely include defaulting on the special Social Security bonds in order to make the “painful cuts” that we all must endure. I’m also excited that Obama has decided to refrain from any leadership on this issue. That’s what I call “Real Leadership”.

    * see recent quote by Erskine Bowles.

  92. 92
    blackwaterdog says:

    Bless you, John, an island of sanity. Democrats simply don’t get the severity of the situation. This is, indeed, a freaking war!!!!

  93. 93
    rootless-e says:

    @Quiddity:

    OOH, the “vibe out there”!!!

    What do the dolphins say?

  94. 94
    Joe Lisboa says:

    Seconded. That’s all I came here to say. Back to making Thai chili-peanut sauce.

  95. 95
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Uh. Damn man. Good morning to you too.

    Tell us how you really feel.

  96. 96
    r€nato says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    You know, there definitely was a downside to the Obama campaign inspiring all these new people who “never cared about politics before”. A lot of them aren’t familiar with the idea that, in an election, you pick the lesser of the two evils and you vote, enthusiastically for them—and that’s the only way things get done. Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap—it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

    well, actually, there’s quite a few people who care passionately about politics, who seem to believe that voting is about self-actualization.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Quiddity: This is the first time I have heard anything about this issue, so it can’t be that strong a “vibe.”

  98. 98
    r€nato says:

    @bemused: remember all the folks in 2000 who insisted there’s ‘not a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore’?

  99. 99
    r€nato says:

    @middlewest:

    To be right without an effective agenda for political victory is so meaningless and counterproductive to the point of nearly being indistinguishable from being wrong.

    I believe it’s called, ‘masturbation’.

    In all of my masturbatory fantasies, I’m the hottest guy on planet Earth. I mean, I must be – I get three ways and four ways with hot chicks all the time… in my mind.

  100. 100
    mr. whipple says:

    @blackwaterdog:

    Bless you, John, an island of sanity.

    Indeed. It’s amazing to me how disconnected the left blogosphere is from their own role in the ‘enthusiasm gap.’

    When you label everything as shit, when everything gets framed as Democrats being weak and stupid, when posts are endless series of complaint with no balance of anything positive, when you get endless posts of hurt feefees from the Democrats not immediately attending to your little concern, it really isn’t a shock that those things have consequences.

    And it isn’t just the blogosphere. It can be from mainstream sources like people writing in national publications a couple months into a new adminstration that they are filled with dispair and ennui or commenting on the tv machine in unhelpful ways.

  101. 101
    NR says:

    What gets me about this post is how misguided it is.

    People who complain on blogs are not the people you need to worry about, John. I have a lot of problems with Obama and the Democrats, but I plan to vote for Democrats in November (for all the good it’ll do in my state). But this does not change the fact that there are lots of people out there who are not planning to vote for Democrats in November, and they don’t complain on (or even visit) blogs. Obama got the votes of these people by promising big changes from the Bush years, and when he got into office, he continued the status quo in many important ways. And when he did take steps toward change, they were timid baby steps.

    Obama’s passionate campaign rhetoric inspired people to vote for him. His timid centrism in office is not inspiring anyone. And that’s his fault, not the fault of those of us who are complaining about it.

    The Dems are going to get their asses kicked in November. And right now, my main fear is that Obama is going to respond to this with even more timid centrism. If he does, there’s a very real chance that he’ll lose to a Republican wingnut in 2012. And that will happen in spite of the fact that 99% of us who are complaining on blogs right now will vote for him in the end.

  102. 102
    r€nato says:

    @Citizen Alan: you are entitled to be disappointed with Obama’s non-prosecution of war criminals, and to demand that something be done… so long as you keep doing the right thing, voting for Democrats while working to get more and better Democrats elected.

    I would just suggest the possibility that Obama might have done as you wished, if he’d not had his hands full with rescuing the nation from another Great Depression, saving the automakers and banking system from going under, and pursuing health care reform.

    I don’t mind indulging in idealism, but first and foremost politics is about pragmatism. Obama did the pragmatic thing and I don’t blame him. Maybe if Bush/Cheney hadn’t left the nation in tatters, we might have had the time to make Glenn Greenwald happy and prosecute the war criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

  103. 103
    David in NY says:

    @r€nato:

    Oh, man, I’ve been away eating dinner, but at the top of this thread I was thinking of those Nader voters, with malice, I might add …

    (Funny, I travel in moderately lefty circles, but as much as people here blame the dirty fucking lefty hippies for bad strategic thinking, I didn’t know a one that voted for Nader. The only Nader voters I knew were parents in safe states, and they only agreed to vote for Nader as a trade with their all-too-young children in swing states, who in return agreed to cast their votes for Gore.)

  104. 104
    r€nato says:

    @David in NY: it wasn’t just the Naderites who said that. I heard that same complaint from several average, semi-disengaged-from-politics folks.

  105. 105
    MikeMc says:

    Polls like this are dog shit. It’s the same as the “generic candidate” ballot. Unbelievably, the generic candidate does incredibly well! What a revelation! “Enthusiasm polls” are just as useless. Just because democrats aren’t as excited to vote as republicans doesn’t mean democrats won’t vote. One vote is worth one vote. Regardless of your vote-boner!

  106. 106
    r€nato says:

    @middlewest: Naderism has the virtue of allowing one to simultaneously be lazy and self-righteous.

    Winning elections is hard work, and there’s the risk you might lose.

    Or, you can sit back on your high horse, feeling all high and mighty and never risk a thing.

    You’ll also never win that way.

  107. 107
    David in NY says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    (progressives? the term sort of makes my eye twitch)

    This. Only it’s more than my eye. Liberal — please.

  108. 108
    WereBear says:

    @r€nato: Maybe if Bush/Cheney hadn’t left the nation in tatters,

    Kind of the classic “burn down the building as you leave.”

    As humans, we have this seamless vision in our mind; which does not apply to humans. People say things like, “Well so what if he did keep the entire globe from going back to using beads, he hasn’t arrested Cheney yet.”

    I’m amazed at what he has done so far. We’ve had two “kings,” both named George, and kings are the only ones who wave the royal hand and declare things.

    And in both cases, they lost a country.

  109. 109
    Tattoosydney says:

    @Laura W.:

    Shhhhhh…..foreplay.

    Heh.

  110. 110
    gwangung says:

    @WereBear: What I find interesting is that on the liberal side there’s two factions more or less. From what I can tell is that both agree that there’s some changes that have been made. They agree that most of those changes are in the right direction. They also agree that there are some things that sorely need to be changed. They both agree that the change made is not enough.

    But one side is all angry and upset; the other folks agree that they’re right to be angry and upset, but we can work to get more change done, even if it’s not nearly as much change as should be done.

    And this is a basis for a blood feud????

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @r€nato:

    remember all the folks in 2000 who insisted there’s ‘not a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore’?

    Watching Moore’s Farhenheit 451, with all the scenes about 2000, the CBC trying to protest the Electoral count, Bush’s inauguration, et al, and no mention of his own role in creating those scenes, I was just kind of bemused. I like Moore, liked the movie, but there was always a little nagging irritation whenever those scenes come up.

    Joe Conason nailed all the celebrity Naderites–Moore, perpetual teen-ager Bill Maher, Tim and Susan jetting in from their villa in Tuscany to tell us Al Gore didn’t care enough about working people–by pointing out that if you’re worth $5 million or more, there was indeed no difference. All kinds of echoes of that in the HCR debate

  112. 112
    Jody says:

    Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    THIS:

    “The Oklahoma Legislature voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to override vetoes of two highly restrictive abortion measures, one making it a law that women undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before having an abortion.

    Though other states have passed similar measures forcing women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, requiring a doctor or technician to set up the monitor where the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.

    The second measure passed into law Tuesday protects doctors from malpractice suits if they decide not to inform the parents of a unborn baby that the fetus has birth defects. The intent of the bill is to prevent parents from later suing doctors who withhold information to try to influence them against having an abortion.”

    The first measure establishes them as a bunch of sadistic fucks. The second one just sends them into mentally ill territory.

    In Oklahoma it is now legal for a doctor to lie to a pregnant woman.

  113. 113
    Honus says:

    @John Cole: really man. It’s like I’m still arguing with the people who said back in 2000 there was no difference between Bush and Gore. And I had the same feeling about the people who abandoned Jimmy Carter in 1980 after Ted kennedy’s bandwagon fell short. That attitude gave us Reagan and Bush. This time around it might give us Palin.

  114. 114
    Mike in NC says:

    Shit, they impeached Clinton, what do you think they will do to the black president if given the chance?

    The Republican Confederate Party? Something having to do with a rope and a tree comes to mind.

    Switzerland didn’t so much sit on the sidelines as it laughed all the way to the bank. So to speak.

    Am reading a wonderful book on the Eighth Air Force in WW2 called “Masters of the Air”, and the section on Switzerland is fascinating. Not only did the Swiss do a lot of trade with Germany, the average person was a Nazi sympathizer. American aircrew who crash landed in Switzerland weren’t exactly treated like welcome guests, and some were actually brutalized in prison.

  115. 115
    paco says:

    as a national guardsmen i will not be voting for any democrat in 2010. i have never (not once) voted for a republican in my life, including judges etc. but i will absolutely not vote in 2010. i have volunteered and donated to Ds every election cycle since ’88. here’s why i won’t this go-around:

    – i will be deployed in afghanistan or iraq (thanks for that escalation, thanks for the failure to make war funding part of the budget, thanks for not investigating war crimes)

    – joe lieberman has a chairmanship and is allowed to caucus with Ds

    – many army friends are losing their jobs and have zero prospects (thanks for the bs stimulus, where’s the massive reinvestment in infrastructure, green energy, taxing the piss out of oil corps, ending corp off-shoring)

    – DADT is still policy

    – energy policy is f’ed, it will be another republican bill named ‘compromise’

    – and yes, there is no public option.

    until some sheit starts to change i’m not doing squat, and i don’t give a rip anymore. obviously the Ds in congress and the exec don’t share my values, so what’s my motivation for voting for them, donating money, donating time?

    so come on over and we can test that punch in the balls.

  116. 116
    NobodySpecial says:

    See Cole build a strawman and knock it down!

  117. 117
    WereBear says:

    @gwangung: It’s not a blood feud, it’s more like exasperation at the sibling who won’t shut up until they get the car pulled over and all of us in trouble.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WereBear: Well said. I think it’s exasperation, and more than a little bit of a amusement mixed in with it. I think “are we really that small a sliver of the party?” should be the tag to go with firebagger/PUMA posts.

  119. 119
    AnotherBruce says:

    Cole, this is straw man bullshit. The progressives will show up and vote like they always do, they may not contribute as much money as 2008, probably for the very good reason that they don’t have it, but they will vote. It’s the independents and first time voters that are not going to show. That’s why the Democrats are gearing up for the immigration debate, to get Latinos to the polls that might not otherwise vote.

    Jesus, hippie kicking is like a full time occupation in this blog, it’s getting damn tiresome.

  120. 120
    Monkey Faced Liberal says:

    Preach it Brother John! Testify!

  121. 121
    Bob K says:

    Unfortunately, I think the too many people are more interested in who gets voted off “Dancing With The Stars” than who comes out on top in November. The people who don’t tune out the news entirely because it’s just always bad, either get their news from Fox/Pravda or get the GOP talking points as transcribed from by MSM. People are too busy to be able to take the time to get all the details.

  122. 122
    WereBear says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, one thing the wingnuts do effectively is get their base worked up, and for a change, we have our base worked up too :)

    And it’s really similar; if Republicans get a setback, they just pour on the fundraising, and judging from my inbox, the Democrats have finally gotten that through their heads.

    I think it will be different this year; I’m not complacent, but I think the usual metrics are going to be wrong. Nothing is the same as it has been; millions of people around the country will chime in on that.

  123. 123
    ozacrot says:

    Agreed with posters saying that you’re preaching to the choir. With a couple petulant exceptions, the folks here are engaged enough to be terrified by the prospect of Republican control that we will definitely be getting out there.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense, then, to focus on those that don’t follow politics closely? The people who voted in 2008 for Obama because they thought it was time for a black President or they wanted to say goodbye to Bush politics? The people who stopped following the news but aren’t sure about HCR because of all the protesters calling it fascism? The people who don’t understand a filibuster but may eventually hear that Obama couldn’t make financial regulation happen?

    It’s easy to get disengaged. We forget this all the time, because we’re junkies for this stuff. How can we bring the liberal undercurrent that represents America out? Youth and minorities and women – if they’re not watching the news (and God, I don’t blame ’em) how do we get them aware of what’s going on?

  124. 124
    ozacrot says:

    And another thing – just a fun hypothetical for those saying they won’t vote Dem – would your view change if Dems ran on eliminating the filibuster? I know I would go from “definite voter” to “definite volunteer”.

  125. 125
    d.s. says:

    People who read political blogs aren’t the problem. Firebaggers are unlikely to cost Dems any seats.

    Informed progressives like to bitch and moan, but in the end they’ll turn out.

    The problem is minorities and young people who turned out for Obama but don’t have a history of turning out in midterm elections.

    Conservatives have already got their unreliable voters charged up by racebaiting and false claims.

  126. 126
    Monkey Faced Liberal says:

    Oh, and Paco — I respect your service to our country.

    But you are full of it:

    i will be deployed in afghanistan or iraq (thanks for that escalation, thanks for the failure to make war funding part of the budget, thanks for not investigating war crimes)

    -At the same time you might also want to thank Obama for finally getting all combat troops out of Iraq, thank him for setting a deadline for starting to remove troops from Afghanistan, thank him for not torturing people anymore, and thank him for finally getting the world to like us more than the French.

    joe lieberman has a chairmanship and is allowed to caucus with Ds

    -Because kicking him out of the caucus would have been so much more helpful in trying to get stuff through that dysfunctional organization known as the Senate. And by the way — I think the Senate Caucus decides who is part of it, not the President.

    But it would have felt oh so good right to kick Joe in the teeth? And really, it is all about your feelings — not actually getting things done.

    many army friends are losing their jobs and have zero prospects (thanks for the bs stimulus, where’s the massive reinvestment in infrastructure, green energy, taxing the piss out of oil corps, ending corp off-shoring)

    -Ah, the “BS Stimulus” was almost 800 billion dollars. That is kinda big. And it did include all sorts of funds for infrastructure and green energy.

    And he did kinda help pull us back from a complete financial collapse.

    Of course, if it was Hillary, or John Edwards, or Dodd, or Dennis K (ha ha) who was President, the stimulus would have been 2 Trillion, the economy humming right now, with your friends and everyone else employed, and we would be eating (sustainably raised) lobster and steak every night.

    DADT is still policy

    -But not being enforced, and on its way out if the President, Secr. of Defense and Army have their way.

    Come on, it is the Pentagon! If you want something done it takes a long fXXXing time. There have to be studies. And reports. And studies on those reports. And reports on those studies. And powerpoints on those studies and reports.

    You are in the Army. Don’t you know that?

    energy policy is f’ed, it will be another republican bill named ‘compromise’

    -A national renewable portfolio standard and a cap on carbon would be miles ahead of what was happening under Bush — and give us the chance to actually get a global climate deal — which is the end goal. Does not sound like a republican bill to me.

    And if you think we can pass something really super strong through this Congress, in this economy, you are smoking some green rather than thinking green.

    and yes, there is no public option.

    -And there will soon no longer be bankruptcy if you get sick. Or denial of preexisting conditions. And extensive support for the poor — allowing for almost universal medical coverage. And tons of wonky crap designed to cut costs that gets Ezra Klein and others who know a ton more about health care than you me or John combined all hot and bothered. Etc. Etc.

    But the public option — that would have solved everything.

    Is this punching hippies? If so, it is awful fun. Sign me up!

  127. 127
    d.s. says:

    The Arizona law will probably give Dems a boost. Latinos will be more likely to turn out if they think conservatives will start an anti-immigrant crusade if they regain power.

    Appeals from Obama can probably boost black turnout to higher than usual for a midterm election.

    In 1994, by the time Dems saw what was coming it was too late to do anything about it.

    So I guess the bright spot for this year is that there is some time to figure out how to mobilize Democrats. But it will be hard.

  128. 128
    Alice Blue says:

    You go, John!

    I have no excuse not to vote–I’m a poll worker, and the voting machines are literally inches from my chair.

    Living in Georgia, voting for Dems is mostly an exercise in futility (but as Molly Ivins said, being a liberal in a red state is a harsh duty).

  129. 129
    kay says:

    @d.s.:

    I agree. That is going to be really hard, because Obama had a real coordinated turn out machine in 2008, and they won’t be able to replicate that. It just isn’t the same as a Presidential election. He depends on unreliable voters, and to a certain extent, Democrats always do.
    The current strategy, here anyway, is to let the state Party and candidate campaigns bring out reliable base voters and OFA will add the extra margin with less reliable voters, because they believe that is OFA’s strength. I’m only talking about 2 or 3 points. If the candidate is tanking, OFA can’t rescue him or her ( Mass. Senate was the example the organizer used). But, we have a very strong state Party, in Ohio. It’s been gaining ground steadily for ten years now, in organizational terms. I don’t know what happens in other states.
    Don’t screw it up :)

  130. 130
    Salt and freshly ground black people says:

    @El Cid: The difference in enthusiasm for Nancy Pelosi versus Harry Reid in that poll is quite telling.

  131. 131
    David in NY says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    May I add agreement with AnotherBruce and one or two others above who have said roughly this: It’s not the dirty funking progressive lefty hippies who aren’t going to vote. It’s really NOT.

    So quit hippie bashing. If you want to go bash the many low-information, low interest, Democrats and democratic-leaning independents who don’t vote in the mid-terms, and are not likely to this time, well bash away. But the tiny sliver of dirty fucking hippies who won’t is not worth bothering about. The vast majority of them will be out in force. They always are. Don’t kid yourself.

  132. 132
    Silver Owl says:

    Considering the Dems have zero problem tossing women out for a trainpulling of buttheart every chance they get in that respect they really aren’t that much different than Republicans.

    Since the republicans are help bent on futtbucking everyone but the white conservative man or the white conservative women they dream of screwing, I’ll be voting dem.

    I’ll be waiting for Dems to get f*cking stupid about women, yet again. I am under no illusions how piss poor my nation really is.

  133. 133
    David in NY says:

    @Silver Owl:

    That is truly incoherent.

  134. 134
    d.s. says:

    @Silver Owl:

    Well, the thing is, we need a PRO CHOICE majority in Congress. Today we have a Democratic majority, but not a pro-choice majority.

    This was sort of a cost of losing on HCR back in 1993. During the early 90s, the pro-choice movement was strong, and included a substantial number of Republicans. If HCR had passed then, it probably wouldn’t have overturned Hyde, but it wouldn’t have included abortion riders and that nonsense either.

    Today the pro-life movement is probably stronger than it’s ever been, so it was very difficult to fight back the Nelsons and Stupaks.

    Blaming it on the Dems misses a larger point. For the last decade or two the pro-lifers have far out-organized pro-choicers and have been successful in pushing the public towards their positions.

  135. 135
    ken says:

    As a liberal I waited 14 years for the Republicans to collapse (1994-2008). Now when I sit at the dinner table at major family functions I can speak from the position of power. Our voice is strong now and I have about 15 years of things to say. Obama didn’t give me everything I wanted? Ok, but I have to think in the very long term. The financial crisis happened as a result of 30 years of policies. Obama won’t be president one day, but one day I will have to collect SS and as long as I live I will need clear air.

    Vote Democrat, and then find better Democrats

  136. 136
    Salt and freshly ground black people says:

    @NR: I’ll take the kind of “timid centrists” that pass health care reform (which allows those with pre-existing conditions to be insured and provides health insurance for 32 million people who previously didn’t have it) over the “bold/unabashed leftists” that ensure that we maintain the status quo because they can’t get the votes in congress to pass shit. It took over 60 years of both Democratic and Republican admins trying to get any kind of healthcare reform passed. If that doesn’t tell you anything, nothing will. We now have something we can build on. I’d love to live in the fantasy world you inhabit in which Republicans can be totally ignored, and Dems blamed for everything, but in the real world, I’ll be working to make sure the Dems get a majority in both houses so I can truly hold their feet to the fire and maybe get some legislation that’s a tad more progressive. I mean Ben Nelson is a member of the party I support. Sigh.

  137. 137
    paco says:

    @Monkey Faced Liberal:

    hey now… please notice i didn’t list the president as the cause of my frustration. the policies that i expected to see vary in the means to make them law, but i was wasn’t pointing the finger at any one person.

    fact is the democratic party hasn’t enacted legislation that represents my values. so why should i vote for them anymore or support them? call me an idealistic green hippie or whatever, but i actually support the party platform unlike a hell of a lot of democrats in congress.

    i get where you’re coming from, the last year i’ve been doing this descending level of rationalisation until i hit the point where it just becomes laughable. so all i see in your responses are excuses as to why each item couldn’t happen, or how it is the best we could get, or how it’s unrealistic. problem is it isn’t the rethugs that stopped any of those crazy pipe dreams from being passed, its democrats. i paid with my time and money over the decades to elect Ds, and they haven’t followed through on jack. i just will not continue to reward failure. its like enabling an abuser.

    sorry, but i really truly honestly am standing aside for this one. i’m tired of trying to catch-up to the democratic party’s run to the middle. i’m sitting down and waiting until they come back to me.

    ps – president bush announced the iraq withdrawl time-line, not president obama. president obama has stood by the policy but don’t give him credit for making that change. if his other decisions are any guide (re: afpak) i’m glad that policy was already in place.

  138. 138
    Anne Laurie says:

    @MikeMc:

    Polls like this are dog shit.

    … left in a burning paper bag on the Democrats’ doorstep. Their goal is not to encourage Republicans as much as it is to discourage “independents”, i.e. “I’m a spectator, not a citizen, so I’ll vote for whichever party looks like it’ll give me a chance to pretend I’m on Team Winner” morans — I mean, low information voters.

  139. 139
    Liberty60(Veteran, Great war of Yankee Aggression) says:

    Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap—it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

    Yep. I even hate it when wingnuts whine about having to vote for a RINO squish- as if you only vote when you can have a starburst mancrush on someone.

  140. 140
    mai naem says:

    Well, I ain’t thrilled with Obama but the other side which is whacked out batshit out to Mars crazeee scares the bejeezus out of me so I will do my normal – convince ten people around me that I believe don’t vote that I feel would vote Dem and convince them to register and vote. Don’t have the time to volunteer this year and don’t have the money that I had in 08 to blow on campaign donations so that’s going to my little contribution.

  141. 141

    @paco: That’s fine, you can drop out of politics any time you want, but why come here to announce it on a political blog that supports democrats. Do you want us to try and pull you back in, to stroke your disappointment or maybe mop your tears, and tell you it’s Ok, or what? What’s the point? I take it you are not about to vote for republicans, so where you going with this. the Green Party? Or nothing at all.

    If so, I am sure the Naderites have blogs and such for you to pine for what ever it is you’re pining for. I doubt anyone here gives a shit what you think and do. I know I don’t/

  142. 142
    Salt and freshly ground black people says:

    @paco: Thanks for your service – I know it can’t be easy right now. I hate to point it out but I clearly remember Obama saying “I’m not against all wars, just dumb ones” during the campaign and laying out his opposition to the war in Iraq because he thought the focus should have stayed on Afghanistan/Pakistan. I wish all the people who are now surprised had paid more attention and grilled him when he made those comments at different times because it was pretty clear to me that he was going to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is doing exactly what he said he would do: withdraw from Iraq and focus on Afghanistan/Pakistan.

  143. 143
    paco says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    wow, cry a little more. i don’t want anything from you. you sound like you belong at redstate purging the non-believers. what are you, like 21? come talk to me when you’ve put in the work for 25 years for the democratic party.

    i love this blog and ready it more than once a day. because john says what he thinks, he’s smart, he’s funny, and i agree with just about everything he says. guess today i failed your purity test.

    and yeah, i won’t vote for a rethug in this lifetime. i’m a democrat and always will be. you don’t get to define me or democratic values.

  144. 144

    @paco: You said you were done voting for democrats. You purged yourself dude, it wasn’t me. I am just wondering why you feel the need to announce it is all. When you’ve quit voting or doing anything else active in politics, why bother telling us is all I was curious about.

    And You defined yourself.

  145. 145
    Ron says:

    I face a tough spot for me this coming November. My democratic representative flip-flopped on HCR (voted for the original house bill, then voted no). This pissed me off so much I swore I wouldn’t vote for the guy in November. I suppose I can still hope he gets primaried, but if he’s the democrat running in November, I can hold my nose and go against what I said I’d do and vote for the guy, or I can leave that line blank when I go vote or vote for some 3rd party guy and help the GOP take this district.

  146. 146
    Salt and freshly ground black people says:

    @Ron: I agree, that is a tough one. How likely is it that the GOP would take the district? Did he flip-flop because it is a mostly conservative district? Just curious.

  147. 147
    metalgirl says:

    I was a volunteer regional coordinator for MoveOn in NC in 2008 and worked my butt off for all the Dems (while having another full-time and part-time job and being a single mother). I’ve decided this year that I will work for local Democrats (my time) while giving monthly to ActBlue and MoveOn (my money). I’m volunteering tomorrow at an early voting site for the NC primary (to hand out Democratic info. for voters who are interested).

    I’ve committed to be a co-Blue Crew leader (what the Dems are calling our turfs this time) to make sure we get out the vote this fall. All of you who volunteered for the Obama campaign have already been trained in what the Dems are doing this fall — same drill and we need ALL of you, no matter where you live. So if you did anything in 2008, you’ve had 2 years off and can do it again. If you are a newbie, we’d love to train you and it will be lots of fun. We need everyone to do their part or we will have people like Mitch McConnell in charge!!!!

  148. 148
    Yutsano says:

    @paco:

    and yeah, i won’t vote for a rethug in this lifetime. i’m a democrat and always will be.

    I get it. You’re disappointed. Name one person who hasn’t been disappointed at least once since Obama got elected. Here’s the problem I’m having: you’re focusing on the negative. There has been a shit ton of progressive progress in the last year and a half, and that is at risk if the Democrats don’t turn out to mitigate the losses. There are times when your vote is not about you, it’s about what’s going to help the country. Sitting an election out isn’t going to advance that cause.

  149. 149
    Gus says:

    Yes, the Democrats are fortunate in their choice of enemies. They’re far from perfect, in fact very far from perfect, but who wants to vote for the party of Mitch McConnell, Erick Erickson, and that fat fuck Rush Limbaugh? If the Republicans were still the party of Nelson Rockefeller, Harold Stassen and Dwight Eisenhower who knows if I’d vote in November? Of course, I live in Minneapolis, so my Democratic Muslim Congressman is a shoe-in for re-election. Can’t wait to vote for a Democrat for governor, too.

  150. 150
    Tlazolteotl says:

    I always vote. Staying home is not an option.

  151. 151
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @paco:

    and yeah, i won’t vote for a rethug in this lifetime.

    With all due respect, that’s exactly what you’re doing by withholding your vote.

    I can only assume you’re in a safely Dem or hopelessly GOP district.

  152. 152

    @Tlazolteotl: Not voting is the same as voting for a wingnut in my book. It’s a whacky book, mind you, but still.

  153. 153
    Whispers says:

    If you idiots are not enthusiastic about going to the polls to vote for the Democrats and against the Republicans, you deserve what you get.

    Good luck with the “blame the electorate” approach to politics.

  154. 154
    Tlazolteotl says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    And I live in a very safe Dem area, and I still vote. Every time. Even in primaries and school levies. I’m just wired that way. I figure if you don’t vote you don’t get to complain.

  155. 155

    @Whispers: People who don’t vote don’t belong to the electorate. They belong to nothing.

  156. 156
    ksmiami says:

    Hey Paco – listen up – You are one of the reasons why progressive legislation never gets off the ground. People claim they want change, but if it doesn’t happen at their speed, they let the GOPers take over and then watch as everything (and i am literally talking about our health and regulatory controls) TURNS TO SHIT. Let me explain this very slowly and carefully. The GOP is only about power, they don’t actually believe in governance, just playing war and enriching their friends at the expense of everyone else. And every time they get in, they break things a little more and so when the Dems get in and try to fix it, they are looking at a 10-20 year project, not a 2 year one. Do I think Obama should have spent as long trying to win bipartisanship with these A-holes, NO – I think it should have been total war with a smiley face because they are simply fascist thugs, but be that as it may, I am 95% happy that Democrats are not wrecking our government and our country. All the wallowing in your own perfect world will not put agents monitoring our nation’s food supply, or enable a sick kid to get care and that is a big enough difference to me between the parties in this craptacular 2-party world we live in.

  157. 157
    Tlazolteotl says:

    And I’m really thinking about whether I should try for local party office, like PCO.

  158. 158
    paco says:

    @Salt and freshly ground black people:

    totally agree. but my gripe isn’t the president alone here, or even the president primarily, its the party. our party has the means right now to change this astonishingly naive waste of wealth and lives. every day we have that potential and every day we fail. and its not just the war, its a broad range of public policy that the party has failed to pursue after gaining a huge shift in public support by saying they would deliver change. that support will rightly shift again because the party has not delivered action, just excuses.

  159. 159
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I remember what happened in ’68. All the disillusioned lefties who sat out the election rather than vote for Humphrey brought us Nixon and more Vietnam.

    I wasn’t old enough to vote until ’72, but like so many others I was just too hip to do something like vote. More Nixon, more Vietnam.

    Whew, what an expensive civics lesson.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @paco:

    obviously the Ds in congress and the exec don’t share my values, so what’s my motivation for voting for them, donating money, donating time?

    Well, my motivation is that the other party wants to forcibly stick probes into my vagina if I should be so foolish as to get pregnant in the wrong state, but I guess I can see that might not be quite as much of a motivator to someone who will only have that happen to women he knows and not to himself.

  161. 161
    paco says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    right kid. and when the party gets thrashed in 2010 and all kinds of incumbents lose and tired old arseholes like nelson retire, and then the party gets a new dose of real democrats that are committed to represent democratic values (instead of the ‘best possible compromise’) i’m sure you’ll be right there claiming the success. i’ll see you there.

  162. 162
    Richard Fox says:

    Voting is the most precious gift in a democracy. People die the world over for the right to do so. I will vote, and always vote. Simple as that.

  163. 163
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @paco:

    Just curious, did that happen in 1994?

  164. 164
    paco says:

    @ksmiami:

    weird how my positions bear no resemblence to any of the positions you ascribe to me.

  165. 165
    HE Pennypacker, Wealthy Industrialist says:

    I haven’t read through the 150+ comments on this post, so sorry if I repeat someone else’s point, BUT — if anyone needs a hint at what Republicans in power again would look like, just consider the idiocy in AZ and project it onto a national scale.

  166. 166

    @paco: People like you are about dumb enough to think that democrats losing seats in 2010 is due to disappointed brats like yourself not voting. It is not. It is for the opposite reason, that Obama and dems have pissed off the wingers and motivated them to go vote in normal low turnout mid terms. Why?, because they think he is a radical soshulist that has passed landmark progressive, albeit not perfect legislation in spite of their best efforts.

    Obama’s approval amongst democrats nationwide is around 90 percent, the highest ever for a first term president. Most of the lack of enthusiasm can be attributed to apathy amongst dem voters who figure wrongly that their guys are in power and will stay there, so why bother to vote. You are ill informed about politics in this country.

  167. 167
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Obama’s approval amongst democrats nationwide is around 90 percent,

    I’d like to see this poll if you can provide a link. I’ve tried a few google combos but may not be hitting the right terms to find it.

  168. 168
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    other party wants to forcibly stick probes into my vagina if I should be so foolish as to get pregnant in the wrong state,

    Nobody’s actually stopping this. The D’s have all 3 branches but if you’re in OK you’re still…kinda outta luck.

  169. 169
    ksmiami says:

    Well then Paco what DO you think happens if Dems lose big? I see a total dystopian nightmare, but please fill me in on your vision.

  170. 170
    NovShmozKaPop says:

    If you idiots are not enthusiastic about going to the polls to vote for the Democrats and against the Republicans, you deserve what you get.

    Rat own.

  171. 171
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Obama’s approval rating is roughly equal to what Bill Clinton had at this point in his presidency, according to data maintained by Gallup. It’s higher than the 45 percent Ronald Reagan recorded in April 1982.
    Obama, 48, still enjoys an 85 percent job-approval rating among Democrats, compared with 46 percent among independent voters and 11 percent among Republicans.

    I googled “Obama approval rating Democrats

  172. 172

    @Corner Stone: Here is the poll I was referring to, as we discussed it on this blog in the past. It is a few months old, but his numbers have remained about the same. His approval amongst dems was 88 percent in this one.

  173. 173
    paco says:

    hitting the sack so i’ll just sumarize how i read most of the responses to my post:

    “clap louder”

    problem isn’t the rethugs. they are a minority and they are irrelevant. problem is that the democratic party hasn’t stood for democratic values, and it is going to pay the price because now lots of people (like me) will not vote for candidates who don’t represent their interests. why would i? i’m not going to close my eyes and swallow this time. you get a congress in 2010 that only wants to talk about impeachment? well be sure to send me a postcard in kabul, i’m sure i’ll give a shit about your problems. because i’m the one that will be getting fucked for your compromises. oh, and my wife and two boys too. they’re really interested in why democrats are struggling against the procedural machinations in the senate, they read ezra klein daily.

    you don’t win elections by making excuses or saying you wished things worked out different. you win by executing. 2010 is going to be a mighty thrashing and i hope the lesson finally sticks. take a page from these racist homophobic fanatical degenerates and at least be clear about what you believe in and then actually fight for it. if you don’t, you get defined by your opposition and you fail.

    thank you for your interest and responses, i appreciate the comments in the spirit of the debate. good night.

  174. 174

    I’d just like to point out that I’m not in the ‘enthused’ category because it means another silly season is upon us, and I’m going to have to listen to the Republicans lie more than usual.

    This is not about me hating my own, its about that the opposition isn’t loyal.

  175. 175
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “Are we really that small a sliver of the party?”

    The job approval results are split based on political party. Among Democrats, 88% approve of the way Obama is handling his job and 8% disapprove. Among Republicans, 11% approve and 87% disapprove. Among independents, 38% approve and 58% disapprove.

    That one’s from last week. First page of google search results.

  176. 176
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @paco:

    2010 is going to be a mighty thrashing and i hope the lesson finally sticks.

    In case you’re still up …

    You still haven’t given an example of when this has actually happened.

    And thank you for your service. But I can’t figure out why you’re surprised about Obama’s Afghan commitment, since he actually campaigned on it.

  177. 177

    @Corner Stone: And here is a comprehensive and up to date table from Gallup.

    His most recent result was 91 percent approval among self described Liberal Democrats, which actually was the highest of all the categories of democrats, ie conservative and moderate dems that were in the mid to high 80 percentile approval.

  178. 178
    r€nato says:

    How quickly some people forget what it’s like to have crazy Republicans running the show… when was that Bush guy president? Oh yeah – just a couple years ago.

  179. 179
    NobodySpecial says:

    but in the real world, I’ll be working to make sure the Dems get a majority in both houses so I can truly hold their feet to the fire and maybe get some legislation that’s a tad more progressive. I mean Ben Nelson is a member of the party I support. Sigh.

    Um, dude? They HAVE a majority in both houses. Somehow that doesn’t work, either.

    You have to wonder how many issues we hold dear are the equivalent of abortion issues for Republicans – great for fundraising, bad to fix so the fundraising goes away.

    And, no, asking these questions doesn’t make you a traitor, guys, sorry. But have fun beating on that potato sack – the stuffing went out of it a long time ago.

  180. 180
    LarsThorwald says:

    John,

    I am fairly new to this site (I’m a refugee from the eternal, circular firing clustersquad of meta metasticizing doom that DailyKos became, or became more of, when the healthcare war started).

    It is quickly becoming one of my first go to sites.

    There is more common sense in this thread — on this site — than in 12 dozen threads on many other sites I visit, or visited.

    Plus, I have long followed dengre, who is familiar with my legal handiwork on the recent CNMI lawsuit, even if he doesn’t know it. Hi, Den!

    Also, butthurt is a funny word.

    That is all.

  181. 181
    d.s. says:

    @paco:

    If Dems lose the House, it’ll be because they lost in their most conservative districts because of massive Republican turnout. The lesson from that is never going to be “Let’s move to the left!”

    Dem dissatisfaction is not what is shaping the 2010 election. Hypercharged, militant, enraged conservatives are.

    Dem voter enthusiasm is actually higher than normal for a midterm election. The problem is that Republican voter enthusiasm is off the fucking charts, higher than it’s ever been.

    A black Democratic president during an economic crisis has driven even unreliable Republican voters nuts, so they’re planning to turn out in droves.

    Republicans are irrelevant? Have you been asleep the last 18 months. They’ve abused the filibuster to the point where they’re a 41-59 majority in the Senate. And the public so far hasn’t held it against them.

  182. 182
    r€nato says:

    Quitting/holding your breath until you get your way, is seldom a winning strategy in electoral politics.

  183. 183
    d.s. says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Did you pay any fucking attention from 1995-2006?

    If they retake the House the Republicans will do whatever they possibly can to sabotage the president and the economy so that they can beat him in 2012.

    Clinton only survived because he had a strong economy based on the tech boom.

    If you can’t see the difference between American governance from 2009-present and 1995-2006 maybe you should stay home. If you’re that cynical and think there’s no difference between the Dems’ ineffectual governance (caused mostly by unprecedented Republican filibusters) and the Repubs’ raping and pillaging of the government, I guess there is no point.

  184. 184
    Ash Can says:

    I’ll come to your house and punch you in the neck and kick you in the junk.

    I’ll help. And I’ll spring for lunch too. Just let me know.

  185. 185
    Sanka says:

    If you idiots are not enthusiastic about going to the polls to vote for the Democrats

    Seriously. And what’s not to love about 10% unemployment brought on by a not-so-successful stimulus package because stupid Republicans cut it down successful $787 billion stimulus package, a hugely popular ruinous takeover of healthcare which is so toxic even Democrats won’t talk about it anymore healthcare reform law which will make your non-functioning unicorn shite gold pellets add 30 million more people to our system while miraculously lowering costs, a financial reform bill which is toothless as the majority of Wall Street donations were to the Democrat party in the works that will stick it to those Wall Street fat cats.

    What’s not to get enthusiastic about??

  186. 186
    Adam Collyer says:

    @LarsThorwald:

    Welcome to the most dysfunctional family on the blogosphere.

    I found Balloon Juice for the first time during primary season of the 2008 Presidential Election. It has since become my first stop every time I log on. Great commenters. John is fantastic, and he keeps adding terrific front page posters.

    Welcome aboard!

  187. 187
    Mayur says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Way to completely miss the point. The words “I will not vote” are not contained in my post. What I said is pretty clear: Namely, that Democratic politicians are holding up a giant middle finger to voters by choosing to run on the “we’re not quite as bad as the assholes who want to destroy the country, just almost” platform. The real problem is that we, as Dem voters, give them absolutely no incentive to change their policies when we contextualize everything in the manner that, well, you’re doing.

    Continue about your day being obtuse.

  188. 188
    Joe Buck says:

    I haven’t gotten enough change from Obama. Specifically, I expected him to restore the rule of law, and he’s protecting torturers and prosecuting whistleblowers. He’s institutionalizing the Bush assault on civil liberties and making it permanent. Several of the names he’s floated for the next Supreme Court nomination may move the court to the right.

    If you want to come to my house, you have my e-mail address; let me know when you want to stop by.

    I will be voting; I always do. Barbara Boxer and my congressman are better than most. But I’ll be giving money mainly to primary challengers, because I’m disgusted with most Congressional Democrats.

  189. 189
    RadioOne says:

    @Sanka: Good thinking! I’m sure a GOP controlled congress next year will fix all of that stat!

  190. 190
    mclaren says:

    We sure haven’t gotten enough change from Obama, and we damn sure need a public option because the so-called HCR “reform” bill will only make things worse and the proof is that the MA health care system on which it’s based is already collapsing.

    That said, I’m damn sure fired up to get out and vote Democratic in November 2010, because what the hell’s the choice…vote for insane people? Anti-evolutionists? People whose idea of reform is “lower taxes and deregulate, for a start [Instapundit]”?

  191. 191

    @Mayur:

    Is. Not. Enough. for the Dems to not only campaign on, but actually govern on

    If I felt this way, I would not vote for people who can’t govern, and not enact to a significant degree what they campaigned on. I think they and Obama are governing to a surprising degree what they campaigned on. And people who are unwilling to realize that the political reality of necessity for compromise in a democracy have their collective head up their idealistic asses.

    Maybe you need to follow some of the polling links on this thread that clearly show an overwhelming percent of democrats in this country agree with me, and others who believe the same. And especially self described “liberal democrats” currently approving of Obama at 91 percent. You are but a tiny grain of discontent in the dem/liberal caucus.

    Less obtuse?

  192. 192
    Salt and freshly ground black people says:

    @NobodySpecial: I meant a non-filibusterable majority :). (And maybe a change in the Senate rules that allow one Senator to hold up everything could come with that, who knows).

  193. 193
    tim says:

    well, I see from John’s post that he needs blog hits.

    I also see that general egalitatarian suck or whatever continues to be a major asshole as he pathetically struggles to simulataneously be JC’s BFF and BJ’s chief purity troll/enforcer.

    Also amusing to see John and a few of his acolytes here working so hard to use the latest, hip blog lingo, ie. “butt hurt,” so as to signify relevance and cutting edge-ness. Kind of sad.

    American politics is currently a spectator sport for me; has been since I worked for John Kerry’s campaign in Florida in 2004 and watched him and his campaign give me the finger as he managed to lose to the losingest president ever, and quite possibly not by accident, I believe.

    If my vote is valuable to some hopeful candidate, then goddammit, he or she has to EARN it. I’m not going to crawl over the broken glass of Obama’s and the Dem congress’ broken promises and spineless performance to HAND it to them, sobbing with gratitude that they will accept it. Fuck that bullshit.

  194. 194

    @tim:

    Would you like some milk and cookies?

  195. 195
    d.s. says:

    American politics is currently a spectator sport for me; has been since I worked for John Kerry’s campaign in Florida in 2004 and watched him and his campaign give me the finger as he managed to lose to the losingest president ever, and quite possibly not by accident, I believe.

    Jesus H. Christ

    Is the Tom Friedman “everyone agrees with me!” fallacy contagious?

    “I didn’t like Kerry that much. Kerry lost. Ergo, if Kerry had been closer to my positions, and campaigned like I wanted him to, he would have won. In fact, because everyone agrees with me, Kerry must have lost on purpose!!”

    Kerry lost because Bush’s relentless gay bashing and terrorism fear mongering turned out record numbers of right-wing evangelicals in Ohio. It wasn’t because liberals were turned off by Kerry’s overly conservative positioning.

  196. 196
    Brachiator says:

    There’s a war on, and you don’t get to be Switzerland, sitting on the sidelines nursing your butthurt.

    Ya know, some days, when the Republicans in the Congress start pulling their obstructionist bullpuckey, I just wish the Dems would imitate their Ukrainian brethren, and come out swinging:

    Deputies traded punches and threw eggs and smoke bombs as tensions surrounding a controversial treaty with Russia spilled over into violence in Ukraine’s parliament yesterday.

    Clouds of smoke swirled through the chamber and opposition deputies hurled the eggs at Volodymyr Lytvyn, the Speaker, in an attempt to halt a critical vote allowing Russia’s Black Sea fleet to remain in Ukraine until the middle of the century.

    Now this is what I call firing up the base.

  197. 197
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and quite possibly not by accident, I believe.

    You should have put this at the top of your post, so we could see that you’re an idiot straight off.

  198. 198
  199. 199
    Mark S. says:

    @tim:

    If my vote is valuable to some hopeful candidate, then goddammit, he or she has to EARN it. I’m not going to crawl over the broken glass of Obama’s and the Dem congress’ broken promises and spineless performance to HAND it to them, sobbing with gratitude that they will accept it. Fuck that bullshit.

    Could you be a little more melodramatic, or if you prefer hip blog lingo, emo, about this?

    Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got to update my journalspace page while I listen to some Cure albums.

  200. 200
    TuiMel says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    Voting isn’t about self-actualization, or showing your values, or any other crap—it’s a purely practical consideration about advancing the interests you believe in over those you oppose.

    Beautifully stated. And, I can hold this in my mind even as I am disappointed with the pace at which my interests are advanced.

  201. 201
    homerhk says:

    Bless you John C and you too BWD – I follow your stuff on DK regularly. What makes me so frustrated is that it’s as if the bloggers WANT to concentrate on the things they disagree with rather than highlighting the positive. Although I understand the better than the alternative framing I think there is ample reason (and more) to vote for Obama and his administration and his party without even mentioning the republicans. Healthcare, stimulus, increased green energy funding, concentration on education, new stance on I/P, new foreign policy, START treaty, Sotomayor. Those are just some of the tangible things but there is also a massive intangible benefit that cannot be ignored. Frankly, his administration is just much more inclusive than we are used to – he takes everyone’s ideas and doesn’t cut anyone out of the debate. He is the answer to what ‘real america’ is. That is vitally important. I, for one, were I an American, would have been extremely proud to have voted for him in 2008 and would be proud to vote for him again in 2012. and ditto for the democratic party in the mid-terms.

  202. 202
    glynor says:

    Say what again!
    I dare you! I double-dare you!

  203. 203
    Uriel says:

    @tim:

    and quite possibly not by accident, I believe.

    And in eight words, you render everything you might have to say on the topic of american politics not simply irrelevant, but an abject and manifest waste of time and bandwidth. The latter of which, at least, is dirt cheap.

  204. 204
    Pooh says:

    JOHN COLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  205. 205
    NobodySpecial says:

    @d.s.:

    I’ll take ‘replying to a post written in invisible ink’ for $1000, Alex.

    Try going back, reading what I typed, putting down your strawman prior, and then replying. Might work better, cut down on your crazy factor.

    Just sayin’.

  206. 206
    Triassic Sands says:

    If you idiots are not enthusiastic about going to the polls to vote for the Democrats and against the Republicans, you deserve what you get.

    John, it would be a lot more appropriate, given your record, if you stopped pretending to be the greatest Democrat ever, and instead simply encouraged people to vote and reminded people why, in the case of some of the truly lousy Democrats, it is still important to not have a Republican win.

  207. 207
    RobW says:

    Oh, bite me John Cole. Of course I’ll vote, and hell, I might even man a phone bank for Dem candidates. But if you think you can simply demand enthusiasm, you can just bite me. And if you think you can demand that I should stop demanding more and better legislation and governance, you can bite me harder. But out of courtesy, not that you’re demanding that, I won’t do so on your blog.

    Shorter John: Cheer louder, you fuckers!!

  208. 208
    Peter says:

    @tim: I hate to break it to you, broseph, but ‘butthurt’ is not exactly new lingo in the blogosphere.

  209. 209
    Ron says:

    @Salt and freshly ground black people: It’s a definite possibility. It’s a swing district. For many years it was represented by a fairly moderate republican. In 2006, Arcuri won. In 2008, my impression is that he assumed his seat was safe and won a very close election against someone that was a relative unknown. I haven’t seen any polling data, but I suspect he’s in a tough fight at best to keep his seat. Which of course makes it harder to sit out that vote. (No way am I sitting home. I am happily going to vote for Gillibrand and Schumer and hopefully for Cuomo for governor.)

  210. 210
    lacp says:

    Apathetic citizens aren’t going to stay home because they’re outraged lefties. They’re going to stay home because they’re apathetic. Most of them are probably unaware of just how rightwing our political world has become – the Ds are more conservative than Dwight Eisenhower and the Rs are turning into the Iron Guard.

  211. 211
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Guster:

    Anyone who doesn’t vote Democratic is an idiot. But you can’t blame voters for lack of enthusiasm, just for refusing to vote. The enthusiasm is the party’s responsibility.

    This.

    NIce try, but it’s just too damn easy to blame anonymous blog commenters (who make up about 0.001% of the voting population) for broad macroeconomic trends.

  212. 212
    Nick says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Here’s a political reality for you.

    THIS IS THE BEST YOU’RE GONNA GET SO STOP FUCKING WHINING.

    btw, I love how you and Cole both think Democratic enthusiasm is down because of discourage lefties when every poll out there shows lefties are actually the only ones who are happy!

    But hey, whatever makes you feel relevant.

  213. 213
    Nick says:

    @NR: As it turns out, if you’ve been paying attention, the reason why the Democrats are in such a precarious position is NOT because Obama supporters feel there hasn’t been enough change. it’s because too many feel there’s been TOO MUCH change and it’s not working.

    Yes, the Democrats are going to get their asses handed to them, but because the country decided it no longer wanted what it voted for in 2008, and Obama, like Clinton, will respond with more centrism and sail to reelection.

    Like Fuckhead, said…political realities.

  214. 214
    Nick says:

    @paco: Then run yourself.

    Political Reality #3545643- There are 350 million different opinions in this country, if you’re looking for someone who agrees with you 100%, run yourself or vote for the closest candidate to your position. You’ll find that’s the Democrat.

  215. 215
    NobodySpecial says:

    Here’s a political reality for you.

    THIS IS THE BEST YOU’RE GONNA GET SO STOP FUCKING WHINING.

    So you’re saying the Republicans won. Good form.

  216. 216
    frankdawg says:

    RobW post #207!

    I’d also like to note that my lack of enthusiasm goes well beyond they largest single party majority since the 60’s failure to produce the sort of legislation their party should expect. It goes to the stupid way they got to such crappy half-measures. Anyone that had been paying any attention whatsoever to the behavior of America’s Taliban over the last 20 years should have been able to figure out without having it demonstrated that there would be no compromise, no bipartisan effort and no votes from the Talib.

    Obama and the Dems started negotiations by giving away their biggest clubs and strongest wedges and seem to have expected some reciprocal offer from the Rs. They got what any marginally aware observer would have expected – jack.shit. The same for the ARRA, they gave in early and often & got worse results.

  217. 217
    4jkb4ia says:

    I know I said this before, but the specter of Darrell Issa should make anyone run to the polls in fear. If the Republicans don’t have the Senate, they won’t be able to get anything of this terrible sort passed, so Speaker Boehner and Chairman Issa will be even busier investigating fake scandals because nothing will get done.

  218. 218
    4jkb4ia says:

    Then we have the poll this morning showing that one-third of Americans would vote to reelect their representative. That level of discontent is bigger than the whole universe of anonymous blog commenters.

  219. 219
    angler says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: you said it TGP. This trick is getting quite familiar. Still 200+ replies and counting. Not a bad trick, and it got me in too.

  220. 220

    […] Cole has a brief missive up about the so called enthusiasm gap that the GOP is currently enjoying. The short version is […]

  221. 221
    Aloysius says:

    Well, firstly, you should cram it up your fudge tunnel, Cole. I can draw you some diagrams if that’d help.

    I say that with love.

    Secondly, online progressives? Who cares? They’re a tiny and powerless group with no real influence over voters or politicians whatever. Why waste your time punching the hippies when the people you really ought to be angry with are the ordinary low-engagement voters who don’t follow blogs at all? There are far, far more of them, and the election will hinge on winning those people over, not whipping the leftists who for all their whining will fall into line at the end of the day anyhow. Why aren’t they enthused about the health care reform bill? Is it because progressives didn’t like it? No! Nobody cares what progressives say! Nobody’s even listening! Why don’t people like the Democratic Party more? Is it because proggies think it isn’t sufficiently leftist? No! Nobody’s listening to them!

    It’s because the Democratic Party acts in a way that seems to validate every negative stereotype the Republicans have been putting out there about them for years. Weak, waffling, endlessly compromising on its priorities, lacking in cohesion or party discipline, unable to deliver on the promises it’s made in past elections, and more than anything, *unable to leverage its electoral successes into real dominance in Congress*. Is it fair that the party is blamed for dysfunction imposed by the rules of Congress? No. Is it the reality? Sure. Find a way to address that, and you might actually accomplish anything.

    After you finish cramming it, of course. That has to be priority #1. Seriously, you really need to do that in a big way. Really, really far up there. It might take special tools.

  222. 222
    The Raven says:

    As I’ve said before, here:

    Personally, I do not have the heart to work for a conservative party, though I have and will vote Democratic until a plausible liberal opposition comes along.

    Progressives matter to the Democrats, and they matter for the same reason that the religious right matters to the Republicans: progressives used to be the people doing the grunt work of the party & these are the people the party leadership has stiffed.

    Going to be an interesting election!

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