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Obama and the apathetic left

A disheartened and sometimes angry Democratic base has captured the comment string in response to President Obama's warning to thousands of young voters in Madison, Wis., last night that apathy threatens his party's chances in the upcoming congressional elections.

The comments, growing by the minute, contain complaints about health care reform, the continuing unpopular war in Afghanistan, and, perhaps most importantly, a crummy job situation except for those bailed out on Wall Street. So why bother to vote?

As Anne E. Kornblut writes, "In returning to such a large-scale event, Obama was sure to provoke comparisons with 2008, both good and bad. While it was the thousands of screaming supporters who made his early presidential ambitions possible, his rock-star status also evolved into a trait Republicans tried to use against him, accusing him of being a "celebrity" and unable to do anything other than make eloquent speeches."

We'll start with rusty3 who wrote, "We aren't the one who sold out to Wall Street. We aren't the one who turned over health care to Max and the insurance companies. We aren't the one who keeps the wars going. We aren't the one who thinks that nothing can be done without 60 votes. We aren't giving up, no matter how badly you screwed up. But, we don't care for sermons from sell-outs. We still support you compared to the alternative--we just don't believe the jive anymore. You know what the old musical said: show me, show me now!"

RossOdom said, "President Obama says, 'Now is not the time to give up.' I and millions of others say, if not now, when?"

FormerDemocrat wrote, "It's just a matter of analyzing the man. To know his patterns. To be able to predict what he is going to do. The man has never accepted blame or responsiblity for his failures. The man has blamed others on EVERY occasion... Never Obama. It's everyone elses fault." asked, "Apathy? So the seizing of private industry, the demonizing of private citizens and the attacks on their families, the manipulation of the news media, the theft of private property from investors, the dictatorial control of private communications, and other things must not be an issue. Leave it to Pravda on the Potomac to deliver crack journalism."

jblast2000 said, "Apathy? It's just plain old Incompetence... I bet Obama failed to tell the students this: Obama's attempts now to put the Patriot Act on steroids to monitor ALL internet, blackberry, all electronic communications. The students that use this devices as well as most Americans should be happy with that, right?"

jimsteinberg1 asked, "Who the bush is giving up on Democrats? I'm not. I'll be voting more enthusiastically than ever. I don't understand the concept of apathetic Democrats. Just read the ignorant, hate-filled, right-wing, know-nothing drivel that 'conservatives' spew in this and other comment sections of articles in The Post. We have to show these louts what's what in November, and that means igniting our enthusiasm, firing up our base. No Bush. No Cheney. No DeMint. No Sarah. No Sharon 'Obtuse' Angle."

1April wrote, "Alright President Obama...Here's the deal...between now and November, we need you to get busy. Start by increasing the tax on imports into the USA from companies that outsource their products. Close the tax loopholes and revamp the corporate taxes so that companies will not leave America. Then, you can request that the banks, auto industry and insurance companies pay back every red cent of the stimulus money as they are all showing a profit and USA citizens are still broke and struggling. DO THIS AND WE WILL COME OUT TO THE POLLS IN NOVEMBER"

quintiliusvarus said, "i voted for change... what i got was a president who's policies lie somewhere to the right of Bush Sr. If you cant give me 'we're a nation that doesnt torture' with a supermajority, why the hell do I care which of the "oligarchy-first" parties gets my vote."

dummypants wrote, "riding the least informed most naieve voters to victory has this downside - they do not turn out to vote any longer than its fashionable to do so."

Marilyn426 said, "As part of Organizing for America, I am doing phone canvassing. I have called parents of young voters and want to make sure college students are set to vote by absentee ballots. I have only been dismissed by 1 or 2 of all the young people or parents I have spoken to in this age group. I am not finding apathy at all! All in all, only a few adults are totally too frustrated to go out and vote! This is in upstate NY!"

mars7578 predicted that "Apathy by democrats will lead to a big tax increase for all.Mr Obama will not extend taxes for all and the republicans are not going to give up their fight to include upper wage earners.Voters had better see the immediate money issue in these midterms elections."

hammeresq asked, "Do you think that maybe the Dems problems stem from the fact that everything they've done since they took over Congress in 2006 has been either stupid, unconstitutional or not wanted by the vast majority of Americans, might have something to do with their problems?"

beebop1 wrote, "The biggest problem the Democrats face is unvarnished ANTIPATHY -- and let's be honest, they earned every hostile vote."

manicdrummer said, "I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Most of the folks who attended the event were only there to see a real, live president. They may lean Democrat, but they already know the score: the Dems are going to lose nearly every seat they have in Congress. Only solidly Democratic districts like Madison will be able to get their incumbents re-elected. I've always despised Republicans, but Democrats leave much to be desired. If they have a magic wand tucked away anywhere, now is the time to use it."

We'll close with dfdougherty, who wrote, "As an apathetic former Democrat I think that Obama is again missing the point. Why are progressives lacking enthusiasm? Because Obama governed as a centrist compromising corporatist, and that is not what progressives expected. Maybe Obama should give voters a positive reason to go to the polls and not berate them for not appreciating dubious watered down policies."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  | September 29, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Tags:  Congress, Democrats, Obama, apathy  
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Maybe if Obama had actually brought the "change" he promised, instead of wasting his mandate trying to make the GOP his BFFs.

This liberal is so disgusted with him, I'm ashamed I even bothered to vote for him.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | September 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

This liberal Democrat is NOT apathetic. On the contrary, I continue to be impressed by President Obama's competence and effectiveness in the face of irrationally intransigent Republicans (and Blue Dog Democrats), not to mention the Beltway media who deal only in sensationalized and shallow stories.
I will continue to work for a truly progressive government in all three branches.

Posted by: Lamentations | September 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Obama, “The Teleprompter President” is and has always been in campaign mode. This Administration and Congress need to get out of campaign mode and start working for the American people. This Administration and Congress will never understand the middle and low income groups DO NOT CREATE JOBS, they take jobs. It is the upper income groups who create jobs and those groups are not going to create jobs in the face of high taxes, senseless regulation, and uncertainty.

Boehner should support any tax cut he can get but that does not mean he should not work to get reduced taxes for EVERYONE. Excluding upper income people from any tax cut plan is an act AGAINST JOB CREATION. Boehner should make sure the citizens of Ohio and the United States know that.

As long as our government continues the reckless spending and unprecedented meddling with businesses, we cannot expect real long term growth.

The Congress and current Administration have put the country on a course of reckless government spending that has mortgaged the future of all Americans especially future generations. The only way to fix this long term structural problem is to create a pro-growth atmosphere for business. To do this we must reduce taxes NOW. How many different taxes does a business or individual pay on a regular basis? We must eliminate number and complexity of all these taxes and reduce the tax burden.

We also need to end the micro-management of business and the economy. Until we GREATLY reduce the tax burden on business and consumers and remove the senseless regulations that accomplish little in relation to the cost they impose, our future is bleak.


Posted by: AngryMobVoter | September 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The left is truly only 20% of our voters. Obama is focusing on the youth and african american vote again.

However, the youth are ticked off and feel duped, and the african americans have realized that he may be the same color, but he is not the leader they had been promised, and doen't stand for their Christian values.

The liberals and left can't save the dems this season.

Posted by: JBfromFL | September 29, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Please forgive me, as I'm a "whining" Liberal who really has given up.

As a 63 year old Viet Vet, I waited for Obama to truly pursue peace.

As a 63 year old former leader of a Military Intelligence unit, I waited for Obama to rein in the spooks. Instead, he morph's into Super-Bush on secrecy for snooping.

As a 63 year old citizen, I waited for Obama's "bailout" of the Nation/Middle-Class.

As a 63 year old Steamfitter [pipefitter/construction worker], I waited for Obama's push to fix our infrastructure.

As a 63 year old brother, I waited for Obama's to aid the "99'ers", as my brother has run out of unemployment, rent, family and HOPE!

As a 63 year old human, I waited for Obama's Public Option to be included in the Insurance Company giveaway health care plan the Repugs let Obama claim as his own, known now, by them, as Obamacare while Dems running for election claim they voted for it by mistake.

As a 63 year old voter, I did NOT vote in this year's primaries, making it the first election my wife and I did NOT vote since I was old enough to make my electoral opinion know. [It wouldn't have been inconvenient for us. My wife is a poll worker and I showed up with coffee and bagels for the workers at 5:00 AM.]

I am too old to fall for political promises again. Obama was my last time! Let the Repugs spend a couple of years reminding the voters that the Republican Party, today, has a perfect image/nickname, if chock full of nuts was not trademarked already. Then, let an Alan Grayson, a Dennis Kucinich or, God help me, a Ralph Nader get elected.

Anyone, as long as they are amongst the few true Democrats we have out there.

Posted by: JackB3 | September 29, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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