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How do you make Dems care about the midterms?

As you know, over the weekend Robert Gibbs dropped a political bomb, saying that Republicans just may take back the House. His comments are being widely interpreted as an urgent warning designed to get rank and file Dems to grasp the stakes of the midterms once and for all.

But here's the question: Will rank and file Democrats care? The thinking among Dem strategists appears to be that once Dems realize the midterms are a "choice" election, rather than merely a referendum on Dems, they'll go out and vote. But what if Dems do see this as a referendum on their party's rule, and base their enthusiasm solely on whether they are energized by the Dem performance?

The thing about Gibbs's "shocking" declaration is that the White House and Democrats have been engaged in a full-blown effort for weeks now to persuade voters that the midterm elections could represent a return to GOP rule.

The White House and Dems have made this case every which way: They've charged that Republicans will again rule as stooges of Big Oil and Wall Street. They've claimed that Republicans will rain a blizzard of subpoenas on the White House if they take control of Congress. They've framed the elections as a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and those that are getting us out of it. And so forth.

Yet rank and file Dems don't appear to care that much. The latest polling shows that the "enthusiasm gap" remains the same, with Republicans far more excited about voting than Dems are. In other words, Dem scaremongering about the GOP takeover doesn't yet appear to be revving up Dems to turn out this fall.

What if the only way to boost Dem enthusiasm isn't to reveal how successful those awful Republicans were in rendering the Dems quasi-powerless, but to succeed in spite of this problem and do more to mitigate the crisis and the pain it's caused?

That's a tall order, obviously, and I don't know if success defined this way is still possible in the short term. If you believe Paul Krugman, it may be too late because the initial stimulus was too small. Others think Dems can still help fix their political problem by quickly pushing forward with expansive job-creation measures. But even this appears unlikely, because Dems have decided it probably can't be done.

How do you make rank and file Dems care about the midterms? It's unclear that yelling about how mean and nasty Republicans are is going to cut it.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform  
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Comments

It would help if the Congress put forward a truly progressive piece of legislation on, say, FinReg, and refused to compromise on any of the fundamental principles. Then if the GOP blocks it, people can get a taste of what they are going to get if the GOP takes back the House (where most of the useful legislation is happening anyway).

Not sure if this is enough, but I think trying to draw a bright line between what the parties are trying to do, substantively, to actually govern, needs to happen soon.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 12, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It's gonna be a blowout. Republicans don't even need to show up to the polls. ;)

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 12, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

You can't beat the Party of No with the Party of No Can Do.

Posted by: stonedone | July 12, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what to read into the "enthusiasm gap." I'm not what you would call excited about voting, I guess I would not count as a strong, eager voter. But I'm still going to vote. Does that mean I am enthusiastic because I plan to vote or not enthusiastic because I'm not screaming, angry and anxious to vote?

What does this "gap" measure, likelihood to vote or eagerness/enthusiasm about voting? I'm a little unclear on this one. Help.

Posted by: zattarra | July 12, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It's also unclear that screaming and pretending you've done something when you haven't - like the Republicans - isn't 'going to cut it'

Blow me Sargent.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | July 12, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I can't wait to laugh at the Republicans when they fail to make the gains they've been promising - no screaming about - for over a year. I hope you drooling trolls show up the day after so I can laugh at you - unlike how you disappeared after the Obama blowout in 2008 after screaming about what a landslide the election would be for McCain.

In conclusion, Retardicans are a joke.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | July 12, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

One would think the spineless, milk toast Democrats would fight another episode of hateful intolerant Huckabees with the same zeal the latter uses to divide and deride.

Posted by: areyousaying | July 12, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

KISS: first, you let the voters know what you plan on doing (e.g., immigration reform, climate legislation, jobs stimulus legislation, end our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.); secondly, you sell the voters on the simple idea that it will take more Democrats and Independents than Republicans to get this agenda through. Lastly, you crank up "the machine" to get the Demo and Indy voters to the polls in November.

Posted by: dozas | July 12, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The dems pointed their election car toward the ditch with the way too small stimulus, cowering and caving on HCR, continuing the Bush reign of torture and terror by not holding those responsible to account, if not to criminal prosecution, and not even getting EFCA, climate change, or immigration reform on the schedule. Its hard to reverse all of those disappointments in 5 months.

I am still going to vote, early and often ;-), but I am not inspired to volunteer for dem candidates, and certainly no national dem organization like the DSCC or DCCC or DNC is getting a penny from me.

Why should I put out effort for Dems when they don't put out effort in congress for me? Two words...republican control.

That's why I vote, but its not a good enough reason to canvas or volunteer for the dem party. I may still work for my senate candidate of choice and my rep a bit...

Posted by: srw3 | July 12, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Reid and Pelosi should keep Congress in session until certain votes take place, and they need to prioritize their votes. Unemployment assistance should be at the top of the list. If the Repubs insist on cutting expenses, start with the salaries of Senators and Congressmen. Don't pay them. See how long that takes. (Meanwhile, we can have welfare funds for the politicians).

If Reid and Pelosi don't keep Congress in session until they can achieve certain votes (or some other maneuver that makes it clear that we are faced with extraordinary times, and extraordinary measures are required to get more people back to work) then the Dems are going to get rolled. Deservedly.

Maybe two years of Republican craziness -- paired with Obams'a rhetorical flourish over his vetoes after vetoes after vetoes -- will be enough to bring a majority of American voters to their senses, at least a bit.

Posted by: jkrogman | July 12, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm personally chomping at the bit to go help my Blue Doggy Representative that does nothing but whine about the deficit and brag about how she teabagged the Cap and Trade bill. I figure I'll knock on doors 90 hours a week to spread the gospel!

Posted by: flounder2 | July 12, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Democratic voters can't be expected to be enthusiastic about their leaders' message for the past eighteen months, which is "This may not be what you wanted, but it's the best we can do." What kind of fool would imagine that this message is going to excite or inspire anyone?

Obama and his team proved exceptional at running a campaign, but lousy at the politics of governing. By watering down their policies in the vain hope of attracting bipartisan support they've gotten the worst of both worlds - policies that don't solve the problems they're addressing and that don't win them anything in political terms either. During the next two years we'll find out whether they're too stupid to learn from their mistakes.

Posted by: continental46@aol.com | July 12, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

And the award for best post I've seen so far today, goes to this.

The enthusiasm gap is bad enough as it is, and as best as I can tell, a lot of rank and file were anticipating this kind of argument, and pre - mocking it. It will only piss them off further. "We're not "batsh*t... we're just weak in the knees... GO DEMS!" is hardly a compelling message.

On a related note, backing off aide to states is just plain crazy. Do we WANT to elect a bunch of Republican Governors and further wound some of our really good Senate candidates? I don't care if there's not much "appetite" for it. Find a way to get hungry... find the proverbial bong if you have to... or get ready to lose big time.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 12, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I was struck by Teabagger - itis above, with "aide" to the states. Must have been all of the Rand Paul videos I've been watching.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 12, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to show up at the polls and vote Democratic regardless, but I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about it if the Obama Administration and Congressional Leadership hadn't made it clear over the last two years that they take my vote entirely for granted.

I was more enthusiastic to vote in the Democratic primary against Arlen Specter than I will be to vote in the general election this year.

How about standing up for carbon pricing, even if it means no energy bill? Then swiftly implement no-nonsense EPA regulation of carbon.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | July 12, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

What have the various polling organizations done to reduce the cell phone gap? In 2008, Pew released a report saying that the lack of good polling standards for cell-only voters led to undercounting Obama's 2008 lead by about 3%. Younger voters tend to vote left, but they also tend to be cell-only at a higher rate than older voters. Are younger voters still being undercounted today?

Posted by: dkp01 | July 12, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

zattarra nailed it: "I'm not sure what to read into the "enthusiasm gap." I'm not what you would call excited about voting, I guess I would not count as a strong, eager voter. But I'm still going to vote. Does that mean I am enthusiastic because I plan to vote or not enthusiastic because I'm not screaming, angry and anxious to vote?"

I assume those Obama voters who rode the tide of excitement in 2008 will probably not come out in the same numbers, but, I too, the non-enthusiastic voter/not totally happy with the first two years under Obama WILL come out and vote. And so will my other likeminded friends.

Will that be enough to save a Dem Congress? Will we give back the seats held by Blue Dog Dems we never should've had in the first place? Will the lost in the House and Senate be mitigated by the truly awful GOP candidates (i.e Angle, Paul)?

Posted by: bmcchgo | July 12, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Want a simple reason "to light the fire within" once again? Just think about the recent "wilderness years" from 2000-2008!

Obama and Reid did go too far with that phony bipartisanship, which turned the legislative process into an agonizing soap opera. Let's hope that they have learned a lesson, even though "politics is the art of compromise" and all that. Hopefully, they have learned to work with only those who really want to compromise (e.g., Sen. Brown on FinReg) and not waste precious time and political capital on all the rest.

Posted by: dozas | July 12, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Dems who are in the most trouble are the conservadems in marginal seats. The progressive Dems come from safe seats. Base voters who aren't enthusiastic will nevertheless vote for their progressive rep in a safe seat. The less party-identified are the ones who may not show up. Historically new voters, young voters and single women have had the most difficulty return voting in the midterms. What are Gibbs and Axelrod offering them as a reason to vote?

The people who are killing the Dems chances are the conservadems, the people who are mucking things up and refusing to vote for things like extended unemployment insurance and aid to the states, who didn't vote for health care reform. And the base is supposed to care about these people why? When they don't care enough about their own reelection to try to do something constructive to get the country out of recession? Especially when the GOP persists in nominating loons?

I don't think the GOP will take either house, although the Dems will suffer some losses. But those losses will by and large be the worst Dems and perhaps we can do better next time in those seats. The young leaders coming up from the 2006 and 2008 elections are promising and we just need to take the long view.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 12, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Anything over 8% unemployment and the Democrats are done. Spin your arguments any way you want but that's the reality. Does not matter whose fault it was it only matters who is in office during that election cycle.

P.S and bringing up an amnesty bill with so many unemployed was insanity and will cost the Democrats heavily in independent and some democratic votes.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | July 12, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

There's a poll over at the WSJ asking about cutting SS benefits, uh no, by 72+%. This deficit commission was the worst idea Obama ever had and Alan Simpson treats everyone like they're dirt stupid while trying to pull the wool over our eyes. If Obama came out tomorrow and said he was going to take SS cuts off the table, he just might pick up a few votes. Everyone knows the government stole the money out of the fund and doesn't want to pay the IOU now that they're broke.

People are mad out here, about a lot of things, and they're starting class warfare?
I'll vote Dem and work for Dems, but only the ones I respect. We should have done a better job IMO.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I know most folks here don't wander over to FDL so I occasionally post a link or comment from a few people I read. This is Jon Walker's take on November, for what it's worth.

"The most egregious problem for Democrats is they have allowed Senate Republicans to destroy their election hopes in November. Democrats like Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) openly acknowledge that Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to block pro-growth legislation in order to keep the economy weak. As we can see from the data, it is a brilliant political strategy and is likely to pay off for the GOP in November. Yet, with their jobs on the line, Democrats have chosen to defend arcane Senate rules instead of playing procedural hardball to advance good policy and even better politics. The vast majority of Americans don’t even understand the Senate rules that Democrats are defending at the cost of their majority. By not eliminating the filibuster, or at least threatening to as the GOP did to force compromise, Democrats have effectively committed political assisted suicide and taken the economy down with them.

Inside-the-Beltway arguments and deficit self-talk have doomed Democrats in November because they fail to see how important it is to address the immediate needs of regular Americans. Democrats have given up on even trying to improve voters’ economic well being before Election Day."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

How do you make Dems care about the midterms?

"If you want to see the change you voted for in 2008, then you've got to vote Democratic in 2010."

The problem is that the pool of unmotivated voters Dems are trying to motivate isn't really wedded to progressive causes. In 2006/2008 folks didn't vote for Dems for cap and trade or immigration reform, they voted to get rid of Bush and to be a part of history.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 12, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Ezra has a few ideas about how to improve the economy slightly before the elections, extend unemployment insurance, aid to states, payroll tax holiday, but here's his conclusion.

"But the best thing Democrats could do, by far, would be to invent a time machine, travel back to early 2009, and figure out some way to pass a bigger stimulus a year ago. "To measurably move the dial on employment and unemployment by November, there would have to have been action taken at the end of last year or the very early part of this year," says Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. "At this point, the economic outcome is pretty much set.” And that probably means the election is, too."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"In 2006/2008 folks didn't vote for Dems for cap and trade or immigration reform"

Yeah right. All those policy debates in the election were for nothing then, right?

I love how you cynically re-write history on a regular basis.

I, for one, have been waiting for energy reform since 2000.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 12, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's one Dem who's in for the good fight.

"Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), perhaps the top Republican target in the House of Representatives, reported raising more than $660,000 in the second quarter of 2010 -- breaking his record from last quarter. Hailing from a traditionally conservative district, the Virginia Democrat has been routinely listed among the most endangered members in Congress. But instead of moderating his positions to appeal to Republican voters, the congressman has done the opposite, proudly casting a vote in favor of health care reform and cap and trade, as well as embracing rather than backing away from the stimulus."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted, with another example of a fearless dem:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/happy_hour_roundup_47.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 12, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: "I love how you cynically re-write history on a regular basis. I, for one, have been waiting for energy reform since 2000."

I'm not talking about motivating committed progressives such as yourself. I'm talking about all of the new voters that the Dem party got, especially those in 2008 who voted, IMO, to be a part of history and not for particular progressive policies.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 12, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

With the exception of Charles Krauthammer, every news story, article and blog in the Washington Post is presented from the Democrat Party's point of view. And leftists complain about Fox News!

Posted by: VastRightWingConspirator | July 12, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg, here's the problem:

If you want base Democrats to get out and vote in significant numbers, you have to provide them a reason to do it. A reason to really care and get involved. Instead, what you've got to show for base Democrats is this:

1. Healthcare (a good one, but severely compromised with no Public Option or Drug Pricing).
2. That's it.

You can't say torture or prosecutions. You can't say DADT. You can't say EFCA. You can't say ending Afghanistan. You can't say climate bill or reducing oil drilling (WH wanted to expand it). You can't say immigration. You can't say helping the unemployed. And on and on and on...

The problem is, besides healthcare, there isn't much to show for this Congress or especially this President. All I've learned is that Congressional Dems and the President/WH constantly whines about not having 60 votes, but don't do anything differently to fight for things. They just mope around and let the clock tick by.

You have to give base Democrats something to be FOR, not against. You have to show them that you are fighting for their causes. If you've seen Obama fighting for anything, you let me know. I certainly haven't seen it.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem. And will be...even into 2012.

Posted by: tx-il | July 12, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has had both Houses and still fails to get things going. Why? Because his policies are wrong. I guess that the Democrats will have to use their tried and true remedies, voter fraud, racism, and lies.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 12, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

From the article:
"The White House and Dems have made this case every which way: They've charged that Republicans will again rule as stooges of Big Oil and Wall Street."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
REPUBS as the stooges of Wall Street and Big Oil??
Follow the money -- more campaign money went to Obama than anyone else FROM THESE TWO SOURCES. BP giving more than anyone else.

But that will change as Obama keeps trying to make a moritorium on drilling that sticks (good luck with that).

Funny how he takes their campaign dollars, then his MMS people grant waivers on inspections that would have nailed this problem before it blew up. Now to save face he has to do something drastic (moritorium attempts) to make it look like he isn't responsible.....but he is.

Posted by: jimbob3 | July 12, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

@bobbo2 : President Obama has had both Houses and still fails to get things going. Why? Because his policies are wrong.

I guess you missed the part where senate repiglicans egregiously abused the filibuster and unanimous consent to basically make the senate a nonfunctioning body for the last 18 months. Every important piece of legislation had to overcome a supermajority multiple times, crowding out many important policy initiatives. I am hoping that you understand more about the process than the typical low information voter, but given your post, it looks like a vain hope.

Posted by: srw3 | July 12, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

To mobilize the base, Obama needs to say this: I screwed up and I'm sorry. I listened to my political advisors and they were wrong. I thought I could work with the Republicans and I was wrong. I squandered the greatest goodwill and largest majority we will have for the foreseeable future. But for the next two years of my term, I promise to start over and fight for the things I should have done in the first place. I will be a champion of the middle class and the poor. I will protect our civil liberties. etc.

Posted by: pereubu77 | July 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

One other reason for warning of a probable Republican victory is to manipulate expectations. The benefit is that if the Republicans don't win the majority in one of the houses, it will be cast as a failure even if they make up considerable ground.

Posted by: Damocles | July 12, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The Dems will lose big in November because their policies are wrong. It is as simple as that. Hopefully it will be a Dumbocrat bloodbath in November and Obamacare can get repealed. Watching Nazi Pelosi hand over that gavel will be a real treat. Maybe she will cry and her face will melt. Watching Harry Reid retire into obscurity will also be a treat. Even his son is ashamed of sharing the same last name.

Posted by: oldno7 | July 12, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse


"How do you make Dems care about the midterms?"

You can't. Too late. Game over.

Democrats have been in the majority in the House and Senate for going-on four years now. They have earned the ire of the voters and they will feel it come November. That they have now held the White House for going-on two years only makes it worse.

Posted by: WylieD | July 12, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have some other questions that may actually be dumb. I got the numbers for real registered voters from the Census Bureau website, and looked at the data tables for the polling sample linked on Pew's website. Sorry for the long post.

1. Why is it that the polling sample for Pew's "enthusiasm gap" poll from July 1 includes so few young voters and so many older voters? It was a poll of registered voters, not likely voters. The 18-29 crowd only accounts for 12% of the sample, but was 18% of registered voters as of 2008.

2. Why does the sample include so many voters over 50? They make up about 60% of the sample, but they were 46% of registered voters in 2008. 44% in 2004.

3. Younger voters tend to lean left and older voters tend to lean right. Are right-leaning voters over-represented in this poll and are left-leaning voters under-represented?

Again, this was a poll of registered voters, not likely voters. If it were likely voters, I'd get why older voters were heavily represented, because they choose candidates earlier than younger voters. But I would have thought a poll of registered voters would have to use a polling sample that was somewhat more representative of the registered voter pool, or at least weight by demographics if they couldn't get a representative sample. And the Census tables also indicated that voter participation rates were roughly the same among the age groups (that is, once you discounted the registered voters who did not vote, 17% of actual voters were 18-29 year olds, 47% of actual voters were over 50 in 2008).

Posted by: dkp01 | July 12, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is focused on making sure America's resources--what few he hasn't shredded--are spent on rebuilding Haiti. He couldn't care less about Americans and their children who are out of work, living in tent cities or in the back seat of their cars. Obama and the Democrats in Congress have been deliberately destroying the American economy for many years, including when Obama was a U.S. Senator. His most heartfelt wish is to turn the USA into another Haiti, Kenya, somalia or Congo.

Posted by: kypriotis | July 12, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The "rank and file" consisted of people who otherwise would never have dropped the remote control to go out and vote. Good luck getting those dribbling slobs back who are just waiting for their free health care.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | July 12, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Top Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted on Sunday that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit, even as he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/12/jon-kyl-extend-bush-tax-c_n_642862.html

Posted by: austininc4 | July 12, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"the White House and Democrats have been engaged in a full-blown effort for weeks now to persuade voters that the midterm elections could represent a return to GOP rule."

Sounds like the Republicans can sit back and let Obama do all the hard work for them. Obama doesn't get it.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | July 12, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"I guess you missed the part where senate repiglicans egregiously abused the filibuster"

Name calling aside, I guess you missed the part where senate democrats had a filibuster proof majority for a full year and still couldn't get anything done.

Obama was crowing about how they had the biggest majorities ever in congress, and they did... nothing.

That seems pretty incompetent. Why would you vote for the party of incompetence?

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | July 12, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Greg, I don't know how you get out the vote. Have you scheduled any meetings with Ax and Rahm to give them your suggestions? Is the 2010's version of Mr. Hamilton's "We had a larger purpose?".

Posted by: chatard | July 12, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

TPL is being attacked by The Dumbs!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Get the Administration to promise to keep the government's hands off their Medicare, and maybe they will go back to CrazyVille.

"I know all yer leebrul gang signs, Greg!"

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 12, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"Obama was crowing about how they had the biggest majorities ever in congress, and they did... nothing.

That seems pretty incompetent. Why would you vote for the party of incompetence?"

It comes natural if you are incompetent.

Posted by: linuxlund | July 12, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The Dems think this is some kinda public relations issue, but it's more than that. People are sick of them.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | July 12, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Jist keep yer guviment hands off'n mah Medicare!

Posted by: gschultens | July 12, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the problem is that people are sick of Dems, but rather that when Dems came in they ignored the 2 trillion dollar shortfall in demand, put in a stimulus half that size, then sat back and watched as the economy sputtered. In other words they didn't do the job they were elected to do. Instead Obama triangulated like the mediator he is. So Dems will pay the price for the pain the country is in, despite the fact that under the Reps it would have been worse.

Posted by: scientist1 | July 12, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

You want to know ONE of the big things wrong with the Dems? Look at how many of them believe the "keep your government hands off my medicare" fable. There's no shred of evidence showing that was ever said, no audio, no video, nada. Dems are the least knowledgeable people in the country, are easily fooled, and then they wonder why they can't keep fooling others.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | July 12, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I would be happy to work for Democrats if they would work for me. But they won't.

They bailed out AIG's creditors 100 cents on the dollar, no questions asked, no strings attached. Why? Bankers told them it was the right thing to do. Same with the financial "reform" bill. Everything good in it was added by people like Blanche Lincoln to head off electoral defeat for themselves.

They have adopted the Bush national security state completely, and even pushed it into areas Bush himself never contemplated (such as the unrestricted, unsupervised right to murder American citizens on his own say so, as Obama has recently claimed). I view this as a BIG FAT LIE. It is the exact polar opposite of what they ran on in the last election and is a disgusting opportunistic flip that is unconstitutional, un-American and unethical.

They grudgingly passes health care reform, but only after a massively extended debate marked by extreme passivity on the part of Obama and an apparent desire on the part of everybody else to either settle scores (Lieberman) or avoid making either the insurance industry or the pharmaceutical industry angry. Obama's doing of a secret deal with Pharma was a rank betrayal. After all, he's the president who promised transparency above all else.

This administration was put in to make big changes. Instead, it has been marked by passivity in public, triangulation in policy, and an overwhelming desire to not annoy big business, above all else.

Screw that.

Posted by: pj_camp | July 13, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse


Yeah absolutely you can save huge on your auto insurance by making these simple changes find how much you can save http://bit.ly/d4HSCH

Posted by: bidzill | July 13, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

>>>It would help if the Congress put forward a truly progressive piece of legislation on, say, FinReg,

Swell. Like this P.O.S. that legislates a permanent bureaucracy of genital and skin color counters to steer the hiring and employment practices of our financial firms, while taking a pass on 'Too Big to Fail'? Marvelous.

Posted by: jchu591 | July 13, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans take over the House, you can expect endless investigations of the President, most likely culminating in impeachment proceedings within a year. These will pass the House on a party-line vote and tie the Senate up in knots for the final year of Obama's term. While he will not be convicted, he will be wounded enough that he will not be able to win a second term, which will "vindicate" the strategy. This is how Republicans operate.

Are you scared yet? Two years of chaos doesn't sound very attractive, does it? But that's what we'll get if we allow the Republicans to gain a majority in the House.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | July 13, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans take over the House, you can expect endless investigations of the President, most likely culminating in impeachment proceedings within a year. These will pass the House on a party-line vote and tie the Senate up in knots for the final year of Obama's term. While he will not be convicted, he will be wounded enough that he will not be able to win a second term, which will "vindicate" the strategy. This is how Republicans operate.

Are you scared yet? Two years of chaos doesn't sound very attractive, does it? But that's what we'll get if we allow the Republicans to gain a majority in the House.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | July 13, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Somehow I think arresting global warming by castrating the american economy isn't going to excite. Either will claims of lowering health care costs by throwing every possible patient into the system without increasing delivery capacity. How about raising taxes in a recession? One retarded policy after another is only going to get the electorate excited about replacing the retards running things!

Posted by: aicohn | July 13, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

the dems will lose because they are destroying america with their socialist/marxist policies.

the rino's will lose because they are no better than the dems.

most of the people posting here are mind-numb dem drones.

Posted by: vanzorge | July 13, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of voters think the country is heading in the wrong direction and reject the Dem's socialist agenda. That is why the enthusiasm gap is wide. The majority want to see this agenda stopped and the growth of government and it's power reversed.

The term "Progressive" is just a new name for Marxism, and about 70% of Americans strongly oppose it.

Posted by: samadams25 | July 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Are Americans going to vote for the party of NO or the party of YES we can make things even worse?

Posted by: bot_feeder | July 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The realization has dawned on Democrats that they made a huge mistake when they gave the nomination to Obama. Instead of the candidate that was going to bring hope and change they got an incompetent narrow minded ideologue. Hillary might not have satisfied the radical left wing yearnings as much, but she would have been competent. Democrats now just have to wait and hope for Hillary 2012 to save the party!

Posted by: valwayne | July 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Earth to dems, you will have your a$$ handed to you in November regardless of your enthusiasm. Your messiah is a flop. Your ideology has been laid to bear for the independents and the moderates to see. The majority of the country did not sign up for this BS. We now know that the fundamental transformation BO talked in 2008 is all about turning the US into a third world piss hole. Perhaps this appeals to you ideological dumbasses, but it ain't selling in real town America.

Posted by: keithbo61 | July 13, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

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