Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Much has been said among the national punditry about the "enthusiasm gap" between the political bases of the two major parties as we head into the mid-term elections. This statistical measurement, derived from various political polling operations supposedly measures the degree of motivation of voters which corresponds to the probability that they will vote in the upcoming election. You can read an analysis of one such poll here.
Throughout the year, polls that measure this "enthusiasm gap" have consistently shown that the Republican base is more motivated than its Democratic counterpart. Hence, there is speculation (bordering on certitude) that the GOP will win a majority in the House of Representatives this November, and may even have a shot at winning control of the Senate. Speaker Boehner! Oh, boy!
While I'm still holding out hope that the Democrats will retain control of both houses, if they do manage to pull it off, it will be in spite of their ineptitude and cowardice and mostly due to the utter worthlessness and lunacy of the Republican party.
But if the Democrats are vanquished, they have only themselves to blame.
As an unapologetic "left-wing freak," I'm carrying around a lot of resentment toward Democrats generally (with a few exceptions) and the Obama administration specifically. They surrendered without a fight on the "public option" of their supposedly landmark health care legislation. As John Kitzhaber pointed out in his recent debate with Chris Dudley, the end result of the long, ugly debate was little more than a reform of the health care insurance industry. And I was disgusted at how they coddled and wooed punks like Stinky Joe Lieberman instead of giving him the back of the hand, like he deserved.
There has been no effort to investigate and prosecute the blatantly criminal elements of the Bush administration. Indeed, Obama and company have continued with many of the very worst of Bush policies: unending, unwinnable war in Afghanistan, escalation in Pakistan, unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens, circumvention of the Judicial branch of government.
So, when the President and Vice-President and the various mucky-mucks in the national Democratic party chide their base and tell us to "buck up," it just stirs up resentment. Why the hell should I do you any favors, Mr. President?
I'm not apathetic, but neither am I enthusiastic. I still go out and work for Democrats and I will, of course, cast my ballot later this month. But it won't hurt my feelings if President Obama gets a stern admonishment from voters in this election. And with Rahm Emanuel out the door, there is a chance that President Obama might just interpret such a development correctly.
Dance with the one what brung ya, Mr. President.