If you have "no place to go," come here!

"They have no place to go"

Wrong. Steve Singiser, front-paged at The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos:

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

The results were, to put it mildly, shocking:

Or entirely expected.

Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will "definitely not vote" in 2010 than are Republicans.

Nobody could have predicted that throwing people under the bus would impact party loyalty. What's wrong with these people? They must be racists!

This enormous enthusiasm gap*, as well as some polling analysis done by PPP (and analyzed well here by Nate Silver), seems to make passing legitimate health care reform an absolute political necessity for Democrats.

Typo. Surely Singiser meant to write passing "health care reform that can be spun as legitimate," rather than "legitimate health care reform"? Because it's too late for legitimate health care reform:

1. The Dems themselves delegitimized the entire process from the start by excluding and censoring the "little single payer advocates", after promising an open and transparent process, where everybody would be at the table.

2. "Progressives" delegitimized the entire process by denying single payer advocates oxygen, and engaging in bait and switch tactics for [a|the] [strong|robust]? [Federalist?] public [health insurance]? [option|plan].

And now we've got a highly legitimate bill, which turns out to be a bailout for the insurance companies, and which forces people to pay now for a defective product that's only going to be available five years from now, in 2014 -- or commit a Federal crime. Thanks, Democrats! Thanks, "progressives"!

If the Dems and "progressives" want a legitimate bill, what they should do is pull out the parts of the bill that help people right away, pass that, and declare victory. They should junk the insurance bailout, junk the exchanges, and junk the so-called public option. Then they can reboot the process, and, this time, live up to their promises to be open and transparent.

And maybe then they'd have a policy bulwark against the right wing populism that is sure to come in 2010 and 2012. I'm figuring the Dems think they can ride that out by morphing into country club Republicans on policy and playing the sexist and classist cards against Palin. Good luck with that.

NOTE * This is exactly the same trope that BooMan uses here, although BooMan says "apathetic," instead of the far zippier "enthusiasm gap." In each case, those who've removed themselves from the lines of communication that go through Versailles are devalued as moral agents by the "creative class." After all, isn't it equally possible that these voters are not apathetic, but are actively seeking alternatives, or would accept them if they were on offer?

UPDATE Digby reacts to the Kos poll. Like Booman and Singiser, she too refuses to regard those who are opting out -- and the words are right there: "made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool"-- as active moral agents (her word is "depressed"). But I think the real problem with Digby's post comes right at the end:

Update: These may be the single most demoralizing stories for the base of all.

Where "these" are stories about Obama continuing Bush's torture policies at Bagram. Now, it's true that this kind of story pushed Glenn Greenwald over the edge, though on civil liberties generally. His reaction:

If Obama ran a campaign which purposely elevated the hopes of so many people -- particularly younger and new voters -- while secretly harboring the knowledge that he did not feel at all bound by what he was promising, isn't that a fairly serious indictment of his character, as well as a dangerous game to play for the Democratic Party?

Well, yes. But Obama's been playing an even more dangerous game, and one far more demoralizing to what used to be the Democratic base (before the "creative class" threw them out of the party), and has been playing it since October of 2008:

Working people see bailouts for the banksters, but nothing for them, whether on housing or jobs; we're almost a full year into the year of Hope and Change, and only now is Obama even holding a summit on jobs, in the worst employment situation since the Great Depression. And that's before we get to bailing out the insurance companies through what used to be laughingly called "health care reform," and before we go on to looting Social Security and cutting Medicare treatment under the guise of "entitlement reform." Yes, self-actualization, at the very tippy-top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, is important, as are issues like civil liberties and Bagram; but what used to be the Democratic base is a lot more concerned, I would guess, with material, bread and butter issues farther down, like having a job, like housing, like financial disaster, like medical care, like eating. And the one single issue that unifies all the rest is the banksters getting bailed out. That's the "single most demoralizing" story for what used to be the base, and not Bagram -- and Obama made it happen in October, 2008.

Oh, and read Digby's comments section. It's a hoot.

UPDATE Pacific John reacts as well.

UPDATE Booman feels that "panic is fully justified." That gives me pause, since Booman is a coincident indicator of "progressive" conventional wisdom. Every time Team Obama panicked during the primariez, which was often, they smeared their opponents, threw an ally under the bus, or threw part of the base under the bus. What happens when there are no more smears, no more allies, and there's no more room under the bus?

I wonder who the lucky winner will be this time?

No votes yet


Submitted by Anne on

from-on-high challenge from Obama that we need to "make him do" whatever it is that matters to us; I'm taking the "you-can't make-me" approach to voting for more Democrats who only care about my vote as a means to staying in DC, and beyond that, don't give a rat's ass.

I've seen no benefit from all those new Dems that got elected, and I'm tired of rewarding mediocrity. My two Senators are Mikulski and Cardin - they haven't done a bad job, but they could do better. Getting e-mail responses that "this is the best we could do" doesn't cut it. My representative is, thanks to some creative district-drawing, a Republican, and I wouldn't vote for him if you put a gun to my head.

For the last couple of election cycles, I've been an election judge in my precinct, but I have about as much enthusiasm for the process now as I have about cleaning up cat barf.

If the Democratic party wants me to be enthusiastic, they could do something to enthuse me; so far...crickets.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

Considering the revolving door between public office and lobbying firms, I'm not sure Democratic defeats next year will actually chasten the Democratic Party sufficiently. Won't they all just retire or go on to lobbying jobs?

No, what we need, again, is a third party, one that can whip up left-wing populism to counter the right-wing populism. How about a Populist Party? Or, to combine our efforts with those of Violet and company, a Women's Populist Party?

Submitted by regulararmyfool on

Please, keep your eyes out for people, especially women, who are trying to start a new political party.

It must occur in the next 6 months before the entrenched hogs can prepare a coordinated attack. Divide and conquer the democratic/republicans and the republican/democrats. They will each be soaking up those huge bank, insurance company, war corporation, doctor, lawyers, and Chamber of commerce bribes and flipping back and forth on issues like a dog with rabies.

It is the only chance the american people have. They cannot afford the government that they have, so it has got to be changed.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

They've got the platform and, more importantly, are already recognized to be on the ballot in my state. Personally, I liked Violets Green Dog idea, the idea of disaffected progressives actually getting more involved with the Greens as a way to make that party more powerful and pressure Democrats from the left. And, hey, they even win a few local elections here, which is a good thing.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

it may be better now, but Gail for Rail had her petitions circulated by Republican consultants. But perhaps the Greens in Virginia are going legit now.

there has to be another Bernie Sanders out there somewhere.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I'm just starting to investigate. I'm slow to commit. :-)

BTW, who is Gail the Rail (I was in California a long time)?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Gail Parker, a former Navy officer. She ran as a green for Senate in 2006. Republican consultants were circulating her petitions. But things may have changed.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

Since y'all are talking about the Greens (and where do I nest this reply?), I'll just say that the relative chaos of the green movement in the U.S. is one reason I'm a little wary. I believe Gail Parker was a candidate of the Independent Greens of Virginia, which in turn had hived off from a faction of the Green Party of Virginia (which is associated with the National Greens).

Green politics are messy.

Personally, despite my longstanding affection for the Greens, I think we need to start something intrinsically American. Especially if we're going to include a populist plank.

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

I'll probably vote, but I recently moved and am now in South Kacalacky and I doubt the Greens are recognised here. I definitely feel the need for an actual 2nd party.

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

Kackalacky = Carolina in local speak (I almost called it joual. HA!)

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

After years of Dem activism, I changed Party affiliation and voted for only one Dem in 08, and she was a state legislator. I won't vote for any Dem who was silent on the primary fraud. That pretty much rules out all Dems. The acceptance of fraud seems to have been a tell on how Dems would govern.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

At my place we're talking through a pan-woman platform; we'll see how that goes. My own inclination is still towards a leftist approach (feminism plus populism and progressive values). That's what the political moment calls for. Everybody has suddenly realized that the Democrats are just Republicans with better hair. The left is up in arms.

And if a new leftist movement is going to start, I want women in at the beginning, leading and shaping. Otherwise men will do what they always do (present company excluded).

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I don't see how conservative women who won't support reproductive rights or the ERA will help our cause. And I don't see how feminism and conservatism can possibly coexist.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

feminism, it needs to be economic populism. Populism, after all, is not strictly partisan, so it could still have some hope of attracting some conservatives even if many of the ideas proposed, like raising taxes on the rich, are at first glance liberal in nature.

So something like a Women's Populist Party. And I agree, women have to be at the forefront.

Submitted by hipparchia on

being of a rather leftist nature myself, but you can't really call it the womens party or the feminist party if it only welcomes leftist women.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Some at Violet's place were suggesting the LWP (Leftist Women's Party).

I dunno. Personally, I think my talents are probably better used in writing about feminism, and supporting feminism through music and other artistic endeavors. I don't think I have the patience for much else. I just want it all done yesterday, and I've already been burned quite a bit over the past year by trying to work with supposedly like-minded people on feminist activism.

Now, I'm just going to try to inspire and educate people, and maybe throw a few bucks to deserving candidates.

Submitted by lambert on

First, I'm not even sure left/right makes any sense any more. Second, the name condemns to permanent marginalization -- it sounds like a faction.

Compare National Women's Party.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

Jesus, people keep trying to come up with before we even know what we're doing! I guess I'm old-fashioned: to me, the marketing comes after the idea. (By the way and for the record, no party I am ever involved in starting will be saddled with a name like "leftist." I called my blog that because it was personally hilarious to me to proudly assume a name that, in terms of politics or market share, is the kiss of death.)

MadamaB, I will gladly support you in any feminist opera endeavor.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Actually, I think I'm going to do something other than opera. Maybe write some feminist songs and record them, then start doing a show somewhere in NYC. I also am going to make some Flash movies and upload them to YouTube.

I continue to believe that women's equality (with the ERA) is the right goal and the right frame. And, I think we need to put women first. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

(Violet, the New Agenda crap is mostly coming from yttik. Pay no attention to her. I think she's a plant. And it pisses me off that she's using my 30% solution to try to push Sarah Palin down everyone's throat. Hello, that's about the legislative branch, not the executive branch!)

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

...and not worry about whether I'm nesting appropriately.

I think what I'm going to do next with the Diocletian/party business is just sketch out what I want to do. What I believe in, modified for sense and sensibility of course (since most Americans aren't flaming hippies like me). As you might guess, it's very much feminism and populism mixed together. And we'll see how that rubs the oyster.

People keep talking to me about some pan-woman thing like The New Agenda, but I've fucking DONE The New Agenda. I think it's just selection bias (on the part of the commenters I mean). That or Amy is paying them.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

MadamaB theorizes that the ERA would also prohibit marriage discrimination. I'm not sure about that myself -- but of course I'm not a constitutional lawyer. It's an interesting idea though.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

You may already know this, but when I try to go to your blog I get an error message telling me that you have exceeded your alloted bandwidth. Just wanted to give you a heads up in case you didn't already know. I guess there is no question.

aspen's picture
Submitted by aspen on

casey, that happens every now and then at Violet's. I assumed it just meant that everyone is excited and trying to post at once. so, if that's the case, it's good thing.
fredster, i'm just a small hanger-on here, but i don't see why gay men, or anyone just based on identity would be excluded. what I do see in the gay rights movement is that it is gay men's needs are most visible, while lesbians get pushed to the side. so i hope the NWP, or whatever we end up calling it, does take up that matter. imho.

Violet Socks's picture
Submitted by Violet Socks on

Just copying and pasting this comment from Daily Kos, 'cause it's cracking me up:

When Obama entered the US Senate (2+ / 0-)

he chose Hillary as a mentor. He observed, he participated, and he figure out the system. After a year, he was ready to move on, he took command, and worked with Lugar on nuclear disarmament, and Coburn on the USA gov spending system.

He's doing the same as President. He figuring out how things work. Now, we see him starting to take control. He's figuring out how to work with Congress, he's building international relationships to work together (Russia, China, maybe India) on issues like Iran, global warming, international finance. He's starting to direct the military, not accepting the options that they gave him. He's kicking out all the lobbyists from the admin.

I don't think he's weak, I think he's learning. If the mistakes that Clinton made really did impact the rest of Clinton's term, it's probably a wise move not to repeat that pattern.

I see Obama becoming confident of his position, and taking control. I learned long time ago that the strong person is not the one thumping their chest, but the ones who are quietly in control and don't need to thump their chest. I see Obama as the latter.

by Kiku on Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 06:56:27 PM PST

Submitted by lambert on

Although like everything else with this administration, it's way too slow. (I would have thought Rahm had a hit list all ready). But, as also with this administration, it's a question of who they replace the kicked out lobbyists with. After health insurance reform, I've got no confidence on that score whatever.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

was Joe Lieberman, not Hillary Clinton. Where in the world do these people come up with these things?

A few minutes later, however, the audience was riveted as Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the guest speaker at the $175-a-plate dinner, stood on the podium and began the customary round of recognition of candidates and incumbents in the room. When he got to Mr. Lieberman, who is his mentor in the Senate and who helped recruit him to speak at the event, the applause again was muted.

“I know that some in the party have differences with Joe,” Senator Obama said, all but silencing the crowd. “I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s the elephant in the room. And Joe and I don’t agree on everything. But what I know is, Joe Lieberman’s a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America.”

Then, with applause beginning to build, he finished the thought: “I am absolutely certain that Connecticut’s going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate.”

That time, people cheered loudly.