"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.
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?