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Why Democrats are going to lose in 2010

DCblogger's picture

As Yoggi Berra said, predictions are hard, especially about the future. Even so, I think the Massachusetts special election for US Senate offers us a preview of what is about to unfold. It is not 1994 all over again.

There was a steady drum beat of pseudo scandals that dominated the air waves in 1994 which has no equivalent today. Moreover, we did not have blogosphere to push back in those days. There is only a faint resemblance between now and then.

In 1994 the people who stayed home were the marginal voters. These are to sort of people who vote in Presidential years, but are less likely to vote any other time. These are people who don't see that it makes any difference and who have to be coaxed into voting. This same group will stay home in 2010. Their issues, unemployment, predatory lending, and foreclosure have not been addressed, they are more discouraged than ever. They are disproportionately women. Women stayed home in 1994, they will do so in even greater numbers in 2010.

A different group of women (and their male frends) are going to stay home or vote for third parties in 2010. They are women like Rochelle Sivian, women who in the past have not only been reliable Democratic voters, they have been among the most active and skilled volunteers. When someone like Sivian walks out of your party, you don't just lose her vote, you don't just lose her volunteer time, you lose all the people she brought with her.

We are talking about the sort of women who would not only work a phone bank, we are talking about the sort of women who could recruit a dozen volunteers to work the phone bank with them. We are talking about the sort of women who, single handedly, even in a bad year, deliver an additional 100 votes for Democrats just on their own efforts, through their personal networks. When they walk out of the party, they take all that with them.

That is why all that la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you is so destructive. That is why the Obot driven purges are going to kill the Democratic party.

Look for it to be a terrible year for Democrats and a great year for third parties.

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Submitted by jawbone on

for Obama et al?

Maybe the new party they want is the old slightly socially liberal, fiscally conservative business friendly Repub Party.

Maybe he'll call himself an Independent when he runs in 2012?

What will happen....

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I wish he would run as an independent. Then he and his apparatchiks would be gone and we could take back the Party.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

One of the more incredible characteristics of the Obama campaign workers and volunteers in '08 was their sneering at the long-time Democratic activists. People who had never before been involved in any campaign lectured people who had worked every election for over 30, 40, even 50 years about how to do politics and how important and exciting it was.

My reaction at the time was, "OK, no manners, but an election cycle or two will be instructive for them, and maybe build a new base." I mean, in politics, you have to shake off insults. By the time of the '09 precinct meetings, the newbies had faded away. The managers of the Democratic Party have become like corporate CEOs -- all that matters is this quarter. Not only did they weaken the long-time backbone of the party, they couldn't even bother to keep the new workers interested enough to come out to a meeting.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

....and it got 354 comments - most telling me to take my marbles and go home. So I did. I am and never will be a Dem again. But this excerpt from that diary tells you is who I was....for 40 years:

"This morning it came to me. I have been fighting not just for Hillary Clinton (whom I genuinely feel is so much more qualified to be POTUS, and whom I will continue to support right up to November and for anything she ever wants to do in the future), I have been fighting to stay in the Democratic Party.

And I have failed. I have been kicked to the curb. Given my walking papers. And told to "get out".

So I am going.

But before I go, please know who is leaving.

I organized for the Democratic Party (I ran a campaign in my hometown that brought a Dem majority into power - so much so that the Repugs have not even put up a slate in the past 3 elections).

I have created advertising and mailers for local Democratic Party candidates.

I have donated - thousands of dollars - much to my husband's chagrin.

I have marched in DC for every Pro-Choice rally that took place during my lifetime.

I have marched in two New York City Anti-War rallies.

I have phoned, and walked, and talked, and e-mailed for every Democratic candidate in my lifetime.

In the past, I, and others like me, were the backbone of the party. We got things done. We funded campaigns. We turned out the vote. We won elections.

I believed in a party that supported hard working people, health care for every American, all human rights, every part of the Constitution, worked - together - against racism, jobs in America, fairness in monetary policies and justice for all (I know, pretty sappy, isn't it!)

And now I have been asked by so many Obama supporters who are proclaiming control over the Democratic Party to leave and not let the door hit me in the ass on my way out,that I have decided to do it."

I won't be there in 2010 - and except for voting Republican, I will vote against every Dem in the most effect way I can. For the rest of my life.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

help organize one. But I'm in Tucson (which is the most wonderful place to live in this country!), and I haven't seen many others identify themselves as being nearby.

Kick Baucus to the curb's picture
Submitted by Kick Baucus to ... on

You had to go because you knew the party, the history and the issues. The Democrats were a coalition of those who wanted more - more rights, more say, more representation. This doesn't fit with the new party, which is a personality cult. The first thing the transformed party needed to lose was the mandate to fight for all those causes. Now it's members fight for Obama. It is his party. I assume they assume they've got 8 years, after which, no matter what they morph the party into, what will be forgotten is that the Democratic Party, even as it became a thinner reed for us to grasp for, carried the hopes of ordinary citizens that we could make our government return some of what the Republican Party took. Now we're considering voting R just to inflict maximum retribution on the Ds, and yet Obama will run right of Goldwater. Heads they win; tails we lose. I wish I could see the looks on the faces of those who have kicked us out of the party a few decades from now when they realize their lives have been stolen, too.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

I'm letting everyone know that calls that I'm not voting for another Democrat until I vote for Hillary Clinton. I won't vote Republican because I will not endorse the message that sends, but no more Dems are getting my votes either. Besides, if I don't like the Republican agenda, what's to like about the current Democratic one?

Unless there are some city or county races I care about, I'm skipping voting this fall. I never thought I would not vote, particularly in a congressional race. I'll hate to see Boxer go, but I've had it up to here.

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

have going for them at this point is they are so moderate Republicans that the Republican Party has been reduced to a nutty rightwing fringe group.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I think they'll lose too. But the Rethugs and Dems will drench the airways with their ads. I don't know if a third Party will be able to get through the noise machine.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

butt. He was struggling in polls against McCain until the market nosedived. In large part, the steady drumbeat messaging that "Democrats are better on the economy!" are what caused, Obama's polls to surge. Undoubtedly, some of the previously-reluctant people really believed the marketing, and others voted for him because it was so clear that Republicans had totally trashed the economy, surely the Democrats couldn't do any worse. But that was when Obama and the rest of the FKDP could ride the promises-wave.

I read an article a month or so back -- my apologies bc I didn't bookmark it and now I can't find it (and am really kicking myself about) -- analyzing Obama and the Democrats' falling poll numbers. The people whose support Obama has lost are mainly working class people, many who supported Clinton in the primaries for economic reasons, the ones who he never really captured in the first place. (not that he spent much trying to capture them, those bitter, ignorant, racists polluting the Platonic Obamic Ideal with their crude concerns about their economic security). Those are the voters who put Obama over the line in 2008 in the general -- The Reluctants. They were not the ones who drank the Kool Aid and they were not ever even mildly strong supporters. It was only the economic fail that finally tipped them into the D column.

The Democrats won't get a second bite at that apple. In all the champagne-popping over-indulgent and self-congratulatory celebration of the historical historicity of historicalness of Obama, career "progressives" and the FKDP failed to notice who really won them the election. They proceeded as they had campaigned -- by neglecting and often mocking or belittling the wide swath of the country whose main concerns were not the perfection of Stevensonian slavering in service to The One, but the economy.

Some of them have been bled off to the right-wing populism of the Tea Partiers and others have simply settled into frustrated apathy. They won't show up in 2010 or 2012, barring an economic miracle. I don't even think a new war will get them out to vote for the Democrats.

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

shock therapy

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

It is really hard not to notice the severe convenience of the big fail. But if the bankers of Versailles saw the fail coming, why not time it to their convenience? Arranging an inevitable economic crash to their advantage is, actually, hardly the worst thing they've done.

MoveThatBus's picture
Submitted by MoveThatBus on

He was struggling in polls against McCain until the market nosedived.

And, he lost big to Hillary even when he invested more than twice as much money into campaigning....at least those races where people voted rather than caucused.

Obama proved beyond doubt that it is not about who spends the most. But, I do believe that McCain took the primaries against Romney because the bankers wanted Obama tied to their puppet strings.

People are angry right now. Even some who are on the fence over whether to be happy or upset over HIR are very irritated because they don't know what to expect from this law. That growing distrust of gov't will show up in the 2010 elections....but I think the Rs in office are going to find themselves fighting almost as hard as the Ds to keep their seats. Although they didn't help get it passed, they certainly didn't do what they could have to make it better.