Because no one is excited to vote for someone who says “I did the best I could and if you don’t like it blame yourselves, or the other guy, or something.” If the Dems want to win they have to start screaming “We did the best we could and those fuckers want you to have to start killing and eating your old people! They don’t care if you die in a ditch! They hate you so much that the more we tried to do for you the less we were able!” The Dems have, so far, insisted that half a loaf is pretty darned good. Well, if it is then they need to be satisfied with half an electorate because if the electorate is satisfied with the dems so far then they probably aren’t motivated to turn out because they figure the dems are handling the republicans ok. If the voters aren’t happy with what has happened so far the Dems can’t keep insisting that they are wrong—they have to point to the enemy. So far they haven’t done that successfully. You know how I know they haven’t done it sucessfully? Because if they had every single former Democratic or independent voter would be rioting in the streets right now against the Republican agenda.
The electorate is disaffected, uninformed, fearful, busy, dealing with all kinds of personal crap like unemployment, health care issues, fear for the future, grandma and grandpa’s inability to sell their home and move into assisted living, declining assets etc…etc…etc… and Obama and the dems are wasting time explaining that, really, the last two years have been very succesful?
You can make that argument but you have to make it in a better, clearer, way than the Democrats have. And they need to stop letting their own blue dogs undercut their message. You can’t blame the electorate for getting confused when the teaparty has a clear message and the dems don’t.
And, of course, it goes without saying that people like me, manic progressives though we are, are the very ones who still get out and vote dem regardless. Its just that its not exactly a mystery why there’s an enthusiasm gap. Jeebus christ the Cubs and the Red Sox lost every fucking game for years and they yet had a way of getting the bums to sit in the seats for every game. Obama and the Dems could have lost every single one of their big matchups with the republicans and have a better shot at holding the house than they do with their partial victories and their perceived sell outs.
from a comment thread over at Balloon Juice. Thanks to Atrios at Eschaton.