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View Diary: This whole "Teach Obama a Lesson" thing is working so perfectly, isn't it? (1552 comments)

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  •  I dispute the premise (37+ / 0-)
    All across the country, the True Liberals' efforts to teach Barack Obama a lesson are paying off in spades. Their plan could not have worked out more perfectly. After a year of shouting to the highest heavens about how much they were disappointed in President Obama and the Democrats, after a year promising to withhold their support during the 2010 Midterm campaign and, more importantly, at the ballot box, they got their wish: Democrats stayed home in droves. Huge numbers of Democrats across the country, many of whom had voted for the very first time in 2008, got up and went to the fridge instead of the polls that late Fall Tuesday.
    Here's what happened in Pennsylvania:

    In 2006, Philadelphia gave Bob Casey a 357K-67K advantage over Rick Santorum (290K) that led to a 59%-41% (710K) win statewide.

    In 2010, Philadelphia gave Joe Sestak a 349K-66K advantage over Pat Toomey (283K) that led to a 49%-51% (77K) loss statewide.  

    (In 2008, it was 595K-117K for Obama.)

    In other words, Philadelphia turnout was depressed from 2008, but that's expected -- it was still consistent with the previous midterm.  Where things flipped in PA was everywhere else, partially in the Phila suburbs (Bucks went from 59-41 Casey to 53-47 Toomey) but especially in western PA -- a 100K swing in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh + surroundings), Westmoreland went from 53-47 Casey to 60-40 Toomey, etc.  

    The base turned out in 2010 in the numbers you'd have wanted.  We lost the swing voters.

    If folks have contrary data -- let's see it.

    •  very convincing - you should be the DKos (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater, foufou

      ombudsman - (assuming you are the legal FPer I am thinking of).

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:04:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OFA was supposed to remedy this. (16+ / 0-)

      They were designed to turn that extra 250,000 Philadelphia voters out to the polls. Nobody should expect they would turn them all, but to only reach numbers equal to the numbers prior to OFA's existence, indicates they can't turn out their vote for Democrats generally. Only for Obama.

      Perhaps they should change their name to OFO.

    •  adam I cannot allow you, in good faith, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      princss6, FiredUpInCA

      to keep conflating the progressive netroots base, as represented by dkos, with the mainstream Democratic MACHINE, as represented by PA Democrats.

      I don't have any problem with the Pennsylvania Dem Machine.  some of its moving parts are friends of mine.

      "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

      by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:46:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But in that case ... (7+ / 0-)

        ... the group you're talking about is far too small to have made a significant impact.  Or, put another way, if you're not going to use "major urban city" as a proxy for whether progressives showed up, what contrary data would you point to?

        •  I'll use my city to as a proxy to show (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          princss6

          the progressive netroots is out of touch with the real world progressive base any day of the week.  I've done it before and I'll continue to.

          if thats what you're saying we're all the way in agreement.

          if you're saying nobody on here deserves scorn for depressing even ONE Democratic vote, we're in stark disagreement.

          "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

          by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:54:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I'm saying is ... (8+ / 0-)

            ... if you want to argue that progressives did not in fact show up to vote in 2010, you need to point to some data that confirms it.  It could well be that there is no good proxy given how geographically dispersed the netroots are, but in that case there's nothing really to argue about except competing anecdotes.

            •  I'm glad we're fleshing this out, I meant to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              malharden, princss6

              yesterday:  I have serious doubts as to whether the loudest voices of criticism on the netroot left have Democrats' interests at heart, and I think that explains how out of touch they seem to anyone who's a combo of progressive and yellow dog dem.

              that's the bottom line.  every stat you post about our state's voting numbers seems to bear my opinion out.

              "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

              by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:04:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And what I'm saying is ... (7+ / 0-)

                ... as best as I can tell from the data, progressive turnout wasn't the problem in 2010; moderates flipping D to R was.  For all the complaining and disappointment that preceded it, once autumn rolled in people joined forces and fought for victory as best they could.

                Yes, there are certainly people out there whose believe in progressive causes supersedes their support for particular Democratic politicians, and who didn't mind seeing moderate Dems lose.  My assertion is that they're too small a factor to worry about in the grand scheme of things; they're not why we lost Bucks County.

                In the end, the election turned on the economy.  Democrats who had all the base and progressive support and resources in the world lost just as much as everyone else did.  Progressives can argue, "Had Obama been more progressive on economic issues and delivered a larger stimulus, the economy would have turned out better and we'd have retained more seats," and that's a legitimate argument to have.

                I just don't think there's statistical support for the notion that a progressive (or netroots) failure to turnout (or volunteer) had much to do with what happened.

                •  my opinion of the motivational power (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kat68, foufou, princss6, Rustbelt Dem

                  of a site like dkos differs from yours.  I mean just check out any moneybomb or phonebomb or other action diary.

                  and I don't hear this sense of irrelevance from others on this site, like the person reccing you in your discussion with me, who claim credit when something progressive happens.  when that happens it's all "thanks to our pressure" all over the site.

                  do you think dkos has any kind of effect on anything?

                  "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                  by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:30:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not saying we're irrelevant at all. (4+ / 0-)

                    To the extent there was a "don't vote" message in 2010, it was not coming from the front page of this site.

                    What relative weight do you ascribe to "the economy" versus "some progressives said people shouldn't bother voting" in assessing what happened in November?

                    •  to ascribe weight we have to agree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      princss6

                      that a thing exists.  you're conceding that there may have been a tiny teeny amount of dem voter supression on dkos now lol?

                      "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                      by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:35:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  why do I have to repeat myself? (5+ / 0-)
                        Yes, there are certainly people out there whose believe in progressive causes supersedes their support for particular Democratic politicians, and who didn't mind seeing moderate Dems lose.  My assertion is that they're too small a factor to worry about in the grand scheme of things; they're not why we lost Bucks County.
                        I absolutely object to calling such attitudes "voter suppression" -- they're not trying to block other people from voting.
                        •  well then sure mostly it was the economy. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          princss6

                          your objection is overruled lol.

                          "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                          by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:42:29 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  wait did the diarist say it was ALL the (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tchrldy, Rustbelt Dem

                          disgruntled progressives' fault?

                          or was this more of a "hey jackass, if you didn't vote, guess what" screed?

                          "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                          by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:43:35 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  the diary speaks for itself (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            itsbenj, slinkerwink, newpioneer
                            All across the country, the True Liberals' efforts to teach Barack Obama a lesson are paying off in spades. Their plan could not have worked out more perfectly. After a year of shouting to the highest heavens about how much they were disappointed in President Obama and the Democrats, after a year promising to withhold their support during the 2010 Midterm campaign and, more importantly, at the ballot box, they got their wish: Democrats stayed home in droves. Huge numbers of Democrats across the country, many of whom had voted for the very first time in 2008, got up and went to the fridge instead of the polls that late Fall Tuesday.
                            Did you see any mention of other factors in the diary?
                          •  and you took that to mean the diarist (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            conlakappa, foufou, princss6

                            thinks no other factors were extant?  I didn't, and wouldn't have expected him to have to do such a disclaimer on such a site.  especially since everyone knows he works (volunteers?) for OFA.

                            if' he'd said somewhere that it 'fully explained' or 'it all comes down to' that, sure.

                            "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                            by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 08:24:45 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I take the diarist to mean what (s)he said. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, newpioneer

                            And if (s)he didn't mean that, that's what the comments are for.

                          •  I volunteer for OFA (6+ / 0-)

                            I've never made a penny from them and even bought my own t-shirts.

                            This rant is aimed at people who did everything they could to aid the Republican meme that Democrats are worthless which DID suppress the independent vote, imo. When even members of your own party are against you, there's little incentive for them to support you as well.

                            It's also aimed at all the people who stayed home on election day because they were disappointed in Democrats. I appreciate that you were but the time to register that disappointment is during the primaries, not the general election.

                            Unless of course you want to live with the consequences like what happened in Michigan yesterday that prompted this emotional rant of mine. The governor that will sign this odious legislation was supported by an embarrassing number of Ann Arbor Democrats (where I live) simply because he is from there and it pisses me off that they couldn't see their way through to voting for a Democrat.

                            To be clear, it's "EClectablog", not "Electablog".

                            by Eclectablog on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 12:22:14 PM PST

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                          •  I'm all the way in agreement with you (4+ / 0-)

                            LOL I didn't mean to accuse you of shilling Eclecta. ;)

                            "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

                            by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:02:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            princss6, Rustbelt Dem

                            That wasn't for your benefit. You're solid, mally

                            To be clear, it's "EClectablog", not "Electablog".

                            by Eclectablog on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 05:34:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ha! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            conlakappa, mallyroyal

                            Only some people can "fully" explain things around here, lol.  Glad you don't miss a thing!

                            I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

                            by princss6 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:40:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  oh and if they take no blame (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tchrldy, foufou, princss6

              they can never take any credit when things go well.  thats how that works.

              I personally think the netroots has an impact on politics, and we're quibbling about the degree of impact.

              "Wake the town and tell the people!" ~Ewart Beckford, O.D.

              by mallyroyal on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:06:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  remember the e-mails from the progressive PACs (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kat68, foufou, princss6, mallyroyal

                in the months of haggling on healthcare when the Tea party was out screeching about how the President was out to kill grandma?  I do.  I got e-mails during the same period from progressive PACs complaining about how the President, Rahm, and Nancy Pelosi were screwing up healthcare legislation, folding to big insurance interests and failing the promise of the '08 election.  All those e-mails urged me to give money to the PACs and urged me to write to the WH to tell them that they were screwing up because they were not supporting progressive values.  I don't remember getting many e-mails alerting me to upcoming health care town halls and asking me to show up to counter the tea party, rethuglican manufactured outrage.  Any e-mails I got urging me to the type of grassroots activism, like showing up to health care town halls, came from local Democratic groups and OFA.  

                When I talked to moderates who previously had voted for the President, many of whom received e-mails from Rethuglican/Tea Party groups, quite a few of them referenced the fact that even Democrats were against the President's healthcare bills.  

                Adam B suggests that it was moderates who stayed home during the 2010 elections. If that is true, how much of the reason they stayed home is that progressive PACs spent more time raising and spending money to attack the President's healthcare plan, than they did trying to counter the Rethuglican/Tea Party meme that the President's plan would bankrupt the country and create death panels for grandma?  The fiscal responsibility argument swayed the moderates in my area--as it likely did in many other areas and in many other swing states that we lost in 2010.  The progressive PACs failed to respond effectively to that argument because they were too busy trying to make the case that the healthcare bill wasn't progressive enough.  I am not suggesting that Progressive PACs were the only reason for the 2010 debacle but they certainly didn't help.  

                What if, instead of attacking the President's plan, progressive PACs spent time and money to create a consensus which struck back at the Rethuglican/Tea Party meme of fiscal responsibility and sought to create a consensus that expanding health care coverage would be a positive first step toward the goal of a system that benefits all Americans.  

              •  We're actually quibbling on the type of impact (0+ / 0-)

                Not the degree.

                Progressives can argue, "Had Obama been more progressive on economic issues and delivered a larger stimulus, the economy would have turned out better and we'd have retained more seats," and that's a legitimate argument to have.

                We said so at the time.  Hell, Krugman and Christy Romer tried to warn him.

                Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                by neroden on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 08:49:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  It is probably... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mallyroyal

              a better indicator of minority voters seeing how the city is majority black and it is probably a better indicator of Democratic base voters...but well I won't get in the way of the "Obama did nothing for the blacks therefore they shouldn't support him while simultaneously characterizing them as not politically-savvy" meme.  

              Would you "true progessives" just pick one non-contradictory meme about minority voters?  Please!

              I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

              by princss6 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:32:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctsteve, neroden

      Although, base voters stayed home in places like Tennessee, where we didn't have a particularly strong Democratic candidate.

      It worked where it worked.  It failed where it failed.

      I think it's hard to blame unions or "Leftists" or whatever for the problems.  What did happen, however, is that complaints about Obama and Democrats (many of whom were hit hard for not acting like real Democrats) undermined our message and gave too many Republicans a free pass.  Combine that with huge amounts of money spent by Republicans to sway independents against the "radical Obama-Pelosi agenda" and to create a massive distraction from the failures of corporations and big banks to help the middle class, and you've got what we had in 2010.

      Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

      by Benintn on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:56:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can see this argument, but you see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newpioneer

        if we actually had real Democrats in the Senate rather than what we had... well, then things would have gone differently, eh?

        One problem with blaming complaints about Obama and Democrats for lowered turnout is that it's blaming the messenger.  Unless you've convinced yourself that the complaints aren't valid or are unimportant.  Which is a factual argument which you will lose if you engage in it seriously.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 08:52:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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