Not only to blame, not completely to blame. But yes, anyone who is of the liberal, progressive, or further-left persuasion that does not vote Democratic on general election day 2014 will be partly to blame if Dems take further losses in the House and/or, perish the thought, the Senate is lost.
This diary is in response to the currently rec-listed diary here. Much of my diary will be refutations of the points from that diary, but only because that diarist made a lot of the arguments that I think are fallacious and lead to justifications for not voting by 'Progressives'. Praenomen, from everything I read in that diary, was more than polite about her or his points, and this diary will be the same as well, and I hope this comment section can be too.
I am putting 'Progressives' in quotations, because I reject that real Progressives (no true Scotsman fallacy aside) would ever choose stepping back. Voting for anyone except the Democratic candidate, unless that candidate was a raging conservative and a 3rd-party Progressive candidate had a real chance to win, is in fact a step back. Perhaps that's not fair, but life isn't fair, and it's the reality of our currently political 2-party system.
Now, let's examine some points from the other diary and why they are incorrect:
The American electorate seems to be sending a very clear message to Democrats: Obama’s policies are not working. And it’s easy to believe that members of the Democratic leadership have failed to heed the message sent by progressives during the 2010-midterm elections.First off, we have been told repeatedly NOT to blame 'progressives' for the 2010 midterm losses. Is this comment actually taking responsibility for those? IF so, not voting in 2010 would actually make more sense as the perceived lack of progress from 2008-2010 was much more on the shoulders of Congress than President Obama, rather than from 2012-2014, where I think you can argue that Obama was more moderate than the agenda set forth or endorsed by Democrats, particularly in the Senate. Punishing congressional Democrats in 2014 therefore would be misplaced effort and not constructive.
Think about it: If you're so frustrated with Obama, the 'compromiser-in-chief', do you think you'll be happier with him when he's 'compromising' with a Congress completely controlled by Republicans?
And therein lies the crux of the problem. Liberal ideals might poll well, but they are not congruous with the policies implemented by the Obama White House.Again, FAR too much focus on the Executive Branch, which is NOT up for election in 2014!
Also, I reject the conclusion that 'liberal ideas poll well.' I have not seen poll results across the spectrum of major and minor polling operations tie SOLUTIONS to the ideas, before asking citizens for their feedback. For example:
Q. Do you think government is intruding too much into the private lives of citizens?
A. 80% Yes, 20% No.
One might point to this and say: See, the public is more liberal than Obama/Feinstein/Reid on this!! However, we have no idea what particular issues are causing 80% of the responders of this poll to answer 'Yes', nor what they think would do the trick to solve it. For instance, would 'And so we should abolish the IRS and Obamacare' be a 'liberal' answer to this poll question? Methinks not. And until we have enough polls that offer solutions to these questions or ask for feedback on specific policies or programs, we should reject conclusions about how the general public leans liberally/conservatively.
The truth is the Democratic Party has lost its way. We are more concerned about single-agenda social issues than we are about protecting the well being of people who are suffering.So-called 'single-agenda social issues' are very important, and VERY MUCH affect their well-being. Equal pay for equal work affects financial well-being. Being able to marry your longtime partner and be legally and financially responsible for them affects both of the spouse's overall well-being. African-Americans being able to vote in the South affects their well-being. These people are/were suffering before Dem control of the White House and the Senate in 2008, and while much progress still needs to be made, it is DECIDEDLY better than it was before. And those people will be voting Democratic.
Economic issues pervade all races, genders, etc....and are much more structural (I'm sure even the most leftist of us would agree) these days than most (but not all) civil rights issues (many of which will die off boomers). Lack of 'enough' progress economically should not cause us to reject Democrats and stay home, because that will cause NO progress, with no reason to assume there won't be steps back instead.
If your Dem congresscritter is an absolute disaster across the board (not just for your favorite issue), perhaps staying home in protest will send a message. But please, do NOT call for, or excuse, a general effort to stay home on GE day 2014:
1. Obama is NOT up for re-election and will not be again.Thank you for considering these points as you look toward election day this year. And, I hope you think about what else you can do to prevent having to hold your nose on general election day (motivating progressive candidates, primaries, convincing others of your positions.)
2. Think about how Obama, if you view him as too moderate or too compromising, will act if Republicans completely control Congress.
3. The only polling that really matters is vote-casting. Before you throw your hands up in despair, consider that conclusions from policy and ideas polling is likely faulty without being accompanied with specific solutions that are also polled.
2. Republicans, nationwide, are the only other viable candidates for national office, and they WILL roll back the progress that has been made, however slow it may have been. Because elections are tied to %'s of total turnout and there is no floor for a % vote for someone to get elected, they will be helped by you not voting or throwing the vote away on a non-viable candidate. NOT VOTING IS THEREFORE AS HARMFUL AS VOTING REPUBLICAN.
3. Progress HAS been made, and it will NOT continue, however slow, if Democrats are not in power.