Remember how happy we were on November 4th, 2008...
[From my blog]
That was only two years ago. To many of us, it seemed like we'd accomplished the unthinkable: we had taken our country back and, after eight long years, we were brimming with optimism.
Fast forward to 2010 and the pendulum seems to be swinging in the opposite direction. The Republicans, all but dead in 2008, are poised to take control of the House and drastically reduce the Democratic majority in the Senate. What happened in the past two years that could account for this sea change? I can think of a few possible explanations:
- The tidal wave Obama rode into office created unnaturally high expectations. When he didn't magically end all wars, or fix the economy overnight, many of his supporters became disillusioned.
- Ironically, Obama, the master campaigner, does not seem terribly good at self-promotion. In his two years in office, he's done some wonderful things that no one knows about. This article provides a succinct summary of Obama's accomplishments so far.
- We are a nation with a short attention span. We want what we want and we want it now. We wanted Obama, we got Obama. On to the next fad.
It's a fact of life in politics that the economy trumps all other issues. And the incumbent party always gets blamed for a bad economy, whether they created it or inherited it.
Though he isn't the messiah some people expected him to be, we have a president who's done a great deal of good for us in his first two years in office, but most people don't know about it (or don't care).
I have no illusions that anything I write here is going to change anyone's mind about whom to vote for on November 2. But if you're one of those disillusioned, disappointed Democrats suffering from the storied "enthusiasm gap", and thinking about sitting this one out, I'd like to leave you with this thought: not voting is, indirectly, a vote for this kind of leader...