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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...

Originally posted to Thunder Road on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just a bit of a correction for ya (0+ / 0-)
    You stated

    I have no illusions that anything I write here is going to change anyone's mind about whom to vote for on November 5.

    Don't you mean Nov. 2?

    Just saying.

    Nov. 5 would be a bit late to vote.

  •  just the place for one of my favorite videos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 10:29:43 PM PDT

  •  people feel taken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    humphrey, allenjo

    They didn't want incremental improvements and a 10% expansion of Medicaid. The Obama campaign really managed to instill hopes of fundamental change. That has not happened, it is business as usual on all fronts, with some marginal improvements over a very conservative Republican regime.

    It happens every generation or so, a talented politician inspires people and then they are confronted with the brick wall that is at the end of all imaginary tunnels. The 2008 generation is probably lost to politicians at this point, and the new 2010 generation is breaking hard right. Both the Obama movement and the Tea Party are fed by the same stream, the constant flow of people disgusted with reality and seeking to change it, in any way possible, and now attempting to use the political process. Once they realize in a year or two that, regardless of what the politicians promised them, they got the same exact brick wall as before, they simply walk away from politics and go back to trying to fix their own lives. The Tea Baggers will go home just like the Obamabots did, to lie with the Know Nothings on the trash heap of history.

    "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

    by Marcion on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 11:32:54 PM PDT

    •  so the past two years were no better... (0+ / 0-)

      than the Bush regime? really?

      •  obviously there are differences (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The people who were probably most significantly affected by the change have been Afghans, Pakistani and Yemenis, who are dying in much greater numbers under Obama. And it at home too, there have been some changes, some new regulations have been put in place, some money spread around. Among Americans probably the most affected are the people for whom the new health insurance regulations have made the difference between life and death, or life and bankruptcy. But the regulations have been woefully few and weak, and so the number of people benefited is much too low to alter the overall public perception.

        Sadly, for the great majority, it's the same trading in place dance, moving a foot one way and then back that the two party system has been doing for decades. Some people might get enthused once in a while by a charismatic campaign, but the glamour wears off quickly under the onslaught of reality.  

        "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

        by Marcion on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 11:53:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  People's feelings are hurt, so they're ready to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hand the reins back to the GOP.

      Those people can kiss my shiny white fanny.

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Tue Oct 26, 2010 at 11:54:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's more than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They don't believe in the political process and are going away. It's the old Lincoln formula of government. You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. Somewhere in the middle lie the temporary enthusiasm surges like the ones in 2008 and 2010.

        "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

        by Marcion on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 12:00:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have a friend who was very active in (0+ / 0-)

          Democratic party for years, who now says she will not even bother to vote in Nevada. My explaining of the craziness of the Tea Party candidate and party left her totally unmoved. This is a big problem for us, when there is just no enthusiam, just apathy from those who were previously so involved.

          Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

          by allenjo on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 06:28:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  problem is that US is not a sports car (0+ / 0-)

      for a metaphor; it does not turn on a dime and can take a long time for any change in course to be evident, particularly after so many decades of GOP control.

      Other problem is that (yes listening to John Hagee again but Beck is on the same page, we have to reduce national debt by lowering spending and cutting taxes.) TPers are obsessed with tax cuts and program cuts. Fine, let's cut all spending, including defense, by 10% across the board and increase all taxes by 10%. After all, for people who have actually have to  spend down debt, they already know that to reduce debt you have to decrease spending and increase income. To get out of a hole, not only do you have to quit digging, you have to start filling. TPers never learned that lesson my grandfather always told me, and he was an adult during the Great Depression. "After you quit digging, start filling". The TPers are not willing to fill the fiscal hole so they end up in the long run no better off      

  •  MSM is hammering that Democrats will lose (0+ / 0-)

    60 House seats, maybe as many as 90 while Senate losses are projected at 6-10 seats. In the meantime, I find my state's Senator, Jim DeMint, in a cakewalk himself, is spreading out PAC money far and wide:

    Question for Jim is if he is angling for Majority Leader in a new Senate or if he is angling for the VP slot in 2012? Right now POTUS seems to be a shootout between Palin and Newt, with Newt allying himself with TPers in an attempt to return to power with Mitt in the wings, as an alternative to letting teh Crazies run the asylum.  

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