Yes, things look dire.
Progressives are a hopeful and optimistic bunch. We look for the best in people and the silver linings in all situations. My mom had an old bumper sticker that read, "Democrats Have the Heart to Care." More than anything, I think that bumper sticker made me the Democrat I am today.
We care about our fellow man, we have hearts, and we aren't afraid to think critically. Which is why it can be so frustrating to understand people who don't outwardly express any of these qualities. Some people are intent on viewing the world through a lens of skepticism and fear. I hear it in conversations with coworkers, I listen to it on the TV news, and I see it on the status updates of my old high school friends: Obama is a socialist! Obama is the worst president ever! Damn libs ruined this country! Muslims are terrorists, illegal aliens are taking our jobs and, dammit, lower my taxes and bring back the Constitution!
Take my old friend Traci, who I'm quite sure is a member of a local Tea Party. As much as I try to understand her feelings, as much as I want to understand where she is coming from, I can't. For the life of me, when she speaks I feel like I'm listening to a foreign language. Or maybe a different species altogether. How can two good, decent people have such drastically different views of the world? The difference between Traci and me, I'm convinced, is that I actually want to know how and why she thinks the way she does. She has no intellectual curiosity towards me. To her, I must be another godless liberal who hates America.
If the polls are even close to being right, Democrats are about to take a major hit. We will lose the House and maybe even the Senate. The writing, as they say, is on the wall. But we fight anyway, because that's what we do. We continue to look for silver linings. We see hope in early voting. We see hope in big rallies. We look for this or that magic poll that says "Wait! Things are not as they appear! There is hope!"
Wednesday morning we will likely wake up to a much different looking political landscape. We will listen to Republicans on the Today Show harping about how Americans have rebuked the president. We will hear about how they're going to roll back health care. We'll hear lots of things that sound good to a surprising number of people.
But here's the thing: they can't do squat.
Republicans have no plan, and they know it. Voters despise them even more than they dislike Democrats. That's why their one and only goal will be to take down Obama in 2012. Sure, they'll stir up some trouble now and then, whip up a frenzy or two, but in the end it's the same old Republican party. And people will see it soon enough. They got nothing.
We may lose the 2010 midterm elections, but we have something better: we have the truth. And we have the issues on our side. The American people, after taking a bite out of what the modern Republican party has become, will toss it aside soon enough.
Obama will get his mojo back. The Tea Party will be further marginalized. Independents will regain their sensibilities. African Americans, Hispanics and young people will continue to make their voices heard. Democrats will be fine.