I don't post diaries very often, although I comment frequently.
But after watching the (expected) self-analysis go back and forth about why the Dems lost the House, I haven't seen this yet.
The reason why I have voted in every election since 18, and the reason why I vote Democrat is because I still hold out hope (but admittedly, not much) that the Democrats are more likely to help preserve our democracy.
While it's true that there was not always support for President Obama from "the left," or "the professional left" (or whatever you want to call it), that's a normal course of events for any President who gets push-back from his base.
President Obama first disappointed me when he was Senator Obama (with his FISA vote). That was the first sign for me that he and I were not in agreement about everything.
But I still voted for him in 2008 because he was obviously the MUCH better choice. And I voted again last week for the same reason. In fact, I've voted in every election since I was eligible. And if a die-hard voter like me is discouraged in this environment, we can be sure that occassional and swing voters are also discouraged.
At this point in our nation's history, it's my belief that there are some key issues that are critical to preserving a true democracy. We're in trouble. Those things are:
-- Net Neutrality, in order to have a better informed voting public
-- Right to privacy (especially in the digital era)
-- Keeping corporate money out of the political process
-- Restoring and promoting innovation (i.e. future manufacturing in the U.S.)
-- Promoting small businesses
-- Preserving / stabilizing the social safety net, and
-- Re-incorporating a major emphasis on critical thinking skills within our public schools
All of these things help to preserve the rights of the individual over "the machine." Because that's really all we have.
While we heard about an "enthusiasm gap" of Democrats not voting in this election, we didn't hear much about the enthusiasm gap of independant voters who were also waiting to see what President Obama and the Dems would do once in office.
But take a look at that list above: how many of those things have the Democrats delivered on? Change always happens in increments, yes, but think back to other Democratic Presidents and Congresses.
Once it became obvious that the Obama Administration was going to continue and even expand many of the Bush domestic surveillance and "war on terrorism" (even though they stopped calling it that) practices, it sucked the air and the energy out of many of those now unenthusiastic voters.
Perhaps the Democratic leaders believe and still stand for those things I outlined above. If that's the case and I'm really missing something, then they at the least have done a poor job of communicating those things to voters.
Many individual voters at this point feel that they have no good options. They feel crushed by the machine.
Maybe the solution is not going to come from one of the major parties. But I do know this: whichever party is the first to enact a ban on corporate donations to ALL candidates -- and to actually stick to it-- will have a generation of loyal voters.
I hope it's us.