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According to Dante's Divine Comedy the inscription over the gates of Hell is, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Well, folks, we are abandoning hope and the net result will be a descent into Republican Hell (well, Heaven for the Republican leadership, Hell for America).

In 2008, I got "fired up and ready to go," and so did a lot of people.  Not just us "netroots" people but people of all kinds, all over America.

Some of us — I can certainly speak for myself — knew that Obama was not magic.  We knew that some things would get better, some stay the same and that there would be new problems.  For example, we expected that Obama would escalate in Afghanistan and draw down in Iraq because that's what he said he would do.

Then, just as things seemed to be getting a little better, 2010 came and the country lurched in the other direction.  Or did it?

Nate Silver has a very important post up.  There are several important take-aways from his analysis, but here's one I haven't seen stressed: the Republicans won on narrow margins in 2010 primarily because conservative voter turnout was high and moderate/liberal turnout was low.

It has become fashionable among some on the left to freak out about every perceived failure of Obama.  I would never suggest that we abandon our principles and give Obama a "pass" just for being Obama, but we need to keep hoping that he'll do better.  We need to keep hoping that a second Obama term will see — at the very least — the steady, incremental improvement we've seen so far.

If we lose this hope, and we lose the enthusiasm, we will lose the 2012 election.  If that happens, and Nate Silver's other points are accurate, we may be inaugurating President Bachmann in 2013.

Fight the good fight, but keep hope alive, or we're all roadkill on the highway to Republican Hell.

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