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In the run-up to the 2008 Presidential election, I was one of Obama’s biggest supporters.   I donated several times to his campaign, I watched his rallies stream live on the internet, often staying up late at night to watch daytime events live since I was overseas.   I talked to everyone I knew about why they should vote for Democrats, and listened to their anger over the Bush administration, or their fears of a young charismatic President with little experience, only to talk to them about hope to sway them.  I argued with my Republican friends and family over the leadership qualities of Obama, and wrote diaries on Kos for the first time ever.  I even cried proudly on election night seeing the first black President give his victory speech.  

A lot has certainly changed in three years.   Now, I find myself becoming more and more apathetic about the 2012 Presidential election season.  I have watched my party cave again and again and again on almost every issue I held dear.  I was under the impression President Obama intended to implement his campaign ideas, not barter them away to pass a watered down version of the original legislation-- even before Republicans held the House.

I feel like the Republicans hold us hostage on almost every issue and we let them.  Our elected officials fail to get out the talking points, or fail to sell the ideas to the public properly.   I feel like every news article I read or every show I turn on I hear some Republican out there saying things like:

This is the Obama Downgrade

Rarely do I see the Democratic Party sell their talking points in the media.

Over the years my enthusiasm has seemed wash away with every watered down legislation that is absent of almost all progressive ideas. I see those same Republican friends and family excited about their candidates, and I wonder what happened to my own excitement.  I was a political junkie, but the repeated giving in I have seen from my party over the last three years has caused me to become more cynical than hopeful.  

I have waited for Obama to stand up to the republicans when we had the House and Senate, and push through a more progressive legislation--in fact, still I wait.   I hoped to see a strong Democratic Party as a result of winning the White House, but I find myself thinking we are weaker as a party than I have ever seen. I can’t help to think, that if I, a Democrat, as well as many of the Democrats I know are losing faith in our party to some degree, the appeal to independent voters might be less than before as well.   So, I am trying to think of what would get me excited about the party again, and I decided to write this diary to look for ideas.  

What would get you excited about the election again?  While I have nothing against Biden, would a new Vice Presidential candidate bring more appeal to the ticket in 2012?    What keeps you excited going into the next election?  My fear of some of the Republican candidates certainly makes me want to vote in more Democrats, but I can’t help but feeling I am just voting for the lesser of two evils, rather than a candidate I truly support and believe in.  

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Comment Preferences

    •  as MLK said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, poe, JamieG from Md
      Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

      it's all about the long game.  which means the short-term is all about what can do the most long-term good for the country and its people, even if the steps seem slow and stilted.  because politics isn't called "the art of the possible" for nothing.

      if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, but in the end, we're left with the world as it is.  and it's a world in which there are deeply entrenched interests standing against our progressive goals and obama is but one man.

      If we want the policies we like enacted, we need to make !@#$%& the GOP is thrown out on its ass.  and that president obama gets a second term. because whoever's next will get at least another two SCOTUS appointments.

      My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

      by Cedwyn on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 07:14:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Think back to the Clinton years. (4+ / 0-)
  •  I'm hearing more and more that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whimsical

    Obama actually campaigned as a mild conservative.  We just wanted a progressive so badly that we made him one.

    What do y'all think?

    I didn't care for math, but when I first understood the concept of finding the slope of a curve at a point, I wanted to grab the first girl I saw and kiss her with wild abandon, just like in that WW II photo.

    by dov12348 on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 07:03:51 PM PDT

  •  Dunno. I've Been In This Relationship With the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, A Man Called Gloom

    party often over the years. Haven't had the country in this shape though.

    One day at a time for now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 07:08:13 PM PDT

  •  I think this is my first time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Man Called Gloom

    I have felt this way about the party.  I was disappointed with the loss in 2004, but every policy Bush pushed through just motivated me more in 2008.

  •  Spite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dov12348, A Man Called Gloom

    Don't fear Republicans, hate them.

    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jorybu

      I hate hate.

      I didn't care for math, but when I first understood the concept of finding the slope of a curve at a point, I wanted to grab the first girl I saw and kiss her with wild abandon, just like in that WW II photo.

      by dov12348 on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 07:25:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't stoop to their level (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348

      in the last few years, I have been called a marxist, socialist, communist, and any other name the Republicans can throw at me, just because my views are different than theirs.  I can't spit the same hate that I despise so much back at them. I have to rise above it.

  •  I focus on what I can control. What (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Man Called Gloom

    I do has more to with who I am than how any one politician measures up to some idealized wish.

    Why do it for a politician? Do it for the people you know, but do it.

  •  All I have to do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won, JamieG from Md

    is imagine any of the Republican field in the Oval Office, and Presto! My enthusiasm levels for Obama are through the roof.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 08:14:12 PM PDT

  •  Did you see what happened in Wisconsin? (0+ / 0-)

    I know some people felt a little disappointed because they didn't immediately take back the senate, but they took out 2 republicans who had won in a solidly republican district. Two republicans who had won not just in 2010, but 2008!

    If we could get that kind of grassroots action throughout the country the Democrats would be able to take back the House and send a clear mandate to President Obama and Congress that this country wants progressive legislation.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 09:04:53 PM PDT

  •  It's really not that difficult to stay (0+ / 0-)

    motivated, enthusiastic. The alternative is too scary to imagine. This is our time! But, nobody said it would be served up on a silver platter. Get off your ass and do something! Somebody needs your help! and, if you're not helping out on Netroots Radio why aren't you?! One way we can "keep the faith" is spreading the message of hope and change over the tubes!

  •  Matt Damon as new Vice President. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Krugman replaces Geithner. (0+ / 0-)

    John Dean replaces Hillary Clinton. Keith Olbermann as Press Secretary. Off-shore accounts made illegal. Banksters jailed. Wars completely ended, "Defence" budget halved, CIA (and all other clandestine operations) dismantled. Banks and media behemoths fragmented. Tax churches. Stop selling military shit to foreigners. REPEATEDLY STRESS THAT TEABAGGERS ARE IDIOTS. Some of that would be nice...and not a pony or rainbow mentioned.

  •  I have NO enthusiasm left (0+ / 0-)

    The constant, unanswered attacks from the right have me ready to throw in the towel on all of it. Life would be so much easier if I just didn't care and didn't pay attention. We don't seem to have any fighters left, now that Weiner and Grayson are out of Congress.

    My 6 granddaughters, I guess, are why I keep fighting the bastards, because their parents surely don't seem to care that they are leaving them worse off than any generation ever.

    Their futures are bleak, to say the least. Luckily for them, they are too young to understand it yet.

    “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” – Agnes Sligh Turnbull

    by A Man Called Gloom on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 06:03:53 AM PDT

  •  This is normal for centrism- (0+ / 0-)

    unduly popular when people embrace it, because it promises everything will be fixed and all all prior wrongdoing is forgiven- restoration without accountability.  Then people become disenchanted at how little it truly delivers and how no culprits get punished- indeed simply carry on.  And in time vehemently reject it for stronger and deeper governance.

    I've withdrawn what I had in the way of emotional investments in the centrist Democrats and Obama Administration.

    I put my faith in the pattern in which reforms and partisan government seem to be related in the past 35 years or so.  

    Which is more or less alternating Democratic and Republican government.  Each cycle of it imo reargues and- after horrible agony and acrimony and maximal reactionary efforts- yields to serious Modernizing reforms beginning and turning unstoppable in some additional area of American life.  

    We've done/completed that for membership in American society (Reaganism), preferred social forms (Gingrichism), and foreign involvements/interventionism (Bushism).    To electable nationwide you have to be on the moderate/liberal side of these things after the reactionary wave in them has collapses.  Obama was in 2008 and Romney knows he has to be or will soon find out that he has to be.

    Prior to these waves and massive national rehashings you had to be on the centrist/conservative side of each of those issue areas to be electable.  In 2008 national candidates had to still be on the centrist/conservative side of national economic arrangements and ethics of public life issues to be nationally electable.  In 2012 that's still true for the Republican candidate (after all, s/he has to get him/herself in front of the national reactionary wave in economic arrangements, aka Tea Party, for election purposes).  But the Democratic candidate has to shift elsewhere on national economic affairs to be coherent with his Party and provide a serious electoral choice/contrast.  In 2014/16 the nationally viable Democrats- Presidential candidates and Congressional factions- will have to be economic moderates/liberals.

    So that's progress.  Slow but thorough.  And not a matter of any one person.  Put not your faith in princes- put it in the human need to disembarrass oneself and one's group of ignorance and ignobility, of bad compromises and failure and incompetence.

    (The ethics stuff is imo the material of the next, and probably final, reactionary wave and rehashing later this decade.  The amount of tolerated deception, lies, corruption, hypocrisy, and information concealment in our public life and government- in our culture- is getting increasingly incompatible with the Modernizations and competence increases in all other areas of American life.)

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