Notice the paternalistic tone from the White House and its advisors on why folks like us just need to ride it out and be nice to the president. After all, they are really trying.
Democrats wary of motivation problem with liberals
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, AP Political Writer
LAS VEGAS – The Democratic Party has a motivation problem.
Party officials acknowledged low morale within their left wing and urged liberal bloggers and activists Friday to keep faith with President Barack Obama in an election year as Democrats brace for losses in Congress.
"We need to find a way to get our voters really engaged in this election," Democratic National Committee executive director Jennifer O'Malley Dillon said at the annual Netroots Nation convention. "It's more important, every single day, to know what's at stake."
Jon Vogel, executive director of the Democratic House campaign organization, predicted Democratic voters would get energized when they focus on what Republican gains would mean for the Democratic agenda.
"You start to educate folks as to differences in candidates, the enthusiasm gap certainly will close," Vogel said.
Liberals who helped put Obama in the White House in 2008 are disillusioned over the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, slow movement on gay rights and the failure to create a government-run insurance option in the health care overhaul.
The racially tinged furor surrounding the ouster of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, who was forced to resign but later received a personal apology and job offer from Obama, left many feeling the White House was manipulated by the conservative media.
"People are in a down mood," said Michael Lux, who heads Progressive Strategies, a Washington-based consulting firm.
Carol Olszewski, 65, of Schenectady, N.Y., said she traveled as far away as North Carolina and Ohio to campaign for Obama. But she believes the party has been too accommodating to Republicans who "want to destroy him." She puzzles why the party backed former Republican Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Senate race rather than Democrat Joe Sestak, a two-term congressman who won the nomination.
"I am discouraged. I'm fighting against my inclination to say, 'The hell with it all,' " said Olszewski, an administrative judge for New York state.
Democrats are trying to hold on to control of Congress in a year when polls show the president's popularity is slipping, particularly among independents. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has seen the rise of tea party activism, which is shaking up races across the nation.
J.B. Poersch, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, acknowledged there is frustration that that the Democrat-led White House and Congress haven't achieved the party's full agenda but quickly added, "We're not done yet."
Earlier in the day, former White House environmental adviser Van Jones urged activists and bloggers to have patience with the president. Jones resigned last year after he was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.
"Change is still possible," he said, echoing the president's 2008 campaign slogan.
I have a crazy idea. Why not try to govern as a real liberal? The Republicans will think you are a socialist no matter what. You might as well give them a reason to cry. So, here are some things you might try doing, so to shore up your unmotivated base:
- Stop stabbing us in the back every single time a piece of legislation comes up and you water it down, caving into the Blue Dogs or Republicans.
- Stop treating us as fools to come to every few years and sucker for votes. Respect the people who put you in office, for a change.
- Stop telling us about your support for bills like the Employee Free Choice Act, while refusing to lift a finger to get it passed.
- Gutting the compromise of your health care bill (the public option), telling us it is the only way, and then getting mad at us for daring to say anything, while holding private meetings with the likes of Senators Coburn and Lieberman to include their pet projects on the said bill.
- Stop telling us how you are going to follow the "rule of law" by shutting down Guantanamo, while keeping it open.
- Stop putting yourself (and by extension your voters) out on a limb by advocating civilian trials for terrorists, only to cave in and divert them to military tribunals after Republican complaints.
- Rescind your assassination list that includes our own citizens, who will not only lose habeaus corpus rights, but will be murdered by their own government on sight.
- Stop talking about compromise with people who see you as a foreign born Muslim and terrorist.
- Stop insulting our intelligence by telling us how much you support our ideas and then every time cave into Rahm Emanuel and Lawrence Summers, eviscerating the financial reform bill and doing everything possible to help those corporations you phonily claim to oppose.
- Stop screwing around with who to pick as your next commanding general, and failed war plans, and get out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Stop with the empty speeches. At this point, we only respect actions.
So, there you go, White House. If you really care, which I know you do not, that is what your base wants.