Disaffected Democrats

This was a bit discouraging. When I sent out an appeal for volunteers to help with the Organizing for America campaign 2010 kickoff event on Saturday, the only people who wrote back did so to complain about Obama and tell me why they were not motivated to help.

This is from Lisa Owen, who had written me a couple of times previously to complain about the direction of the health care reform legislation when I announced events in support of that effort.

This government that I helped get elected is happy to instigate more studies of what happened in the Gulf, spend endless time blaming George Bush and do nothing as oil threatens to land on the Florida Wetlands Beaches, and incase you did not know it can go miles up our canals. The Government has no plan to protect the state. This is worse than 9/11 and the incompetence is unbelieveable. There is no leadership and no concern for what can happen here in Florida. PB does not have enough money to pay for destroying our environment. I am completely disgusted. Why would I help bring more incompetence to destroy my very home.

Did the Obama administration give BP the permit or not? Did they not know the level of compromise gong on in the energy department. They are completly complicit it is disgusting. Prostitution is completely destroying America. Why not call it what is it Organizing to help corporations rape us and take everything we have of value. Nothing is more valuable than our own state. That health bill is nothing but a gift the health insurance industry. I can assure you it will only make people sicker.

This note is from Paul (I didn’t get his permission to use his full name, so I won’t)

Continuous war and huge military spending, wall street fat cats cash in and get a “get out of jail free” card, backtracking on legal rights of detainees, oil companies in bed with regulators, an immigration policy that is a joke, little progress getting onto clean energy, an economy with fundamental problems (except for health care) that have not begun to be addressed…what do I have to be enthused about?

I don’t know either of these people well, but the fact that they’re BlueBroward members tells me that at some point they were motivated to work for the Democratic cause. And now they’re apparently not.

It’s not necessarily news that some people who supported Obama are disillusioned. Some probably had unrealistic expectations about how much of that magical Change he could achieve and how fast.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit we’ve had some of these conversations in my own household:

  • Can’t believe Obama is doing X.
  • Can’t believe Obama isn’t doing Y.
  • Why don’t the Democrats in Congress stand up for Z, instead of caving in to Republican demands?

Good volunteers are not robots, programmed to love every position every Democrat takes, no matter what principles have been compromised away. We want something to believe in, but candidates and campaigns still have to earn our respect. And when you’ve spent a lot of evenings and weekends working the phones or getting sweaty and sunburned knocking on doors, it hurts to be left wondering if it was worth it. So I can understand people being discouraged, burned out, even bitter.

Ultimately, I have my frustrations, but I come to a different conclusion. I believe the health care reform is too little and coming too slowly, but I also believe it represents progress. It’s something we can build on, given a chance — if we don’t let that chance slip away in November. I see a President who inherited a recession and two wars trying his best to get the country back on track. I may not always agree with him on strategy or tactics, speaking as an arm chair quarterback, but I wouldn’t want the job he has.

Meanwhile, I don’t want to see 2010 produce a Republican Revolution like the one that happened two years into the Clinton presidency, making it even more difficult to get anything worthwhile done.

I never believed Obama would be able to wave his hands and make all that is wrong with Washington go away. But I do believe he is trying to move the country in the right direction, a step at a time. I hope he has learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to compromising versus fighting.

And I believe in the mission of Organizing for America, which recognizes that Obama can’t do it alone. The 2008 volunteers who are thinking about sitting out the 2010 campaigns need to give some serious thought to whether they really want to wind up living in Sarah Palin’s America. Things can always get worse, but only we can make them better.

I invite your comments.

Author: David F. Carr

BlueBroward webmaster

7 thoughts on “Disaffected Democrats”

  1. Got this feedback, via Facebook:

    Robyn Donaldson Welcome to my (former) world! However, don’t give up because some of these people can turn around and be your best leaders! But, it takes the exact compelling points you just made in your article which was beautifully written. Some will come around, but not everyone will–just keep organizing whether it is 1 or 20. Good luck!!

  2. The first comment you posted from Lisa Owen is virtually a direct reflection of the Republican Party line.

    We ARE cleaning up bush,jr’s mess. We ARE trying reverse twenty eight years of hate American government started by Republican St. Reagan and his “drown the government in a bathtub” philosopher, Grover Norquist.

    We have a serious problem of Republican holdovers in agencies such as MMS.

    16 months in office will not repair the damage done over twenty eight years of Republican domination of our government.

    For eight years the destruction paused while Clinton fixed the mess they left him.

    Now Obama and the Democrats have a massive task ahead while those that wrecked out government now cry out for more help from the very government they set out to destroy.

    America needs support from a filibuster proof Democratic Senate to overcome the party of “NO”!

  3. Sid, I agree up to a point. But after a while, it gets old to always be making excuses based on the errors of the previous administration or Republicans who are in the minority (though maybe not for much longer, if we don’t watch out)

  4. I am always amazed at how many of us complain about what is not happening and who to blame. We never ask ourselves, “What can I do to help make the situation better?” I guarantee you if we all did our part, we would be much better off as a country and a party. It’s time for us to come together as Democrats and make things happen. If everybody is waiting on President Obama, who is working? Let’s come up with a viable strategic Democratic plan to help put Democrats in office, and then and only then, can we complain about what’s not being done. If the people we put in office don’t make America better, we vote them out of office and I don’t care who they are.

  5. David I hate to be the one to break it to you, but its time to face the fact you bet on the wrong horse. I have to hand it to you though, I spent the last couple of hours reading your site the old adage (keep your enemies closer) comes to mind and there is no doubt you got “heart” my friend. The comment, “16 months in office will not repair the damage done over twenty eight years” No probably not, but the “damage done” in 18 months has got to be a record. Obama said he wanted to bring race relations out of the shadows and on the table..well Acorn, the New Black Panthers, Arizona lawsuit and Barbara Boxer injection into the Stimulus bill and comments made by the NAACP have certainly done that. Statistics show the hits on “white” websites are at an alltime high. Many of the private corporations who are also some of the largest employers are looking for offshore sanctuary due to the proposed tax increases. Reading today’s headlines on foreclosures in Broward have bypassed (faulty mortgage lending practices” to the sheer amount of people unemployed. Add on top of that Obama’s decision to hire 1000 new IRS agents, well I gotta tell ya Dave..it really is starting to look like Obama’s foot on the neck of the working man he made so many speeches he promised to protect. Wiser men (non-partison economist) than me, have determined that when a highschool student graduates, he is 40 grand in debt (to the Feds) before he ever collects his first paycheck from his first job. How many Presidents can claim that fame? Your pitchin for the wrong team Dave.. The midterms by most voters definition is the the birthing of taking back our “out of control” government, the fear of political job security must be instilled, Black, White, Gay, Straight, Democrat, Republican,all are fair game (as they should be) and most of all “politically correct” poor excuses for leadership must be ousted. There have been many books written on the success and failure of Presidents, history will prove Obama has been by far the most devisive and costly to date. Oh by the way, door to door campaigns arent too popular..we dont open our door to people we dont know..(home invasions_ are at an all time high..

  6. Obama has mandated all physicians office’s be computerized and is offering up to 40 grand per office to do this..(hows that for a college education for your kids)? Today the Administration approved the release of every person’s BMI (body fat) index to the Federal government as a tool for their war on Obesity Project. Let me ask you something David? How far behind can the Feds demand your HIV status? What about Diabetes? Heart disease? Let me ask you something David? When Joe Blow goes into a medical office and fills out a medical history to help facilitate a mutual effort by the physician and themselves and is asked what medications they are taking,how truthful do you think people will be “knowing” the feds can get their hands on it at the drop of a click..You democrats and your fervant support for this beast Obama and his Czars have effectively in one fell swoop destroyed all semblance of privacy, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for every American we have known to date..I hold people like yourself responsible for these debachles you have played on fellow Americans..Democrats are started to rank right down there with Bin Laden..and yet you still profess your politics are the key to happiness..I learned a long time ago..Democrats live in a world that they “wish it would be” not as it is..Your “change” you and your brethern so adamantly chanted during each campaign fundraiser has come to pass, ask your overweight dems how they like that “Change”..

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