...the tragic and perilous irony of this political moment: the people with the most faith in the president and the Democratic Party are the hardest hit by the continuing economic disaster; it's this brute fact that's driving the so-called enthusiasm gap between liberals and conservatives. More than frustration with the lack of a public option or anger at a White House that seems to relish insulting the "professional left," the flagging enthusiasm among Obama's '08 base is the product of a kind of cognitive dissonance between hope and reality. "Like a lot of people in my generation, I was really inspired by you and by your campaign and message that you brought," a 30-year-old law school graduate told the president during a live town hall on CNBC recently. "And that inspiration is dying away. It feels like the American Dream is not attainable to a lot of us.... I really want to know, is the American Dream dead for me?"
And here's where we get to the perilous part. Even if most of the midterm outcome is already determined, the margins matter tremendously: just a few seats, possibly decided by just a few thousand votes, could make the difference between a Speaker Pelosi and a Speaker Boehner. Which brings us to another certainty: as bad as things are right now for Obama's base, a world in which Republicans control one or both houses of Congress is going to be far, far worse. MORE...
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"Obama's Forgotten Base"
Christopher Hayes (The Nation):