Friday, March 11, 2011

Was it Something I Said?

On second thought, I should've stayed in bed yesterday. It was rainy, turns out I was crabby. I made plans ("so tonight's gonna be a good, good night!"), but cancelled them choosing to chill instead after tutoring. In the resulting free time, I read an interesting post shared by one of my Friends who's always sharing good stuff and decided to comment--with a differing viewpoint. Bad move.

Evidently there are frustrated Obama supporters (really?) who wanted to 'teach him a lesson' by not voting in the midterm elections. Based on my comment --a bit snarky lament that  President Obama didn't  bother to galvanize the youth vote; (actually it would've had to be the DNC, but as a Democratic President, he's figuratively the head of that) --  I was presumed to be among these non-voting, lesson-teaching detractors.

Responses were fast and furious.  I felt like a Black girl at a tea party rally--and these were Progressives! Had I not stopped responding, I'd be there still, hours later, refuting misquotes and misinterpretations of what I wrote. "Stuff he said he would do" became "anything he said he would do"; apparently I offered "fact-free narratives" and was "whining like a victim" when they were refuted.  When I visited later, a perfectly innocuous response I'd left had been removed, as well as one by a 'Guest'. Whatever Guest said was being attributed to me by the woman I'd innocuously responded to, and she was now "sorry she engaged me" and said I "was just about being ugly"!! Moi? Lord today! Hers was the least venomous response I got, and I responded in kind, citing an NPR story about youth interest in the midterms, and telling her where I lived, (though actually she asked "what world" I live in, not exactly where.)

In sum, the rabid responses to my comments concluded that: I do not support President Obama, didn't canvass for him, that 'people of my ilk' sought to punish him by not voting in the midterms, and perhaps, by not planning to vote for him in 2012. And oh yeah, I should 'get a life' and maybe Newt would "make me wife #4".

Now THAT hurt. I am waaaay too cute for Newt.

Some facts--
* more people aged 18-29 voted in that campaign than in any previous one--and they voted for President Obama.
A stunning 54 percent of young white voters supported Obama, compared with 44 percent who went for McCain,... In the past three decades, no Democratic presidential nominee has won more than 45 percent of young whites. It also appears youth turnout rose 1 point since 2004, to constitute 18 percent of the electorate.
*. more Black people voted than usual, and they voted for Obama:
Fully 96 percent of black voters supported Obama and constituted 13 percent of the electorate, a 2-percentage-point rise in their national turnout

My point:
It seems indisputable to me that President Obama's victory was due in large part to new participation in the political process by thousands of young adults who voted for him and that worked to turn out the vote for him. More people were engaged in the 2008 Presidential campaign than any since 1968. (I suspect only Bowl games have come near to attracting the numbers he pulled at campaign rallies!)

Given ferocious opposition to his Democratic agenda (and his Blackness), maintaining a Democrat majority in both chambers of Congress would be *essential* for him to stand a chance of implementing his policy objectives, by keeping "The Party of No" at bay. The apparatus that worked so hard to get him elected needed to work nearly as hard to keep the voters engaged that put him over the top, so that sufficient numbers would come out and vote for Democrats in the midterm elections and maintain the House majority, (since "everybody knows" that young people and minorities don't vote in midterm elections.) The need to sustain or regain young people's interest seemed obvious to Everyman let alone constitutional lawyers. The President started making campaign-like speeches a couple of weeks before the election, but to little avail, if any. What was needed was door to door, face to face, civics education on the potential impact of midterm election outcomes to his legacy. The well-oiled machine that Plouffe ran needed to be powered up months before. Instead, alas, the Democrats were "shellacked", as the President put it.

By March 2010,
only 44 percent of registered voters under 30 said they were "absolutely certain" to vote this year, vs. 78 percent in June 2008, according to Pew polls

While in 2008 Democrats held a 62-percent-to-30-percent advantage over Republicans among "millennials" born after 1980, that 32-point margin shrank by the end of March to 18.

So there it is. And for the record, I voted--early--in the 2010 midterm elections and harangued people to vote. I supported Obama in 2008 and intended to vote for him, but there was that whole weeping in the airport in Bermuda thing instead...

The President's achieved a great deal (wish he'd tout it more), and I very much regret that the Republican majority in the House will prevent him from achieving a whole lot more, and pervert that which he has achieved--that's all I'm saying.

Spare me the ad hominem attacks, please. God don't like ugly, Honey bunch.


John said...

They won't accept any criticism of Obama whatsoever.

Even if you are polite and respectful, they'll attack you like...a black girl at a tea party rally... I read your initial post with interest and expected this result.

These are not progressives. They throw the term "fauxgressive" at anyone that disagrees with the president from the left or anyone that has simply maintained the same ideals and would criticize Obama just as they would have criticized Bush for: (insert Bush terror policy that he still enforces here).

The vitriol that has developed between some on the left is depressing and it makes me sad to see us becoming ideologically entrenched amongst ourselves.

It seems that many there feel that DKos and FDL are too anti-Obama for their tastes and have retreated to this safe haven.

I can't say that I don't entirely disagree with them about FDL, but they now mirror those they escaped from. They are intolerant of even respectful and modest criticism of the president.

It's like an online gauntlet. And when you make good points, they edit your comments and sometimes ban you. I've been using the net since I was 12 and have never been banned from any forum. I've only been warned once on a board for an inside joke with my cousin that appeared like I threatened him.

We need each other. And I hope that this rift can someday be healed...but it doesn't look like either side is budging.

So..........did they ban you from commenting?

MtnGrl said...

Hi John--

Thanks for the insight. As you said, I've "maintained the same ideals" and criticize O just as I criticized W. I don't know whether I was banned or not; haven't been back since clearly anything other than cheerleading isn't welcomed! Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports today that O is reaching out to galvanize the youth vote:


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