Oct 18 2010
11:55 am

Send the Republicans out of the room for a minute. I'll wait. We all Democrats up in here now? Good.

I know y'all are all pissed off right now with our President (who has accomplished a hell of a lot, actually, all things considered), our so-called Congressional majority, our national party who can't find Tennessee on a map, our state party (and the mysterious Ghost of Ray Blanton's Wildroot Cream shadow party that's really running things), some of our weaker candidates, most of our other candidates running GOP-lite campaigns, and getting our asses kicked up and down the field by a bunch of cretins and scoundrels and fancy pants funded by boxcar loads of GOP corporate cash pouring into our state.

But winners never quit and quitters never win. We gotta show up and we gotta play all four quarters and not pay no attention to that scoreboard. We gotta go back to that locker room with our heads held high knowing we left it all on the field.</lombardi>

There ain't no mercy rule in politics, so y'all get yourself on down to your election place, hold your nose, and vote a straight D ticket. Or you could just lay around on the couch bitching and moaning and making us look like bigger chumps than we already are. Your choice. But as Bill Maher said a couple of weeks ago, "Who you gonna vote for? Your disappointing friend or your sworn enemy?" (Or something like that.) Staying home is a vote for the other team.

And before you go to the polls, you need to go read this Rolling Stone interview with President Barack Obama to remember why you call yourself a Democrat. Here's the money part:

President Obama: When I talk to Democrats around the country, I tell them, "Guys, wake up here. We have accomplished an incredible amount in the most adverse circumstances imaginable." I came in and had to prevent a Great Depression, restore the financial system so that it functions, and manage two wars. In the midst of all that, I ended one of those wars, at least in terms of combat operations. We passed historic health care legislation, historic financial regulatory reform and a huge number of legislative victories that people don't even notice. We wrestled away billions of dollars of profit that were going to the banks and middlemen through the student-loan program, and now we have tens of billions of dollars that are going directly to students to help them pay for college. We expanded national service more than we ever have before.


It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. There may be complaints about us not having gotten certain things done, not fast enough, making certain legislative compromises. But right now, we've got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.

The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.

Everybody out there has to be thinking about what's at stake in this election and if they want to move forward over the next two years or six years or 10 years on key issues like climate change, key issues like how we restore a sense of equity and optimism to middle-class families who have seen their incomes decline by five percent over the last decade. If we want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil liberties, we'd better fight in this election. And right now, we are getting outspent eight to one by these 527s that the Roberts court says can spend with impunity without disclosing where their money's coming from. In every single one of these congressional districts, you are seeing these independent organizations outspend political parties and the candidates by, as I said, factors of four to one, five to one, eight to one, 10 to one.

We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard - that's what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we've got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place.

If you're serious, now's exactly the time that people have to step up.

Not much more I can add to that.

But, one more thing for the state Democratic leadership and candidates. When you wake up on the morning of November 3rd all bruised and broken up and beat down, remember this: Get off that GOP-lite stuff. Given a choice, Republicans (and most so-called Tennessee "independents" who are Republicans but just ashamed to admit it) will vote for the real Republican every last time. Y'all need to turn off the Fox News and go read the Democratic Party Platform and either get on the same page or quit calling yourselves Democrats. We tried it your way. How's that working out for us? If we're going down, let's at least go down fighting for what's right, moral and just.

OK, then.

bizgrrl's picture

I'm there, dude.

I'm there, dude.

Elrod's picture

Well said

I have never voted for a Republican in a contested election. Ever. And I'm not about to change that now.

Andy Axel's picture

Living in Doug Henry's

Living in Doug Henry's district, it's distinction without difference.

Rachel's picture

You live in a place where you

You live in a place where you get to vote in a contested election? Lucky dude.

EricLykins's picture

on GOP lite: I am a Democrat,

on GOP lite:
I am a Democrat, not just a Republican that didn't get invited to the frat party.

Russ's picture

I can't imagine ever voting

I can't imagine ever voting for a Republican either, but Obama managed to pack an awful lot of BS into that section quoted above.

The media have been claiming for months that the looming disaster in the 2010 mid-term election is a referendum on Obama's administration rather than an expression of frustration over the economy. The section quoted above seems to suggest that Obama himself has decided to adopt that line of thinking. So, if he wants this election to be a referendum on his performance so far, then so be it. I voted already, and I voted for Democrats where I could (but I did not vote for either of the two main candidates for governor). But if Obama wants this election to be about national politics rather than local and/or state representation, then let him have what he wants.

His administration has caved to the GOP (and the right-wing elements of the media) every chance they've had. He personally rolled over and played dead on health care reform until the very last minute, after the details of the plan had already been hammered out, and after it was too late to twist some arms in Congress and prevent the final bill from becoming anything but a disaster. He's continuing the very worst of the Bush administration's policies on warrantless wiretapping and illegal detention. He's kicked the issues of DOMA and DADT down the road. He even caved in to a chiefly Republican effort to prevent him from making recess appointments, which is one of his privileges expressly outlined in the Constitution.

So far, with the exception of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, this administration has turned out to be a great big failure. His assertion that anyone trying to hold him accountable for that failure as "inexcusable" and "irresponsible" is itself reason enough to hope that some courageous Democrat primaries him in 2012.

I never in a million years thought I'd say this, but is it too early to draft Hillary? I'm pretty sure she knows how much power an executive order carries.

I'm not suggesting that Democrats stay home. I am suggesting that they should in no way forgive the Blue Dogs or Obama for their failures to govern.

Krugman said it this way:

At each point there were arguments for not acting; but the cumulative effect has been drift, and a looming catastrophe in the midterms.

Or to put it another way, the administration has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And soon there won’t be any more opportunities to miss.

If Obama thinks that's a mystery, he's going to have a big surprise coming the day after Election Day 2012.

CE Petro's picture

Standing ovation for

Standing ovation for Russ.

Let me add a couple more of the most abhorrent things Obama has done, next to extending some of the most disgusting Bush policies, and that is Obama's assassination program of Americans, and lying to his supporters that a public option was "on the table" in the health care debate when he cut a deal with the insurance industry that it wouldn't.

these are some really egregious acts against democracy, IMO.

as Glenn Greenwald wrote, this messaging from the WH is all about setting up a scapegoat for a November failure and keeping Obama squeaky clean -- it's not Obama's fault!

By incessantly complaining now about the "irresponsible" "whiners" who aren't sufficiently grateful to the Obama White House, they seem to be setting up in advance a nice excuse for Democratic defeat in November: it wasn't anything we did to cause this; it was the fault of those whiny, unrealistic irresponsible liberals who didn't cheerlead loudly enough. What seems to matter most is that Obama be exonerated for the Democrats' electoral woes, even though he clearly bears substantial responsibility for much of it.

Sorry, Randy, but the options the dems have put forth here are pretty damn miserable. I won't vote for a Republican, but I am damn sick and tired of the dems EXPECTING their base to hold them up, after throwing their supporters under the bus continuously (health care?!). At some point that has got to stop, and if dems stay home that just may be the kick in the arse the party needs.

LeftWingCracker's picture

I am going to vote

But I am lucky, I have Cohen and Mike Kernell to vote for. I think it is worth noting that of the 3 CDs we are most likely to lose, all of them have been represented by Blue Dogs.

People are no longer going to support lukewarm Democrats, just like they are not going to support rockefeller republicans on the other side.

The sides have been chosen, and we all have to take sides now, whether we like it or not. All the Everett Dirksens and Gerry Fords have been run out of the GOP for a long time now, and we need to understand that they're not coming back.

it's us or them, folks.

rocketsquirrel's picture

with apologies to

with apologies to Shakespeare, England, St. George, and Henry V:

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Or close the wall up with our Democratic dead...

...Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry "God for Barack, America, and John F Kennedy!"

This election is about much more than past performance or individuals... The Congress is our own Harfleur.

bizgrrl's picture



Russ's picture


The Congress is our own Harfleur.

Really? I'm not sure an explicit comparison of Obama to an arrogant and clueless medieval despot is helping your case all that much, but have at it.

rocketsquirrel's picture

lighten up, Russ. my

lighten up, Russ. my comparison is that Congress, like Harfleur, is under siege by the Tea Party. No parody is perfect.

ma am's picture

two words

Supreme Court. There's something to cheer about. Thanks Obamadude.

bizgrrl's picture

As has been proven in the

As has been proven in the past, if you don't vote or you vote against the Democratic party you get what you asked for. I'd say we'd be much worse off if John McCain was elected president.

CE Petro's picture

We all know the other side is

We all know the other side is worse.

Voters want to know what the dems are going to do about GOP obfuscation. Voters want to know what the dems are going to do about jobs. Voters want to know what the dems are going to do about the economy. These are all missed campaigning opportunities, and the lack of a clear message goes all the way up the line to the WH.

There has simply not been a solid message from the dems this election season, other than "the other side is worse," and that does not answer voters questions or concerns. I would hardly call that inspiring.

If a candidate cannot inspire their constituents, should they seriously expect those same constituents to vote for them?

onetahiti's picture

Thank you, R. Neal

Well said. :)

-- OneTahiti

bill young's picture


I've been voting since 1972.

In that time there have been 6 first term/mid terms for
incumbent presidents.

Ford in 1974,Carter in 1978,Reagan in 1982,Bush 41 in 1990,Clinton in 1994 & Bush 43 in 2002.

The incumbent's political Party lost seats in both
the House & the Senate,in every incumbent presidents
first term/mid term, except for Bush 43.

In 1974 the Republicans lost 5 Senate seats & 48 House seats.

In 1978 the Democrats lost 3 Senate seats & 15 House seats.

In 1982 the Republicans lost 1 Senate seat & 26 House seats.

In 1990 the Republicans lost 1 Senate seat & 8 House seats.

In 1994 the Democrats lost 9 Senate seats & 54 House seats.

In 2002 the Republicans WON 1 Senate seat & WON 8 House seats.

EricLykins's picture

All these waves. Must be

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives