No one owns my vote

A key point missed by this gentleman from the Financial Times is that if so many Democrats are disaffected that their lack of support is harming someone’s chances at re-election, the person to blame isn’t the voters, it’s the politicians who let them down.  You earn my vote, you don’t own it.

But in any case, while attempting to smear the base of the Democratic party, this writer actually empowered it immensely. According to him, had the left not been disillusioned with the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress, the President could have focused more on wooing support from the middle and possibly turned the mid-terms around. That sounds like a healthy lesson for the future – turn on your base at your own peril.

In any event, suppose that the Democratic base had not been sulking. Suppose it saw, for example, that persisting with a historic healthcare reform was politically challenging in the middle of an economic crash. Suppose it granted that radically overhauling a health system – some 20 per cent of the US economy – that many Americans rather like was a lot to take on. Suppose it was impressed that Mr Obama did it anyway, and was ready to go further.

Supposing those hopelessly implausible things, Mr Obama’s midterm strategy could have been different. Sure of the loyalty of the base, he could have addressed himself to the anxious middle, defended his policies as centrist compromises (which they were), and told the country (as he did in 2008) that its concerns were his concerns. In this alternative universe, he would have had his base and at least a shot at bringing the centre back.

So credit please where it is due. The whining utopian left has a very full schedule of despising Republicans and the idiots and scoundrels (a little over half the country) who keep voting for them. Yet it can always find time to attack its own team, cry and complain, and demand to be patted on the head. The left’s role in Tuesday’s elections should not go unacknowledged.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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