Here's a comment I made at Washington Monthly in reply to someone suggesting that Obama and the Democrats needed to do a better job getting the message out.
I've got to disagree with the idea that Obama is to blame for not getting the message out. That was our job. Obama didn't win in 2008 because he was such a great messenger. He won because WE were such good messengers.
But unfortunately, some of our best players decided to sideline themselves for two straight years in order to make a point. And instead of helping Obama spread our message, they attacked him for not doing enough. That was a big difference between 2008 and 2010. Obama lost the diehards, and that was a big part of the message machine.
And at this point, everyone is saying that they were right the whole time. Republicans will insist that we lost because Obama was too liberal. Progressives will insist we lost because Obama wasn't bold enough. Obama supporters will insist we lost because progressives didn't help us get the message out. And basically, everyone's going to keep saying the same shit they've been saying for the last two years. Which is more or less the same shit they said ten years ago. Just like I'm doing now. It doesn't matter who wins or loses. We all think we were right all along.
And that's the stupid thing about all the "messages" we were supposedly sending to Obama and Congress by not supporting them: People will only hear the message they want to hear. Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008 made Republicans want to be more rightwing, while Republican victories will make centrist Dems want to be more rightwing. And now Obama's got to work with an even more aggressive Congress, including a House that can impeach him; making it FAR less likely he'll govern the way liberals would like. Brilliant strategy, guys. It's like trying to run a marathon by punching yourself in the face. You might not win, but you'll get really hurt in the process.
The reality is that sending messages doesn't work. Just vote for the Democrat and hope for the best. No matter how shitty the Democrat is, they're still better than what the Republicans are about to do. Sad, but true.
And most importantly: Voting is one of the LEAST effective means of exercising your political power. If we want better Democrats, we need to start right now. Tonight wasn't as bad as it could have been, and I think that things are well positioned for us to kick mucho ass in two years. But the time to start is now. Power to the people.