As Drew Westen wrote over at Huffington Post:
Somehow the president has managed to turn a base of new and progressive voters he himself energized like no one else could in 2008 into the likely stay-at-home voters of 2010, souring an entire generation of young people to the political process. It isn't hard for them to see that the winners seem to be the same no matter who the voters select (Wall Street, big oil, big Pharma, the insurance industry). In fact, the president's leadership style, combined with the Democratic Congress's penchant for making its sausage in public and producing new and usually more tasteless recipes every day, has had a very high toll far from the left: smack in the center of the political spectrum.
Progressives put out this ad:
Obama and Congress must pay attention to the base. We have already seen what happened to the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. Politicians who are in cahoots with Wall Street and lobbyists are doomed next year. Also, the base will not turn out for uninspiring, middle of the road, timid Blue Dogs. If a person wants a conservative, they will vote for a Republican, not a Democrat. Why is this so hard for our incumbents to understand?
In order to inspire the base, don't just talk the talk, do something progressive. Here are some progressive points that resonate with the base:
a) Single-payer health care or even a public option which was the compromise.
b) Ending the wars.
c) Prosecuting those who perpetrated war crimes in the lead up to the Iraq war.
d) Meaningful and strong environmental policies to curb global warming.
e) Ending Mountain Top removal.
f) Prosecuting those who violated the Geneva Convention by allowing the use of torture.
g) Replacing the Bush Attorneys in the Justice Department.
Why is this stuff so hard for Obama to do? It should be a no brainer, but he hasn't acted. This makes him appear weak and afraid of the right. Embracing Lieberman and Snowe only make him look like a loser. Sadly, even the weakest of the Republicans are trying to distance herself from him now.
This is demoralizing to the base, especially all the young people and cross-overs, who were the foot soldiers in 2008. All their hard work and for what? It seems futile, now. Why would they bother and work on campaigns for these wimps in 2010? They won't, they will sit home. They aren't the only ones who will sit-out 2010: labor has threatened to do so, too. Then what? Republicans win.
Why? Why? O Why? It doesn't have to be like this. I can't scream it enough: Obama and Dems listen to your base. Stay away from lobbyists and quit reaching out to Republicans. They hate you. This Stockholm Syndrome that Dems seem to possess has got to stop and stop, now.