I sat a table tonight with five fairly liberal friends of mine who worked their feet raw last year for Obama. Today, as we sat around watching mixed martial arts, I brought up healthcare and mentioned that the right wing was outnumbering the Democrats and Obama’s plan may be defeated.
The response I got was “Gee, that sucks. I hope healthcare passes.”
The echochambers of OpenLeft, FireDogLake and DailyKos would like you to believe the apathy among Obama’s supporters is because his healthcare plan isn’t radical enough, it’s not single payer, or he isn’t giving us an excuse to get all worked up.
Maybe that’s true for the few thousand on the far left who if given a hour with The Communist Manifesto can convince themselves that Karl Marx was a corporate puppet, but around my friend’s living room this evening, it wasn’t anger or disappointment at Obama that was preventing them from acting, it was just plain lack of interest.
The most frustrating thing was none of these friends of mine have healthcare. It is in their best interest to make sure something substantial passes, but instead they shrug it off as nothing, not important, go back to their sporting events, movies, nightclubs, and ho-hum lives.
In the meantime, the only viable fighting groups on the left, the echochambers of the blogsphere, are too busy parsing each word out of Obama’s mouth to try to pinpoint the betrayal and outrage.
So I sit here wondering, the right is so riled up over this, but here on the left, those who wanted change, have seem to decide that healthcare is not nearly as important as the Yankees-Red Sox game, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland pictures, or So You Think You Can Dance.
What do we need to do to get people to care? What happened to the sudden resurgence in interest in policy and politics I saw last year? Does this bode well for the future?
It’s worrisome in my opinion.