Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Enthusiasm Gap- Real Quotes from Real Progressives

I’ve been thinking a lot about the insane enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans lately. I noticed a point where that gap began happening among people I know. When once politically-dominated conversations turned into “Can we talk about something else?” or “I don’t care anymore.”

Despite what the blogsphere might tell you, I don’t think it has anything to do with Obama or the public option or gays or not prosecuting Bush or even jobs (as most of my friends have one), I think it has more to do with the voters themselves. I warn you, we’re a generation that uses rough language. I will not make it PG for you;  

My first inkling to something being up came in November.

It came with the November elections. The biggest factor I think was the defeat of marriage equality in Maine. That compounded locally with Corzine’s defeat, the defeat of Tom Suozzi in Nassau County, and a few local races that went the wrong way. The media narrative of the resurgant Republicans seem to confuse us. “Why did they win?” or my favorite question of the day “WTF?!?!”

Maine demoralized a lot of my friends and family, who felt one of the major pieces of progressive change this country needs is the end of it’s Puritanical nature on social issues. Maine’s rejection of marriage equality left hearts numb. In the words of one of my closest friends; “How many Democrats in Maine voted for this? A lot! We can’t win anywhere?”

“WTF Maine, I thought you were cool”

“Weren’t we supposed to win there? WTF happened?”

“I give the fuck up!”

Then came Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts which someone described this way;

“If Maine was a bullet to the chest, Massachusetts was one to the head”

Seeing 2/3 plus Independent voters go for the Republican in a state like Massachusetts demoralized us more. Even more the confusing nature of the exit polls, which liberal bloggers try to convince us that a more liberal strategy would’ve won us the election, cause 86% of Obama voters who voted for Brown wanted a public option. The response; “WTF is wrong with these people?!? How can you want something then vote for the guy who is vehemently opposed?”

The SCOTUS decision last week became a very big topic too among my friends and I. As one of them put it

“There is no way we can compete with GE”

so why bother?

And today seeing my friends tweet about the news that Fox is the most trusted news source in a PPP poll, and the only news station that has a net positive trust number 49%-37%, I can see even further that the dissolutionment among these onetime rising civil activists has settled in.

As one friend put it “This fucking country is hopeless”

as another;

“I’m beginning to think the last few years were a fluke, and the country, having forgotten Bush, is reverting back to it’s right-wing ways…I’m done”

and with a base dissolutioned. not by the President and the Democrats actions, but by a public rejecting even subtle attempts at progressive change, is it any wonder the President feels he needs to coddle moderates and not the base? His base has given up…not on him, but on their country.  


  1. Shaun Appleby

    That most vocal progressives are happier being outraged in opposition than motivated to achieve anything useful in office.  At the rate they are going we can look forward to that situation returning at the earliest possible opportunity.

  2. And this is the money quote:

    His base has given up…not on him, but on their country.

    This what I’m detecting too: Obama is another Corporatist, another warmonger, another Bush, another Cheney. I’ve heard people talk of leaving the US. Others of giving up blogging for good.


    This reveals to me a tragic and sad division in the US. There is so much political anger and recrimination between Dems and Republicans. It reminds me of Britain in the 80s, when I would not even consider talking to a Tory, let alone dating one. Yet in the US at the same time there was not such division.

    Obama’s main mission since 2004 has been this – to overcome that huge and dangerous internal wound. He spoke of ‘no red states, no blue states…. but the United States’.

    He’s tried to act on that Bipartisanship, and been met with obstructionism and Tea Baggers on the right, firedoggers and oppositionism on the left.

    He was right about the diagnosis, that’s for sure.

    Whether he stands a snowball’s chance of curing it, time will only tell.

    From the evidence of the liberal blogosphere, where there should be only blue states (anything else is betrayal) it’s not looking so good at the moment.  

  3. creamer

    I try to keep things in perspective.

    I grew up in the turbulence of the 60’s. I still remember watching the smoke rise over downtown in 68. The Tet offensive on the 6 pm news, people hanging on to the outside of helicopters as we left Saigon. And Nixon.

     And while we face some difficult issues today with different dynamics, I’m not inclined to think they are anymore difficult than what we’ve faced in the past.

     I think every generation comes out of school and into life thinking its going to change the world. And after they discover that the world’s a pretty tough nut, they become disilussioned. And while some might withdraw and not really engage the world in a political sense, many do, if for no other reason than their own self intrest.

  4. creamer

    from MSNBC’s First Thought:

    According to our new poll, which was released on the eve of tonight’s speech, only 28% believe the federal government is “working well” or even works “okay,” versus 70% who say government isn’t working and needs major reform. By comparison, in December of 2000 — during the height of the disputed Bush-Gore presidential recount — 55% said the government WAS working. In addition, a whopping 93% believe there’s too much partisan fighting; 84% think the special interests have too much influence over legislation; nearly three-quarters say that not enough has been done to regulate Wall Street and the banking industry; and an equal 61% complain that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress aren’t willing to compromise. And 58% believe the country is headed on the wrong track, the highest level of Obama’s presidency.

    I know this is only one poll, but it doesn’t look like the participants in this poll thought we elected a progressive king who was going to pass a liberal agenda. And while I don’t think the GOP wanted to play ball I’m not sure we really tried to reach a consensus. I know many will blame it all on the GOP being obstructionist, I’m not sure we offered them any reason to play ball.

Comments are closed.