Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Conversations with a Disinterested Obama Supporter

By: Inoljt,

It can be easy to become immersed in Beltway politics, in which names like Tim Pawlenty, John Ensign, and Harry Reid are instantly recognizable – or debates over the Stupak Amendment can rage on for hours.

One wonders how much of this filters down to the average voter. Does he or she really know what the public option constitutes?  How important, really, are the 2010 congressional elections to the normal citizen?

Several days ago, some political comments made by a non-politically-obsessed friend provided me some insight into how “normal” people think.

More below.

This person, quite coincidentally, typified one component of the Obama coalition: she was a black college student, very intelligent, but no addict of Beltway politics.

On President Barack Obama’s main endeavor – health care – my friend was supportive enough. Health care obviously needed to be reformed, and it annoyed her that Republicans were opposing it to mostly to weaken Mr. Obama. But as for the 2010 congressional elections, my friend really didn’t give a damn. Last year we had gone to elect Obama, which was obviously important. Congressional elections, on the other hand – that didn’t exactly arouse intense passion. “What’s the worst that can happen; we lose control of Congress? So what?”

To me, this indifference provided a stark – and refreshing – contrast to the politics I read every day. This average voter considered next year’s ultimate political event relatively uninteresting, even insignificant. For pundits on MSNBC and liberal bloggers, losing control of Congress sometimes seems like the end of the world. It really isn’t – whether health care reform succeeds will influence Obama’s legacy far more than congressional elections nobody ever recalls. Sometimes the political world forgets that.

Which still doesn’t stop me from worrying over 2010.


  1. As a Brit, who’s passionately interested in US politics, I’m also lost on the names of those congressional leaders, and the ins and outs of “pacts and sects of great ones/who ebb and flow with the moon…”

    So I get his bigger narrative beyond the day to day point scoring. From hearing that Obama is the worst president since Hoover, I’m now reading that the primaries this week – with his candidates succeeding and the Tea Partyers fracturing the GOP – look rather good for the dems now. Is that true?

  2. Rashaverak

    At the outset: I do not mean to criticize your friend or to attack her personally.

    I am extremely dismayed to read her reaction.  I take it as an indictment of our educational system.

    It is mind-boggling that someone at the college level has what appears to be a near-total lack of understanding of our system of government and of the current attitudes of the key players in the two major political parties.  It sounds as if she has little, if any, comprehension of such basic matters as the Separation of Powers.

    Your friend should review the history of the Clinton Administration and, e.g., what the Republicans did with subpoena power after the 1994 “Revolution.”.  Darrell Issa and Michelle Bachmann have already publicly stated their intent to start churning out subpoenas as soon as they take back control of the House of Representatives.

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