Sep 26 2011

How Not To Win Back The Left

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Over the weekend President Obama was out on the campaign trail giving rousing speeches to “energize his base”. Kicking off on Satuday night, he spoke before the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus, urging them to:

“stop complaining” and fight for jobs and opportunity. “Shake it off,” Obama said. “Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Mighty words but are they good enough to shake off the apathy of the voters who contributed time and money to get him elected. While Obama’s poll number have fallen dramatically among white voters and independents, his numbers are now slipping among Black and minority voters:

A Washington Post-ABC poll published last week showed that while African Americans continue to view the president favorably in overwhelming numbers, the proportion of blacks expressing strongly positive views of Obama has dropped 25 points since mid-April – from 83 percent to 58 percent. His “favorable” rating has slipped below 50 percent among those age 18 to 29. And among all liberal Democrats, that number has dropped from 69 percent in April to 52 percent.

And his continues “bashing” of the left at a fund raiser in San Jose, California where he said this:

Mr. Obama said it’s not enough for the supporters in the audience to support him. He said if their friends and neighbors are reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page or watching Fox News the donors at this event need to talk to “push back” on their “inadequate information.”

“And in some cases I may need you to have some arguments with our progressive friends,” Mr. Obama said.

He said over the last 2.5 years even though he’s gotten a lot done a lot of Democrats “get dispirited.” He brought up the complaint about health care reform without a public option – “c’mon!” he said. He said he hasn’t got everything done on the environmental front because of the economy.

“We’re going to have a stark choice in this election. But I have to make sure that our side is as passionate and as motivated and is working just as hard as the folks on the other side because this is a contest of value. This is a choice about who we are and what we stand for and whoever wins this next election is going to set the template for this country for a long time to come.”

He told the donors if they believe in a “fact-based” America, they need to work hard for him.

POTUS also quoted “my friend Joe Biden,” who likes to say, “Don’t compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative.”

Oh, yea, that’ll work to overcome this problem:

Through June 30, the close of the most recent campaign reporting period, more than 552,000 people had contributed to Mr. Obama’s re-election effort, according to campaign officials. Half of them were new donors, and nearly all of them gave contributions of less than $250.

But those figures obscured another statistic: a vast majority of Mr. Obama’s past donors, who number close to four million, have not yet given him any money at all.

He doesn’t get it:.

As many of us warned, Obama’s pivot to deficit reduction proved to be devastating.  Not only did it completely undermine any ability to argue persuasively for more supportive federal spending; it poured the foundation for the right wing’s radical anti-government attacks on funding all of the beneficial public programs enacted since the New Deal.

Instead of mounting a vigorous defense of these programs and government’s role in protecting the public interest, the President’s budget rhetoric repeatedly undermined them.  In statement after statement, Obama falsely equated a household budget and the supposed need to tighten family belts with the federal budget and the need for government to cut back on spending.

Obama’s austerity message was dead wrong; every responsible economist knew that massive deficit spending was the one thing keeping the economy afloat while the private sector reduced its debts, and such deficits might be needed for years.

Obama is the one who needs to change, drastically and now.

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