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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:38 AM
Original message
"Obama's "base" problem doesn't actually exist"
Obama's "base" problem doesn't actually exist
WEDNESDAY, APR 13, 2011
BY STEVE KORNACKI

The Washington Post reports today on the "growing rebellion on the left" that has greeted Obama's embrace of rhetoric and pursuit of policies designed to curry favor with swing voters. The Hill writes that Obama "risks leaving liberals at home in the fall of 2012." As I write this, Obama has yet to begin his deficit reduction speech, but it's very possible that the liberal commentators who have been excoriating him for the past week won't change their minds as a result of it. In other words, expect more of these stories in the coming days.

This ought to feel familiar. Time and again during Obama's 27 months in office, we've witnessed eruptions like this, with one-time Obama supporters claiming that because of , the president has lost their support for good. Remember when Keith Olbermann forecast a serious primary challenge to Obama if he allowed the public option to be killed during healthcare negotiations? Or when the liberal commentariat reacted with rage -- and in many cases swore vengeance -- after Obama agreed to a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts last December? (The president, Frank Rich wrote at the time, is "so indistinct no one across the entire political spectrum knows who he is.") Or when Rachel Maddow excoriated Obama for "kicking his base in the teeth" by backing off plans for civilian trials for Guantanamo detainees?

All of these episodes -- and others like them -- have one thing in common: For all of the threats and dire forecasts, Obama's base stuck with him. At the same time that he was agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts, his approval rating among Democrats held steady, in the 80 percent range, where they'd been throughout 2010 -- and his highest scores were among self-identified liberals. And nothing much has changed since then, even after Guantanamo, and even after several months of "triangulating" (if that's what you want to call Obama's post-midterm posture); Gallup's latest poll has Obama's approval among Democrats at 80 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released last week put it at 83 percent -- with a score of 79 percent among liberals. We have heard expressions of outrage from left-of-center commentators about how Obama has sold out his old base -- but that base, by all appearance, remains very much intact.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/13/...
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Township75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is why I have no problem with people posting Obama bashing threads.
Let them vent. Just like Dean vs Kerry, Obama vs Clinton, everyone will rally behind the Dem nominee. The ones that say they wont are likely the same ones that say they are going to leave the country after every bad election.

Let them talk, vent, whine, whatever. The end results won't be changed.
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Dawgs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. Just like Bush vs. Gore vs Nader. Wait...
:)
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peace13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Don't know about his base but the volunteers who staffed his campaign may have a different story.
If yesterday's speech is followed through then he will be fine but if it was just smoke and a flower up the *ss then he will have trouble. Many of the local folks here who were in the trenches for Obama have been doing quite a bit of head shaking. Hope he follows through. Haven't taken the Obama bumper sticker off. Last week I did give the Obama caller using the DNC phone lines an earful.
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. Didn't hear any commentators criticizing him last night. Some did say, "followup" is key.

Truthfully, I think that by extending the 3% "tax cut," we may get more in the future with the kind of pressure the Prez put on yesterday.
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm part of the Democratic base. Just because I'm not happy with Obama doesn't mean I'll vote
Republican. I'd hold my nose and vote for the Dem nominee, but I wouldn't volunteer my precious spare time to help his campaign.
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vduhr Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Did you mean to say...
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 09:46 AM by vduhr
"I'll hold my nose and vote for Obama if he is the Dem dominee"?
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
5. "if you're not outraged you're not paying attention"
apparently this applies to 83% of Democrats.
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Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. The comments are scathing
I read up to page 6, and if they're any indication of the base's support, then Kornacki should probably rethink his speculation.
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Marsala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Internet comments aren't indicative of anything
They rank just above crop circles and below bathroom graffiti in meaningfulness.

And yes, that includes this comment.
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Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I don't disagree,
but it's stunning to see the sheer volume of negative comments compared to the very, very few postive ones. That seems like a relatively new development.
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Yeah, cause internet people don't vote...
Really, you should at least pretend to think before you type.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
9. Probably won't have a serious support problem from the Left unless he has
a thong wearing intern with a blue dress and a fetish for cigar tubes.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'm cautiously optimistic over the speech.
I'll support him if he sticks to his guns.

Kornacki, on the other hand, has the Flavor Aid on an IV drip. It wouldn't have mattered what was said, he'd have supported it and cried about people being mean.
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Avant Guardian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Same here
I reserve the right to be skeptical. I do believe he has heard our cries and that he 'gets' it.
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
13. The angry left is a RW propoganda machine
Just look at how many people claim to be upset over the tax extension when they bought Unemployment benefit extensions. Underneath their rhetoric, they value the deficit higher than the unemployed.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. I'm with you ...
There are a few memes that come straight from the rw propaganda world ....

"Democrats are just like the Republicans" ... that one comes straight from the Tea Party, and as we all know, the Tea Party is the far right of the far right.

"Obama hasn't done anything about jobs" ... if you ignore the stimulus, job trends, unemployment trends, and his saving of the auto industry.

"He's not trying hard enough / doing enough" ... if you ignore the most obstructionist GOP in America's history.

And so on.

I think the goal of it is to get moderate and rational dems to hear the endless stream of negative comments, and become discouraged, so that they stay home in 2012.
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pmorlan1 Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Head in the sand
I worked as a moderator on the Kerry/Edwards campaign blog and I'm very disappointed in this president and yes at times very angry. Don't stick your head in the sand and pretend that all of the people criticizing Obama are GOP moles trying to stir up dissent. Oh sure, there are some of those moles, but there are also growing numbers of Democratic activists, like myself, who are very upset with our President. We are tired of the excuses for why President Obama is governing much the same as Bush. Our be all and end all goal is not just to win for winnings sake. We want to win so that progressive policies can be put in place to improve working peoples lives. We want equal justice under law, not the rich and well connected get off no matter how blatant and horrendous their crimes. We don't work our asses off for personalities, we do it for the principles and policies that the candidate represents. If they misrepresent who they are and what they will do we will not go along just to be seen as good, loyal Democratic Party soldiers. We will push and pull to make our candidate do the right thing.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Did not say all ...
There is a segment of this place, and in the media, that will take anything or nothing, and scream about it.

Let's take this past week. What was a loud, angry segment of DU outraged about? They were screaming their prediction that Obama was definitely, positively, absolutely, going to announce MAJOR CUTS to social security and medicare in his speech this week. There was OP and OP, each adding a new source, with new quotes from "unnamed aides close to the situation". Each of those OPs were packed with folks screaming about how much they hated Obama for making such an announcement. If you pointed out that he had yet to make such an announcement, and it seemed premature to be getting outraged about something hey had not done yet, you were told you were stupid.

Of course the speech came and went, and there was no such announcement made. Did the "outrage machine" take a breath, recognize and admit it had been wrong? Nope. The machine simply moved on.

Same exact thing happened in the days prior to the State of the Union speech. Same breathless predictions of a major announcement of huge SS and Medicare cuts, all confirmed by "unnamed sources". OP after OP with people outraged at Obama for something he had not done. The prediction was wrong that time to. And the outrage machine moved on.

That time the machine switched its focus to Egypt. DU was covered in threads explaining how Obama was "secretly working behind the scenes to keep Mubarak in power." That BASTARD OBAMA!! Then, once again, that turned out to be untrue. The machine moved on.

Last year, a favorite chew toy of the fake outrage machine involved the prediction that Obama would NEVER sign a repeal of DADT. Regularly, that claim would be made here on DU. Obama is not going to sign it. Then he signs it. The machine moves on.

Let's take the Bush tax cuts as another example. There are two promises, and Obama can't keep both. In the weeks before he makes the deal with the GOP, DU (and the media) worked out two models for how, no matter which promise Obama broke, it could be used to claim he hated the middle class.

And here's how the two arguments worked.

Let's say Obama lets all the cuts expire ... the meme was .. that he broke his promise to not raise the taxes of those making under 250k, it was proof that he hated the middle class, because he raised their taxes during a fragile recover. And even though the individual tax cuts for a middle class family were small, those families needed that money to survive. But the rich won't even notice if their cuts went away, because they are so rich. And the media was geared up to run video of Bush #1 saying "read my lips" and call this Obama's "read my lips" moment.

The line of argument above is not one I simply thought up ... it was happening before any decision was made. The media (and DU members) were using both descriptions depending on which direction they thought Obama was about to go. Regardless of which promise he broke, it was going to be used to prove that he hated the middle class.

My last point is that there is a large difference between "pushing and pulling" a political leader, and demonizing them.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. Kick
It's not a "base" if it threatens to go away over any single issue. A base is stronger than that.

It's just so the likes of Keith and Rachel can get attention. They won't get it by supporting anything - they weren't on our side when Bush was President, they simply seemed to be. Because being negative is what gets attention.

These people have accomplished nothing in their lives. The least famous town council member has contributed more.
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pmorlan1 Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Single issue?
lol
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argonaut Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
20. It's been said a million times, but it's true. Liberals aren't Obama's base.
Or at least not the most important pillar of it (or the party's base, for that matter). His base, the Democratic base, is minorities. Liberals are an important part, though, yeah, but they/we have a tendency to overstate our importance.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
21. Here's what I see....in 2008, every YOUNG person I knew was
so very fucking excited about voting for Obama. That enthusiasm is gone. They, meaning all the young ppl I know, idealistically expected change in Washington. What they have seen, as have I, is the "same ole same ole. They will NOT get out and vote in the same numbers as last time.
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