Rolling out its big political message for the month, President Obama and VP Biden have both, to varying degrees, expressed frustration at the base of the Democratic Party for "whining," and are telling Democrats everywhere to get out and vote. As much as I like Obama and his Administration, I have to say this total argument is completely idiotic, and goes back to what I have said about the Democratic Leadership - they don't listen to their base at all.
First of all, and to be clear, I am a Democrat. I have always been a Democrat, and I have voted in almost every election held since I turned 18 (the 1994 General, and the 1996 Primary are the exceptions because absentee ballots were hard to come by when I was in college). I'm going to vote in November, and I will vote Democrat down the line. Moreover, almost every whiner is going to vote Democrat in November as well. That's because we're engaged in politics and we have always been.
But you know who isn't engaged? The Obama voters. In 2008, Obama did the unthinkable - he drew millions of people, who would not have otherwise voted, to the polls. Each and every one of those voters were not deeply engaged, and had been discouraged from politics before. And rather than whining about the economy, or health care, or any number of the issues the Administration has floundered on, they will stay at home come election day. That is, unless Obama reengages them, encourages them, inspires them, and draws them in the way that only Obama can.
That said, let me add a few additional points - the problem with the whining isn't that liberals are whining, its that the whiners have been right, and the Administration has been wrong. Bloggers like me have been right about the size of the Stimulus, right about bipartisanship, right about health care, right about DADT, right about Blanche Lincoln, right about Joe Lieberman, and right about virtually everything else. Okay, maybe "right" is too strong of a word. Perhaps a better word is "more correct." Regardless, the point remains - virtually every liberal blogger can pull up an old post, show it to the Administration and say, "I told you so."
But more than being right, the Administration forgets that it needs people like me to do more than just vote - the whole operations of the Democratic Party depends on people like me volunteering time, donating money, and drumming up the support of my friends. If we're not engaged, (and I have almost checked out of this race), then the whole Party operation collapses.