Monday, October 31, 2011
Is Obama "Doomed"? (Or What the Pundits Won't Tell You.)
The media seem shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that Obama's campaign team aren't running around like chickens with their heads cut off because of the polls, THE POLLS, THE POLLS!!! And they seem shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that Obama's campaign team aren't wailing and moaning and gnashing their teeth because Michael Moore is trying to speak for the entire Occupy/99% Movement (again), Ralph Nader is threatening Obama in the primary with an unnamed (still!) challenger, and Republicans are cynically decrying "division" while doing their best to divide and conquer through lying and smearing.
Many media pundits keep wondering just how "out of touch" President Obama is with America. Did they even pay attention to this?
Are they really the ones out of touch with America?
This is why Obama has to take his message directly to the people. The TEA-nuts clearly aren't interested in cooperating, and the usual corporate media pundits clearly aren't interested in actually explaining WHY government doesn't seem to work right now. Americans are clearly angry, but they need to know why they are angry and how to resolve what's making them angry.
Yesterday, I was here.
Local OFA super-volunteer Teresa Crawford held yet another volunteer phone bank at her house. A few neighbors who also live in the local Sun City (55+ community) came to help. Even the Chair of the Clark County Democratic Party stopped by to cheer on the callers!
But wait, aren't seniors the ones most angry at Obama? And aren't long time Democrats threatening to withhold support from Obama? And isn't "The Left" falling apart because of conflict and strife over Obama?
Not really. What happens on cable "news" isn't always what happens in the real world.
Here in the real world, local OFA volunteers were expressing frustration over the G-O-TEA hijacking of Congress and lack of Republican ideas for job creation, even as they're thwarting President Obama's actual plan for job creation.
Oh, and they were also happy about lower cost prescription drugs and new, free preventive care in Medicare, thanks to "ObamaCare" (aka the Affordable Care Act). Yes, believe it or not, many local seniors here are liking the Affordable Care Act as they learn more about how it strengthens and improves Medicare coverage.
But enough of that, back to the calls. As we were making calls, I noticed the vast majority of the Democrats picking up the phone (we were working from a list of registered Democrats in Henderson and Boulder City) were more than willing to attend the caucus on January 21, and were interested in volunteering with OFA as well. Does that sound like "apathy" or "enthusiasm gap" to you? It certainly doesn't to me.
Yes, yes, I know. This is just a bunch of "worthless anecdotal evidence" that flies in the face of all the true "conventional wisdom" spouted on TV talk shows and argued over on other blogs.
But you know what? I think this is more than that. This is a glimpse into what's really going on with OFA, and what most pundits are truly missing. While the pundits keep debating what really matters in the Republican debates and how Democrats supposedly feel about President Obama, OFA volunteers keep humming along and doing the work that's needed to reelect Obama. The campaign probably doesn't feel as "sexy" to the media as it did four years ago, but that isn't stopping the lifeblood of the campaign.
Of course, the attitude of these volunteers doesn't totally reflect the mood of the country. As I said above, folks are angry because of the state of the economy and the ever widening gap between the rich & powerful and everyone else. However in talking with the actual people here in my neighborhood, including the ones who don't have any part in OFA, I sense something totally different from the knee-jerk anti-Obama sentiment that many in the media think is prevalent among all voters. And I sense that as Obama continues to pound his more economic populist message, it may really be working in that it's making folks think more about what's really causing all the problems on Capitol Hill.
So is everything all right? No, I'm not saying that. However, I believe it's far too early for anyone in the media to declare Obama "doomed".