It’s not that Democrats are facing an “enthusiasm gap” at the polls, it’s the reality gap on the side of Republican backers and the reality awareness about the Democrats lack of support for their base that is the true problem for Democrats this fall.
Pundits, journalists, talk show hosts and experts have been going on about the “enthusiasm gap” between what they deem extremely enthusiastic Republican voters and down in the dumps Democrats. They say Republicans are more excited about voting, and why wouldn’t they be? Hate and anger are good motivators for voting.
Yes, the hatred of the image the right-wing spin machine has made out of Obama, A BLACK MAN, is a powerful incentive. And hate of the wicked witch of the West, Nancy Pelosi, also works to create enthusiasm for a Republican/Tea Party base that would hate Jesus if he were a Democrat.
But when the Republican base and Tea Party members rabidly back candidates on the right that want to take away their social security, imprison them without warrants, spy on their every word, book read and consumer choice, gut their schools (as Obama is going to do with “Race to the Top”), want to take away a raped woman’s choice, those who ran the economy into the ground from 2000-2008 and raised the debt to new levels, people that defend homophobia want to bomb Iran, deny humans have any impact on the environment, are against alcohol in Nevada, a state that depends on alcohol sales, is afraid or fluoridation, thinks gay and pregnant teachers should be banned from teaching, want to cut the budget by creating an unneeded missile defense shield, and want eliminate protections for the accused by blocking habeas corpus, we know there is a gap between Tea Party members, Republicans, and reality.
The reality is that the Tea Party funders such as the Koch brothers, on air conservatives and professional congress people are working to enrich their corporations and corporate masters as possible and by taking and keeping wealth from the rest of America. This includes the hard working rest of us that politicians from both major parties largely ignore when making policy but pander to during elections. It’s the reality gap, stupid. There’s a gap between what the Tea Party foot soldiers want and what the Tea Party politicians will actually accomplish or push for once in Congress. (link)
Sharon Angel is a clear example of how she wants to harm the rest of us. She tells us that entitlement programs have spoiled our citizens. She’s saying that working hard and contributing into social security and then asking for some of that money back when we retire makes us spoiled. And people who worked most of their lives and got laid off because of the financial crisis that occurred due to the mismanagement of banks and failed mortgage regulations aided and abetted by a mostly Republican Congress and a Republican president. I guess Angel thinks it is your fault the banks mismanaged their money and had to lay you off. But people support her and other Republicans (and some Democrats) who believe this very thing. Voters are like abused spouses who say, “But he says he loves me and that he wont do it again.” Oh, they will do it again, and even worse this time if the Republicans and Democrats like Blanche Lincoln and Max Baucus have their way. (link)
Angel doesn’t believe the Constitution has a separation of Church and State. Just because she doesn’t like separation of church and state doesn’t mean that it doesn’t appear in the first amendment. What Tea Party supporters don’t realize is that if you don’t keep the fundamental tenet of the Bill of Rights, separation of church and state, then Muslims like Barack Obama (another Tea Party fantasy) will make us all follow Islam. Your religion is at risk as soon as you try to impose it on others.
Part of the reality gap is due to Republicans forgetting how Bush started wars with lies, increased our deficit, made us one of the most hated countries in the world and gave huge tax give a ways to the wealthiest 1%. That last fact has been admired by the lower classes on the right throughout Bush’s term as if they were rich.
Republicans, with the help of their leaders Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, have used the media adeptly to convince conservatives that tax cuts for the wealthy are the same thing as tax cuts for everybody, that somehow the tax on the rich will push away big business (though there is no historical or economic evidence for this) and that these tax cuts for the top 1% will trickle down upon them like 72 virgins. How did it work to improve the economy in the eighties? Wages were stagnant, bank loans were not secured, and the default and unemployment started to rise during Bush’s term, despite the reality gap that wants to lay it all on Obama.
Under Bush, “median household income was lower than in 2000, while both the poverty rate and the percentage of Americans without health insurance were higher.” (link) So, how is that good economics? It’s good economics if you only care about the upper classes and not middle class wages. And, job loss has slowed under Obama, partially due to the stimulus package (link) and other measures and partially as a cyclical trend. How many more jobs can be lost? And that bailout for the banks that the Tea Party hates so much? That was passed during Bush’s last year with a bi-partisan effort. And yes, Obama voted for it, and Bush signed it. Put a pox on both their houses, if you wish, but it wasn’t just the “tax and spend” liberals. Besides, few Democrats are actual liberals.
The most obvious demonstration of the reality gap in Republican supporters is the blame they put on Obama for the current debt. Bush increased the debt to new levels over his eight years, but they ignore that. (link) No, it’s Obama’s fault. And as far as the current deficit spending, there is also a reality gap. Much of the current deficit can be attributed to Bush laws and Bush wars that were left for Obama’s budget. I blame Obama for continuing the wars and that part of the deficit.
And the misnamed “Obamacare” that is supposed to be creating such big deficits? That biggest part of that expenditure comes in effect in 2014 and has little or nothing to do with current budgets.
Corporations feed this reality gap with misinformation so we can create an enemy, if not Obama, then government in general. Bad government is the problem, not government. And Bush was a master at bad government and mismanaged budgets. Republicans don’t want you to remember that.
Let me set you straight: the benefits of tax cuts are exaggerated and as for tax cuts for the top 1%, the benefits are non-existent except for the benefits to the top 1%.
However, if we let these tax cuts lapse we will have an extra $70 billion for ten years for a total of $700 billion dollars. That is money that could be used to shore up schools, keep state governments afloat, help pay health care for the returning Iraq war veterans and many other positive uses.
For reasons partly having to do with who is currently in office, Democrats and independents are more disappointed in what Obama has NOT done.
Escalating the war in Afghanistan has done as much or more to anger Obama supporters than anything. Disaffected former Obama voters have faced reality and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter if they vote for a Democrat, with a few notable exceptions.
Tea Party and other rapid Republican voters will be propelled by their hatred of supposed liberals Pelosi and Obama however much reality doesn’t match the fantasy that has been created around the two most public Democratic figures. They have lost touch with the reality of eight years of Bush and what Bush’s policies did do our economy and nation. There is a clear reality gap.
Besides, polls don’t show a lot of people giving love to the Republican Party either. If the laws set forth by Republicans and Democrats in Congress and in every state legislature didn’t make it nearly impossible to start a viable third party, I would say now is the time to start one.
I urge you to close the reality gap and realize that the majority of national Republicans and Democrats don’t give a damn about you. Then vote locally on the propositions and for local school boards and other officials.