When we first discussed creating a Daily Kos Group that would promote unabashed support for electing Democrats, my first thought was to call it "I Vote For Democrats And Will Work My Butt Off To Get Them Elected Including Phonebanking (Which I Hate With the Light Of A Thousand White Hot Suns) And Canvassing And Driving Little Old Ladies To Voting Places Because We Need to Make Sure Our Country Does Not Fall Into The Hands Of Those Who Want To Repeal the Twentieth Century And Every Good Government Initiative Enacted Since The Great Depression".
After consultation, we decided that would be a bit unwieldy (plus not having a very easy-to-type acronym), and hoped "I Vote For Democrats" (IVFD) would be enough to convey the sense of urgency that we feel about this election cycle.
The strangely popular attitude that sitting out an election "will show the Democrats a thing or two" is foolhardy at best and malicious at its worst. The overwhelming evidence is that a low turnout 2010 showed "the Democrats" nothing of the sort and showed only how awful Republicans are ... something we really did not need proof of after 8 years of George W. Bush. Plus "the Democrats" happens to be me and others like me, not some monolithic "them".
I live in Wisconsin and I saw the results of voter apathy first hand. We lost a U.S. Senator, two House Representatives, the governorship and both houses of the state legislature. It was more than a shellacking, it was an unmitigated disaster and it will take years for those harmed by that to become whole again ... if they ever do. How do you undo losing a home or an education or your good health?
So why "I Vote For Democrats"? Was it a pushback against the incessant Obama bashing and Obama-bot bashing and the who-is-a-real-progressive-questioning here? Partly.
The main goal, though, was to provide a safe place to talk about the good things that the Obama Administration has done and the 111th Congress did and to discuss the hundreds of initiatives that only a Democratic administration and only a Democratic majority in Congress can have any hope of achieving on our behalf. We have tried to do that and to support others with a positive message.
But today I want to talk about that other reason.
This morning I saw a comment that was recommended by nearly 200 users that said this:
"It's Obama's job to get re-elected, not yours to get him there."
Pause for a moment and let that sink in. On a blog whose stated purpose is to elect Democrats, a comment that basically says Obama is on his own and deserves no support in his re-election efforts was not hide-rated into oblivion but rec'ed. And admired in the comments thread.
It suggests that we have no skin in the game and it is Obama's problem if he loses.
You know what? It is our job to get him re-elected ... and it should be our hair-on-fire all consuming job to get him re-elected.
That statement suggests that this election is a mere job evaluation and that President Obama is on his own if the American people find him lacking after viewing the bajilliion TV ads that people will see between now and election day that tell them to find him lacking.
Wrong. He doesn't just submit his report card to the electorate and get graded ... we have to work our butts off to get him re-elected. He is representing us and we choose our representatives not just by voting for them but by helping them get elected.
People don't just wander into the voting booth on election day and vote for whoever made the best case over the course of a general election campaign. We are cajoled to the polls and in some cases driven there by volunteers and called and flyered and talked to by our neighbors and friends and rallied. And flyered again. And called again. We Get Out The Vote because the vote does not just show up ... especially if we have naysayers and negative ads dampening voter enthusiasm.
The only hope we have to overcome the big money in this election cycle is to out-vote the Republicans. We don't do that by saying that Obama is on his own and we certainly don't do it by telling people who support him and other Democrats that there is something wrong with them because they are willing to overlook his flaws or the compromises he needs to make to govern.
So I say this to those of you who think I am being dumb or misguided or not a progressive or a mindless bot or a self-deluded fool: you are wrong.
President Obama does not need to earn my vote. He has it because he is the Democratic Party nominee for the presidency and I Vote For Democrats. Democratic party candidates who do not pass liberal purity tests but who run in purple or red districts against Republicans don't need to earn my vote either. They have it because they will give us majorities in the 113th Congress and because I Vote For Democrats.
Those who willfully ignore that small d democracy needs us so that we can have big D Democratic majorities do damage to our country as surely as those who choose to vote Republican.
If you are not actively working to elect Democrats and drumming up enthusiasm to re-elect President Obama I can only ask: why the heck not?
I Vote For Democrats And Will Work My Butt Off To Get Them Elected Including Phonebanking (Which I Hate With the Light Of A Thousand White Hot Suns) And Canvassing And Driving Little Old Ladies To Voting Places Because We Need to Make Sure Our Country Does Not Fall Into The Hands Of Those Who Want To Repeal the Twentieth Century And Every Good Government Initiative Enacted Since The Great Depression.It could not be clearer although this is pithier: I Vote For Democrats - To Win Elections. And you should too.
Jump on our bandwagon and follow I Vote For Democrats by clicking the orange ♥ at the top of this diary. Or even better, write a diary about why YOU vote for Democrats and help us push back against those who don't feel that they have any skin in this game. Because they are wrong. And that is three strikes and they are out. Our turn at bat.