Biden Laments The “Lethargy” of Democratic Voters

Vice President Biden noted yesterday that he hoped that the Tea Party might finally get Democratic and liberal votes out of their “lethargy.” The comment struck a nerve with me since various Democratic leaders have expressed surprise and mild criticism over the lack of enthusiasm by Democratic voters. What is striking is the fact that Biden and others continue to consider their own failure to give voters a reason to become active after years of broken campaign promises and outright betrayals of core values. The best that they can come up with (yet again) is that the other people are worse than we are.

It is unclear why Biden thinks, for example, civil libertarians should be energized after the Obama Administration embraced and expanded Bush-era policies in the war on terror. President Obama has shielded Bush officials from any investigation, let alone prosecution, for torture and has fought to block any cases that would hold companies or agencies responsible for violations of human rights or privacy.

It is unclear why Biden thinks environmentalists should be energized after the Administration opened up pristine areas of the East Coast for oil exploration and, even after the BP disaster, downplayed the spill damage to lift the moratorium.

It is unclear why Biden thinks that peace advocates should be energized after the Administration continued both wars and the gushing of both American blood and treasure.

It is unclear why Biden thinks gay and lesbian activists should be energized after the Obama Administration fought in court to preserve Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and then appealed to limit the major victory enjoining DADT.

For over a decade, the Democratic Party has based its demands for political support not on its own performance but on the “lesser of two evils” argument. They simply cannot understand why voters would be less than enthusiastic in fighting for them to retain power. Indeed, from the very start of this Administration, the clear message to liberals has been “you have no where else to go.” What the Administration and congressional democrats did not consider is that liberals, civil libertarians, and environmentalists could decide to simply go no where and stay at home.

Biden was speaking(at a fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Md. when he noted that “[m[aybe the best thing to happen to us lately is the Tea Party wins. Maybe it’ll shake some of our constituency out of their lethargy.” Biden seems to welcome that there is finally a compelling reason for voters to take to the streets: even worse people are running for office.

How about another option? The Democratic leaders could actually fight on principle over things like torture and give voters a positive reason to care about their future. If you want voters to care, you can start by giving them something to care about — other than the job security of Democratic officeholders. If the Obama Administration did not actually jettison these issues for political convenience, it might not have been more popular, but it would have been more respected and it would have garnered far more enthusiasm from Democratic and liberal voters. Instead, the Democratic leadership has repeatedly conveyed that they are concerned only about retaining their offices and power at any cost — hardly a motivating message for votes.

So here is my suggestion for a new campaign motto: “Fighting Lethargy With Leadership.”

Source: The Hill

266 thoughts on “Biden Laments The “Lethargy” of Democratic Voters”

  1. You can not blame the GOP/Hard Right or the shameless 1% gazillionares that fund them(scumy as they are !), Because any group of idiotic people as large as exist in the USA will eventually be exploited & finally used as a floor mat by someone or something.

    & In the end the whole of all american people got the Govt. they all deserved !

  2. The USA is forever doomed simply because the same 42% sad & Ideologically Confused fools can be tricked n baffled by GOP/ Blllionare suporters decade after decade while never learning anything new or ever asking whats the huge thing up thier butt is?

  3. Let’s see…democrat or republican? Same party. No difference.
    Just the appearance in the front of the audience. They are opposames.
    Stand back and look…they take turns playing the game and then they play us for fools and the saddest part of all is that we appear to fall for it every time.
    As the one who called himself Shakespeare once said, “All the world’s a stage.” Oh yes, the many blood sucking creatures aka politicians learned this in their politics 101 class.
    The reason there are only two parties is because two are much easier to manage than three or more, by, those who lurk in the shadows aka The Puppet Masters.

  4. Kay,

    What’s your point?

    I suggest you watch the segment about Johnson on Countdown. An abuse victim of a pedophile priest who served in a diocese in Wisconsin was interviewed.

    Johnson used to serve on the diocese’s financial council and in January testified in Madison against the Child Victims Act. I believe Johnson didn’t disclose the fact that he worked for the diocese when he testified.

  5. It is possible to be a child abuse victim and basically have no damages. I remember someone trying to stick his hands down my pants when I was little and I remember deciding to avoid that person and successfully doing so. My dad told me that when he was little he heard about a man to avoid too. Also, on several occasions I saw flashers on the B.U. Bridge or in Back Bay. And one time a totally naked strange man chased me for about three blocks in Cambridge MA. I remember running from this guy along Memorial Drive. I was a college student then. It was about 9 p.m. I ran fast enough to get away.

    How much damages do you have to have to sue?

  6. From Think Progress (9/28/2010)
    Ron Johnson Opposed Child Abuse Legislation Because It Would Hold Businesses Accountable

    Wisconsin GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson often touts the fact that he comes from outside the political system and has spent his life building businesses in the private sector.

    Yet before running for Senate, Johnson did have one prominent act of political participation. In January 2010, Johnson testified before the Wisconsin state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan Wisconsin Child Victims Act. The legislation, if passed, would alter Wisconsin law to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil suits for child abuse and allow a three-year window to bring suit for victims who were victimized before the bill. The legislation also specifies that the entities that can be sued would include not just individuals, but also a “corporation, business trust, limited liability company,” and other formal organizations that could be held accountable for the illegal behavior of their employees. As the bill’s authors write, “We believe that there should be no deadline on justice for child sexual abuse victims.”

    But Johnson did not place protecting victims as his highest priority. In his testimony before the Wisconsin legislature, he said it was “extremely important to consider the economic havoc…and the other victims” that the new law would “likely create” — ridiculously comparing child abuse victims to the economic damages faced by employers being sued. Johnson warned that the Child Victims Act would lead to businesses or other organizations that work with children to be “damaged or destroyed” by civil suits and that it would “send a chilling signal” to civic-minded organizations like the Boy Scouts to not work with children in the future. He then opined that if the bill were passed, “I have no doubt trial lawyers would benefit, I’m not so sure that the actual victims would“:

    Keith Olbermann did a segment about Ron Johnson last night on Countdown

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