This business of speculating about what the President or Congress or the Democrats or Progressives must do to regain lost ground seems to be spinning wheels. There are a lot of reasons why Democrats lost the House in the midterms. Some of them have to do with the never-ending spin machine; others with disappointment at how some of the major policy sausage was made; still others with disillusionment and disconnection in general.
Howie Klein pointed me over to this article at The Nation by Danny Goldberg, chairman/CEO of Artemis Records and a board member of Rock the Vote. It struck home with me, and I think it will with you, too, no matter what your opinion of our current political dilemma is.
Almost half of the public is either misinformed or subject to unanswered right wing narratives. If I believed that there was a chance of Sharia law being imposed in the United States I too would be gravely concerned. If I believed that most Europeans and Canadians had inferior health care to that of average Americans, I too would be against health care reform. If I believed that man-made global warning did not exist or that there were nothing we could do about it and that environmental efforts were responsible for unemployment I’d be against cap and trade.
Unless and until progressives change the mind sets of the tens of millions of people who believe right-wing mythology, who never read the New York Times or listen to NPR, who never watch any TV news other than Fox, future elections will have disappointing results for progressives regardless of who is in the White House.
To which my first reaction was...easier said than done. But Goldberg doesn't stop with that indictment. He very clearly articulates solutions, including this one:
Since Obama’s election, many pundits have quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt’s injunction of “make me do it” to labor leaders who came to The White House in the nineteen-thirties with an agenda. The way to “make” elected officials do things, is not simply to beat up on the administration but to change and mobilize public opinion.
Go read it. It's inspiring.