Their questions, about Obama’s economic appointments and about his messaging problems, all began with some variation of “I’m going to vote for Obama again, and work for him, but …”
Let me channel the administration’s effective response to any question that starts in such a fashion:
- Then shut up.
- Get out your wallet.
- Sit down.
- Do as you’re bid.
- Say “Thank you” afterward.
I shouldn’t feel too superior: after all, the Right had to induce one heck of an attitude adjustment in the Republican party leadership last year before they’d pay attention to our worries and concerns – and, not incidentally, stop picking candidates like Charlie Crist or Arlen Specter (or, heck, Mike Castle*) to represent the grassroots. Politicians do not reliably respond properly to appeals to their better nature, and they do not always succumb to cajolery or flattery. But a naked political threat will always get and keep their attention. However, it has to be a credible naked political threat. When you tell a politician that you’re mad, but you’re not going to do anything about it, the politician stops caring – because s/he doesn’t actually think that you’re mad in the first place. And you know something? S/he’s probably right. Put another way: you know what would put the fear of progressive wrath into Barack Obama? A legitimate, stands-a-chance, honest-to-God primary challenger.
It won’t happen, of course.
*Yup. Paris may or may not have been worth a Mass, but graphically demonstrating the extent of conservative unhappiness was probably worth a Delaware Senate pickup.