Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pucker Up, Joe

Caption: It may be lazy and ungrateful, but it's also cute and furry. Joe Biden and his boss can kiss it whenever they want.

Image credit: The Dawg Blog by Dawgdad (Click to see the whole picture - it's cute.)

There are some great things about not having cable. One of them is that you get to miss seeing Joe Biden telling all the people the Democrats in DC have screwed in the last eighteen months to get off their lazy asses and support the Democrats.

Gregg Levine filled me in this morning:

Vice President Joe Biden made room in his busy schedule Wednesday to appear on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to address the much-reported enthusiasm gap between fired-up Tea-publicans and a disappointed Democratic base. How do I know that was his reason? He said so:

What I’m doing. . . one of the reasons I wanna be on your show is to tell the progressives out there, you know, get in gear, man. First of all, there’s a great deal at stake.

No duh. Really? Progressives are the ones that need to be reminded that there’s a great deal at stake?
Actually, Mr. Vice President, you didn’t mention a single thing that your administration or this Democratically controlled 111th Congress has gotten done. You are just telling progressives out there that they “better get energized,” that they “get in gear,” that they “should not stay home” come November.

Why? Because. . . because. . . Pete Sessions!

Biden Scolds Dem Voters for Enthusiasm Gap; Tells Progressives to “Get in Gear”

Yes, because apparently we haven't been begging these same clowns who are now calling us lazy to actually differentiate themselves by their actions from their predecessors, to little or no effect. Apparently, they haven't been throwing us from the sleigh one by one, hoping they'll have enough supporters left come election time. Apparently, we didn't warn them about all this, repeatedly.

Levine, a former advertising consultant, makes some great points about why products fail to catch on with consumers. Sometimes, it's the attitude of the product's sellers that is the problem. They'll berate the consumer for not being able to understand how great the product is. Which is true enough, at times. The problem is that berating them does no good, because afterward they still won't know why the product is good, and they'll be annoyed at the people berating them.

My professional background gives me another insight. I spent more time than I care to remember testing software and computer systems that other people designed. Those other people, when confronted with the fact that their product didn't work, would sometimes berate the testers, saying that they didn't know how to use it, didn't use it the way it was supposed to be used, etc. When, as often happened, the product was released despite objections, and the customer told us it sucked for the same reason that the testers had, I cannot recall one time when those people admitted that maybe they should have listened more carefully. I think I'd remember that, too, because it would have been an extraordinary moment.

Most of us don't work in advertising, and most of us haven't tested products for a living, but nearly all of us have encountered this situation in some form. Perhaps it was a friend or family member who tells us we're crazy cheapskates not to buy whatever bits of Amway garbage he's selling. Perhaps it's a boss who blames the failure of his brilliant plan for corporate domination on his lazy, no good employees. The scenarios may differ, but the blame being cast on us for these peoples' lack of attention to reality and unwillingness to listen is a constant through all of them.
Caption: This is a picture of our economy. We're the red line, which many economists are lazy and ungrateful enough to think is a bad thing.

Image credit: Calculated Risk

The Democrats in DC have been a colossal failure. They have failed utterly at a long list of issues. That's the problem. Gays can't say "Oh, they didn't give us a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but at least they're doing everything in their power to save the jobs of gay servicemembers." People worried about the financial sector can't say "Yes, TARP and the Fed bailouts were a problem, but we have meaningful financial reform." People who wanted real health care reform can't tell themselves that it won't matter so much once the economy gets moving again. People who want the government to return to the rule of law can't tell themselves that the government is being ruled by people who follow their principles, and that someday we can hope for better. Unions can't tell themselves that it doesn't matter quite so much that the economy isn't getting better, because at least they have a card check system. People who want us to get out of Iraq can't tell themselves that at least we're not further enmeshed in Afghanistan.

What's worse, none of the people concerned about those issues can look at the others and say "They haven't taken care of this, but they've made progress with those things."

Caption: Pollster's composite of Right Direction/Wrong Track polls. Self-identified progressives and liberals make up roughly 25 percent of the population. Looks to me like someone else is unhappy besides us. Do you think maybe this is the Democrats' real problem?

Image credit: Snapshot of today's Pollster page

The only time that Vice President Biden, President Obama, and all their sycophantic enablers talk to us is when they tell us to get off our lazy, ungrateful butts and support them. They can call us lazy and ungrateful all they want, but we aren't the ones who failed at these things. We voted for them, wrote the letters, made the calls, signed the petitions. At the end of the day, we did our jobs, which was to get them into office and tell them what needed to change. They didn't provide that change. That's the bottom line.

The DC Democrats have failed utterly at everything they were sent there to do. They'd be much better served admitting they were wrong, and trying to do better. Going by past experience, I don't think that's going to happen. Berating us for not seeing the genius of the product is beyond pointless and absurd - it's counterproductive.

We know their product sucks. We're living in it.

Afterword: Taylor Marsh adds this thought:

We haven’t even gotten to the serial political messaging malpractice of Obama’s White House, which is the worst I’ve ever seen. Biden proved it again last night, though at least he didn’t blame movement progressives. He simply is the latest to insult the people Dems need in November, saying basically that the Democratic base has no other alternative, so Wake up and save our ass.

I honestly don’t know how Ms. Maddow controlled herself from offering a rejoinder the likes of which would have deservedly blown Mr. Biden’s hair askew. Something like, “Mr. Vice President, surely you understand that Democrats in 2008 didn’t elect a majority and Barack Obama in order to compromise with Republicans, something Bush never did with less.”

VP Joe Biden: ‘Get in gear, man. … You better get energized.’

[italics from original]

That's another part of this that is so annoying - the pathetic excuses about how so little could be done, because there just weren't enough of the right people running things. The people running things are the ones these guys supported. And as Taylor observes, they had a lot more going for them than George W. Bush did.

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