From "Hope" to Hopeless: The Democrats’ Debacle

by Lance Selfa

1. Keith Johnson, "State-Level Wins Augur More GOP Safe Seats," Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2010.

2. See James K. Galbraith, "It Was the Banks," November 5, 2010.

3. For an analysis of exit poll data, see Ruy Texeira and John Halpin, "Election Results Fueled by Jobs Crisis and Voter Apathy Among Progressives," Center for American Progress Action Fund memo, November 4, 2010.

4. For an interesting discussion about the real meaning of ordinary peoples’ concerns about the deficit, see Ryan Grim, "Mayberry Machiavellis: Obama Political Team Handcuffing Recovery," Huffington Post, July 6, 2010,. Even the conservative 2010 electorate was split, with roughly similar numbers of those surveyed calling for the government to prioritize deficit reduction and calling for increased government spending to create jobs.

5. See "The Associated Press 2010 Health Care Reform Survey by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted by Knowledge Networks", August 31-September 7, 2010.

6. Elizondo quoted in Steven Greenhouse, "Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats," New York Times, September 17, 2010.

7. Gary Langer, "Obama’s No Shows: 29 million," ABC News.

8. Frank Rich, "The Grand Old Plot Against the Tea Party," New York Times, October 30, 2010.

9. See the analysis of political scientist Brendan Nyhan, "How Much Are Tea Party Candidates Hurting the GOP?" October 22, 2010.

10. A preview of the commission’s report—which takes aim at Social Security, Medicaid, and the federal workforce—came with the November 10, 2010 release of the wish list of commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. See Megan Carpentier, "Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Simpson and Bowles Release Eye-Popping Recommendations," Talking Points Memo, November 10, 2010.

11. The October 2 "One Nation" rally organized by a coalition of groups, including the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, brought out hundreds of thousands of working people. But instead of making the rally a focal point in a fight for jobs, the organizers kept its focus on getting out the vote for the Democrats.

12. Brody Mullins and John D. McKinney, "Campaign’s Big Spender," Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2010.

13. Bill Fletcher, Jr., "Enthusiasm?: I Am Not Interested in Things Getting Worse! October 27, 2010.

14. Hal Draper, "Who’s Going To Be the Lesser Evil in ’68?" reprinted in Lance Selfa, The Democrats: A Critical History (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2008), 199-205.

15. See Gallup, "Socialism Viewed Positively by 36 Percent of Americans," February 4, 2010,; Kate Zernike and Megan Thee-Brenan, "Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated," New York Times, April 14, 2010.