Dear Mr. President,
Tonight Rasmussen released another poll showing Dino Rossi pulling ahead. I'm pretty much in a state of panic, even as I continue to console myself with the frequent inaccuracy of Rasmussen's polls. Paul Krugman's Op-ed isn't making me much calmer. I'm terrified of the results we'll find on election day, and even more so of the resulting legislative agenda. Keith Olbermann's recent comment on the Tea Party articulated the fears that many of us on the left are experiencing this year.
But polls and pundit comments aside, this midterm should have people scared. Every election, about this time, I start marveling at the very idea of undecided voters. I feel so strongly about politics that I can't even date Republicans; and I may not be able to stand them, but I at least respect the passion that I see in my friends on the right. It is undecided voters, swing voters, people who seem to change their entire value system (or not understand how that value system is represented by their vote) every 2-4 years who confuse me. It baffles me. How can a voter who clearly understood the problems with the Bush administration (and the candidates who wanted to continue them) just two years ago suddenly be confused about who to vote for? It seems to me that the center has long been controlled by the most willfully disengaged, and the fact that they're the ones who get to decide so many elections frustrates me to no end.
I don't think that congressional Democrats are entirely blameless. Between the cowardly ones who are now running away from the party's agenda in their ads, and the cowardly ones who never had the guts to defend that agenda in the first place, it is really difficult to see why Democrats are a viable alternative to the bad ideas of Republicans. While I don't think that a disillusionment with Democrats justifies a vote for Republicans, unfortunately the two-party system (and the increasing similarity in the way the parties take money from corporations) leaves many voters feeling that this is the best solution.
Personally, I've been proud to be a Democrat lately. Watching you and Senator Murray and Governor Gregoire speak, meeting President Carter, watching you make such a compelling case for your administration's accomplishments on The Daily Show last night, all of it has restored the pride I thought I'd lost in my party. I hope that the predictions and the polls are wrong. I hope that Democrats get two more years to prove that we're not completely spineless. Because, as much as they confuse me, we're probably going to need those undecided voters in 2012.