by Max Brantley
It is hard for me to believe a liberal wouldn't be sufficiently engaged by the electoral prospect lying before us to vote this November. Good thing, because it is also hard for me to believe that President Obama will have much impact generating enthusiasm in that group, which was pretty thoroughly taken for granted in his first two years.
With four weeks until Congressional elections that will shape the remainder of his term, President Obama is increasingly focused on generating enthusiasm within the base that helped put him in the White House two years ago, from college students to African-Americans.
But Mr. Obama has aimed much of his prodding — and not a small amount of personal pique — at the liberals most deflated by the first two years of his presidency. Assuming that many independents are out of reach, White House strategists are counting on Mr. Obama to energize, cajole, wheedle and even shame the left into matching the Tea Party momentum that has propelled Republicans this year.
As he holds rallies aimed at college students and minority groups, sends e-mail to his old list of campaign supporters and prepares to host a town hall-style meeting on MTV, the president essentially is appealing to his liberal base to put aside its disappointment in him. Without offering regrets for policy choices that have angered liberals, Mr. Obama argues that the Republican alternative is far worse.
He's right, of course, and I think most liberals are smart enough to get it. Except some voting in the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas. But their numbers will be small, no matter how often ES repeats himself. Cue the rant.