By Bill Fletcher, Jr
(1) There is almost always a low turnout during a midterm election and the party which controls the White House tends to lose. This is definitely true but should not let us off the hook.
(2) The Democratic base largely stayed home except in certain important races, such as in North Carolina. I think that we have to face the reality that the base that would be expected to vote Democratic was dis-spirited. It is not just the ads that the Republicans ran. The Obama administration has not led in a progressive direction. There are certainly some major accomplishments, but there had been great expectations by many that after the 2012 election he would come out swinging. I never had such expectations, but many people did. Instead the administration continued to be stuck in various crises but also was not articulating a clear direction. The Republicans were able to make Obama out to be the problem despite certain important facts, e.g., the economy has improved; troops had been pulled out of Iraq.
(3) Though the economy has improved, the condition for the average working person has not. Yes, unemployment is down but we are still dealing with structural unemployment that is weighing on everyone. The damage from the foreclosure crisis is far from over. And the rich are the ones who are benefiting from the improved economy. To turn any of this around masses of working people need to be organized to fight for a division of the wealth. Yes, that means building and supporting labor unions. But when the President does not make that a clarion call–except when speaking with union members–he has no answer to the public that is asking for their share.