Have Dems Given Up on the 2014 Midterm Elections?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like Democrats have decided to look past the 2014 midterm elections. I’m not sure about the validity of recent polling that indicates that Democrats are in line to take significant losses in November, but their lack of enthusiasm and urgency concerns me. Why? Because I see President Obama tirelessly out on the stump almost everyday setting the stage as he addresses what has to be an already decided wedge issue for November. But yet I don’t see many Democrats pushing the same issues with the 2014 midterms in mind.

Instead, all I hear about is Hillary Clinton and 2016.

There’s hardly any talk about the need for an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 — which will greatly improve the lives of low-wage workers and their families– as well as, the need to build a stronger middle class by the creation of jobs and opportunity for all. But seriously, where’s Hillary?

However, at least to me, it looks like with the exception of POTUS, everyone is simply looking past the midterms in anticipation of the coronation of Hillary Clinton. Which if you ask me, seems a bit dangerous when you consider the implications of Obama being a lame duck as he waits to pass the baton to someone else in 2016. I mean, should Clinton become the nominee and win the presidential elections, what good would it do to hand her the same intransigence?

And while doing this, there is very little talk about the 2 million people who have been kicked to the curb since December, all thanks to Republican politicians with an unwillingness to compromise and extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. Here’s a newsflash: Long-term unemployment is at historic levels — it is at its highest level since it has been recorded in 1948. But it’s as though they — the Democrats — aren’t counting on the votes of the aforementioned unemployed Americans who have lost the lifeline that is unemployment insurance.

You know, the 2 million people struggling to live:

According to a 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office, Social Security is the government program people turn to most often after exhausting unemployment benefits. But the share who do so is relatively small, just 18 percent. An additional 6 percent apply for disability insurance, and just 3 percent use government aid designed for families and children.

 

Regardless of whether they qualify for government help, the vast majority also rely on private sources of income — a mishmash of personal savings, odd jobs, credit card debt and loans from friends and family, the report found. About half also live in two-person households without children, which means they are more likely to have another income to rely on.

 

Still, those varied sources of cash typically are not substantial, the GAO said: Four in 10 people who had exhausted unemployment benefits in 2012 earned less than twice the federal poverty level — or less than $22,340 a year.

 

“It’s not like they’re trying to maintain their lifestyle,” said Rutgers University professor Carl Van Horn, who is researching long-term unemployment. “They’re trying to survive at a lower standard of living.” (source)

This week, Obama introduced his 2014 fiscal budget which includes an expansion of the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) for low-wage workers; an expansion of the child tax credit, and more. The budget calls for increases in revenue by closing loopholes which benefit the wealthy. Ironically, there hasn’t been much talk from pundits and politicians about Obama’s budget proposal. The silence in the wake of the new budget is so deafening, one has to wonder if it is even a thing.

obama-facepalm (1)But I suppose with the lack of political will, like the 2 million cut off from unemployment benefits, Obama’s budget and enthusiasm for the 2014 midterms by Democrats are both invisible. What this means for the rest of Obama’s term, is that we’re fucked.

But then again, haven’t we gotten used to this by now?