There are two numbers just published that can spell big trouble for the Democrats this election year. By contrast, there is one number that could save us.
Let's take the bad news first. The rate of new jobs fell in March way below the heartening gains in the prior three months, per the figures just released by the Department of Labor. Back in December when the first good job numbers appeared, I warned that they could evaporate quickly. (Sometimes I hate being right!) The reported 120,000 in new jobs in March was way below the 200,000+ of each of the three prior months. Worse, it was only half what "experts" were predicting. This is very threatening because Obama's re-election and the prospects for the rest of the Democratic candidates rest largely on the PERCEPTION the economy is improving. Just a perception that there's a hiring slow-down can kick the wheels out from under consumer confidence with bad results for goods demand and thus jobs in future months.
The second bad number is the drop in new voter registrations in Florida. Compared to this time in 2008, new registrations have fallen by more than half. This means the Democrats may have ALREADY lost the equivalent of half of the winning margin of votes that Obama had in Florida in 2008. (The margin was only 200,000 out of about 8 million cast.)
As we all recall from 2000, Florida can decide an election, just as Ohio did in 2004 with only a 60,000 margin for George W, much of which can be attributed to Ohio's GOP state government playing nasty games with voters so that there were fewer polling places in heavily Democratic areas. Some poor Democratic souls waited 22 hours in lines to vote in Ohio in 2004. Many more gave up and left.
The one good number in the face of bad numbers, including the millions coming at us in GOP super pac dollars, is that there are millions of US. We are the answer. It will be our diligent campaign efforts and our hard-earned, small contributions that win this election. This time around WE are the hope and the change. If Obama is re-elected, plus we regain a Democratic House and hold the Senate, he can finish putting into place much more of that change we hoped for, so much of which was stymied by the GOP since 2008.
He promised this week to "fight every single day" to win this election and secure our vision of fairness as opposed to the Romney-Ryan-Rush-Limbaugh vision of this country. Unless we help Obama win we are headed into an American Apocalyspe that will be dreadful. The GOP economic blueprint, with its disproven policies, will take us into a Great Crash and Great Depression that will make the 1930s look like a kids' picnic. That's just for starters; the rest of the destruction I leave to your imagination vis-a-vis environmental issues, women's rights, civil rights, income distribution, regulation of food and drugs, and the safety of our air and water.
And there will be war. The GOP has made plain it's just itching for another war. If it's against Iran, it could be a nuclear war. Don't forget that Israel has nuclear weapons.
Nobody is coming to save us or save Obama. The great lesson of his life, and for all of us, is just that. No Big Daddy is coming to smooth our way, his or ours, as did George Romney for Mitt Romney. What we want, we are going to have to get for ourselves, just as Obama earned his own way out of food-stamp-level poverty to the highest office in the world.
If we want this election and a decent future, WE have to go out there and GET IT! Not some hazy Democratic Party, not the fat cat Demos. US!
We are the US in USA! We are the 99%! We are the singers of the songs.
Let it not be the funeral dirge of America that we sing now or in the future. At this season of the year, let's instead borrow from that other celebratory season of Hanukkah the wonderful song of Peter, Paul and Mary: "Don't Let the Light Go Out!", here greatly edited:
"Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years.
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.
Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn't die....
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand....
We have come this far always believing
That justice would always prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail...."
You can hear Peter, Paul and Mary sing this great anthem on your computer. Do it! We are the people of song and hope.
The GOP and the super rich have no songs. No Peter, Paul and Mary. No Woodie Guthrie. No Pete Seeger. All they have is money. They don't stand a chance against us.
I've learned in my seventy-six years that the people of songs and the dreamers of dreams always win in the long run. Provided they try. Together.
Yes, we can.