Why a Soccer Momma for Obama Hung Up Her Cleats

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  • radicalhousewife

    This article captures what I’ve felt ever since the Stupak debacle, and what I continue to hear from my women friends.  I no longer identify as a Democrat, first and foremost–I’m a liberal and proud of it.  This election cycle I gave directly to my preferred candidates, both Democrat and Green, and vowed that I would no longer give to the party machinery again.  

    I hope that Obama hears you…and the rest of us, too.

  • jill-miller-zimon

    Jodi, this is such a superb post.  I bet you cover a very broad range of voters’ experiences and current sentiments – and I know from my facebook page that their reading your entry is making them vote.  You can’t put a price on that. :)

  • darline-tunerlee

    I just read Ms. Jacobson’s post over breakfast and had a very familiar gnawing in the pit of my stomach. Ms. Jacobson has expressed so much of the frustration that my husband and I have discussed time and time again about the democratic leadership and President Obama in particular. The prospect of this upcoming election is nothing less than nauseating for me, knowing that any sort of social change that was even a potential is about to be overturned, shelved or blatantly thrown out into the garbage! And as Ms. Jacobson and others have rightly stated, Democratic leadership has no one to blame for it but themselves.


    For me there have been so many moments when President Obama could have put his foot down and didn’t that I can’t even mention them all. I had written this comment outlining all of the shortfalls of this administration, but to what avail? The election tomorrow is likely going to be a blood bath and “we the people” are going to pay for it.


    Unless we stand up and say no, and then hold our leadership’s feet to the fire. I can completely understand how Ms. Jacobson and others feel disenchanted. To have worked so hard in support of President Obama’s vision of change and to have little to nothing to show for it at this point in time is discouraging to say the least. Who would want to go back out there and “fight the good fight”?


    But we must. Despite our anger, disillusionment and frustration, we all have to get out there and continue to fight-and that means encouraging liberals and independents to get out there and vote-preferably for liberal ideals. The stakes are just too high. If Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul and their cohorts all get elected into office, we can surely say good-bye to access to birth control, access to safe and accessible abortions, access to health care for low income families, work place equity for women and a whole host of other social issues we progressives hold near and dear. Ms. Jacobson you answered the call two years ago and for your service, I for one thank you. But don’t wave the white flag quite yet. For despite the gaffs, despite the missed opportunities and despited the complete and total  “F-ed” up mess this administration has made these past two years, keeping many of them in office and holding their noses to the grindstone to promote and push forward the progressive agenda is going to be a lot easier than coming back after the Conservatives and Tea Party Patriots knock us down, strip us of our civil rights and social programs and leave many of us clinging on for dear life. The picture really isn’t pretty any way you look at it, but change never is (remember Women’s Suffrage? The Civil Rights Movement?). We can argue that our current leadership doesn’t have the backbone that our historical leaders demonstrated and we may be right. Change hasn’t come yet and yes, this is discouraging. But if we throw in the towel now and abandon what little progress has been made, it most certainly never will.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Dear Darline,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful note.

    I want to underscore, however, that I am not so much throwing in the towel (I am in effect constitutionally incapable of doing so, no pun intended).  I totally agree with the fact that we all have to fight and vote and fight.  And the idea of a Tea Party victory anywhere, not to mention the current leadership of the Rs is terrifying to me.

    My point is really with the Democratic party and how deeply they take for granted all the people that aput them where they are.  And how much of a boys club they are.  The example of Jennifer Brunner, a fantastic potential candidate who was shoved out of the race for a man who had no “provens” and is no going to get trounced is just one example of where I think the party DOES NOT GET IT.  The fact that with the majorities in Congress we had the past two years that we have not done some of the things we now may never do, the party just does not get it. So I have given up on the party.  For now.  And I am supporting and working for individual candidates.  That is where my money is going, that is where my calls are going, that is where my energy is going.

    I do not advocate anyone sitting home.  I advocate everyone making calls, getting people out to vote, helping others get to the polls, etc. 

    But we are digging ourselves out of a hole this election that we should not have been in; when we should have been building upon a strong base to do the best for this country.  that is my point and i could no longer hold it back. 

    Hope that makes sense.  And, if someone like Sherrod Brown or Hilary Clinton challenges Obama for election, at this point unfortunately i would have to say taht I will be there with them.



  • stevenjbailey

    Jodi this is one of the best articles I have read this year. You state so well what many are feeling. I believe that President Obama is doing the job he was put in place to do. I believe that our country was poised for another dramatic shift as it was with FDR and with Reagan (not my preferred direction). President Obama is doing everything possible to make sure nothing challenges the current power structure. I wish he had ever thought about working that hard for the people who voted for him.

    Once again – Great article!

  • bluesun


    For my entire voting life (I am now past 62 years of age), I was a registered Democrat.  I often thought that the Democratic party, especially since 1993, was not representative of my views (or most of its grassroots) and periodically voted for third party candidates or wrote in “None of the above.”  Usually, when I did vote for Democratic candidates, I would have to hold my nose and convince myself I was voting for the “lesser of two evils.” However, since the current administration and congressional leadership has come into power, I have changed my registration to Independent, and, though I will never vote for a Republican (lest the ghosts of my ancestors come back to haunt me), I very much doubt I’ll vote Democratic any more. 

    These days, we are faced with a choice between a party that is increasingly way out on the very edge of the reactionary right-wing fringe wackaloon territory, or a party so cowardly and incompetent that, even with big majorities in the House and Senate, and possession of the White House, is letting the discredited Republicans we just got rid of control the political agenda.    If the majority Democrats can’t stand up for traditional Liberal, Progressive, and Left principles that, from FDR to LBJ, were responsible for virtually every great Democratic achievement, then the best thing the grassroots can hope for is a clean sweep of RepublicoCrats out of office, and a chance to rebuild around true Democratic ideals and policies. 

    In a party that caters to Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, and Blanche Lincoln (not to mention Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins), while undermining, marginalizing, and ridiculing true progressive Democrats like Russ Feingold and Dennis Kucinich, what value are they to the majority of the Democratic base that worked so hard to put them into power?

    If this puts the right-wing wackaloons into power in Congress for the next two years, so be it.   It is actually easier to organize against a true evil, as opposed to supporting the “lesser of two evils.”  The Democratic leadership that has completely shut out their entire liberal/progressive wing in a naive and deluded attempt to placate the vicious jackels of the GOP needs to learn there is a price to pay for not representing the interests of those who put them into power.   And, we voters must learn that the “lesser of two evils” is still, by definition, evil. 

    John Quincy Adams got it right when he said:

    “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

    When you vote against somebody, the recipient of your vote is entitled to assume you are supporting his or her objectionable policies, as opposed to voting against the opponent’s even more objectionable policies.  I will never again vote for somebody unless they are, as our Forefathers intended, prepared to be my virtual voice in Congress, our virtual Jeffersonian town hall.

    So, we either vote for an existing third party (like the Greens or Democratic Socialists), or we write in “None of the Above.”  It will mean two more years of the GOP attempts to turn our country into a third world plutocracy – but then, they were succeeding in this without effective Democratic resistence  even when they were in the minority over the past few years. 

    Hopefully, that will give progressives and their allies two years of organizing the people against the truly destructive policies (or non-policies, since Boehner says their only objective will be undermining Obama for 2012, and not fixing any of the country’s crises), and we will either be able to reform the Democratic party into something resembling its old mold, or create a viable Social Democratic party to replace the spineless, unprincipled hacks who now run the party ever more to the Right, while sucking on the Corporate money teat.

    I can’t see anything good coming from keeping the dysfunctional Democratic party of today in power – it’s not like they can or will do anything effective to oppose the Right, anyway.  Off with their heads.  Viva la Revolucion!





  • gina-crosleycorcoran

    Ah – so YOU’RE one of the reasons that Hillary isn’t in office! :) I suppose we can only imagine now what the Clintons would have done about our financial crisis and our healthcare crisis.  Would we have needed a “Not Under the Bus” campaign with a Clinton in office?

    Two years ago I saw this day coming – the day that hardcore Obama supporters would feel sorely disappointed by the promises never kept.  And here we are.  Now what?

  • liberaldem

    I understand your feelings, but I think that the liberal, progressive wing of the Democratic party is dead, and I truthfully don’t see its resurrection in the near future.

    As long as big money can create phoney “grassroots” protest groups, spend without any limits, or public disclosure, our country is stuck in a loop of mediocrity.

  • julie-watkins

    My former friend was livid against Barak for stealing what should have been Hillary’s, and she had all sorts of accusations of how he unfairly gamed the primaries and Hillary would keep promises and Barak wouldn’t. My friend could argue circles around me so I just walked away. I did agree there was a double standard with the media, and some male commentators made very sexist (even threatening) comments about how Hillary should be forced to give up if she wouldn’t “do the right thing” and quit. But the way the system is, I don’t see how Hillary would have been any better. Democrats were all fired up when there was a Republican majority, but when the Democrats got a majority, what they delivered wasn’t up to their former hype. They’re politicians, & bought by big business. Any gains for the little guys has to bought with corporate welfare bribes to big business. Gag.


    That isn’t to say I didn’t vote, but as the income/wealth gap gets wider we’re going to have to fight harder just to loose ground less quickly.

  • colleen

    Would we have needed a “Not Under the Bus” campaign with a Clinton in office?

    Yes. absolutely.


  • jodi-jacobson

    Yes, I do believe we would have had to keep the pressure on Clinton as well, though perhaps not quite as much.

    To be very honest and having worked directly on legislation and as an advocate for many years, there have been many times that i have seen female Dem leaders throw women under, especially in ways that would never have reached the papers but if you were working on legislation you would know.

    This is a more complicated set of issues, but….every politician needs accountability; many of the groups that represent “issues” inside the beltway are far too close to the politicians and cave too quickly on the issues; hence the Democratic party goes toward the interests of the party and the politicians, not the interests of the issues and the people, and unless and until we have both individuals and organized groups fighting as hard as possible and keeping our politicians accountable–no excuses–for fighting as hard as they can on our issues we will continue to be pulled downward. It’s a different level of analysis to this same problem, much deeper.

  • prochoiceferret

    Yes, I do believe we would have had to keep the pressure on Clinton as well, though perhaps not quite as much.


    Hillary might not have been much better than Obama as far as progressive credentials go, but one big thing in her favor is that she’s willing to break heads. Obama lost the game because he compromised and pussyfooted about his agenda in the foolish hope that it would win him props from the other side. Clinton, more than most people, would have known better than that.

  • deboldt

    Why Jodi will not be working for the Democrats and why I will not be voting for any of them today is well expressed in this article.  Unfortunately the situation is even worse than she suspects.  Obama promised to be a part of the solution.  Instead he has deserted the people who elected him and has gone whole hog to the other side (the industrialists, the mortgage defrauders, the polluters, the bankers, the capitalists, the warmongers, the infanticides, the murderers, the rapists, the torturers, the spies, the lobbyists, big pharma, big HMO, the nukes, big coal, big oil, etc.)  I think he always was on their side anyway.  He just lied to us.  It is hard to know how to respond to his statement that we need to be patient with our desire for change–when he is moving aggressively against the very change we elected him to effect.  He seems to put the lie to Lincoln’s adage that you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.  Well, at least Jodi and I are no longer fooled.


    Bob Boldt

    Until they make a third party fully legal, with all the rights and privileges of the other 2 right wing parties that so dominate our political landscape, I will not be voting.

  • gina-crosleycorcoran

    Yes, and what’s so interesting about that is that everyone on the other side insisted that Hillary couldn’t work with people – couldn’t unite them. On more than a zillion occasions people insisted that she’d divide this country, that she wasn’t diplomatic enough.

    And then, Obama made her Secretary of State.  THE Diplomat between us and other countries.

    Meanwhile, he has managed to sharply divide his own supporters.  Oh… the irony is palpable.

    Rewinding two and a half years is still not an option, right?

  • marjoriesigner

    I remember running into Jodi at the Iowa caucuses, where she was passionately talking to voters waiting in line in an organized, focused way (with a clipboard no less) and we Hillary supporters were running around trying to figure out what was going on, without talking points or clipboards. Jodi – sorry to hear your disappointment (and thanks for your help in my state of Virginia). 

    As the saw goes, politics is the art of the possible. In my opinion, Obama was too immature and unseasoned to be president. He and his advisers knew how to organize, esp. online, and how to develop a message, but effective governing takes more experience. I’m sorry for those who came under his spell and are disappointed, but I’m glad he beat McCain. Maybe Hillary could have beat McCain – maybe she has more backbone and could stick to her principles. But it’s hard – politicians are all about getting elected and re-elected.

    Politics is a continuum. Elections react to each other – they bounce off what happened a year before and what is going on at that very moment. I don’t believe that politics is a natural fit for purists or idealists – we belong in the advocacy world, pushing from the outside. In my experience, we sacrifice a lot by being on the outside – we seem like obsessive kooks sometimes, we have little infrastructure, we get obnoxious (or at least I do). Obama is a mixture of idealist and realist and maybe that’s why his words today lack the evangelical fire and inspiration of the true believer.

    I think health care reform is by and large a disappointment – but I’m glad people with “pre-conditions” can get insured. 

    What I want to know. most of all, is why women-specific issues are always (or so it seems) sacrificed. That is what we need to work on.

    Thank you to everyone out there who keeps on trying to figure this out, despite our disappointments. 


  • notsleepy

    ‎”If the Dems lose big on Tuesday, it’s not because they are too liberal…”

    Right. Keep on believing that.