More On "The Base" and Obama
Mark Blumenthal's post the other day noting continued strong support for Obama among self-identified "liberal Democrats" attracted a nuanced dissent from OpenLeft's Chris Bowers.
Bowers notes that there's evidence liberal non-Democrats have soured on Obama pretty strongly, and that even among liberal Democrats, levels of support as compared to 2008 voting percentages have dropped more than for any other major voting category.
Blumenthal responds today by arguing that the levels of liberal disaffection from Obama are far too small to constitute a "revolt" by the "base," and also suggests that approval ratings are a misleading barometer when it comes to liberal voters who would never consider pulling the lever for a Republican.
Aside from reporting the substance of this exchange, I would note that its tone represents something of a model for intraprogressive debates. Both Bowers and Blumenthal are respectful of each other's opinion, try to stick to empirical data, and acknowlege this is a continuing subject for legitimate debate, not something on which one side or the other can claim any definitive "win."