It's tough to sell the happy talk after a shellacking. For example, here's the tone of an e-mail that Mitch Stewart, director of Obama's Organizing for America, sent on Wednesday, seeking feedback on what went wrong this fall:
In the six months leading up to Election Day, supporters like you reached out to more than 80 million voters on phone lines and doorsteps across the country -- making the difference in dozens of key races.
And -- one conversation at a time -- the commitments to vote that you secured helped grow this movement. That kind of work transcends the results of a single election. Thank you.
Organizing for America started with you -- your voices, your ideas, and your feet on the ground.
And from the beginning, your vision for the future has propelled our work to move this country forward. From historic health insurance reform to the strongest consumer protections ever put in place, we have begun to make the change we envisioned a reality.
But we still have so much left to accomplish together. That's why now, with November's elections behind us and a new year on the horizon, we're planning our next steps. We can't do that without hearing from the people who brought us here -- supporters like you.
What followed was a fairly standard feedback survey, asking if the respondent followed Obama on Facebook and Twitter, if they felt OFA had been effective or ineffective this year (ahem), and what could be done better. For conservatives who spent the year amazed at how they would shove health "reform" down the country's throats, it sounds a little odd to read pandering sentences like this:
We've always known that big change doesn't begin with a top-down mandate -- it begins at the grassroots.
Um, yes, it did -- the conservative grassroots.