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I find this whole notion of "belief" to be mysterious.
I do not. In order to convince yourself to spend time and money promoting a politician - that will personally be rewarded if elected, while you will not - and spend that time and money convincing others, many need to suspend their disbelief in the system.
Most of us thought Obama was exactly who he presented himself to be, a moderate, cautious, reformer within the framework of the Democratic party
Citation needed on "most". No, but seriously it would be interesting to see polls, in particular if any is done on Obama volonteers.
As you know, I think the Obama campaign did a great job promoting Hope&Change in such a way as to get people to project their own dreams upon the campaign. Not so great job dealing with the inevitable disappointment though.
A vote for PES is a vote for EPP!
A vote for EPP is a vote for PES!
Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
The other weird thing about the disappointeds is that most of them are highly engaged, at least emotionally, in the political process, but they don't seem to understand the basics of how either the formal or informal power structure works. The US system give legislative power to Congress and Congress is elected via open primary and then general election - locally by state or district. Thus, Congress is not at all beholden to the President. There is no party list. For example, Mary Landrieu is a powerful senator from Louisiana who knows that Obama received 40% of the vote from her state - to be re-elected she must appeal to a conservative electorate (and to local powers in the oil industry). So a President has some leverage, but not the ability to force votes - especially a Democrat who does not have organized business groups to assist. In recent US history, neither Jimmy Carter nor Bill Clinton were too successful getting liberal legislation through the Congress. So that's the formal problem. Of course the informal problem is that no US president can simply defy the actual power elite- the corporates, the imperial military, the permanent government - he or she must try to form alliances, to split opponents etc. What I have found most odd about the "disappointeds" is that many of them claim to be on the left, but have absolutely credulous theories about how the imperial system works - e.g. "the President is the commander in chief, he can just order the military to do so and so".
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