Why Is Rick Snyder Governor? Some Dems Stayed Home on Election Day

In Sunday night's Democratic Presidential debate, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton agreed that to accept his responsibility for the poisoned water crisis in Flint, Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, should resign:

Sanders repeated his call for the Republican governor to resign before Clinton spoke.

"Amen to that," she said.

"I agree, the governor should resign or be recalled. We should support the efforts of citizens trying to achieve that."

How did an unaccountable bozo like Rick Snyder get to be governor of Michigan in the first place? Too many Michigan Democrats stayed home on Election Day.

When I say "Michigan Democrats," I don't mean someone in Michigan who has a donkey tattoo on their forearm, or wears a locket around their neck with a picture of FDR. I mean people who, when they vote, generally vote for Democrats. If you ever voted for Barack Obama - fess up now, I did too! - then for the purposes of discussing elections, you are a Democrat.

I'm also talking about people who don't vote, but if you went to their house and asked them if they wanted an unaccountable bozo like Rick Snyder to be their governor, they would say no, but haven't yet been brought around to the idea that having this opinion imposes an obligation on them to vote on Election Day against unaccountable bozos like Rick Snyder.

I realize that some people object to the idea of calling people "Democrats" if when they vote - if they vote - they generally vote for Democrats. I call this condition "Democratic Party cooties phobia."

This is a real thing. I discovered it recently when knocking on doors in Iowa and Minnesota.

In Iowa, I door-knocked this guy who said he thought that Bernie Sanders is awesome, he wanted Bernie Sanders to win. But he wasn't planning to go to the caucus to support Bernie. "I'm an Independent," he said proudly. "If I went to the caucus, I would have to register as a Democrat."

In Minnesota, I door-knocked this guy who told me, "Well, I'm really more of a Republican, but I do prefer Bernie to any of the other candidates."

"Listen," I whispered conspiratorially. "If you go to the Democratic caucus just this one time, I promise you won't get Democratic Party cooties. I won't tell!"

He laughed. "OK, good!" he said. But the funny thing was, there was real relief in his face! He really was afraid of something. Maybe he was afraid his drinking buddies would find out and taunt him. "Hey everybody! You'll never guess who voted Democrat! Joe is a Democrat, Joe is a Democrat, na na na na na!"

In Sunday night's Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders acknowledged that Hillary Clinton hasn't been the only Democrat in human history to support corporate trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP. Here's another: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee. DWS was one of only 28 House Democrats to vote for Fast Track for the TPP. What do you think we should do about that?

Van Jones noted on CNN recently that some folks are more into a culture of protest than they are into a culture of helping turn out the vote.

This is something that we can and must change. A key step in the political revolution is a revolution of values. And one of the revolutionary values is promoting a culture of participation and engagement. And that certainly includes voting; not just in general elections, but also in primaries and caucuses.

So, Michigan Democrats, your turn to ante up. You can find your polling place here.