I went around knocking on doors for the state Democratic Party last weekend.  For the second time this month, no less.

This makes a total of two times I’ve canvassed in, oh, the last decade or so, so I suppose you could credit it to the persuasiveness of the friend who talked me into it.  But maybe it’s also part of the apparent dead-cat bounce diminishing of the year-long enthusiasm gap among Democratic voters as the election approaches.

Not that the party in power in the White House and both houses of Congress has done anything to deserve greater loyalty, of course.  The economic stimulus didn’t get any bigger, the healthcare bill didn’t get any less watered-down or corporate-friendly, and gays didn’t get any more equal.

But every time Democrats do their damnedest to demonstrate that there’s no useful distinction between them and the Republicans, the GOP becomes determined to step up its game to prove that oh, yes, there is a difference between the parties.  Or at least that’s how it seems, amid the tsunami of brazenly dishonest corporate-financed campaign ads, and the new, Juan Williams-inspired movement to enshrine anti-Muslim bigotry as a founding principle of the Constitution.

There’s been an impassioned conversation in this Seminal post yesterday and today about the plausibility of working for progressive change within the Democratic party.  As far as that goes, I’m agnostic — I don’t know what approach will work; making the Democrats in office more responsive to the base that elects them is a Rubik’s cube we haven’t solved.  But I know that each time they get power, Republicans do their best (see Citizens United) to move progressive policies even further outside the Overton window, diminishing the possibility that anything we do inside the existing party structure, or outside of it, will have any effect on their goals.

So I’ll be voting Democratic in the next week and a half, and urging others to do the same.  Not because I’m sure it will do any good, but because I’d at least like to buy us a bit more time.