Here's how I know it's gotten bad.
With a hankering for a sandwich, I strolled to my neighborhood Au Bon Pain for a wrap. I crossed the street and was flagged down by one of those clipboard-wielding survey-taking petition-proffering volunteers that patrol urban corners.
"Excuse me, do you have a min--"
"No I don't have time," I interrupted. And then I heard "--ute to help get rid of George W. Bush."
This is one of the few things—up there with champagne and gumball machines—that I always have a minute for. But what could I do? I'd already feigned a busy schedule and now, what? I suddenly remembered that I'm doing nothing? How embarassing.
So I proceeded on and bought my tasty wrap, but terrible guilt attended my every step. Jesus H. Christ, this poor guy is standing on the corner, putting in his time, trying to some good, and I'm too busy to take five seconds out of my day?
So I resolutely did an about-face and found the clipboard dude and said, "I changed my mind, I do have a minute to help get rid of George W. Bush."
He laughed. "You know, I've been getting a lot of that today."
And that is the true tale of how the DNC got $50 from me today. Which all by way of saying, if I'm putting my money where my mouth is when it comes to politics, things have gotten pretty seriously fucked.