“We have a quandary,” Jones said Saturday night. “We know we’re supposed to be fired up, and we know we’re supposed to be ready to go. But we’re pissed off! We’re mad. And we have reason to be. … Somebody said, ‘I feel like I’m caught between Barack and a hard place.’”

Jones urged the progressive base to be “twice as committed and twice as passionate as we were in 2008,” calling on them to both work to reelect Obama and “hold the president accountable to progressive values.”

“We have to have a president who’s willing to be moved, and you have to have a movement that’s willing to do the moving. And we have not had both at the same time,” he said.

But even as he called on activists to rally behind the president, Jones backed up his argument with a list not of reasons to be enthusiastic about Obama, but rather of reasons to oppose Republicans, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“The last election was a hope election,” he said. “This one might be a fear election. They’re scared of us. We should be terrified of them. When they get power they use it to decimate us. Look at what they did in the state houses. They didn’t run on destroying the unions. … They decapitated our unions.”