Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cause Endures! Right?


Okay, yes, we fielded an average candidate who ran a pisspoor, arrogantly loose campaign that deserved a spanking let alone defeat. Yes, we lost dear Ted's old seat. Yes, losing this seat may jeopardize the passage of real, comprehensive health care reform, thereby putting the President's signature domestic policy piece in question. Yes, it sucks.

But my friends on the blue side, while last night may have been rough for the party, I do not believe it was bad for democracy. Nor do I believe it is bad for the party in the long-run. In fact, it may even prove beneficial.

Scott Brown ran an excellent, charismatic, fiery campaign, one that was able to fill in a vacuous political hole left by the Coakley "machine" more than it was able to tap into (as the media meme goes) the deep, seething, restless voter "anger" towards a Democratic Washington (a Rasmussen poll revealed 53% of Massachusetts voters approved of President Obama on the eve of yesterday's election). Brown deserves the win and moreover deserves to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate, in spite of what Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann mouth off about on air. Brown won in a blue state because the blue side didn't show up to the fight; it was figuratively and literally on vacation.

I submit however that the worst part of this loss, more so than having to endure the media's incessant over-analysis (What does this mean for the Obama presidency?? Let's discuss. Almost makes you wish for another earthqu--I'M KIDDING), exclamatory headlines ("GOP STUNS DEMOCRATS","BAYSTATE BOMBSHELL", "BROWN TEABAGS COAKLEY"), and obligatory "inside reporting" on "what went WRONG in the cradle of liberalism?", is the gloating, both tasteful and classless, of my Republican friends. Though I can't blame them, really. On the eve of the one year anniversary of Hope and Change and Love and Peace, a Democratic stronghold state (though one with a penchant for electing token Republicans) replaces the liberal lion with a pickup truck driving wholesome Republican with subtle teabaggin' tendencies who has vowed a hearty NAY to defeat Obamacare and was down by 89 points like, two weeks ago. It's Waterloo. You couldn't write this shit.

It reminds me of a similar set of circumstances that the Democratic Party found itself in three and half years ago in the fall of 2006. With Democrats finally on the verge of making real gains in a Republican-controlled Congress, a Vietnam veteran, red-turned-blue, born fightin' Democrat by the name of Jim Webb was able to defeat an arrogant (and racist) Senator George "Macaca" Allen (a man born into a legendary, regionally beloved family) in the red state of Virginia, capping off a wild Election Day in which Democrats took back both chambers in dramatic fashion. Webb's win eliminated Republican control of the Senate. It took away a majority, not just a supermajority. That had to have hurt for Bush and the GOP. The next morning, Donald Rumsfeld resigned. Message delivered.

So while Republicans gloat, Democrats must ask themselves a few quest--You know what, nevermind asking questions, I'm gonna speak to y'all. This is real talk.

STFU and stop whining. Hearing liberals whine about losing a SUPERmajority by ONE vote is akin to watching bridezillas cry over not having a cake AND a dark chocolate fudge fountain at their reception on that insufferable wedding channel. I'm sick and tired of seeing my party get so damn frazzled over a loss. I've been sick and tired of seeing Democrats jump ship and join the "I Used to Believe in Obama" bandwagon simply because it's vogue. I don't recall when losing your testicles was "in," but it seems these days if you're a Democrat and you're not morbidly depressed over your former support for an empty shell of a man who lacks the fortitude of character and moral fiber to take a shit in the morning let alone close Guantanamo Bay, you're simply still drunk from the spiked Obama-Aid. It's astonishing to me that so many supporters of the man a year ago are unable to adopt the long, broad, laser-focused, and calm viewpoint that he himself possesses and that is all too often confused for aloofness or indifference. It's the same long view that drives this President to accomplish health care reform for the betterment of the country's fiscal and physical health, even if it means losing elections in the short-term over the immediate inconsequential and ultimately forgotten turbulence of large-scale change.

What's that Democrats? You're upset that reform hasn't been passed yet? I'm sure President Obama is really sorry about that, and I'm sure he'll apologize to you once he's done dealing with the perfect storm of seemingly insurmountable problems, unachievable expectations, and an unappeasable opposition that few if any presidencies have ever had to contend with. Disappointed that more hasn't been accomplished? I'll be sure to let the President know he missed a spot while he was mopping up the mess of two wars*, the greatest economic crisis to affect the world's largest economy in seventy years*, a shark-infested pool of special interests chomping away from all sides*, mountains of debt*, hell-bent jihadists*, and a sizable portion of his own population who either does not believe he is a capitalist, an American, or both.


While Charles Krauthammer et al. continue to write competing obituaries on the infantile Obama legacy, while the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts has signaled an epic, unstoppable sea-change that will sweep out every elected official with a "D" behind their name, while the President has yet to deliver on some of his key priorities not by any lack of effort, the people who were expected to rally around him to defend from unfair, hypocritical, and meritless criticisms have retreated and have even lowered their swords. Why? Because they didn't get an unnecessary public option? Because 30,000 more troops were sent to fight a war that was meant to be fought not forgotten? Because *GASP* deals with special interest groups were struck to accomplish a greater goal? Because unions weren't talked to nicely? And now because we squandered a chance to preserve an unhealthy and treacherous supermajority while never having to even look at a Republican again?

Bullshit. Let go of your ankles, pull your pants back up, and tell your Republican uncle you don't want to be touched like that anymore, for crying out loud. Stand up and defend what you worked so hard to enable. We are one. year. in. One year, folks. After Clinton's first year, liberal whiners wanted his head on a plate. Just. chill. Brown's election, and the subsequent losses our party is sure to take this November, should serve as a wake up call to the White House and Democrats in Congress. Stop taking shit for granted (like blue states), make more genuine efforts to gain Republican support (hard as that may be, unfortunately), meet deadlines that you set or don't set any at all, and reassure the American people that you are not governing for your sake but for theirs, lest you feel their true wrath.

I believe that as long as the GOP isn't electing ardent teabagging morons, the election of more Republicans (especially Republicans seeking re-election in liberal states like Massachusetts) will dilute the crazy, boiled-down, dumbfuck conservatism that's left in the Congress with more reasoned, moderate, respectable conservatism, one that is cooperative in its opposition (in other words, willing to compromise). I also believe that a lack of a supermajority, or the creation of necessity for more bipartisanship, will not only prove better for American democracy and for America, but will be better for Democrats. If this past year has proven anything, it's that no one party wants to be in complete power given today's difficult circumstances if it means having to shoulder the blame for everything that is going wrong. In his recent column in the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne aptly characterized quiet Republican sentiments concerning the coming to power of their counterparts during the worst economic crisis in seven decades: "It wasn't that [my Republican friend] liked Democratic policies. He just wanted the other side in charge when things came tumbling down."  Let's welcome more Republicans like Brown into the fold.  Let the American people take out their traditional anti-incumbent mood on a few vulnerable Democrats so that they feel as if they have righted the balance by diluting the one-party dominance that they have never believed to be good for our republic.  Let's write bills that gain Republican votes. Let's allow them some room to govern. For goodness sake, we have FIFTY NINE senators caucusing with us and a SEVENTY NINE seat majority in the House. I think we can spare a few seats if it means sharing more of the burden of responsibility, opening the other side to more accountability for their words and actions (which have often been nothing short of despicable as of late precisely because they fear no recourse). We will retain our majorities and retain the presidency, and after we take our lashings, we'll learn something and move on. Last night was but the tip of the whip.

When Bill Clinton's party took a drubbing in 1994, it changed his presidency for the better. We are one. year. in. One fourth of a term and one eighth of potential presidency. So,

Step into the rain:

1 comment:

  1. I had been meaning to read this post for some time now and finally did! Well-said for the most part and I'm glad you're not whining like others in your party and running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I don't think much can be concluded until the next election. Yes, it was a big seat to win, but the alternative sucked and the republicans won. Yes, we have two republican gubernatorial wins under our belt. But I'm not going to get souped over merely electing someone I prefer--they still have to so something worthwhile! Ok I think that's pretty much all I've got for now. Way to be level-headed, Rawlley.