Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What did we learn tonight?

BOSTON — Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, rode an old pickup truck and a growing sense of unease among independent voters to an extraordinary upset Tuesday night when he was elected to fill the Senate seat that was long held by Edward M. Kennedy in the overwhelmingly Democratic state of Massachusetts.

So what lesson should we take from this?

First off, something we already know: a bad candidate who runs a bad campaign is likely to lose. Everywhere you turn you see how bad the Coakley campaign was: refusing to stand outside of Fenway Park and shake people's hands; not calling the Democratic mayor of Boston until last week; going on vacation three weeks before the election.

Second, not the lesson Evan Bayh wants us to learn: that Democrats have to become just like Republicans. Harry Truman said it: "Given the choice between a Republican and a Republican, the people will vote for the Republican." In other words, surrendering to them means that we win nothing, not even a meaningless vote in the whip count.

Third,can Obama finally get the point? Trying to be bipartisan and work with the R's has gotten him absolutely nothing. He keeps losing. If he is going to lose anyway, why not go down fighting for the people, instead of competing to see who can win the blandness competition?

Fourth: we thought things were bad in Congress before? You haven't seen anything yet. The Republican program in Congress consists of two items: 1. Block anything the Democrats try to do; 2. Lie about everything the Democrats do or say. # 1 just got a lot easier.

Finally: pointing out that the Republicans are lying is not enough. The fight is more than that. We have seen that people are all too receptive to Republican lies. We need to get our own story out there. The Obama story was a great story, but it's not the only great story we have as Democrats.

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Anonymous Kendall said...

How can you say Obama is "Fighting for the people" when a central plank Brown ran on was that he would end Obamacare and he won - in Massachusetts?

It seems rather more accurate to say, Obama is "Fighting the people" as he tries to push the current health care bill through, and that as long as he insists on fighting against the majority will he (and the Democrats) will suffer a string of ever-greater defeats and losses. The thing you must remember about the nuclear option, is that the political blast radius is very large indeed...

January 20, 2010 2:16 AM  
Blogger Jack McCullough said...

There you go, lying about the program like other Republicans.
You are right that the R's have been remarkably successful in distorting the record and deceiving the voters about what health care reform will do for people. You might be Exhibit A in this effort, in fact.

January 20, 2010 7:16 AM  
Anonymous JD Ryan said...

Two words. Democratic incompetence.

Nothing more. Bush got everything he wanted, even without a majority. Obama gets almost nothing, even with a supermajority. This healthcare nonsense.. what a shitty plan, as it doesn't go nearly as far as it should have. Is it any wonder the Dems are staying home?

The man avoids conflict at all costs. Carter redux.

I definitely don't buy into the "Dems need to be more conservative" bullshit. They need to stand up for something, something they seemingly have not been able to do for 40 years now. 2010 is going to be a bloodbath. You think the last 10 years have been bad, just wait till the next 10.

January 20, 2010 9:48 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I lived in Mass. for ten years and want to point out something that's overlooked. Republican candidates DO win in statewide elections in NE "blue" states. Look at the governors' offices.

Ms. Coakley and her advisers were stupid to think they could coast into the job.

January 25, 2010 6:36 AM  

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