Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reactions to Massachusetts

Yeah, it sucks that we lost our 60th vote, but really, what did 60 get us last year? It empowered Joe Lieberman, gave cover to Blanche Lincoln, provided excuses to Harry Reid, and gave a free pass to Max Baucus.

Now we don't have 60. And like the Republican Senate of the 2000s, if Democrats want to get anything done, they'll have to do it via reconciliation.

Given last year's track record in the Senate, it certainly can't make the Senate any less effective.

-- Markos

If “Scozzafava’d” (having a candidate endorse the other Party’s candidate) is still a verb in the political lexicon, then I believe “Coakley’d” (taking victory for granted while your opponent campaigns his heart out) should be a verb as well. The conclusion I’m coming to is that Coakley may have been a fine public official, but she was a terrible candidate. Brown’s campaign made all the right moves to take advantage of this special election situation. Meanwhile, Coakley gaffed it up and stayed inside where it was warm (19 events compared to Brown’s 66 events ...)

The lesson for progressives: work hard and don’t take anything for granted. The lesson for elected Democrats: when you have a mandate from the people, use it or lose it.

The silver lining (beyond the fact that Joe Lieberman is joyfully irrelevant once again) is that Texas Democrats don’t take anything for granted.

-- "Coakley'd", from Lubbock Left

The best part of the Democratic loss in Massachusetts is that the pitiful Senate health care bill will now probably die the ugly death it deserves. The only chance it has to survive is for the House progressives to knuckle under and accept the Senate bill as it is, and I don't think they'll do that. At least, I hope they don't.

If they do give up and accept the terribly flawed Senate bill, then the Democrats will suffer in the November elections, and they'll richly deserve it. The American people put the Democrats in power to affect real change in this country, and so far the Democrats have failed to deliver on that promise.

-- Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger

For the sake of our country, I hope this turn of events serves as a wake-up call to President Obama and his advisors. Barack Obama did not win the presidency by calling out for caution and incrementalism. We all know this. He won the presidential election because he inspired a significant winning margin of voters with his bold calls for hope and change. Yet for Obama's first year in office his message to the populist base that gave him a mandate was, "Don't expect too much". The audacious, ringing cry "Yes we can!" turned into the cautious admonition, "No we can't".

-- David Van Os

It’s no secret that the voter unrest is driven by D.C.’s failure to understand the breadth and depth of the nation’s economic anxiety. Some pundits want to say the Massachusetts outcome was anti-health care reform. But that’s not it. The problem is reform hasn’t passed, it doesn’t go far enough. Combined with the perception that bankers and other Wall Street malefactors are getting off easy, the public wants to know why they are left outside on the ledge while the culprits enjoy martinis and big, plump-cushioned, comfortable chairs.

Looking at this from Texas, it’s good news that most Texas Democrats don’t suffer from East Coast smugness. They are, by and large, men and women of the people. Politics is personal, and individual needs and opportunities matter. This is the direction national Democrats should take. Screw the big powerful lobbyists. Get out on Main Street, listen to folk. Lead, but understand who you are leading.

-- Glenn Smith at Dog Canyon

Update: The last word from Jon Stewart.

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