Why Scott Brown won, health care implications, and what the election means

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 22:48


1. Why Scott Brown won
There were three key factors to a Scott Brown victory: national trends, relatively lower Democratic turnout, and Scott Brown as the superior candidate.

  • National Trends. Nationally, Democrats down 9% from 2008.  The current national House ballot shows Democrats ahead by 0.67%.  In 2008, they won by 9.65%.  Scott Brown needed a 26% swing from 2008, and got 9% of it from the national political environment.

  • Lower Democratic turnout. With the exception of Rasmussen, the generic ballot polls in the national House forecast are currently measuring "all adults" or "registered voters" instead of "likely voters."  When they start measuring "likely voters," current evidence indicates they will probably find another 2-3% swing in favor of Republicans, based on a relative lack of Democratic enthusiasm.

    The earliest polls on the campaign in January, UNH and Rasmussen, showed Coakley ahead by an average of 13%.  So, two weeks ago, Scott Brown was just where the national political environment and relatively low Democratic enthusiasm would have put him.

  • Running a better campaign.  Scott Brown made up the rest of the difference by being the superior candidate with the superior campaign.  The final On Message, Rasmussen, Cross Target, PPP and Research 2000 polls showed, on average, Scott Brown with a net favorable rating 18% higher than Coakley's.  That is the rest of the swing right there.
Given their relative numerical impact, ranked in terms of importance, the factors were: 1) Brown is the superior candidate, 2) national trends, 3) relatively lower Democratic turnout.

Feel free to postulate whatever unprovable, subjective and / or anecdotal explanation you like.  Make sure that this explanation fits into whatever preconceived notions you have about politics.  It is what everyone is doing, these days--now you can be cool, too!

****

What happens to health care, and what the election means, can be found in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: Why Scott Brown won, health care implications, and what the election means
2. What happens to health care?
There are now three viable options for health care reform:
  1. Health care reform fails.  Despite what people say, failure is always an option.  This is true no matter the endeavor in question, and no matter the stakes at hand.

  2. The House passes the Senate bill. Since the Senate has already passed a health care bill, the House could just pass that bill and send it to President Obama's desk.

  3. Reconciliation.  The House could also pass the Senate health care bill, but additionally tack on some of the subsidies, taxes, and even a Schumer public option or 55-64 Medicare buy-in through budget reconciliation.  It might be necessary to do this to win over some House Progressives.
It would seem that the #2 is the odds on favorite right now, with some extremely minor concessions to Progressive and Labor in the budget.

3. What does this mean for Democrats?
It means that the situation in the country sucks, and Democrats are in charge.  Unless Democrats pass legislation that will make the situation less sucky, they will get creamed in November.

If you think this is about bad messaging, or abstract ideological disagreement with how Democrats have governed, then you are just wrong:

If you think the political situation for Democrats would have been better if they had different messaging or passed different legislation, consider a simple hypothetical:

  • Over the past year, instead of saying and doing what they did, Democrats in D.C. and President Obama passed exactly the legislation, and engaged in exactly the sort of messaging, you suggest..

  • Despite doing this, current economic conditions are exactly the same as they are today.
In this hypothetical, if you think the political situation would be any different for Democrats than it is currently, then you are deluding yourself.

The political environment isn't difficult for Democrats right now because the country is opposed to what Democrats are doing in some sort of abstract, ideological and rhetorical sense.  The political situation is difficult because the economy sucks.  Period.

To reinforce this point, try and list the times when the economy was in a downturn, but approval of the governing party was in an upswing.  Outside of post-election honeymoons and the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, you simply are not going to find any examples.  At all.

If you are not facing scandals, and times are good, then you will be popular no matter what you pass into law.  This is about being in power when times are bad.

In order to pass legislation that will start to make the situation in the country better, and thus make themselves more popular, Democrats are going to have to get rid of the filibuster.  With the 60-vote Senate, there was never much of a chance to pass the legislation necessary to start the country in the right direction.  Now, there is even less of a chance--virtually none, really.

All Democratic leaders are going to have to ask themselves a question: do they want to make the country better, or are concerns over obscure arguments about the need for a "deliberative body" more important to them?  Would they rather be able to govern for the next three years, or are they afraid of a few news cycles where Republicans accuse them of not being bipartisan enough?

That is the choice that leading Democrats face right now.  Even though we can help organize and apply pressure, this is still fundamentally a choice the Democratic Senate caucus faces, not us.


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Beyond a bad campaign (4.00 / 2)
To say that Brown was a superior candidate understates the reality that I had the misfortune of witnessing in Massachusetts: a Coakley campaign that hid, that refused to advertise, that neglected to do basic opposition research, that got outworked, and outhustled.

For more see my blogpost: http://liebesphere.blogspot.com/

The Coakely campaign was so dormant for so long that I actually sent an email to the Coakley campaign in early January in which I asked if they would actually use the money if I made a contribution.


So, pathetic... (0.00 / 0)
...and the D.C. warned her, too!

You'd think that the history of MA not electing women statewide would have also played a role?  Ugh!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
shhhhhhhhhhhh (0.00 / 0)
we don't talk about gender.

[ Parent ]
Not sure (0.00 / 0)
I understand the Gender comment.  Massachusetts has had several women win statewide.

Having said that, I haven't lived in Boston for many years...


[ Parent ]
Brown played up sexism big time... (0.00 / 0)
It worked well with those blue collar dems that he was courting...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
Yeah, but that had to be expected. Also, IOKIYAR. (4.00 / 1)
Prolly nobody expected him to play fair and not trying to appeal to the prejudices of his target voters. The Coakley campaign should have been aware of this. And they prolly were. But is this the main reason why she failed so horribly? I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
Coakley campaigns (0.00 / 0)
as Obama governs.

[ Parent ]
You're too cool, Chris! (4.00 / 5)
Reason #1 Why Scott Brown won: Because he won!

This is all supported of course by empirical evidence, the only kind that counts. Scott Brown won because he was the superior candidate. We now know this is true...because he won!

Brilliant analysis, Chris. Sheez.


Well, that's a point that's troubling me, too. (0.00 / 0)
Brown was the superior candidat? How? Why?
Because of his superior policy ideas? Because of his superior nude pictures? Because of his superior TRUCK?

Really, more specific, pls, Chris! Neil is right on this - so far, you have only presented a circular argument for the alleged superiority. Not really convincing...


[ Parent ]
I think it means he was a better campaigner (4.00 / 6)
Held more campaign events, had a better stage presence, didn't act like he had it in the bag or it was his birthright, didn't go on vacation mid-campaign, knocked on more doors, kissed more babies, that kind of stuff.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
Brown had... (4.00 / 4)
...clear positioning, an understandable message and ruthlessly defined his opponent. Coakley had none of this.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
Also, Brown showed horrible stances on a large variety of issues. (4.00 / 1)
Did the voters wilfully ignore all this, hold their nose, and vote for him because of a single issue, health care? Wouldn't it been a better idea to stay at home, or write in "Ed Kennedy", or at least vote Joe Kennedy? Grrr.

I know this is arrogant, and not really helpful, but dammit, I'll never understand stupid voters. By electing a die hard right winger, they sent all the wrong signals to Wsshington. They're dumb, dumb, dumb.  


[ Parent ]
Applause (0.00 / 0)
it's like AA, first you have to admit you have a problem.

Now the question: are Leftist intellectuals going to reach out to "teabaggers", aka the people who benefit most from "socialism", and actually get them back on board?

Or shall we keep spitting on them?


[ Parent ]
It's the same with the AAA. They don't come if there's no problem! (0.00 / 0)
:D
Ok, seriously now, "teabaggers" is too general. That's a diverse crownd, and many of them are right wing extremists or fundamentalist evangeelicals who would never join forces with the "communist" "baby killers". There sure are other, more reasonable folks in that group, too, but how to identify and then approach them?

Also, if they happen to constantly annoy us pogressives with over the top propaganda slogans for Libertarians, is the pain in the ass really worth the effort?
:D


[ Parent ]
19 campaign stops dude. (0.00 / 0)
19.

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
Well, Coakley is not the first mediocre Democratic Senate candidate (0.00 / 0)
And MA has reelected lackluster Senate candidates repeatedly. John Kerry, e.g.

[ Parent ]
Yeah but he did the leg work- (4.00 / 3)
The ungodly cockiness of her campaign was breathtaking.  

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
She merely gives you a glimpse into the upper Democratic elite's (0.00 / 0)
mindset.

Horrifying, isn't it?

Time for a Humbling.


[ Parent ]
I volunteered for Kerry in 1990 (4.00 / 1)
His first reeelection and toughest race.  Kerry worked his ass off to hold that seat, wining by just about the identical margin to what Coakley lost by.

[ Parent ]
19 Versus 66! (0.00 / 0)
If you expect to be crowned and your opponent campaigns hard what does anybody think will happen?

When I saw that Coaxley made 19 campaign appearances between her nomination and the election while Scott Brown made 66 that tells me everything I need to know.

She took it for granted that she would be elected and never bothered to give anybody a reason to vote for her and no particular reason not to vote for her opponent.

In Colorado we are seeing Sen. Bennett doing exactly the same thing. He's practically invisible and will probably lose the election this fall because of it.

You can't win if you sit there wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak all day long!  


[ Parent ]
Unfortunately... (4.00 / 6)
In response to this:

"All Democratic leaders are going to have to ask themselves a question: do they want to make the country better, or are concerns over obscure arguments about the need for a "deliberative body" more important to them?  Would they rather be able to govern for the next three years, or are they afraid of a few news cycles where Republicans accuse them of not being bipartisan enough?"

Yeah, based on the responses I've been seeing so far, it kind of sounds like they just want to pack it in and, I guess, get demolished come November.  Now, maybe getting demolished come November is inevitable, but if that's the case they should actually just pass the stuff they think should be done.  Otherwise we're talking about getting demolished and having nothing to show for it anyway.


having something to show for it (4.00 / 12)
Oh, they will have something to show for it. They and their staffers and family members will have nice cushy private sector jobs waiting for them courtesy of the big corporations whom they served so well with their "ineffectiveness." They're the Washington Generals. They get paid to lose.

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
Hmm, I don't think so. (4.00 / 8)
   * Over the past year, instead of saying and doing what they did, Democrats in D.C. and President Obama passed exactly the legislation, and engaged in exactly the sort of messaging, you suggest..

   * Despite doing this, current economic conditions are exactly the same as they are today.

Oh, so if the Dems would have done what we suggested, the economy would still be a "jobless recovery"? Wait a moment, didn't we suggest a much bigger Keynsian job program here, and less bailout for the banks? Do you wanna say now, that wouldn't have worked?


this is what you get (2.67 / 3)
when your analysis is based on pieces of polling locked into disconnected cells.

As though political direction might influence policy which might influence the economy.  I don't know about the GDP, but the same GDP could occur with Wall Street rolling in cash and millions rolling in the streets, or you could get the same numbers with the stock market down but people's paychecks up.

Oh, but the filibuster ...

Obama had a people's machine, and the day after the election, he put it on the shelf.  If he had mobilized it, might that have made a difference?

If you say it wouldn't have made a difference, what are you saying about the prospects for basic democracy in America today?  Why should anyone ever lift a finger for the Democrats?

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...


[ Parent ]
Sry, but I don't understand what you're trying to say, Jeff. (0.00 / 0)
Maybe tomorrow, with a fresh mind. Off to bed now.

Sweet nightmares, everybody!
|-(


[ Parent ]
over-reliance on polling misses dynamics (4.00 / 3)
Misses connections, how one thing leads to another, how things relate.  It is at best a series of static models, but the key word is static.  He talks about a better economy, but with no substance to what a better economy would mean, for instance.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
You make (0.00 / 0)
too much sense. We both do.

Extraordinary progressive star in the making

[ Parent ]
I had the same thought upon reading this yesterday (4.00 / 9)
but then I thought 'if A had happen, B wouldn't have happen'

if obama had broken up a couple big banks, started a wpa program, and had a pecora commission that had thrown a couple bankers to jail the situation wouldn't be the same. unemployment could be high but people would've been more hopeful


[ Parent ]
Yeah, I don't get Chris's point. (4.00 / 3)
Why in the world would we advocate policies if they don't have a positive effect? Chris is fighting a straw man. Who is arguing that policies that don't help average Americans are going to win votes?

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
It's a hypothetical (0.00 / 0)
If those two conditions happened, is what he's saying.  Not that #1 would result in #2.

[ Parent ]
There are lags (4.00 / 1)
between the enactment of the stimulus and seeing its effects.  

Most people don't seem to understand that the goal of stimulus in Keynesian Economics isn't to replace all of the lost GDP, it is to restore "Animal Spirits", which Keynes used to describe the general restoration of business confidence.

Even if it was bigger, I am not sure at this point it would have made much of a difference.  It definitely would have made a difference in November, though, and more important a second stimulus would have averted the double dip recession talk that you here in some quarters for later this year.  


[ Parent ]
No, (4.00 / 8)
it matters who gets the money.

Money given to working people stimulates the economy because they spend it. Money given to the predators kills the economy because they hoard it. Obama chose the predators.

Montani semper liberi


[ Parent ]
Right,Sadie, that was only more of the failed trickle down policies! (4.00 / 2)
And that was idiotic. Everybody should have known then it doesn't really work. Beecause the point is to make the most of the sparse resource money by inserting it into the economy in a way that ensures the fastest possible circulation, thus taking advantage of mulitplication effects. And the people who are most likely to speed up the spending are those who lack moneys for their dire needs. They won't invest their bucks overseas, or insert it into the isolated Wall Street machine, they will buy stuff and directly fuel the industry! That's what's necessary now. Getting the best bang for the buck is essential!

[ Parent ]
Why Were There Tax Cuts In A Stimulus Bill Anyway? (0.00 / 0)
Tax Cuts have ZERO stimulative effect and everybody knows it.

If you pass a tax cut today when will a business receive the tax cut? When they actually pay their taxes, of course! When will the tax cuts passed in March 2009 go into effect? Sometime after April 2010 vat the earliest.

Really, after the business gets an extension to August the check will be mailed in sometime in September or early October 2010 after the IRS notifies the taxpayer to send in the money, together with any interest or penalties.

Nobody bothers to mention that there's NO WITHHOLDING TAXES on business income!

The reason they were in the bill is that tax cuts are the only thing conservatives will support regardless of reality.

The stimulus didn't work. That's clear. Nobody says "it could have been worse so hurrah!"

It didn't work because: A) it was too small because Obama insisted that it be less than $1 trillion and B) was larded with useless tax cuts because the useless Blue Dog Dems insisted.

Obama admitted he screwed up: "Perhaps I should have asked for NO tax cuts knowing that I wanted some in the bill, so that the compromise would be the tax cuts I wanted in."

Well, DUH! He should have made a big deal out of getting a bill that would do the job, not just "pass a bill in order to say you're doing something."

People expect government to fix the economy. not sit there and dither. If they don't there will be consequences.

Conservatives respond by getting angry that Obama tried to do anything at all. Liberals and Independents who expect action were depressed and angry at the failed leadership.

Now according to Evan Bayh who speaks for the blathering DC pundit conventional wisdom, the thing for Democrats to do is join with Republicans to kick the dirty hippies on the left who are the real problem! Government tried to do too much (even though it didn't really do anything).

That will work out just great in November! Can't wait!


[ Parent ]
But GDP figures have increased! (0.00 / 0)
and the stock market is up!

The stimulus worked!

Or so we're told.

Don't forget the Bonddad types who knee capped any kind of coherent blogosphere analysis.

Now matters are worse.


[ Parent ]
"it could have been worse so hurrah!" Some say that. (0.00 / 0)
Most prominently, Krugman. Least prominently, me. And not exactly shouting "hurrah", more like mumbling "better than nothing". However, it's obvious that the stimulus was too little, too lame.

Otherwise, good points, Cugel!


[ Parent ]
Correct as always, Sadie (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
impact on job growth peaked last quarter (4.00 / 1)
According to Goldman Sachs (via Krugman) the impact of the stimulus peaked last quarter. A larger stimulus would have had a larger impact, reducing unemployment, and doing more to restore "Animal Spirits."

I don't see how you can argue that such an outcome would have had no political impact.


[ Parent ]
If you actually read Keynes 1919 treatise (0.00 / 0)
you will know that the "goal" of Keynesianism

is to prevent the working class from turning fascist!

Nothing more!

It isn't really aimed at growth or efficiency at all. Those are just possible means to an end.


[ Parent ]
read the piece bowers linked to (4.00 / 3)
he argues that, if you are arguing that different polices would have improved the economy, then you might be onto something.  

But in the end, it's about the way that things are, not some abstract argument about left and right.  And that is correct.


[ Parent ]
I really don't think anybody gives a damn about right (4.00 / 4)
and left for the sake of identifying and supporting ideology. I'm no more a die hard liberal than I am a partisan Democrat.   What voters on the left and right
care about is policy.  What did they do and what does it do to/for me?  

Obama and the Democrats have actively worked against their campaign promises and the people who voted for them.  They are on a suicide mission, not because of left or right, because of insiders vs. outsiders - Wall Street vs. Main Street.  After 8 years of Bush, they were desperate for change; and the Democrats delivered Bush's third.  Obama made grand promises and then took a dive in the first round.  


[ Parent ]
The Ron Paul voter gave Dems the victory in 06 and 08. (0.00 / 0)
Dems spent all of 2009 spitting on them. Now it's harvest time.

I know most here don't want to believe that.

But look at how out of touch you are, and how spot on I am.

I don't live in an urban loft: I am in the belly of the beast.

I know that libertarians and conservatives who were scared of Bush/Cheney either helped Democrats, or equally important, withheld their support from Republicans.

In a "50/50" nation, that is all it takes.

We had to reach out to the Ron Paul types. I know that flies in the face of your Manichaean religion, but it had to be done. We had to at least prevent the GOP from reannealing them to their coalition.

"We" failed.

No, actually arrogant bloggers and fellow travelers in high places failed.

The Humbling has begun. We will have another chance at this when the GOP makes things far far worse and we go deeper into crisis. Next time, don't be such arrogant, out of touch assholes.


[ Parent ]
Bowers: Policy and messaging don't matter (4.00 / 2)
  * Over the past year, instead of saying and doing what they did, Democrats in D.C. and President Obama passed exactly the legislation, and engaged in exactly the sort of messaging, you suggest..

  * Despite doing this, current economic conditions are exactly the same as they are today.

As best I can tell, that's the supposition here. No matter what policies are enacted we must assume the outcome is the same. No matter how the messaging frames the political landscape and policies implemented, perception of the economic conditions will be unaltered. I don't know how else to read these ground rules.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans


[ Parent ]
Yes, that's how I read this, too. A horribly defeatist statement. (4.00 / 2)
Because if that would be true, if nothing could have been changed anyway, Chris might as well make this a sports blog and we could discuss something like the statistics about Curt Schilling, the famous Giants player (I have even less knowledge about this stuff than Coakley)!

However, I don't think that most of our folks agree that determined progessive politics delivered by the WH and Congress wouldn't have made a difference. And I still suspect that Chris, too, doesn't it this way, and somehow misphrased this statement.


[ Parent ]
defeatist schmefeatist... (0.00 / 0)
"if" and "if" (Bowers example) is not the same as "if" and "therefore" (your interpretation.)

Stimulus packages stimulates the economy, they don't control the economy.


[ Parent ]
Who said they "control the economy"? (0.00 / 0)
The US don't have a state-directed economy, so "control" isn't achievable, of course . And afaics nobody said that. So, what's your point?

[ Parent ]
OK, I'll take it slow and easy: (0.00 / 0)
Steve in Sacto claimed Bowers was saying "No matter what policies are enacted we must assume the outcome is the same."

You agreed, and called Bowers example defeatist.

I tried to point out that Bowers did not say anything like that. Even with a much better stimulus package, the economy might have gotten worse on its own.

Hypothetical example: Obama institutes a "New Deal 2", throwing everything and the sink at getting employment and Main Street back on its feet. But a massive unrelated bank crisis (for instance in China, or in exotic derivatives, or tomato futures) drags the American banking system back into bankruptcy. The economy collapses again. Jobs are lost. People are unhappy. Vote for the other guy.


[ Parent ]
I don't see Chris using might, or another hedgeword there. (0.00 / 0)
And I also explained that I don't believe Chris meeant to say it in that defeatist way, but possibly misphrased his argument. Let's wait and see if he clears that up.

[ Parent ]
Must assume both and they're independent (0.00 / 0)
Chris said we must assume both. To assume both we must assume anything done in the first provision will not affect the second provision. Indeed, provision two stands alone to make my point.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
My analysis is objective and unassailable (4.00 / 10)
Brown won because he got more votes.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

I would add something else (4.00 / 5)
People often wonder why Iowa and New Hampshire polling are so different than National Polling the year before an election.

The reason is simple: because in those states the debate is engaged.  As a result, issues and personalities are being played out that the rest of the country doesn't see.

I think one thing Massachusetts teaches is that when the issues are engaged, the Republican advantage increases substantially.

If you take a step back, it is easy to see why.  Right now nothing the Democrats have done on the economy appears to have worked. The deficit has exploded, but unemployment is still rising.  When the arguments around the economy are engaged, the GOP advantage it appears tends to grow.

It is well known among economists that unemployment begins to decline about 9 months to a year after GDP growth returns. Massachusetts was fought in many ways at the worse time possible.

The questions on the economy are too numerous to list: is GDP growth sustainable? Will GDP growth cause unemployment to really decline? etc...

If the recovery occurs, then things like the stimulus package (which is not popular, even though it was too small)  will become defensible.

If the recovery is tepid, and that is what many economists are predicting, Democratic fortunes may be harmed for a generation.  



"Engaging" in the issues means talking about what Republicans will do (0.00 / 0)
not just dwelling on Democratic failures.

I don't see how Republicans can maintain their advantage if voters find out they just want to go back to the same policies that killed our economy in the first place.


[ Parent ]
Because the public doesn't understand.... (4.00 / 5)
That the Repub policies caused the Great Recession in the first place. It's not like Democrats are making the point, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Democrats woudl have to reject these polcies (4.00 / 7)
in order to have some sort of distinction.  On banking issues, there really hasn't been a substantive difference between Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama.  You could probably throw Carter in there, too, since he signed the abolishment of ursury laws.  

In the end, we only got twenty something senators signing onto a bill that would cap interest in the mid-thirties.  That's disgusting.  If we don't get more democrats supporting something real, then of course voters are going to say that they're all the same.  


[ Parent ]
Let's get Democrats who are different then! (4.00 / 5)
There's no law saying that a candidate has to embrace Obama's every little shit pebble just because s/he's a Democrat.  Just as Republicans had to run away from Bush in 2006, Democrats could do well to run away from Obama (to the LEFT) in 2010.

I think if Coakley ran as a true liberal/progressive (which she probably isn't), e.g. promised to vote for health care bill while pointing out leftist criticisms of it and what she'd do to improve it, she would've won.  Maybe even easily.


[ Parent ]
Reconciliation (4.00 / 1)
Lawrence O'donnell was really negative about the chances for this on Olbermann tonight.  He claims that there are many parliamentary votes that require 60 votes in order to prevent the reconciliation bill from being "torn apart" - I don't know what he's talking about, I presume he means there are other obscure legislative tricks that still use the 60 vote threshold even within reconciliation?

If that's true, it really explains a lot, that Reconciliation is just a pointless kabuki so that the budget can get passed and everyone can pretend it couldn't be filibustered, but really it can.


I'm not buying it. (2.67 / 3)
If it can't be done, then how did Bush do it? And if he already had 60 votes, why did he do it? Doesn't make sense. I don't trust O'Donnell. He is a villager.

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
Well, tax cuts are simpler than creating a public option (0.00 / 0)
But this all just seems to vaguely be dependent on the whim of the parliamentarian, anyway.  

[ Parent ]
Or Republicans know what to do with power. (4.00 / 4)
John Stewart nailed the Democrats on his Monday night show.  "Mercy me, now they only have a 59 vote majority instead of 60, which is more than Bush had at any point his entire 8 years while he did whatever the fuck he wanted".  Bit of a paraphrase, but his point is well taken.  

[ Parent ]
Ha! - Maybe Obama should hire Kark Rove (4.00 / 2)
Since he's not going to prosecute him, he may as well put him to good use.

"It's a sick world, and getting sicker"


435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
"Kark Rove"? Isn't his name 'Kack'? (0.00 / 0)
Kack = Crap, in German.

[ Parent ]
Bush didn't have to. (4.00 / 4)
Reactionaries plus conservatives were a majority in the Senate, whatever letter might have been after their names.

not everything worth doing is profitable. not everything profitable is worth doing.

[ Parent ]
Truer than anything else on the page. (4.00 / 1)
We are in trouble, because we have so many conservatives in our party, that we cannot do what we jhave said we will do.

End the filibuster, govern like any democracy does in the entire world. Or let the powers that be: stop any change they dont like.

The message tonight, like the message they sent the day they passed FISA: "fck you asshats, we govern, not you."

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
true (0.00 / 0)
Imho, they still are.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
Then why did he have to resort to reconciliation (0.00 / 0)
if he already had 60 votes? Like I said, "Doesn't make sense."

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
true (0.00 / 0)
Imho, they still are.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
damn (0.00 / 0)
Waited almost an hour before reposting, thinking original was lost. Again, sorry for double post.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
David Kowalski abuses the rating system. (0.00 / 0)
David, care to explain your troll rating of my perfectly reasonable and sincere comment? Are you one of those who merely troll rate any comment you disagree with, rather than addressing a comment on it's merits?

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
Careful, miasmo, this can be a simple accident! (0.00 / 0)
We have discussed this countless times here: If you rate a comment, and then accidently press the up or down key on the kweyboard, the rating changes. That's how many TR's mistakenly happen. Especially in cases of unexplicable "abuse".

[ Parent ]
Point taken. (0.00 / 0)
If that appears to be the case, I will apologize to David for the inaccuracy of my comment and for a hasty presumption.

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
Chill out, man! (4.00 / 4)
Feel free to postulate whatever unprovable, subjective and / or anecdotal explanation you like.  Make sure that this explanation fits into whatever preconceived notions you have about politics.  It is what everyone is doing, these days--now you can be cool, too!

You are setting up a straw man that anyone who doesn't buy your analysis is merely doing the above.  I appreciate that you've been caught in the middle.  But don't insult your readers, Chris, you're better than that.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...


Benefit of doubt for Chris (0.00 / 0)
Peppered as the post is with guesses, opinion, and solipsism, ... it's satirical; right?

[ Parent ]
agreed but... (0.00 / 0)
we are all a little crazy right now.

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
Yes, I find that remark confusing (4.00 / 1)
as that is the very situation Chris is himself creating with his bizarre postulation that any legislative/policy approach would result in identical conditions. Sounds to me like setting up arbitrary conditions that are incapable of doing anything other than to support an arbitrary conclusion.

[ Parent ]
Not getting it = more Scott Browns (4.00 / 1)
I beg you all, start getting it.

The people want to wage war on Wall Street.

They want scalps.

They don't want shitty fake health care, "immigration reform", or any of that other stuff.

They want revenge.

Give them what they want, and they will tolerate you getting some of the stuff you want.

Don't give them what they want and this country will go into paroxysmal collapse with fascism coming out the other side.

It really is that simple.


[ Parent ]
Is using the national House ballot trend really relevant here? (0.00 / 0)
I don't understand this.  The national trend is only an average for the whole country.  It doesn't tell us what the swing is for any given locale.  To say that the entire country hates Democrats equally is absurd.

I think the more relevant measure would be the House trend for just the MA districts.


Relevant (0.00 / 0)
Since 1942 the party that won the national House vote won the House in every election except 1996.  Democrats won the national vote and Republicans held on to the House in 1996.

If Republicans win the House, we will replace dozens of "fake Republicans" aka Blue Dogs with the real thing.  And the Dogs will be the leading factor in their own demise.


[ Parent ]
Is using the national House ballot trend really relevant here? (0.00 / 0)
I don't understand this.  The national trend is only an average for the whole country.  It doesn't tell us what the swing is for any given locale.  To say that the entire country hates Democrats equally is absurd.

I think the more relevant measure would be the House trend for just the MA districts.


FDR (4.00 / 15)
The political environment isn't difficult for Democrats right now because the country is opposed to what Democrats are doing in some sort of abstract, ideological and rhetorical sense.  The political situation is difficult because the economy sucks.  Period.

To reinforce this point, try and list the times when the economy was in a downturn, but approval of the governing party was in an upswing.  Outside of post-election honeymoons and the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, you simply are not going to find any examples.  At all.

FDR was the most popular president pretty much ever.  In the 150 years between Jackson and Reagan I doubt anyone came close.  And he governed in the middle of the biggest economic downturn ever.  But he was seen by the great American middle as trying everything he could to lead them out of that downturn.  His party picked up nine Senate seats and 14 House seats in 1934, two years after winning two-thirds of the House and nearly that much in the Senate.  His party won even more seats in both chambers in 1936, pushing the Republicans down to 16 Senate seats and 88 House seats total.  

So it is possible to govern in a downturn (THE Downturn) and have approval of your party on the upswing (an epic upswing that endures for generations.  Plural!)  All you have to do is try everything you can think of to help those people who are suffering through the downturn.  

Not that I expect anyone in DC to try that crazy idea.


When FDR ran for re-election (4.00 / 2)
in '34, the Depression had been under way for 5 years.  Unemployment declined in '34, and the economy grew at 10% plus.  He was able to show progress after the economy reached bottom and stayed there for many years.  

Obama took office and unemployment has gone up, and GDP growth has barely returned. He cannot make the same arguments that FDR could in '34.  In addition, a substantial number of Democratic Seats in '34 were in the solid south.  A Republican couldn't get elected in most places below the Mason Dixon line if he ran against the Devil himself.


[ Parent ]
'36 (4.00 / 5)
First elected in 1932 (with the depression already in full swing, as it were) FDR ran for reelection in 1936. '34 was his first midterm with Democratic gains in the Senate (to 71 seats IIRC).

[ Parent ]
Right (0.00 / 0)
I was obviously refereeing to the '34 mid-terms.  The economy grew strongly through '36, which made his run for re-election easier, though,

[ Parent ]
But FDR became president 3 years after the market had crashed. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
The horrible economy started to hit main street in 1930 and 1931... (4.00 / 5)
...Roosevelt was elected in 1932.  In our case people on main street were beginning to be hurt in 2006 and they elected a Democratic Congress, the bottom completely fell out in the latter half of 2007 and through 2008, with Obama being elected in late 2008.

That is a pretty similar situation, the difference is one leader acted boldly, the other leader failed to act, and therefore one became widely popular, and the other is becoming a late night comics joke.

Regards,

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR


[ Parent ]
None of that matters. (4.00 / 4)
What matters is who did what about it.  At no point in time did Roosevelt support policy that bailed out Wall Street and left working Americans unemployed and in bankruptcy and foreclosure.  Roosevelt had priorities that included "fighting for people".  Obama hasn't fought for anyone or anything but spending money on Wall Street, wars, protecting torturers, and expanding expensive and ridiculous security at airports.  Obama can't hold a candle to Roosevelt in intent or effort.  

[ Parent ]
69 (0.00 / 0)
Went from 60 to 69 seats in 1934.  Unemployment dropped from 24.9% in 1933 to 21.7% in 1934.  Show progress, win seats.

[ Parent ]
Obama tried the Hoover/Bush strategy (0.00 / 0)
a little bit of "stimulus" and hope that this was just a normal downturn.

Folks, we've only just begun.


[ Parent ]
not really - FDR presided over the recovery (4.00 / 3)
GDP from http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...

INSERT DESCRIPTION

things were still hell, but FDR could very believably make the case that things were getting better instead of worse.


[ Parent ]
...as a result of the New Deal (4.00 / 6)


Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR

[ Parent ]
Aren't things better now than they were a year ago? (4.00 / 1)
Aren't we in kind of a recovery now?  That's what all the talking heads are saying.

[ Parent ]
If ask WS, yes. (4.00 / 6)
If you ask the millions of jobless people in this country, no.  Obama has proven that the Democrats are now the party of the rich.  

[ Parent ]
Two million jobs were paid for and saved or made. (0.00 / 0)
It would be 2 million unemployed worse without the stimulus. It will be President Brown, Teabagger in Chief, without a second stimulus.

If you, sorry, we, thought this was going to be easy, was going to be; insult and deride a few pols in blogs until we get our way, you were wrong.

I want a few people, just a couple of people, to say, "we did these things wrong," as well. Is that just ponies crazy?

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Thus the Dems won in Massachusetts? (4.00 / 1)
At some point you just have to capitulate to those of us who have been nailing it all along.

[ Parent ]
Two million jobs???? (0.00 / 0)
What kind?   they counted summer youth employment programs.  Great summer jobs for kids.  They counted people who were hired as temporary staff to implement the stimulus and supplment staff at the unemployment and welfare agencies.   They counted weatherization jobs which are about $8.00/hr and don't even guarantee 40 hours a week.  

The numbers in the count are a joke.  We lost jobs paying 40 - 100K, and we got summer youth.  You need to quit believing everything they tell you.  


[ Parent ]
No (0.00 / 0)
A year ago fake unemployment numbers (U-3)were 7%.  Now it is 10% with U-6 at 17%.  Only the Dow Jones is better.  Foreclosures and bankruptcies are up.  The people out of work are often having a very hard time getting jobs and in many cases those jobs come with a big pay cut.

[ Parent ]
Yes, probably, by GDP (0.00 / 0)
GDP is probably going up. But a big chunk of that is the stimulus package, which has already had it's maximum effect on the rate of change of GDP. See here for the full argument: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...

FDR kept things going with new programs until 1937, when he made the mistake of cutting back. And he had the government directly providing jobs to get unemployment down. Obama and the dems could still do the same by adding on successive new programs, and the jobs bill out of the house will help - but it's still not nearly enough.


[ Parent ]
Yes. But we know the New Deal, and Obamachange... (4.00 / 2)
...ain't no new deal, Sir! It doesn't even smell right. It's the same old cap in an all new package. Once customers open it, dissatisfaction guaranteed!

[ Parent ]
Coakley Pollster blames White House policies. (4.00 / 4)

"The blame game is fully underway. A top pollster to Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley told HuffPost on Tuesday that the White House, in attempting to blame the Coakley campaign for a potential defeat today in Massachusetts, underestimates the wave of populist fury among Massachusetts voters.

Pollster Celinda Lake said Coakley was hampered by the failure of the White House and Congress to confront Wall Street. That failure, she said, means that Democrats are being blamed by angry independent voters worried about the state of the economy.

"If Scott Brown wins tonight he'll win because he became the change-oriented candidate. Voters are still voting for the change they voted for in 2008, but they want to see it. And right now they think they've got economic policies for Washington that are delivering more for banks than Main Street."

Asked about reported criticism from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Lake said she had seen the stories. "I think it's a circling squad to protect the White House. I don't think it's very useful," she said, mixing a metaphor while getting across a clear message."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...


here is barney franks statement (4.00 / 1)
"If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate healthcare bills.  But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate.
I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of healthcare reform because I do not think that the country would be well-served by the healthcare status quo.  But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a healthcare bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.

Going forward, I hope there will be a serious effort to change the Senate rule which means that 59 votes are not enough to pass major legislation, but those are the rules by which the healthcare bill was considered, and it would be wrong to change them in the middle of this process."

sounds like the begining of the end.


I think he's talking about passing the conference bill... (0.00 / 0)
....before Brown is seated.

It seems that all the folk bitching about the ping-pong plan are progressives, while the blue dogs seem pretty OK with it.  So, that means it will pass, 'cos let's face it... this is it for a generation or more... something is better than nothing.

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
To me, it doesn't sound like that's what he's saying. (0.00 / 0)
"But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a healthcare bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened."
Imho a clear statement that the bill as it is can't be passed, despite 59 votes in thee Senate and a majoity in the House! As if the MA votes have some kind of a vet right! What kind of a democracy is that?.

However, the votes aren't there anymore for changing it, either. To me, this sounds like he wants to abandon the whole issue.


[ Parent ]
the problem with your hypothetical ... (4.00 / 4)
If my dream legislation had passed, and "current economic conditions are exactly the same as they are today", that would mean that my dream legislation was ineffective.

But if the stimulus were substantially larger (as I and others were pushing for) and instead of being half tax cuts, it was all in the form of job creation and aid to the states, more people would be working today, and it would be plainer to all that, bad as things are, the Democrats are clearly trying to make it better.  Likewise, if bankruptcy cramdown went through, more people would be in their houses, as owners.

So yes, people would still be pissed off about the bad economy (even with a much better stimulus unemployment would be too high), but to posit that even with dream legislation conditions would be exactly the same is to make a basically Republican claim, that the government can never solve anything.


The American people can tolerate a bad economy (0.00 / 0)
if they see everyone taking it on the chin together: the ol' "natural disaster" response.

But when they see the banks making record profits and record bonuses and threatening to sue the administration over taxation?

They don't want Obama to temper Wall Street, they want him to declare War on Economic Terror!


[ Parent ]
healthcare (0.00 / 0)
i don't think the obama admin or the dem leadership wants to pass health care legislation and this result gives them another reason to not get the job done, this result will be analyzed over and over but the dem leaders are smiling in private no matter what they say in front of the cameras.

Why would they be happy ... (4.00 / 2)
about signing their own death certificate? .. because that'll be the result

[ Parent ]
All They Have to Do (4.00 / 2)
is pass, through reconciliation, a robust public option available on day one and accountable to the voters.
Obama doesn't want that because the medical industry doesn't want that. Tough. Democrats should take off those Obama-worshipping glasses, quit trembling after every closed-door meeting with Rahm, and let the message sink in: If you vote Rahm/Obama's way every single time, i.e., if you vote in favor of the corporations, we vote you out. You don't work for Rahm and Obama. You work for us.

[ Parent ]
hindsight analysis (4.00 / 7)
A couple weeks ago, Chris speculated that teabaggers and lefties could support Brown to stop the health care bill. I don't think that's what happened.

But in hindsight, there was a corollary to Chris's idea: with the health care bill so compromised that nobody really could be in favor of it (except in the sense of wanting to do something rather than nothing), but plenty of people could be against it, the MA senate race was Brown's to lose.

That corollary is the dynamic that could lead to a Republican blowout in November, rather than just a win that leaves Democrats still in the majority. The Dems have actually done a lot of things that are good for the country. But I don't think they've done a single thing that anybody actually wanted - everything has been some grotesque compromise that leaves everyone dissatisfied. Unless they change the dynamic completely - basically, unless Biden gets rid of the filibuster - nobody will vote for the democrats in November thinking they will do what's best for the country. People who vote for the democrats will do so only because they know the Republicans are doing their best to do what's worst for the country. Voting against the other guys can bring in a majority, but it can't sustain one.


They've done everything except the one thing the people most want: (0.00 / 0)
to reverse the damage Wall Street has done to the American people for 40 years.

For the love of God! The Free Market was reversing the damage, but Obama intervened to save the banks!


[ Parent ]
I think what has happened... (4.00 / 10)
...is that the American people wanted real change from the unpopular Bush Administration...they voted the Democrats into power in 2006 and 2008 with the idea that this would finally bring some kind of significant change to this country.  The Democrats have completely failed to deliver on change, and voters have given up on them.  Now with their being no viable third party at this time to vote for, but with an even stronger desire for change, the people are with desperation voting Republicans back into office again desperately hoping for true change.

I think Obama and the current Democratic leadership had their opportunity to bring significant change to this country for most of 2009, but the opportunity has been missed and they are by an increasing majority of citizens nationally deemed failures, there is going to have to be new leadership for the Democratic party before it can even hope to be successful again.  I see a political bloodbath for Democrats in 2010 and 2012, the Democrats being saddled with a discredited 3-year lame-duck Obama and a distasteful leadership.

If this were baseball, this would be the year that you trade away the veteran players who were not able to produce, and start rebuilding.  The problem here is you still have Obama for 3 more years, and who will probably run for a 2nd term with the party machinery stomping out any primary opponent, and a congressional leadership who will not go away.

In 2009 Obama was given a chance that perhaps only one President before in modern times was ever given.  Roosevelt produced the New Deal, a Democratic majority for a generation, and brought enormous change that benefited the common people.  Obama on the other hand has produced the "Wall Street Deal", will have contributed to a massive Democratic loss in Congress, and has ignored common people in order to help benefit multi-national corporations and the wealthy.

Obama had his chance and he failed, now it is time to move on to new leaders.  I wonder who will be the first Democrat to announce that they will challenge him in 2012?  If it is a true populist progressive, I am on board and will help to try and defeat Obama and his crowd (Emanuel, Geithner, Kirk, etc etc) in the primaries and bring true change to this country.  If not, then it is back to a anti-Republicrat candidate for me.

Regards,


Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-and I welcome their hatred. - FDR


The Democratic Party is Incapable of Governing (4.00 / 3)
Big Tent Democrat, How To Regain Trust In Government: By Governing, September 23:

If there is a failure of governance, particularly on health care reform, the fault will be placed, properly, on Democrats.

. . . If Democrats want to be successful, they need to understand that it is their turn to govern, not the Republicans. And if they fail to govern well, they will rightly be held to account.

Will An Anti-Filibuster Campaign Have Legs? Should It?, December 28:

While the filibuster is a long term institutional problem for the Senate, the actual problem that Democrats face right now is that it is a crappy political organization unable to maintain party discipline. Let me put it this way, if it was 60 Republicans, there would never ever be a filibuster. And we would not be having any discussions about the filibuster.

In essence, the discussion of the filibuster camouflages the actual problem Democrats face - the political party stinks. The Democratic Party leader is weak and the Democratic leadership in the Senate toothless. And this impacts the Democratic Party's claims to be able to govern.

In the end it means that the Democratic Party can not be trusted in its political campaigns. Not because they are being untruthful in their platform, though they often are. But rather because even if they believe what they say they believe, they can not enact the initiatives they claim to support.

. . .this is more of a Democratic Party problem than a Senate problem.

BTD refers to an interview with SEIU's Andy Stern:

Any organization needs to decide how it wants to hold itself accountable. But to me there's a question of what are the expectations amongst Democrats in terms of governing? What's the social contract?

. . . Democrats have failed to create a normative set of behaviors. They rely on rules when they should really act like a party. The fact that they have to change the rules because they cant act collectively is sad.



This is so much besides the point. (0.00 / 0)
Yes the rules have to change. 60 % is a barrier. That is the truth, the hard truth and the thing we have to change as soon as is possible(the beginning of the next session).

If we cannot do that, we will not govern, there will be no change. Brown will be President in 2012.

Pack up your old kit bags and smile smile smile.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Dems can always nuke the filibuster! (0.00 / 0)
They don't have to wait, all they have to do is follow the scipt the rethugs created during the fight about the Bush nominations. What are the rethugs gonna do then, hypocritically appeal to the Supremes? And the Supremes would uphold the undemocratic, not constitutionally supported rule, and then make everything passed in the meantime void? I don't like Roberts and his crooks at all, but I can't believe they would go that far. And even if they would, Dems could score a big propaganda victory, proving that they really tried, and that the stagnation is the rethuglicans fault. That would kill any attempts of more Scott Browns to run one a message of change. The public wouldn't buy that from the party of no!

[ Parent ]
To prove that we are just wrong (4.00 / 3)
we are given a hypothetical scenario.  Typically in social science literature when counterfactuals are considered, actual cases similar to the counterfactual situation are brought up to back up the claim that 'if, contrary to fact, X, then Y'.  This is the thing that gets drilled into you in the qualitative research methods class.  Even though its not a statistical study, you still have an n, and it needs to be some number bigger than 1.

Now counterfactuals in social science are pretty indispensable, but almost everyone agrees they are a bit fishy.  What Bowers has done is present us a counterfactual situation but without any historical cases to back it up, so there is twice the fish.

The basic problem with the conventional wisdom that Bowers is rather angrily peddling is that it ignores the fact that ordinary people are ideological.  Ideological disagreement can effect voting.  Part of it has to do with progressives feeling betrayed because they thought Obama was on their team, and it turns out he really isn't. Part of it has to do with the fact that sometimes people are actually committed to ideas, and this commitment helps explain their behavior.  Millions upon millions of people voted for John McCain in the last election, despite the fact that he represented the party in power in a downturn, and I have to think the ideological commitments of the people involved were relevant there.    

Now Bowers and his defenders are going to point out that McCain lost.  And in doing so they will miss the point.  The people who think Obama's centrism hurt Coakley aren't saying that is the only explanation.  They aren't denying explanatory power to the fact that the economy is in bad shape.  They are not making an exclusive claim.  They are saying that if Obama had been more progressive, he would have appealed to progressives more and  democrats would be doing better as a result.  They are not saying that the state of the economy isn't bringing Democrats down, they are claiming that if Obama had pushed harder for legitimately progressive policies then the drag on the numbers created by the economy could have been overcome.

It is only Bowers who seems to be making the claim that the explanatory factor he has identified is doing all the explanatory work.  And that is just silly.


This is what attacking your base gets you! (4.00 / 5)
So, Brown won - well how about that!

Lets see how long it takes Obama & Company to draw exactly the wrong conclusion from this election - that they need to, as Joe Liberman says, move to the middle.  (Remember good old Joe seems to have a finger on or up the pulse of the Obama Administration so I figure he's telling us what they will do.)  Actually it won't be the middle it will be what you may call the center-right.  

As they alienate their base even more lets see how the general election in 2010 turns out.  This should clear out the blue dogs/corporate dems!


If they move right... its all over. (4.00 / 1)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
thanks Chris (4.00 / 2)
That's about perfect.

I think the netroots would be calmer if Obama had engaged them more.  But I'm not sure the netroots are to blame for the polling numbers being where they are.  The netroots are to blame for being really freaking annoying, though.

Anyway, even if we resolve the filibuster stuff I'm not sure that will help a lot.  We've got too much old blood in the Democratic part of the Senate.  You tell them the world will end in five years, they might switch from a 100-year-plan to a 95-year plan to save it.


I think Scott Brown is a wildcard (0.00 / 0)
He only got elected with the help of the teabaggers.  However now he has to screw them over in order to get reelected.

If democrats can get Scott Brown to screw over the Republican party it would greatly help them in 2010.

Getting his vote on a HCR bill would demotivate the teabagger crowd in the same way Joe Lieberman demotivates the open left crowd.

It might not be possible, but the democrats should definitely be considering that possibility.

http://transgendermom.blogspot....


He won't. (0.00 / 0)
He'll- quite rationally- be more afraid of a primary challenge if he tracks left. That destructive dynamic on the other side is the only thing keeping the national Democratic party, in its current moribund form, on life support.

[ Parent ]
question (4.00 / 1)
Would Chris support the House passing the Senate bill as-is?

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

In my town we have reverted to nearly dismal Shannon O'Brien territory (4.00 / 2)
When Shannon ran against Mitt Romney for Governor - and she too was a 'popular' statewide Dem politician - our State Treasurer, my town gave her 29% of the vote.

4 years later after lots of work - door to door and messaging and visibility our town turned around and came out for Deval Patrick by 100 votes. Then, we held it for Obama by a 1000.

Last night?

Brown 60% to Coakley 40%

I am thankful we held onto that extra 10% before slipping into O'Brien territory.

Obama, not Coakley, is what I heard for weeks leading up to this.

Yes, she was a horrible campaigner but it is the wasted year that was 2009 that gave progressives nothing to cheer about.

Now my hometown is being drawn into a battle because we have a  huge budget shortfall - every progressive I know realizes the Stimulus "Recovery Act" wasn't big enough and what we needed was direct aid to states, cities, and towns.Not more 'tax cuts' to make Susan Collins feel better.

I just finished Ted Kennedy's 'True Compass' the night before this debacle and what struck me was that he had the balls to go up against Jimmy Carter and a whole number of what ifs have to run through the readers' mind:

  • what if there was no Chappaquidick?
  • what if there was no hostage situation?
  • what if Kennedy had gotten Carter to agree to debate

    I am convinced that people cannot stand DLC governance


  • Thanks for the on the ground report and thoughts. (0.00 / 0)


    --

    The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


    [ Parent ]
    Chris, (0.00 / 0)
    you've been out of touch,

    I've been spot on.

    Why?

    I'm in touch with "the other side", you think you grasp them through numbers and polls.

    The bloodbath can be avoided, but it's going to take abandoning some sacred cows.


    "...I've been spot on..... " (4.00 / 1)
    jeepers paul, some of us would beg to differ.

    I have it now, "this is going to fail" is a job resume stuffer. You just keep saying, especially about the hard stuff, "this isn't going to work" and at some point you get to say, " I am Right!" and "Everyone is wrong but me."

    The fun part is that the Trotskyist Revolutionary Workers Party, the Libertarians, the Ron Paultards and the Republicans are all equally "spot on."

    I always wondered why people just posted "this is going to fail" over and over.

    --

    The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


    [ Parent ]
    abstracts vs empirics (4.00 / 2)
    The political environment isn't difficult for Democrats right now because the country is opposed to what Democrats are doing in some sort of abstract, ideological and rhetorical sense.  The political situation is difficult because the economy sucks.  Period.

    In terms of going forward, you seem to be missing a step, Chris.  I assert it isn't either-or.  There is a place where abstract, ideological decision making very much intersects with the voter's empirical reality.  Actually, there are many such places.  But, looking ahead what do you imagine the outcome will be if the Senate confirms a Federal Reserve Chairman who has reduced the role of the Federal Reserve to the sole objective of guarding against inflation?  If that is the circumstance, the economy is going to suck for a very long time.

    I still maintain that if an aggressive response to our health care situation had been mounted, and not sacrificed on Obama's ideological wish for bipartisanship, with the full force of Democratic Party leadership to wield in his hands, there would have been economic effects that the voters could recognize.  The voters can use the abstraction economy when they speak, but their empirical reality is their own sense of financial security.  Health care -  access and affordability - contributes to that sense of financial security.  Jobs which afforded health care would have accomplished the same thing but that opportunity was lost in the way the stimulus had been crafted.  These are not really independent issues; they are very much entwined.

    How the Obama administration views the abstractions can have a large effect on the empirical outcomes.  The fact that the voters are unhappy with the outcomes doesn't mean the voters are misguided about the abstractions, even if they're not fully clear about how the two intersect with each other.  Voters can feel risk even if they had never encountered formal conditional probability calculations.  And, they understand, at least intuitively, that the government is transferring more and more economic risk on to their shoulders.

    As far as Massachusetts goes, I maintain that while Teddy Kennedy owned that seat, it was a mistake for the Democrats to think that they did.  I'd even go so far as to wonder if a young Teddy Kennedy equivalent appeared on the Democratic stage tomorrow, if that individual could garner the support of the Democratic Party.


    Let Democrats be Democrats (4.00 / 1)
    Message to Obama:

    1. Let Democrats be Democrats, not Blue Dogs.

    2. Make legislation simple and understandable.

    JOBS ... Make this the center of policy. Get rid of Wall St dominated economic advisors.

    HEALTH CARE ... Introduce improvements (not reforms) one bill at a time. First, affordable health care for the unemployed, then young (separate bill). Fous along these lines would win and keep popular support, prevent Republicans from smearing measure a s "a government takeover," win some bipartisan support, stymie lobbyists.

    WAR ... Democrats do not support more war, bigger defense budgets. Be a Democrat, Mr. President.

    MORTGAGE RELIEF ... Your program cannot work. Only reducing principal will keep people in their houses. Proven by Philadelphia experience BEFORE you were elected. Your plan cruelly keeps people paying mortgage another 6-18 months before losing home. Again, you listened to economic advisors more concerned with subsidizing financial firms rather than the good of the homeowner.

    DROP YOUR "STAKEHOLDER" MODEL. The most powerful stakeholders - corporate interests - will win. Act for the common good, the good of the middle class, the reduction of income inequality.

    But, of course, the President will get the message that he has to move even farther to the right. Pathetic. or worse, rev up the populist rhetoric while continuing same Beltway gobbledegook and caving in/cooperating with corporate interests that go against the common good.


    Reasons for Coakley's loss (0.00 / 0)
    Coakley was a weak campaigner, never calling out Brown on his lies concerning the health care bill in Congress and by not discrediting his outdated solutions for our current economic problems! She didn't campaign amongst the voters until she was seriously down in the polls.
    In Massachuesetts the breakdown of registered voters:
    Democrats 39.9%, Republicans 11.6% and Unenrolled (Independents) 50.75%. A low Democratic turnout did not cost Coakley the election, but a major swing of Independent voters to the Republican canidate did!

    Words vs actions (0.00 / 0)
    "Let me make this perfectly clear," a phrase used to signal that speaker will do the opposite of what is being said.

    "Let me be clear about that," another phrase used to signal that speaker will do the opposite of what is being said.


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