Why Dems (and Obama) shouldn't learn the WRONG lesson from the MA-Senate debacle
A hardcore GOP friend of mine (yes, I have them—a few) claims that the Coakley collapse shows that "Americans are fed up with the arrogance of Obama and the Democrats." He goes on to say "How about listening to what Americans actually want instead of forcing your political agenda down our throats? How about considering that maybe you don't know what's best? This is a nation of the people, by the people, for the people—not a tyranny of the liberal elite."
I responded to him that his talking points are exactly the wrong lesson that Dems should take out of this, and here's why:
- The "people" elected Obama and his Congress by staggering majorities.
- The "people," when polled, want his agenda to pass by majorities that have trimmed since the election (due to the corrosive political atmosphere and, frankly, a lack of proactive and strong leadership toward his goals by the President himself).
- And the "people" still favor Obama at a level approximately four times that of Bush when he left as the most unpopular President in the modern history of the office--yes, more unpopular than Nixon.
Obama and the Dems failed here because they were complacent and conciliatory—because they didn't deliver on promises of effective change and fast enactment of their agenda, not because they did.
Which means Obama and the Dems have to move even faster and harder to get things done, not slow down and back off...because if there's any lesson from George W. Bush, it's that America appreciates determined effectiveness even when the direction it's taking us is off a cliff.
So, yes, Obama has a black eye because he isn't listening to the people. But the people are not saying what the GOP is saying they're saying.
If HCR had passed months ago, "forced" as opposed to toothpaste-squeezed through the legislature, we'd be on to jobs and the environment, Obama would be 20 points higher in the favorables and 2010 would be a vast wasteland for the GOP.
And Coakley's utterly miserable campaign would have been moot. Let's not forget that the candidate has a role here, and elections are not solely about the national landscape...she was uninspired, lazy and riddled with gaffes, and should never have even been the flagbearer for the party in such a critical circumstance.
Sh*t happens. Time to move on and get. Things. Done.