Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

One year ago, the Democrats appeared unbeatable. They had captured all three houses, had a slim super majority in the Senate, and were being buoyed by popular support. The Republican Party resembled a snake trying to eat itself and many liberal bloggers speculated that this was the final end of the GOP. Now with the senate election in Massachusetts, the seat of the late Ted Kennedy, an almost certain victory for the Republicans and polls indicated the Republicans poised for an amazing recovery, commentators are asking “How did this happen?” The answer is surprisingly simple– the Democrats are pussies.

It’s not like the Democrats haven’t had several opportunities to appease and even re-energize their base. For example, easy motions for them would have been to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. All it would take to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would be an order from Obama, as he is the commander in chief, and it would have had most of the left wing celebrating in joy. And with the United States desperately in need of troops, it would have been hard for the Republicans to argue against the logic of “It doesn’t matter if you are straight, so long as you can shoot straight.”

I guess you could argue the Democrats’ have been using their political capital on Health Care Reform, where it sounds like the Democrats don’t have support. By the sounds of the rhetoric from Tea Bagger movement and the Republican Party, you’d think that reform wasn’t popular in the United States. However, even the controversial “Public Option” has had considerable support throughout the nation. It really shouldn’t be the Republicans hammering the Democrats on this issue. It should be the other way around.

SurveyUSA: 77% in favor. – June 2009

NYTimes/CBS: 65% in favor. – September 25, 2009

WAPO/ABC: 57% in favor – October 20, 2009

Reuters: 59.9% in favor.- December 3, 2009

As for the Republicans, they really reorganized themselves into a cohesive force yet. There is still no clear leader of the Republican Party, they haven’t been proposing real alternatives to the Democrats Health Care Reform Bill, and the Tea Bag movement is an unorganized mass that just seems angry with the government. All they’ve done is walk lock and step too oppose the Democrats at every turn. This is a problem for the Democrats and their supporters because they can’t then explain how George W. Bush and the Republicans got to pass so much legislation.

My theory is that the Democrats are so worried about pissing other groups off, they are unwilling to push through things if it looks like there is strong opposition. Repeal “Don’t ask don’t tell?” what about all of those anti-gay lobbyists that would cry bloody murder about it? Lift the blockade on Cuba? There would be a riot in Florida about how the US has turned its back on the Cuban Exile community. NEWS FLASH DEMOCRATS – THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR ANYWAYS, DON’T BOTHER TRYING TO PLEASE THEM.

Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans don’t really seek to please the voters that didn’t vote for them, they actually do try and please their base. They give their voters the tax cuts, military increases, and security measures that they think their base wants. The Democrats seem to make a lot of promises, but only make half hearted attempts at delivering them. It isn’t a way to run a country, and isn’t a way to win future elections. The end result is going to be the Republicans getting their base out and voting, while the Democrats will have their base sitting at home being depressed about life.

If the Democrats want any chance in 2012, they have to stop using the Republicans like a crutch, go out there and kick ass. People voted them in for a reason, and it’s about time for them to deliver.


  1. The Democrats have very few excuses regarding their failure on the health care reform file.

    I think the biggest problem for the Democrats is that they approached what is very mucha divisive issue without taking any measures to try to reduce that divisiveness.

    Obama has approached this issue with the attitude that he has to be the hero, and he has to get the credit for whatever gets accomplished.

    He would have been better off allowing individual states to experiment with health care reform, and isntead offering fiscal incentives for ths states to experiment.

    We accomplished the creation of Universal health care in Canada when Saskatchewan successfully experimented with universal health care.

    Obama may have been better off to effectively "delegate" this matter to the States.

  2. Yeah but trying to be less divisive is what has gotten the Democrats in this mess in the first place. In the current American political climate, there is nothing the Democrats can do to please the Republicans.

    On the other hand, the Republicans did very little to try and stem their divisive legislation when they were in power. They simply rammed stuff through and while they lost power in in 2009, they've largely recovered now.

    With Health Care, that steps already happened to an extent. Look at Massachusetts, where they have their own Health Care system that isn't as screwed up as the rest of the U.S but hasn't spread nation wide.

  3. Hmmm. I'm not sure that I agree with you.

    The health care issue itself is divisive, especially on a federal scale.

    If Obama had left it to the states, then individual states would be weighing it within their own jurisdiction. States not interested in health care reform at this time would have said "no thank you", minimizing the amount of conflict.

    The results of those policy experiments would have dampened conflict later on when it came time to impliment a system on the federal level.

    I think Obama fundamentally bobbled this issue from the very get-go.


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