How did it all go so Wrong???


We might as well have an open thread up about the election. So instead of talking about the particulars of each race and ballot issue, I think it might be instructive for folks to get into the grist of the issue:

How did Democrats, after two solid elections that took control of Congress, and a landslide victory for the presidency two years ago, manage to lose control of the message and the agenda, and gave it all back to the republicans and the t-party?

The search for a pariah could begin with Max Baucus. In a post at Slate, and making the rounds in the Montana blogosphere (LitW and MtCowgirl already are on this one) the finger pointing has begun:

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. Unless you’re talking about the 2010 elections, in which case the list of scapegoats for likely Democratic losses is long and growing…

Max Baucus. Health care might not have happened without Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Then again, it might have happened a lot faster. Over the course of four months in 2009, Baucus made one compromise after another—scrapping the public option, killing the employer mandate—in order to attract Republican votes that never materialized. That gave Republicans time to demagogue the bill and ate up valuable time on the congressional calendar—time that could have been used to pass legislation like immigration reform or an energy bill (which, of course, would probably have hurt Democrats, too).”

Had Baucus not gone on his fools errand looking for 10-20 republicans to sign on to his health insurance bill, and instead worked for a public option and not alienated the progressive base by such acts as having activists and leaders arrested in chambers, maybe the base would have stayed energized and worked harder to turn out the coalition of voters that swept Max and Obama into office.

Jes’ sayin’…

That August recess last year really kicked the air out of the progressive base with the t-party having time to get organized and begin to demagogue Baucus’ bill, and from there everything else the dems tried to do. Of course, that little antic with Robert Gibbs ostracizing the “professional left” didn’t help much either. Of course, I advocated kicking the republicans while they were done, so as to solidify the dems around the progressive wing of the party, but no…

Thoughts? Have at it!

  1. Hmmm. You consider the Republican and the Tea party message machines to be the same. I wonder why.

    • JC

      T-partiers run as republicans, probably 100% so. I don’t think that “Tea Party” actually was registered as a political party to appear as such on any ballots. And it seems that republicans and t-partiers share much of the same political contribution largesse, and cast of supporters.

      And last, but not least, I have not hidden my observation that the t-party is nothing more than a rebranding of a wing of the republican party.

      • haven’t tea partiers gone officially New Party? I mean – they’re funding their own candidates, spending their own money, raising their own money…isn’t that pretty much a party?

        Aren’t there requirements that come with that?

        • Not that I am aware of. It isn’t all that unusual for a “movement” like the Tea Party to fund candidates – Look at Greenpeace prior to the Green party. What we may see in the future, though, is a “marraige” of the Tea Party and the Republicans. If that actually does occur, expect a third party to form – primarily moderates and centralists from both parties. This may be the impetus to propel the independant party into the “big leagues”.

          • You’re still glamored by the illusion that the Tea Party is at all separate from the Republican party, aren’t you?

            Bro, they’ve done exactly what was required of them. They’ve further radicalized the Republicans, demonized the Democrats and emotionalized voting. If they attempt to stand in their own footy pajamas, it won’t foster anything more central. They’ll be crushed by Dick Armey, FOX news and the Koch brothers. After all, they’ve done their job for God and corporation. The marriage of which you speak is impossible, save that one entity can marry itself, because there has never been a difference between the Republicans and the Tea Party. Republicans ==> Teabaggers is the same as Frankenstein ==> his monster. Except that Republicans have all the cash and the weapons. What has Sarah Palin got, except a bunch of candidates who just failed miserably?

            • Let’s assume that you are correct (a point I am no where near conceeding but…), and the Tea Party = Republicans, the result could still very well be the same. If the Republican Party moves as far right as you seem to think they are already, it may still result in the same outcome. Those of us that are more centralist/moderate will be left to choose either the Corporate sponsored Democrats or form an independant Centralist party.

  2. people were going to vote their wallets anyway and with unemployment and foreclosures and business closures in the news daily, it was inevitable that dems would lose ground this year. but i am with you jc. we should have accomplished much much more especially regarding health care reform given the feelings in the country after eight years of bush. cowardly and insipid men at the top of the party prevented any semblance of what might have inspired the majority of the people to support them.

    but regardless, i still predict that republicans will not take the majority of the house or the senate. there is just too much bush fever left to allow that. republicans will pick up ground especially in the house. the senate will be closer than anyone predicted but dems will hold on by a sliver.we will lose harry reid (thank god) reid is a groveling whiny old worthless position blocker i hope to never see again in any position of power. but of course, in the system that rewards bad behavior and punishes good i am sure that good old boy club will find some other pretender to power who can succeed him and talk about working for the benefit of the american people while bowing and scraping to his corporate masters.

  3. Re Max, it never even crosses my mind that he did not know what he was doing. “Bipartisan” is not a real goal, but rather just an excuse for not working for his base. He’s not of this side or for this side. He’s an enemy inside the camp.

    And true of many of them as well. Money people surely have to be smart enough to buy people in both parties. I sure would. Weak Democrats and strong Republicans, working together, achieve far more than Republicans along can.

  4. I think the republicans will pick up the house handily and the Senate is anyone’s guess (but likely to stay – barely – in the hands of the Demcrats).

    That said, this will result in a gridlock that will last no less than 8 months and likely even longer. A gridlock will not help the republicans but it won’t hurt them either. What it will do, though, is hurt Democrats even more – especially Obama.

  1. 1 A mostly sad evening « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] How did it all go so Wrong??? […]

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