Advertisement

Archive for Friday, January 22, 2010

Election is wake-up call to Democrats

January 22, 2010

Advertisement

— On Jan. 14, five days before the Massachusetts special election, President Obama was in full bring-it-on mode as he rallied House Democrats behind his health care reform. “If Republicans want to campaign against what we’ve done by standing up for the status quo and for insurance companies over American families and businesses, that is a fight I want to have.”

The bravado lasted three days. When Obama campaigned in Boston on Jan. 17 for Obamacare supporter Martha Coakley, not once did he mention the health care bill. When your candidate is sinking, you don’t throw her a millstone.

After Coakley’s defeat, Obama pretended that the real cause was a generalized anger and frustration “not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Let’s get this straight: The antipathy to George W. Bush is so enduring and powerful that ... it just elected a Republican senator in Massachusetts? Why, the man is omnipotent.

And the Democrats are delusional: Scott Brown won by running against Obama, not Bush. He won by brilliantly nationalizing the race, running hard against the Obama agenda, most notably Obamacare. Killing it was his No. 1 campaign promise.

Bull’s-eye. An astonishing 56 percent of Massachusetts voters, according to Rasmussen, called health care their top issue. In a Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates poll, 78 percent of Brown voters said their vote was intended to stop Obamacare. Only a quarter of all voters in the Rasmussen poll cited the economy as their top issue, nicely refuting the Democratic view that Massachusetts was just the usual anti-incumbent resentment you expect in bad economic times.

Brown ran on a very specific, very clear agenda. Stop health care. Don’t Mirandize terrorists. Don’t raise taxes; cut them. And no more secret backroom deals with special interests.

These deals — the Louisiana purchase, the Cornhusker kickback — had engendered a national disgust with the corruption and arrogance of one-party rule. The final straw was the union payoff — in which labor bosses smugly walked out of the White House with a five-year exemption from a (“Cadillac”) health insurance tax Democrats were imposing on the 92 percent of private-sector workers who are not unionized.

The reason both wings of American liberalism — congressional and mainstream media — were so surprised at the force of anti-Democratic sentiment is that they’d spent Obama’s first year either ignoring or disdaining the clear early signs of resistance: the tea-party movement of the spring and the town-hall meetings of the summer. With characteristic condescension, they contemptuously dismissed the protests as the mere excrescences of a redneck, retrograde, probably racist rabble.

You would think lefties could discern a proletarian vanguard when they see one. Yet they kept denying the reality of the rising opposition to Obama’s social democratic agenda when summer turned to fall and Virginia and New Jersey turned Republican in the year’s two gubernatorial elections.

The evidence was unmistakable: Independents, who in 2008 had elected Obama, swung massively against the Democrats: dropping 16 points in Virginia, 21 in New Jersey. On Tuesday, it was even worse: Independents, who had gone 2-to-1 Republican in Virginia and New Jersey, now went 3-to-1 Republican in hyper-blue Massachusetts. Nor was this an expression of the more agitated elements who vote in obscure low-turnout elections. The turnout on Tuesday was the highest for any nonpresidential Massachusetts election in 20 years.

Democratic cocooners will tell themselves that Coakley was a terrible candidate who even managed to diss Curt Schilling. True, Brown had Schilling. But Coakley had Obama. When the bloody sock beats the presidential seal — of a man who had them swooning only a year ago — something is going on beyond personality.

That something is substance — political ideas and legislative agendas. Democrats, if they wish, can write off their Massachusetts humiliation to high unemployment, to Coakley or, the current favorite among sophisticates, to generalized anger. That implies an inchoate, unthinking lashing-out at whoever happens to be in power — even at your liberal betters who are forcing on you an agenda that you can’t even see is in your own interest.

Democrats must so rationalize, otherwise they must take democracy seriously, and ask themselves: If the people really don’t want it, could they possibly have a point?

“If you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call,” said moderate — and sentient — Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, “there’s no hope of waking up.”

I say: Let them sleep.

Comments

anon1958 4 years, 11 months ago

Sourkrauthammer could not analyze a paint by numbers picture. Brown ran a really excellent campaign while Coakley was lazy and trying to ride Kennedy coat tails. Interestingly, if you look at the record of Brown he has genuinely reached across the aisle in the past and is not of the reactionary kooky wing of the republican party. The democrats really screwed up by failing to retain this seat, but their error does not take anything away from Brown's hard won victory.

Bush got the country into the present disaster but the democrats are in possession of the mess and the voters will definitely punish the democrats until things turn around. Either Sourkrauthammer does not understand this and he is an idiot or he is counting on his readers to not understand the situation which makes him a contemptible idiot.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree that this race was an agenda on Obama. But Republicans, as much as they want to, can't have it both ways. Obama's vulnerability stems directly from trying so hard not to offend the big-money special interests (while taking lots of their money,) and in so doing adopted essentially Republican positions.

And with the corporate floodgates open for the Republicans, the teabaggers are going to get screwed all over again by the very Republicans they see as their saviors.

diplomacy205 4 years, 11 months ago

Obama is being controlled by his handlers just like Bush. That's what we get when we elect empty suits to the Presidency. The last two Presidents that we had who actually believed in something were Reagan and FDR

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Obama is being controlled by his handlers just like Bush. That's what we get when we elect empty suits to the Presidency."

While I agree with the first sentence, at least to this point, Obama is not George Bush. I think he does have the ability to be much more than an empty suit.

He came in trying to find middle ground with Republicans, and they basically just went on strike and went on full demagogue mode. He then tried to find a middle ground between Blue Dogs and progressive Democrats, and the Blue Dogs also went on strike.

We'll see what lessons he learned from that.

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

Why is it that those who already have great health care are the ones who want to kill it for the rest of us?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Welcome to the real world - don't mess with my or my kid's health care."

You may be happy with the crumbs your corporate master throws down to you, but a whole lot of us are not. And as those crumbs get smaller and smaller, you probably won't be, either.

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

grammady: "Why is it that those who already have great health care are the ones who want to kill it for the rest of us?"

quite right. an important fact of the election which has been entirely glossed over, regarding heatlh care as perhaps the pivotal issue, is that brown made the following winning argument to the voters of massachusetts:

why should we as a state pay for other people's health coverage, when we as a state already have this health plan?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

kubacker,

The bill had explicit provisions prohibiting illegal immigrants from receiving government aid.

And, what do you do when businesses stop offering good benefits altogether? They're not currently required to offer health insurance, for example, or retirement plans.

With the recent Supreme Court decision, I expect they'll be spending a lot more money on political campaigns - perhaps they'll take that from worker benefits.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

And, of course, in a recession with 10% unemployment (real numbers are higher, if you include underemployed folks and people who have stopped even looking), where are all of these great jobs?

Corey Williams 4 years, 11 months ago

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/21/fox-news-poll-voters-split-congressional-elections/

"In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, President Obama tops each of the Republican candidates tested.

By 47 percent to 35 percent Obama bests former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The president has an even wider edge over former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (55 percent to 31 percent), and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (53 percent to 29 percent).

Finally, twice as many people say they would vote for Obama (48 percent) as would back a candidate from the Tea Party movement (23 percent)."

Mixolydian 4 years, 11 months ago

Completley ignored is the very first sentence of the poll cited above on foxnews:

"Americans say -- by a 47-43 percent margin -- they would vote for someone else rather than re-elect President Obama if the 2012 presidential elections were held today."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

Yea, sure mixolodian, they say that right up until the names of likely Republican candidates are mentioned.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

anon1958 (Anonymous) says…

"Brown ran a really excellent campaign while Coakley was lazy and trying to ride Kennedy coat tails."

You mean a well-run campaign can sway the voters more than the issues?

Guess that would explain Obama's election.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"And with the corporate floodgates open for the Republicans, the teabaggers are going to get screwed all over again by the very Republicans they see as their saviors."

If you're going to spout Keith Olbermann, Herr Klowne, why leave out the rest of his ranting tirade? I'm surprised you didn't repeat the part about how the Supreme Court decision on corporate spending will lead to racial profiling.

"He came in trying to find middle ground with Republicans, and they basically just went on strike and went on full demagogue mode. He then tried to find a middle ground between Blue Dogs and progressive Democrats, and the Blue Dogs also went on strike."

Perhaps, boohoozo, approaching the Republicans and moderate Democrats with proposals they found unacceptable doesn't constitute a 'middle ground'.


weeslicket (Anonymous) says…

"why should we as a state pay for other people's health coverage, when we as a state already have this health plan?"

You mean he had the audacity to suggest the states should decide their own health insurance policies without the feds stepping in to take over? Imagine that!


jafs (Anonymous) says…

"With the recent Supreme Court decision, I expect they'll be spending a lot more money on political campaigns - perhaps they'll take that from worker benefits."

As opposed to the unions, you mean? What portion of union dues don't go to negotiating costs, or even union administration costs or the costs of promoting union membership, but rather to promoting the unions' political agenda?


mancityfooty (Corey Williams) says…

“In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, President Obama tops each of the Republican candidates tested."

Really, Corey?

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/77649-poll-shows-huckabee-and-obama-in-dead-heat

"Poll shows Huckabee with slim lead over Obama in theoretical 2012 face-off"

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1964258/new_poll_shows_obamaromney_dead_even.html

"New Poll Shows Obama-Romney Dead Even in 2012"

Oh, and did you happen to skip over the first sentence from your own link?

"As views remain sharply divided about Congress, Americans say -- by a 47-43 percent margin -- they would vote for someone else rather than re-elect President Obama if the 2012 presidential elections were held today."

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

notajayhawk: "You mean he had the audacity to suggest the states should decide their own health insurance policies without the feds stepping in to take over? Imagine that."

  1. of course states can decide health policy. but only massachusetts has done so (and if one remembers correctly, the same political groups made the same arguments against these policy changes). turns out massachusetts people like their health coverage.
  2. i'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the state of kansas to follow suit.
  3. in the meantime, the federal government can also make health policy. maybe next time it'll look more like the massachusetts plan.
  4. in the meantime, this problem still has not been solved. so again, i'd like to see our elected leadership get to work, quit all their carping, and solve some problems.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

weeslicket (Anonymous) says…

"of course states can decide health policy"

Not if the feds took over. If you've read the proposed legislation, it says the states can offer more, but not less, that what the feds tell them to. Have you checked as to whether the Massachusetts plan would make the cut as a 'qualified' plan?

(I haven't, by the way, because it really doesn't matter. If it did right now, and budgetary and/or other factors necessitated a change somewhere down the road, Massachusetts would not be able to offer less than the federal government mandated.)

"maybe next time it'll look more like the massachusetts plan"

We can only hope not.

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

i also do not know whether the massachusetts plan was above any mandated threshhold, but the people in massachusetts think it has been a good plan.
so, my point is: wouldn't this be a good model to look at.

and to repeat myself: "4. in the meantime, this problem still has not been solved. so again, i'd like to see our elected leadership get to work, quit all their carping, and solve some problems." (e.g., we still have a health care, and a health insurance problem nationally)

ASBESTOS 4 years, 11 months ago

"...the teabaggers are going to get screwed all over again by the very Republicans they see as their saviors."

You had better stop calling the people that are attending these "Tera Party" events the derogatory term "teabaggers". These people are independent are are giving the GOP and the DNC fits.

These so called "Tebaggers" much maligned by the Lame stream Media and many of the Loopy loony Liberal Left that named them are responsible for this election result.

It was not a win for the GOP, and was a repudiation of Congress at the very least and at the very highest reaching limb President Obama.

Everyone recongises it clearly, even those of you on this board that continue with the "Teabagger" BS. Just stop it for your own good, for these people are the "middle" and the "independents" both parties need to win elections.

And they are just PO'ed enough to give the great big middle finger to both political parties. These are the American Citizens that sere ignored through 5 major pieces of major legislation and even though called in and shut down the White house and Congressional switchboards and bogged up the email accounts of all elected officials on all five legislative efforts that all eventually failed because the larger majority of "We the People" do not want them to go through, and still the roundheads in DC continue on their clueless slog to political irrelevancy. Those legislative efforts were:

  1. "Comprehensive Immigration Reform"
  2. "Comprehensive Immigration Reform II"
  3. "Toxic Asset Relief Program"/"Bank Bailouts"
  4. "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act"
  5. "Comprehensive Health Care Reform".

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

weeslicket (Anonymous) says…

"but the people in massachusetts think it has been a good plan. so, my point is: wouldn't this be a good model to look at."

The people of Mass had a say in it from the start. And they picked the plan that's best - for the people of Mass. That does not mean it would be the best plan for Kansas, or New Mexico, or North Dakota. That's the whole idea - the states should be able to develop their own plan, not model after anyone's.

"(e.g., we still have a health care, and a health insurance problem nationally)"

And nobody has said any differently.

What the majority of people in this country have been saying is that the Democrats' plan is not a solution.


ASBESTOS (Anonymous) says…

"It was not a win for the GOP, and was a repudiation of Congress at the very least and at the very highest reaching limb President Obama."

What the heck are they putting in the kool-aid these days?

It was as much a win for the Republicans as Obama's was for the Democrats. (Actually moreso given the circumstances.)

The people in Mass pulled the lever/punched the ballot/pressed the button next to the "R", Asbestos. This wasn't a case of the electorate being fed up with both sides and giving "the great big middle finger to both political parties". Were that the case the voters would have stayed home. They turned out in record numbers and elected a Republican in a place where the Dems outnumber the Republicans by a million voters.

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

notajayhawk: 1. The people of Mass had a say in it from the start. And they picked the plan that's best - for the people of Mass. That does not mean it would be the best plan for Kansas, or New Mexico, or North Dakota. That's the whole idea - the states should be able to develop their own plan, not model after anyone's."

no serious disagreement here, other than models can be helpful tools.

still, this does not preclude the national government from producing something useful and helpful, as massachusetts as a state has done. (but not kansas, or north dakota or arkansas, or... name a state.
this issue is really a national issue. and it is asking for a national solution. i'm also glad that the people of massachusetts found a solution they felt they could live with.
i just hope we as a nation find a solution we can live with as well.)

  1. “(e.g., we still have a health care, and a health insurance problem nationally)” And nobody has said any differently.

remind me... what is/are the "other" plan/plans being offered??

  1. What the majority of people in this country have been saying is that the Democrats' plan is not a solution.

nod. the "majority" of americans also favor: - insurance companies can't just drop coverage when they start losing their expected profit margin (they will gladly accept your payments; but will not as willingly pay their contracted coverages) - insurance companies can't just deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (living is a pre-existing condition. duh.) - if you like your plan, you can keep it (nod to mass) - medical decisions are mainly between doctors and patients - coverage should be portable - uiversal coverage is a good thing - the manner in which health care is paid for (the insurance coverage bit and reimbursement bit) isn't working very well - which probably means regulation of the industry - that doesn't mean that health coverage is "free"

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

I really think the loss in Mass. was more due to over-confidence of a traditionally blue state that thought this was "in the bag" and didn't work very hard to hold onto it. I don't think ANYONE in Mass. ever thought Ted's seat would actually be lost to a Regurgican.

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

a second nod to grammady: "grammady: Why is it that those who already have great health care are the ones who want to kill it for the rest of us?”

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

21 January 2010 at 9:26 p.m. porch_person (Anonymous) says…

"Hey, dude. You know when you said that I claimed that Brown wasn't running as a Republican? And I reminded you that the authors of the article were the ones who said that?

"Well, you went back and tried to claim that I did it again. Even after I directly quoted the authors when I corrected you the first time!!

"That's hella funny!!"

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/jan/20/gops-brown-pulls-upset-win-mass-senate-race/#c1118998

And today pooch-head says:

"One senate seat lost to someone who downplayed his Republican party affiliation and the conservatives jump on it as the demise of the Democratic party"

Yep, that's hella' funny, porchfinkle.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

weeslicket (Anonymous) says…

"no serious disagreement here, other than models can be helpful tools."

If applicable. Again, the people of the various states should be able to make the decisions that are right for them, which may or may not be something that was right for another state. Look at, for example, the ongoing debate over whether we should put more money into trains than highways. In Massachusetts that might be the best way to go - that doesn't mean Kansas should follow their transportation model, or that the federal government should force all the states to accept the same model.

"remind me… what is/are the “other” plan/plans being offered??"

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/05/nation/na-health-gop5

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124277551107536875.html

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_167205.asp

If you don't agree with the Republican alternatives, fine. If you don't believe they would work, fine. But the continued claims of the Democrats that the Republicans don't and never did HAVE any alternatives is more than a little disingenuous.

"- insurance companies can't just drop coverage when they start losing their expected profit margin - insurance companies can't just deny coverage for pre-existing conditions"

I have no problem with either of those. However, I don't see why someone with a pre-existing condition shouldn't have to pay more. If car insurance had to cover pre-existing damage to the vehicle, would you want your rates to go up because your neighbor bought a car that was wrecked?

"- if you like your plan, you can keep it (nod to mass)"

Somewhat misleading. Most people ARE satisfied with their plans, and trust the private sector more than the public sector to run their healthcare. With a taxpayer-subsidized public or quasi-public option available, though, how many companies would discontinue their healthcare coverage forcing their employees into that public or quasi-public option? Not to mention, with a tax on high-end coverage, how many people would abandon plans they're currently happy with?

"- medical decisions are mainly between doctors and patients"

If you think this is the case with public-funded healthcare, you are very sadly mistaken.

"- uiversal coverage is a good thing"

Again, misleading. Most people believe everyone should have access to healthcare. However, most are also opposed to a single-payer government-funded system.

"- the manner in which health care is paid for (the insurance coverage bit and reimbursement bit) isn't working very well"

Yet again, misleading, if accurate at all. Most people think health CARE costs too much. It is not a matter of how we pay for it, it COSTS too much.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

grammaddy (Anonymous) says…

"I don't think ANYONE in Mass. ever thought Ted's seat would actually be lost to a Regurgican."

So, what - each person in Massachusetts that voted for the Republican candidate did so out of some form of protest while actually hoping everyone else voted for the Democrat?

Abdu Omar 4 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, how do we know exactly that "Obamacare" will work or not work? Most of us don't know what is in the bill. I have noticed that the Republicans haven't provided us with an alternative.

Also, I agree with someone above who said that our and I repeat "OUR" Kansas representatives are not doing anything about solving THE health care problem. They stand with hands in their pockets saying "NO". Why don't they say, :"No, but try this one on"?

I had to retire early because of an injury and without the VA benefits I earned by putting my life on the line in 1968, I would have no health care at all. So what is offered is better than nothing and if we end up with nothing a lot of us will die.

I have always been a Republican. Now, I look at the Repubs and I see that nothing is going on, They have presented no plan what-so-ever and I, and millions like me. NEED A PLAN. GET TO WORK if you don't pass this one.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

nota,

I don't know the specifics of union funding, but it seems that their "political agenda" is most likely derived from and benefits their members.

Corporate political agendas, as far as I can tell, would primarily benefit those at the top of the chain.

Corey Williams 4 years, 11 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says… "Really, Corey?

“Poll shows Huckabee with slim lead over Obama in theoretical 2012 face-off”

“New Poll Shows Obama-Romney Dead Even in 2012”

Just giving you the news straight from the favorite "unbiased" news station. If you can't trust them, who can you trust?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.