Sunday, November 7, 2010

Defiant Dems Desperately Blaming others, Trying to Play Hardball

Tuesday night's election results were a fierce punch in the gut for Democrats. With entrenched incumbents like Russ Feingold and Blanche Lincoln having their rears handed to them by their Republican opponents, not to mention the monstrous 60+ seats in the House which suffered the same result, many Democrats are failing to see the clear, unmistakable writing on the wall. 

First, you have some devout liberals confidently claiming that the en masse election of Republicans...means that Democrats
just weren't liberal enough.
Last night, Democrats lost seats. Those losses have been predicted since January... it's not news. What is news is that Democrats lost seats not for being too progressive -- they lost seats for not being progressive enough. Although some in Washington will undoubtedly try to make the public think that Democrats lost this election cycle because they fought too hard, did too much, and went too far left -- nothing could be further from the truth.
...Right. Sure. That's like saying that I'd pull the lever for a Progressive candidate because the Republican candidate was a RINO. If liberalism is your thing, why would you vote for the polar opposite?

Journalists aren't the only ones hitching a ride on the "Blame the Blue Dogs" bandwagon. Recently ousted 
Representative Alan Grayson (see also:  "crapweasel"), also believes that the Democrats' "strategy of appeasement" was the final nail in the electoral coffin. Yeah, he's right, but not for the right reasons; Blue Dog Dems campaigned on platforms that were far more conservative than the "big government" junk many of them ended up supporting (see: "bought off"). It's called "Bait and Switch," and it is not well received, um, ever. On top of that, exit poll data show that voters were indeed skeptical of the "more, not less" approach to governing, as well as being overwhelmingly opposed to two of the Democrats' biggest spending bonanzas, the stimulus package and the health care bill.

For the Democrats who were lucky enough to make it out alive, they came out swinging after the dust settled. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose re-election still smells funny, along with 
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, hopped on a conference call with the press on Wednesday, repeating the same tired argument. 
Reid, especially, renewed a threat he made before, that Republicans must stop obstructing and start cooperating...
 
“Republicans must take their responsibility to solve the problems of ordinary Americans,” Reid said. “Simply saying ‘no,’ as we’ve had this past Congress … won’t bring jobs back. It won’t strengthen the economy, and it won’t help families who are struggling to make ends meet. ‘No’ is not the answer. It has to be ‘yes.’ Not our ‘yes,’ but a combined ‘yes,’ something we work out — a consensus ‘yes.’”
 
“Playing to a draw in the United States Senate for political score is not acceptable to the American people,” added Durbin. “We need to work together. The Senate will be the crucible for some of the most important issues of our day.”
This one really, really burns me. They've got some serious stones to make that kind of statement. Republicans have been locked out of the political process - literally - along much of the way. C-SPAN even came out publicly against the administration's attempt to keep all of these locked-door, secret committee meetings, well, a secret, even after Obama promised C-SPAN free and open access to said meetings. Let's not forget our President, the Prince of Bi-Partisanship, while in a meeting Republicans discussing their concerns about the stimulus package, reminded Republicans to respect his authority, because he won.


Clearly, at this point, it's really not the Republicans who need to learn to play well with others.


Besides, Republicans should be the last group that Democratic leaders should be worried about. According to The Hill, a number of Democratic Senators who come up for re-election in 2012 could have some serious issues maintaining those seats. 
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.), in particular, could have a particularly difficult battle ahead of them, considering they come from states whose hues recently went from blue to red. Don't forget Ben Nelson, the Senator whose vote in favor of the health care bill was so easily sold. He couldn't even go out for pizza in his home state without being heckled out of the restaurant for casting such an unpopular vote. As such, the likelihood of his re-election is slim, and he may choose to retire as a result.  

The reality for Democrats is that they no longer have a majority in the House, and maintain a slight majority in the Senate, which could still easily become meaningless if only a handful of Blue Dogs defect, if only to save their own hides. Progressive Democrats are no longer in a position to ignore or demean their Republican colleagues and the ideas they bring to the table. The Liberal Wet Dream they once hoped to force down our throats at breakneck speeds is no longer going to happen. It's time that they accept it, and move on.  

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