Posted by: shannynmoore | January 20, 2010

BAD NEWS; GOOD NEWS: COAKLEY LOSES!

If you want your piano tuned, make sure that the piano tech isn’t tone-deaf. Listening to the conservative Democrats and Republicans analyze the results of the special election in Massachusetts was like listening to karaoke night at a tone-deaf bar. The mainstream media has a new Palinesque crush.  His name is Scott Brown.

The Democrats may have lost because they weren’t listening to ‘The People.’ But it wasn’t because congress was ‘too far left’ as the Senator from Jello, Evan Bayh D-IN, stated. It wasn’t because people rejected President Obama or the president’s ‘agenda’ of change as Fox News opinionator Sean Hannity said. This wasn’t even a victory for the Tea Baggers who poured money into the Brown campaign from around the country.  Democrat Martha Coakley lost to Republican Scott Brown for different reasons entirely.

Senior Brown adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told boston.com the turning point for Brown was the Dec. 30 JFK ad.  “After that, it was like riding a rocket ship for 2 ½ to 3 weeks till today.”  Brown called himself a candidate who drew his inspiration from JFK and characterized himself as a moderate and a believer in compassionate and smart government. He wasn’t running as a Tea Bagger and denied even knowing what the Tea Party movement was-despite having an official Tea Party fundraiser.

As far as this being a referendum on Obama, that can’t be because even as the Coakley campaign tanked, Obama’s approval rating was running around 50%. It wasn’t the Obama agenda either. CNN reported exit-polling data that revealed voters were frustrated with the ‘pace of change’ meaning the ‘change’ they voted for was not happening fast enough. The frustration of independent and Democratic voters with the pace of change also reflected a frustration with ‘compromise’ vs. ‘leadership’.

People don’t want mealy-mouthed ass-kissers like Evan Bayh or chinless elephant fluffers like Joe Leiberman–they want Roosevelt-like leadership that may, indeed, steamroll the Republicans in congress but—hey—so WHAT??? Polling data shows the only group voters hate more than Democrats are the Republicans, so who is going to give a rat’s ass what Mitch McConnell boo-hoos about?

Finally, this cannot have been a referendum on Health Care because Massachusetts has a public care system with mandatory purchase requirements that covers 97% of the state’s population. Moreover, a majority in the United States and in all regions support a more liberal Health Care bill than the ones offered in either the House or Senate!

Howard Dean and Blogger Jason Linkins provided some well-tuned analysis that Democrats and the White House should heed. Dean pointed out on NPR and later on MSNBC that maybe it is a good thing the Senate now has one less Democrat because it will force the White House to provide the leadership that has thus far been lacking in health care reform and other issues like banking reform.

As long as the White House set the goal of a Super Majority 60 votes, it was weak with compromise and void of leadership. Direction was provided by the Myth of the 60 and not the Leadership of the one for whom the people voted last November. So now, perhaps, the Obama White House will be forced to find its voice and get tough and, yes, roll the recalcitrant if need be.

If this had been a goal of George W. Bush, Healthcare Reform would have been law last fall-with or without the support of the opposition.

Democrats should forget Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieu, Lieberman and Bayh; there are 53 or 54 good, solid Democratic votes to advance the progressive agenda; all we need is the Leadership of one. Now is the time to lead.

FDR passed critical aspects of New Deal legislation with LESS THAN 48 votes (Alaska and Hawaii were not states so a Supermajority in 1933 would’ve required 58 votes)!  The National Industrial Recovery Act passed 46-39 in 1933.  Stop already with the BS Super Majority goal.  People are DYING every day from a lack of health insurance. 

Linkins turned some much-needed attention to Coakley herself and the listless campaign she conducted in pursuit of what must surely have looked like Royal Decree—what with all the talk about the “Kennedy Seat” and the filial pious decree of the Kennedy Family and Widow. So Martha took a vacation that contributed to Brown’s surge and eschewed retail campaigning like a vegan turning her nose up at a can of Spam. As Linkins relates it:

To me, this quote from Coakley, responding to a Boston Globe reporter asking her if perhaps she hasn’t been too passive, sums up her entire campaign:

“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. “This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet.”

Linkins went on to note that with unemployment in some parts of Massachusetts reaching 17%, the Democratic Party failed to connect with the plight of their constituents and-hence-their frustration. Coakley didn’t get it.  You may engender resentment among the voting demographic that can’t pay their bills or put food on the table if you go on a reported three week+ Caribbean vacation during the final stretch of the campaign instead of standing in the cold outside Fenway Park.

So here is what I take away from the Coakley debacle and pass on to the Democratic Party:

Know thyself;

To thine own self be true….NOW, GROW A PAIR!

Set your goal at 50 plus Vice President Biden’s tie breaking vote.

Tweak the bill and include a STRONG public option that will commence October 1, 2010.  Pass healthcare reform via reconciliation like George W. Bush rammed through his tax cuts-TWICE!  By November 2012, even the Tea Baggers will appreciate and defend their new-found health coverage.


Responses

  1. Well expressed, Shannyn.

  2. “chinless elephant fluffers like Joe Lieberman”

    LOfreakin’L!!

    MSNBC needs someone with wit and true “common sense” intelligence for the 10:00 PM slot. Submit your resume, please.

  3. Great post Shannyn. You did an excellent job of assessing the election. I live here, in a very blue part of the state. The enthusiasm was just dead for Martha. While I voted for her in the primary, I had high hopes she would campaign well. Last night I thought, “she just didn’t want it enough” and she did a terrible job of selling herself to the progressives and indies in the state. Between her gaffs and her conspicuous entitlement to the seat, it was a big turnoff. The progressives, including myself, didn’t vote for Martha yesterday, but rather we voted against Brown and that is never a good enough reason. As I said this morning on another blog, “enjoy the seat Brown. You will only be warming until the term is up in 2012” Its just as well we lost it. I would rather a GOPer warm that seat than an undeserving democrat. Thanks for your wonderful post.

  4. Oh my God, I was so depressed and sad about the results last night and determined that I was going to go on a “news blackout” incuding even reading what my fave bloggers have to say about the election, but your title caught my eye and Shannyn, I am so happy I read it. Thank you so much for putting a real voice of reason and a real charge to this administration to “get it done.” I always love reading your insightful, researched, and sometimes passionate analyses. As I sit here this morning sipping my coffee, you dear person have made my day much brighter. I only wish we could zip this directly to President Obama to read.

  5. Coakley’s performance in this special election is so unlike her other elective races… well, no.

    She had the same senior campaign staff in a prior loss. For a smart woman – I personally know that she’s no s’error palin – she sure did not learn anything from that loss. But she’s done now. She will never win in MA again. Not even to keep her job as state Attorney General.

    As for the dems growing a pair… well, I posted that as a comment on Gryphen’s blog under his entry about your huffpo post.

    The dems no longer just need to grow a pair. They need to be told and shown how to do that. Based on what I know of this special election, they’ve lost their ability to find their way.

  6. Ok, I went to WhiteHouse.gov and sent an email asking that your blog today be read by our President and his staff. To me, it is that right on. It is not jubilant, but it is not doom and gloom. It strikes the right tone to put forward a charge to take charge (does that make sense?). Supposedly all emails are at least read by someone as WhiteHouse.gov was created to have as open an administration as possible, so it never hurts to ask for them to read something or consider something. You know that may be the second time I have referenced your blog on WhiteHouse.gov.

  7. Well said!!

  8. Hear, hear Shannyn!

  9. This column falls well within the purview of “wishful thinking”. The problem the Democrats have will not be cured by bubblier candidates or more down and dirty politics. The problems have to do with policy.

    The President’s policies have by and large disappointed the people who voted for him. He talked about transparency and delivered back room deal-making. He talked about making life better for working Americans, and under his watch unemployment and underemployment have grown to monstrous proportions. (By the way, It is time to stop blaming everything… including bad weather …on Bush.) The president has gifted the Barons of Wall Street with a fiscal policy team right out of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Is it any surprise they have given hundreds of billions of taxpayer money to the banks without restrictions? While unemployment is in double digits, banks are handing out million dollar bonuses. Wait, the federal government is handing out million dollar salaries to the failures at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Democrat controlled Senate is attempting to do for health insurance companies, drug companies and for-profit health care corporations what they have already done for the banks. Ordinary working people who pay taxes and try and live responsibly are just tired of a government that works only for the very rich and the very poor while we are squeezed in between.

    And how about the way we get to send our children to Afghanistan to fight a war to maintain Hamid Karzai in power! All those who voted for Obama so we could get to do that, raise your hands. Hmmm…that’s what I thought.

    That’s why we got rid of Bush. So long as the Democrats act as if they were Bush Republicans they can expect the same sort of populist trashing they received yesterday.

  10. Excellent analysis. Dems can now stop pursuing the mirage of 60 votes and get on with business.

  11. Why can’t we get a whole Congress of sensible people like you? I loved your description of Leibermann!

  12. Great post!

    Indeed…JFK and Roosevelt would have LOVED a 54 vote majority in the senate. The point about people dying from a lack of coverage was spot on. Bush rammed his tax cuts through via reconciliation and healthcare reform ought to have the same urgency…

  13. “chinless elephant fluffers” 🙂 you are much much too kind.

  14. Very well said, Shannyn. I hope you and your wonderful insights catch the attention of the administration. I plan to write to President Obama as well.

    For me, the voter mandate of last year has not changed nor the fact that change is not happening overnight or even in one year. I shall urge the administration to follow in the footsteps of FDR and get ‘er done!
    Enough of playing patty-cake with the obstructionists. History will not be kind to them because of it.

  15. I’m so tired of these conservofascists & corprocrats! I’m going to play Rush and pull a # out of my arse, 80% of the American people are either retarded, brain dead or just to plain stupid(still no fix) to give a rats ass. If you’re a uber-selfish, greedy F*%#$tick than you should be happy with the nations status-quo otherwise you would see, for this society to have a chance for survival without another cival war or worse we need to embrace a scocialist mind-set and try to help one another through this maze of ugliness & greed!(wallflowers) I hate douche bag republican liars & weak kneed cave-in-crats!
    VIVA la KUCINICH!

  16. Yay! Shannyn.

    As a progressive, I say “Full steam ahead. Let’s get this ship of state moving!”

  17. Speaking of LIEberman and his former status as the crucial 60th democratic seat, I was watching Olbermann’s second short comment tonight and he kind of, sort of suggested that any reasons for kissing the Senator from Aetna’s butt have all but evaporated.

  18. I wanted to vote for Howard Dean in 2004, but by the time it was California’s turn to vote in the primary, the Democratic Party had already chosen Kerry. I often wonder what would have happened if Dean ran against Bush. I think Dean would have won.

    That means we’d be in Dean’s second term right now. With either Obama as his VP second term, or with Obama in the wings ready to run in 2016.

    Either way we’d probably be out of Iraq and Afghanistan by now. And who knows, might even have avoided the worst of the collapse.

    I’d like to think my gut as an average American is a pretty good barometer.

    You’re spot on. Brown won because Obama and the Democrats in Congress moved too far to the right. They’ve been weak. They have no discipline and have failed to discipline those needing it, I.E. Lieberman and the Blue Dogs. They’ve squandered the super majority for the brief time they had it.

    They need to grow a spine. They need to grow a pair.

    They need to start whipping their party into a cohesive voting block all on the same page.

    They need to close the tax loopholes that not only allow but encourage those obscene bonuses. They need to crank regulations back to what they were 20-30 years ago. They need to put the tax brackets back about 15-20 years too. Nothing has trickled down to me.

    And Geitner needs to go. I’m not too thrilled with Salazar either.

  19. I’m going to make this post very simple.

    I don’t like either Coakley or Brown. Never did.

    Liked your post here Shannyn, tho.😉

  20. I agree in full that its time for the dems to Kick
    the DINOCrats to the kerb and get on with what
    the country elected them to do.

    Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieu, Lieberman and Bayh
    Should be put under serious pressure. Support
    the will of the people and your party or Your
    History. Plain and simple. Get these BUMS gone.
    They are not democrats they are centrist republicans.

    I think the upset in Massachusetts was a shot across the bow to shake the dems up & nothing
    more. Mr Brown will soon realise that he will be
    just a drone for the Republican agenda, essently
    told what way to vote and what to say when he takes office.

    The President has an excellent opportunity to
    sieze the moment and “Boldly Suggest” that there
    will be a government run health option “Period”

    We will revoke the insurance companies anti trust.
    We will full investgate the practices of both the
    banking and insurance industries and the players
    found guilty of voilation will go to Jail.

    Time to clean house, gloves off, no more mr nice guy !

    No more pandering, Execute the plan.

    Get it Done

  21. Shannyn I wish you would run for office. I wish we could get you down here in CA. to straighten out our government here.
    You’re last few lines are absolutely spot on!

    Now on another note….you know something is happening because Cindy McCain, wife of “Get Off My Lawn” John McCain did a photo shoot for the NOH8 Campaign. Her mouth is taped shut and the NOH8 tattoo on her cheek and she is lending her support NOW for same sex marriage and for equality!
    One has to wonder why now? Why not back during the campaign?

  22. Last night when Brown was elected and I watched him speak, something starting forming in my mind. Essentially it goes something like this…”Move over Sarah, there’s a new kid on the block!” Attractive, some sex appeal, ability to energize, not incite, a crowd. Never once pandered to the rabid right; appears to have a natural sense of humor; educated at formidable schools. Although he talked too long, he can string together coherent sentences. Is it possible that this man is the answer to the Republicans (leaving out the Palinbots) shot to rid themselves of the Palin virus?

    Brown appeared on numerous shows this morning, not hidden away. There is something about being an elected official that tends to make people listen to you. Sarah gave all that away for the money, so now…..

    Sarah, an employee at Fox News, where her adorers now see her as their competition. In her brief time, she already looks amateurish.

    She appeals to a small, although vocal, segment of the Republican party. Brown will have a broader appeal. I predict he won’t just be another pretty face.

    I might add that I am a Democrat. One that researched Palin the minute she became the VP candidate and didn’t like what I saw immediately. It’s no wonder I love all your columns. You have her number in spades and I think her number is just about up.

  23. brownie the pimp daddy!! SICKENING!! brown is SUCKING the juice of the red teabag. SHAME, SHAME!! -PEACE- L8R


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