Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This seemed to sum up what happened in Massachusetts.


  1. Good one, Gintaras.

    I think this was a case of a very bad candidate (vs. a very good one) and some highly motivated voters.

  2. Democrats gave away yet another political office. As before, they simply refuse to fight for these positions and used a totally ineffectual candidate. There were plenty of Kennedy family members who were far better suited for the Senate and none of those Massachusetts Dimbocrats chose to use them.

    With the continued idiocy of the Dumbocraps, expect someone like Sarah Palin in the White House real soon. God help America when it happens.

  3. Well, now, wait just a minute. That "idiocy" did manage to get Obama elected and some movement on health care reform as well as progress on several other fronts on which many despaired of ever seeing progress...all that gets no props just because of this one election, which may have just been a matter of overconfidence in the Kennedy legacy, counting his a "safe seat."

    Is this truly, as a caller on an NPR show said today, the "land of instant gratification" in which we want what we want when we want it, which is right now. (I'd probably have said "land of short attention spans".)

    I'm already at the point of turning off tv news and comment (yes, even "The Daily Show," as well as links to articles friends send me when they are sufficiently outraged, I sure hope I don't have to start turning off NPR, too.

  4. The Mass. Democrats did this to themselves by making this special election out of fear Romney would appoint a Republican if Kerry had won the 2004 Presidential election. Such bitter irony.

    But, what galls me the most is that Obama is now backing away from the health care bill, taking this stupid vote as a referendum, and saying to Democrats we must work with Republicans. Has he read a newspaper in the past 6 months? Is he really so stupid to think the Republicans will sign onto any health care bill?

    Time for Reid and Pelosi to get their Democrats in line on Capitol Hill and jam this bill through Congress. I hate the idea of the House approving the Senate Bill, but that appears to be the only way to avoid a 60-vote approval. All the Senate would need is a simple majority. But, any health care package is better than no health care package. It will be over for any kind of meaningful legislation this year,like an energy bill, if the Republicans are able to filibuster this bill.

  5. I don't know ... I don't blame the democrats on this. All the heavy hitters campaigned for her.

    Coakley reminds me a bit of Kerry. He won the primaries not because people felt passionate about him, but because he seemed to be the best candidate for everyone else to vote for. And then he sort of blew it on the image side, not to mention the swift boaters (although I'm still not 100% convinced he lost in 2004).

    Coakley doesn't seem to have it in her to be a politician. While her opponent was all about politics.

    I also don't see this as some sort of referendum on health care, although I can see how the republicans were able to spin it that way. Massachusetts has near universal health care. Why should they have to pay for benefits going to everyone else -- but particularly Nebraska and the insurance companies? It makes me mad just thinking about it, and I need insurance.

    That's such an obvious argument that it's no wonder Coakley didn't win. Particularly since she didn't argue it head on, fighting to bring down costs, etc.

    If Baucus were up for reelection right now I would have a very hard time not voting against him -- and I've never voted for a republican in my life. Not once.

  6. Turns out Scott Brown was quite a hunk,

    and has two beautiful daughters,

    This guy has Gary Hart written all over him.

  7. Kerry let himself get blindsided by the Swift Boat Ads, which is surprising since it was pretty much the same stunt Bush pulled on McCain in 2000, questioning his opponent's military record to take attention away from his own.

    However, Kerry ran a pretty good campaign. His problem was his inability to close it effectively, especially in Ohio. Unlike the Coakley-Brown campaign, Kerry and Bush ran pretty much neck and neck throughout that race. Kerry had a little bit of a lead going into the final week and seemed to think that was enough, but last minute campaigning by Bush in key states, including Ohio, gave him the final edge. Very disappointing to remember.

  8. Gary Hart. Good one! Brown is a very odd duck, but seems to be the candidate the republicans have been looking for. And as Pat Buchanan has predicted, he'll make a swing farther to the right once he gets into the Senate.

    As for Kerry, remember the vacation windsurfing? I know there is more to it than that, but that is what I remember best about his campaign. I did love Edwards then, though, and worked tirelessly for them in Montana. (I'm a dreamer, as I always admit.) My hard-core republican county went for Kerry, simply on the basis of, I think, our get out the vote effort.

    As for Ohio.... they swiftboated the democrats by simply not putting up enough places to vote in places like campus neighborhoods. That was a very shady election as far as I'm concerned.

  9. Obama and the Democrats have one big hurdle to get over, and so far they haven't done a good job. That hurdle is the inherent selfishness of the American people. A selfishness, I might add, that is exacerbated any time the economy sours, because a weak economy gives the inherently selfish automatic cover.

    Over the years I've wondered why average Americans are content to see the military eat up so much of the budget while serious social issues, like health care, continue to go unaddressed. And the conclusion I've reached is that the average American is primarily concerned with what he is going to get. He has to see the benefit going directly into his pockets. If he can't see that, he's against it. He rejects the concept of "the greater good" with respect to social issues and social ills.

    The sad thing is that the inherent selfishness of the average American is a byproduct of the American myth. The myth that tells him he can be whatever he wants to be. The myth that also tells him he has worked for everything he has and that the needy and less fortunate simply haven't worked hard enough. That is the automatic cover bestowed upon him by the American Dream.

  10. Yes, it seems like the country is only altruistic when it comes to bringing "freedom" to other countries.

    That is the one thing that I remembered from Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 04:

    "For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we’re all connected as one people.

    If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.

    If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent."

    The comment that it makes my life poorer, really stuck with me. You could say the same about access to medical care for all Americans. But he hasn't convinced enough people in this country, alas.

  11. It isn't easy to convince people of something they don't believe. The passage from his speech that you quote makes for great reading, but only if you're a liberal. Conservatives do not experience a personal sense of impoverishment when face with the needs of others. Those needs are their own damn fault and their own damn problem. Sadly, however, when times get tought it isn't only conservatives who harden their hearts.

  12. Yea, all these foreclosures have been the result of stupid individuals taking advantage of low interest loans when they should have known better. Nothiing inherently wrong with the credit system, the backbone of our "supply-side economy." But, someone has to cover all these defaulted loans. Seems like it would have made more sense to refinance these mortgages at lower rates than be left with a bunch of greatly depreciated real estate. Obama has tried to provide credit relief for both consumer credit and home mortgages, but damn if you hear anything about this,

    in the mainstream media.

  13. ''That "idiocy" did manage to get Obama elected and some movement on health care reform as well as progress on several other fronts on which many despaired of ever seeing progress''

    After 8 years of Bush, even Carter could have won easily.

  14. I was looking at unemployment figures over the last 30 years, and Obama has yet to top Reagan. For all the talk of Carter's "misery index," largely the result of a prime lending rate that topped 20% which stifled virtually any growth, unemployment was 7.5% when Reagan took office. It soared to 10.8% in his second year. Unemployment didn't come down to a health 6% until 1987, six years after he took office. So much for Reaganomics.

    Yet, here we are a year into Obama's administration, and everyone is bellyaching that unemployment is 10% and appears to have stabilized, and Obama inherited a far worse economy than Reagan did.

    Myth trumps facts when it comes to the mobocracy. They easily allow themselves to be led by mouthpieces rather than make any effort to check Bureau of Labor statistics, which are a click away on the computer,

    although apparently not available for viewing today.

    Even in regard to the prime rate,

    Reagan made little dent in inflation until the summer of 1982.

  15. Republicans were also up in arms about the deficit Carter created. Of course, it, too, was inherited from Ford. But Reagan DOUBLED the deficit. Still the Republicans managed to blame Carter for the Ford-Reagan created mess.

    Can't say I blame the Pukes for this propaganda campaign. I blame the Democrats who stupidly insist on turning the other cheek rather than in speaking the truth about it all.

  16. Seems like each time the Democrats win they feel that good ol' populist spirit rise up inside of them and think they have the will of the people behind them. They don't seem to realize that they will always be opposed by no less than 45% of the population.

  17. But the opposition has been sounding populist itself. When Obama met with Clinton recently, Slick Willy may have reminded him that as the President he can co-op just about anyone's idea and pass it off as his own. I am glad to see that Obama is finally willing to listen to Volcker.

  18. The Republicans are smarter in general in that they know that an election is won by splitting contentious states, playing the rural and suburban vote off the urban vote. They play politics hard and dirty, seeing it as the numbers game that it is. Democrats still hold onto this fantasy that they can sway the masses, but Axelrod knew that if Obama was going to win the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House Team Obama had to play this one by the numbers too, which they did very effectively. They were particularly good in the caucus states. Bill did the same in '92 and '96. Lessons learned.

    But, Obama still holds onto that "populist" fantasy at least in part, trying to lay moderate and conservative worries to rest (a lost cause) rather than viewing politics as the trench warfare that it is. He should study LBJ.

  19. I can't find a link to the article, but according to one I read within the last few days, I've been entirely missing the boat in thinking of the two major parties when an ever-increasing number of people are registering Independent, and may well be thinking of themselves as such. Is this the populism Democrats thought they had all rounded up in their corral?

  20. I think it's a pox on both your houses. My guess is even republicans were happy to get rid of Bush et al. (at least according to polls and how people identify themselves -- it's down to something like 22% who self identify as republicans). But Congress seems to have frittered away any good will on either side.

    My guess (hope) is that incumbent republicans are in as much danger this year as democrats. We might even see some third party wins.

  21. Don't hold your breath. I think Americans like thinking of themselves as "independent," but in the end they line up for the most part behind one of the two parties. What ever differences they have seem to be mostly personal.

  22. It is hard to believe the impact this special election appears to have had on the White House and Congress. Rather than taking it as an anomoly, which is what it was, they are now redefining much of their agenda, including proposing spending freezes on some domestic programs,

    Any study of economic hard times has shown that approaching such crises by trying to balance budgets and limiting public spending have hurt, not helped the economy. But, it seems Obama has blinked, and is going to come under even more fire now, as the Teabaggers feel they scored a major victory.