Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now that the wailing and gnashing of teeth...

... has died down a bit, it's probably time to assess why Scott Brown ended up winning, and why Democrats are in a tizzy about it.

Scott Brown, who came off as a ruggedly handsome truck-drivin' troglodyte, didn't win so much as Coakley lost--anyone who hates the nuts and bolts of politics, pressing the flesh and smiling until one's face cracks, probably shouldn't be running for an office that requires that sort of campaigning, and a Senate seat for Massachusetts most assuredly does. It was held by world-class smilers for more than fifty years.

Coakley also lost because of her association with Democrats. On a host of issues that matter--health care, budget, housing, bank bailouts, jobs, wars--Democrats, and particularly that fellow in the White House, have had one PR strategy: give people shit, and tell them that it's pie.

Brown won not for his stance on those issues, because he avoided issue analysis. He won because he was able to tell people, in the clearest possible way, "hey, that ain't pie, that's shit," thereby confirming the people's suspicions, and thus giving him the superficial appearance of being honest. Not that Brown will be a raging success in the job--people will also figure out, in time, that he's got even more shit in store for them than any Democrat could manage. Massachusetts voters, for some unaccountable reason, have a history of voting for Strong Republican Daddies for governor, usually accompanied by buyer's remorse later, and that dynamic is at work here.

What's comical about all this have been the reactions of Democrats in Washington, which have ranged from "WTF?," to "we're doooooomed." Only in the hothouse that is DC could an election that shifted the arbitrary balance of power in the Senate from 60-40 to 59-41 be seen as a bigger calamity than the earthquake in Haiti. The reaction of the Washington insider press is even sillier, that "Democrats moved too far to the left," but is one that is already being picked up by Dems themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth, but, that won't stop them from behaving as if it's true.

If Republicans and big business have openly and brazenly had their hands in the pockets of each other for a long, long time, have been major-league, world-class hypocrites about their treasured "conservative values," the Dems have been trying, however inexpertly, to emulate them, at least from the time of emergence of the DLC two decades ago. The lesson here is that, after eight years of bumbling, lying, thuggishness and thievery by Bush Republicans, the public was champing at the bit for competency and actual solutions to problems. Instead, the Dems came to 2009 eager to cooperate with and, frankly, kiss the asses of the people who had caused the very problems that had angered the public--the banksters, the for-profit health-care industry, the Republicans. In many instances, Dems not only perpetuated Bush policies, they amplified them.

It's no wonder that the public reacted as they did. They blamed the Democrats for not solving those problems and for not, at the very least, making a game effort at undoing the damage of the Bush/Cheney years, and in a two-party system, and when the Dems behaved like their more corrupt political brethren, there was only one alternative. Voters were repelled by all the cash being thrown willy-nilly at the monster banks when they and their neighbors were watching their own prospects for the future circling the drain, and naturally expected the Dems--and particularly Obama--to show some real leadership, for once, by coming to the aid of the people and by prosecuting financial criminals by the bushel basket-full, but, the Dems fell on their ass on that one, making one excuse after another about the economic necessity of bringing the Wall Street pirate ships safely into port and giving their crews bonuses.

Those same voters then watched in horror as Dems handed the Republicans the Sledgehammer of Bipartisanship and let them bludgeon the bunny rabbit of health care reform to death, then recoiled as it was boiled down into an unrecognizable mass of shit and cartilage and fur and then hacked up by industry lobbyists and the Blue Dogs.

All the while, the Dems kept right on talking about how the economy was getting better (as people were swimming away from houses that had turned into leaky submarines, trying to evade the job-loss Great Whites) and that, boy howdy, we'd all love that bunny rabbit once Congress got through with it. The Dems kept right on talking shit right through Tuesday evening at 8 pm EST.

FDR is remembered for putting fear in its place and for his Four Freedoms. Obama and the current crop of Dems will be remembered for their rhetoric, too: "Have some pie."

3 Comments:

  • mmmmmm...pie!!!

    By Blogger water, at 5:33 AM  

  • Great post! I think you summed up the reasons for the Massachusetts result excellently.

    By Blogger Ciara, at 8:11 AM  

  • Well done.

    Sunny

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:31 PM  

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