Up and down the corridors of power this morning hotshot Democratic Party strategists are pointing fingers at each other. Who, indeed, is responsible for the loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat? There is plenty of blame to go around.
Tip O’Neill often told the story of the old lady who told him she had not voted for him. “Why not?” he asked. “Because you didn’t ask for it,” she replied. I suspect this basic law of politics was ignored in this special election year. Martha Choakley assumed she was entitled to the seat by virtue of having won the Democratic nomination and never bothered to ask the voters for their support. So you certainly could blame Martha.
There were a handful of warning signs ignored. The Virginia governor race should have told everyone that Barack Obama’s victory did not mean a rubber stamp for Democratic candidates. Virginia Democrats ended up running a lackluster unknown against a polished campaigner who had already beaten the Democrat in a state-wide race. The loud mouthed extroverts who think they are the solution to all our problems fought it out in the Democratic Primary and left us with everyone’s second choice. Still, a Christofacist who wants to cure the queers and return housewife status to all women and who espouses discredited Raygun fiscal policies got elected. How did that happen?
You can say we lost New Jersey’s governorship because the incumbent Democrat was widely unpopular. But you still have to ask how he managed to lose to a GOOPer with a girlfriend on the government payroll, a candidate who believes that helping multinational corporations is the way to fix the problems that got started because we trusted too much in multinational corporations.
So the experts have a lot to answer for. I think the truth of it is that your average Obama political expert has a big handicap in understanding the average voter. Obama progressives are optimists. They think the common man is somehow noble and wise and will make the right decisions when called upon. For this reason we refuse to get down and wrestle in the slime with Karl Rove. And for this reason we will never beat him.
Karl Rove is a pol with no illusions about the nobility of the common man. Rove knows the average American is an ignorant dumbass who can be swayed with shiny bobbles and magic charms. The correctness of his analysis is written in recent history. Ronnie The Traitor Raygun did not get elected because he promised to resolve the oil crisis and rectify monitary policy. He got elected because he promised Morning in America would be ushered in by kicking Russian ass, jailing welfare queens and performing voodoo rites on Wall Street. Scores of blue collar workers voted against their best interests to elect the man who did more to eliminate good paying blue collar jobs than any other President in history.
Bill Clinton got into office running against a weak campaigner who, ironically, believed in public policy more than hype and was saddled with a very bad economy (left to him by the Raygunner). Clinton stayed in office by throwing morsels to the slime monster from the ship of state (the entire GLBT community, for example) and won the hearts of the people by publically pissing on Newty Gringo’s brilliant plan to shut down government and not send out Social Security checks. With opponents like that, who needs a campaign committee.
I will not make the case here that The Moron George W. Busch ever won an election. His clever manipulation of the media by creating the white collar mob, however, helped legitimize … in the eyes of the dumbass voters… the court-ordered coup that put him in office. He stayed in office by running against “activist judges,” “the homosexual agenda” and, of course, “moslem terrorists.” He won a second time by suppressing the vote in Florida and Ohio, but he bought credibility with the masses with terror alerts generated by the wars he created for the very purpose of manipulating the masses. Throughout the Busch reign, you never heard a blue collar worker complain that his/her income was cut (which it was) that his/her life expectancy was shortened (which it was) or that his children’s prospects had diminished (which they had). Real issues were never on the radar screen. Busch and his handlers fed the masses crap and the masses ate it up. The Buschees believed they would establish a 1,000 year GOOP Reich and if he had not been so incompetent (Katrina) he might have gotten away with it.
I am still not convinced that Barack Obama would have won the election if the GOOP had picked a better candidate than John McCaine. The election might have been closer if McCaine had picked a better running mate.. Joe LIEberman, for example. A more attractive presidential candidate may actually have won. Obama’s appeal was in the fact that he was fresh, he had some pretty awesome rallies and a cool campaign slogan. Yes We Can is just another way of saying Its Morning in America.
Winning elections is a matter of getting the masses out to vote for your guy. If we don’t figure out how to do that before November, the time clock for the 1,000 year GOOP Reich will start again. My advice to the experts is more bread and circuses, less public policy.