Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Plus Ca Change Presidency

At least they got the postmortem right:

A top pollster to Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley told HuffPost on Tuesday that the White House, in attempting to blame the Coakley campaign for a potential defeat today in Massachusetts, underestimates the wave of populist fury among Massachusetts voters.

Pollster Celinda Lake said Coakley was hampered by the failure of the White House and Congress to confront Wall Street. That failure, she said, means that Democrats are being blamed by angry independent voters worried about the state of the economy.

"If Scott Brown wins tonight he'll win because he became the change-oriented candidate. Voters are still voting for the change they voted for in 2008, but they want to see it. And right now they think they've got economic policies for Washington that are delivering more for banks than Main Street." ...

If nothing changes, she said, the wave will continue wiping out Democrats.

A couple of days ago I listened to Sean Hannity's radio show for the first time (I was a passenger in a car and didn't have control of the tuner). The focus was the election in Massachusetts. Hannity's mantra: "Change is coming." Of course "change" means different things to different people. To Hannity's crowd it's a politically palatable euphemism for nihilism and obstructionism, for short-circuiting actual change. But it really is stunning how quickly and how passively Obama and the Democrats have surrendered the word.

I know this blog sees events through a financial world prism, and a Republican didn't just win Ted Kennedy's seat because of Obama's inexplicable taste in Federal Reserve chairmen. But to the extent populist fury blurs boundaries between issues, Bernanke, the bailouts and bonuses, the economy, and Obama's lassitude on Wall Street reform were all indistinguishable on Tuesday night in Massachusetts. And the Democrats can't wait to slap voters in the face with Bernanke for another four years.

19 Comments:

Blogger Dave S. said...

I'm shocked - shocked! - that a campaign-affiliated pollster would shift blame away from the campaign.

From my admittedly brief reading it sounds like Coakley treated the primary like the general election - win and you're in. Unless you're a Democrat in DC, having that attitude means you deserve to lose.

1/20/2010 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up until last night, Dave's last sentence woulda read: "Unless you're a Democrat in DC, or running for Ted Kennedy's seat..."

This election is simply huge. It is a massive defeat.

But I actually have a somewhat different take on the situation based on the exit numbers I've seen regarding the large number of Democrats who voted for Brown.

I think the party faithful were sending a clear message of protest to the Whitehouse:

You said we'd get out of Iraq and Gitmo [No], you said we'd focus on domestic issues [sending more troops to Afghanistan?... and just last week we read the WH Defense Budget proposal will spend more than ever before in the history of the world!]

The popular Republican bumper sticker says "...You can Keep the Change".

The Democrats replied last night, "WHAT CHANGE?!"

Seriously, even as a Conservative Independent/republican, I can't find an important difference between Bush and Obama.

1/20/2010 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pollster happens to be right. Sure, Coakley ran a bad campaign, but she was swamped by the anti-Obama vote. Anti-Obama in the sense that people want healthcare reform, just not this sham give away to Pharma and the big Insurance Cos. And they sure as hell hate the fake posturing on Finance reform, while the banksters get a $24 trillion free ride. The only way to avoid a total bloodbath in the mid-terms is for the Democratic Party to once again become the Party of FDR. I don't expect that to happen, tho. You can expect Rahm to go bare-knuckled flight-forward to force thru this clueless, suicidal "reform" legislation, thus ensuring GOP victories, a new era of total gridlock and a failed one-term for Nero Obama.

Unmitigated Audacity

1/20/2010 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Lol... It is certainly a funny spectacle. The democrats are totally out to lunch. Trillions for the banksters and unemployment for the masses. They really think they can get through on terrorism fear mongering (expanding the wars), cimate fear mongering, and healthcare reform that boils down to pointing a gun to everybodies head and forcing them to buy insurance...and taxing anybody with decent health insurance! Keep in mind the more you tax something the smaller the supply becomes. So...more people will have high deductible health plans. Let alone we have a healthcare industry built around ER rooms for the majority of the poor and underinsured. Is there even enough healthcare supply to handle improved coverage for the poor? Has anybody in Washington even thought about that? Do we have infrastructure in place to improve the healthcare for the poor or are we just going to keep sending them to the ER...with the only real world benefit being we don't have to bring them through bankruptcy court every time they have a medical problem! Boy...change u can believe in! The scary thing is the American people and the politicians they so readily believe in are all deluded from the same fantasy. That the only thing that is needed is for a bunch of clowns in expensive suits to pass a law and the US will have splendid healthcare! Isn't life simple!

1/20/2010 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

I'm a Massachusetts voter. I voted third party (Kennedy). the reason is just what the pollster and some commenters have said. I am fed up with the Democrats talking a good game and then not following through. I am fed up with the sweetheart deals for Wall Street while unemployment and income disparity continue to rise. I am pissed that there is no public health care option. I am concerned that the intelligence agencies continue illegal surveillance, that we are not out of Iraq and Afghanistan, that we continue kidnapping people (rendition), and that the war criminals from the previous administration are still free men.

Now, am I surprised that the Democrats have not delivered on any of this? No, I am not; I never expected them to. But that also means they are not working for my interests and priorities, so they don't get my vote. If it even seemed like they were doing half of the above, it would have voted for them to keep their majority. But considering what they have done with it so far, I couldn't do it.

1/20/2010 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

I think TCR, and Kilfarsnar, and [basically] Goldhorder are right. The problem is that the post-mortem is far from settled. The Hannitys and the Libermen and the Summers and Rubins and Geithners will make hay over this vote for weeks or even months to come, so loudly as to drown out the TCRs. The neo-cons, particularly among the Democrats, have Obama's ear and will convince him that Hannity is right: that Coakley lost because Obama has governed too far "left." (LOL, I can't even quote that ridiculous accusation with a straight face.) Obama's big-money backers also have a vested interest in making sure TCRs alternative analysis doesn't reach Presidential ears.

So after this strategic defeat, we can look forward to three, or if we're lucky, seven more years of Clintonesque political timidity and kowtowing to the insane Right, and then probably a President Palin. Assuming the entire economy doesn't disintegrate into feudalism first.

1/20/2010 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus ca change
Plus c'est la meme chose

1/20/2010 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eh, Jon Stewart said it best. I don't know why everyone is so wordy on here. :)

"The Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurses office because, once again, they glued their balls to their thighs."

Exactly. Where is the change? I voted for Obama, since McCain/Palin was simply not within my scope of imagination, and so now we are stuck with him.

Let's hope his balls become unglued, real soon.

1/20/2010 6:13 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...

ALOHA !!

Wow ... so "voting for the lesser evil" does not work. I am shocked!

Perhaps we should just quit voting for "evil" period and start backing a third party instead of the usual two party monopoly.

This is looking a lot like CLASS WARFARE! The THEM against US thingy!

1/21/2010 1:11 AM  
Anonymous John B. said...

KAMU,
if you don't think there is class warfare going on, you must be on the winning side. Class warfare is alive and well, but it is not waht most people think it is.

1/21/2010 10:38 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Wow, Kilfarsnar, so you voted third party and now there's the choice of either enacting the (inferior) Senate bill or nothing. I always vote third-party rather than support Dianne Feinstein, but . . . I wouldn't have done it in this situation. Also, I think the outrage over Obama is kind of funny -- what did people think he would be, some kind of Messiah? (I wondered about this during the primary, when people were demonizing Hillary Clinton and deifying Obama, and I couldn't see much difference between them at all.)

I agree with the specific complaints about Obama so far, and could add some of my own to the mix. but really, if you can't see any important differences between Obama and Bush, you've got to get your eyes checked.

Anyway, the brouhaha here and elsewhere over the Dems and Obama reminds me that Americans are naively cynical when it comes to politics.

1/21/2010 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But it really is stunning how quickly and how passively Obama and the Democrats have surrendered the word."

I wouldn't call it "stunning". To anyone who's been watching and voting for the fucking Dems for the last few decades, it's just what they do.

However, it's way past time to acknowledge that the nuances of the D vs. R pseudo-struggle are pretty irrelevant. The sainted founders cursed us with a truly idiotic politicial structure. (And in fact they generally cared fuck-all for civil liberties.) I'm not too eager to see a Constitutional Convention, myself -- I figure it'd just formalize certain power realities that the corporate oligarchy has long enjoyed. But the current system is truly pathological, and easily gamed: What's the most effective weapons system? One with a subcontractor in every congressional district.

It doesn't help that (nearly ?) every state aped the imbecilic two-house legislative structure. The myth is that the states are "laboratories of diversity", but the reality's a bit different.
-- sglover

1/21/2010 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So after this strategic defeat, we can look forward to three, or if we're lucky, seven more years of Clintonesque political timidity and kowtowing to the insane Right, and then probably a President Palin. Assuming the entire economy doesn't disintegrate into feudalism first."

That sounds like "my" Democratic Party, all right. Fuck 'em, it's the Green slate for me from now on.

It's going to be truly hilarious in 2010 and 2012, when believing Dems accuse **me** and people like me of "betraying" their stand-for-nothing party.
-- sglover

1/21/2010 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I agree with the specific complaints about Obama so far, and could add some of my own to the mix. but really, if you can't see any important differences between Obama and Bush, you've got to get your eyes checked."

True enough, and Americans in general are scarily ignorant about the world, their own political system, their own history. But I think what you're seeing in this thread is some very justified disgust at a party that simply refuses to learn from experience or come with a light-year of taking a chance.

At his inauguration Obama had an opportunity to seize the initiative like no president has had in decades. So what does he do? He decides to piss it away "reaching across the aisle", trying to negotiate with a Republican Party that could not have been more explicit about its desire to hobble everything he tried. I really think that, in this way, Obama has demonstrated strategic idiocy as profound as anything the Bush/Cheney gangsters put up.
-- sglover

1/21/2010 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

Hi Mary,

Yes, I still voted third party. The dems don't need 60 votes; that's a load of crap. The Repubs managed to do almost anything they wanted with a much smaller majority. So I won't shed a tear for the lesser evil.

The modern filibuster is a joke. It consists of a Senator saying, "I intend to filibuster." At which point Harry Reid throws up his arms in impotency. The Mr. Smith Goes to Washington scenario is long gone; no one reads the phone book into the record for 36 hours anymore.

The Democrats refuse to play hardball to get what they (claim to) want. Please excuse the language, but when I'm presented with assholes on the right and pussies on the left, I'm going third party every time.

I'm not sure how someone can be both cynical and naive about Washington. But if you are familiar with some of my other posts, you know what I think about what's actually going on down there. I'm juuust a little outside the mainstream. ;-)

1/22/2010 2:25 PM  
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Anonymous kamagra gel said...

It won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I think.

5/18/2011 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I think TCR, and Kilfarsnar, and [basically] Goldhorder are right. The problem is that the post-mortem is far from settled. The Hannitys and the Libermen and the Summers and Rubins and Geithners will make hay over this vote for weeks or even months to come, so loudly as to drown out the TCRs. The neo-cons, particularly among the Democrats, have Obama's ear and will convince him that Hannity is right: that Coakley lost because Obama has governed too far "left." (LOL, I can't even quote that ridiculous accusation with a straight face.) Obama's big-money backers also have a vested interest in making sure TCRs alternative analysis doesn't reach Presidential ears. So after this strategic defeat, we can look forward to three, or if we're lucky, seven more years of Clintonesque political timidity and kowtowing to the insane Right, and then probably a President Palin. Assuming the entire economy doesn't disintegrate into feudalism first.

10/24/2012 6:20 AM  

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