Democrats Are Punks.

by A. Jay Adler on January 21, 2010
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I’m not a fire breather. I’m really not.

Really.

I’m not.

I thought Moveon.org had something to do with Monica Lewinsky getting over it already. The Daily Kos? Can I find that on the newsstands? (The what?)

But Democrats are punks. Really. They are.

In Politics and Shame I argued how the Democrats had voted in large numbers for Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, in smaller yet real numbers for G.W. Bush’s 2001 cuts – in contrast to how the Republicans have conducted themselves throughout 2009. It is really worse than that. Bush lost the popular vote in the 2000 election and had the presidency handed to him in as philosophically hypocritical and partisan a decision as the Supreme Court has ever issued. The Republicans held only a slim majority in the House and the Senate was split. Half the nation angrily questioned Bush’s legitimacy. Did Bush take office in fear and trembling? Did he question his mandate, his authority to pursue his agenda in a manner other than if he had taken the White House with the blaring horns of decisive conquest?

I needn’t answer, need I?

The Democrats, had they been in Bush’s position, would have offered their opponent the deferential keys, pleading weakly, “Oh, no, we couldn’t. It’s wouldn’t be right. We don’t really have the support of the people.”

Punks.

They have an historic Presidency, following one of the nation’s worst, achieved by a large popular and electoral vote victory. They were handed the worst economy in nearly a century, nearly destroyed by an unregulated, elite capital class permitted to run wild, with a middle class that hasn’t experienced real wage growth in three decades and scores of millions without healthcare or nearly overwhelmed by its cost. They lose one seat in the Senate, fall in their majority from a filibuster-proof 60 seats to a mere, underwhelming 59-41 majority, and they’re cowering under a falling sky. Oh, no. What shall we do? We only have an eighteen seat Senate majority.

Do you know what the Republicans would be doing with an eighteen seat Senate majority, the House, and their own in the Presidency? They’d be reaching for the plunger.

You could puke from this stuff.

Pelosi’s tough enough. We know that. That’s one reason the Pubs hate her so much. She herds the flock. Snaps at ‘em too, they give her too much shit.

Now we find out if Obama is.

Yes, the Democrats have lost three state-wide races in a row, and they need to understand why. And they need that understanding to be something other than the usual “we overreached.” When was the last time you heard the Pubs say that? They are running now, still, on maybe the most disgraceful year and a half (not to mention calamitous) an American political party has logged since the secession, and they still don’t conclude “we overreached.” They’re in the tank and they’re still reaching for the plunger.

The retrospective criticisms are as easy as ever. The public has had far too long to be horrified by the ugliness of the congressional bratwurst machinery and subjected to conservative fear mongering. The Dems never gave those with reasonably good insurance clear reason not to be afraid that they would come out the worse for the overhaul. Now critics say Obama should have promoted his own plan so that there would have been greater clarity and dispatch in the process. And if he’d lost, they would have marveled at his stupidity for repeating the failed Clinton approach.

What Obama should have been doing was playing Lyndon Johnson, pulling ears and capping knees. No, he’s not Johnson, but a half-Johnson and a full Pelosi will do. The way out for passage of healthcare legislation now is for the House to accept and pass the Senate bill. I prefer the House bill. That’s gone. If the Dems don’t pass healthcare reform they are dead in the water anyway, so threats have to be made. Obama can hold ‘em. Pelosi will wield the stick. She wears lipstick too.

A day has passed since Massachusetts. Good. Time to end the pathetic weeping. Time to wield power. If the Democrats don’t…

AJA


5 comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

intensedebate.com December 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly great content
on our site. Keep up the great writing.

Reply

D.M. Solis January 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Dear Jay,

I knew I was going to value your work. Thank you. (This post needs to go viral.) Peace and anarchy.

Sincerely,
Diane

Reply

ShrinkWrapped January 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

There are two major problems that Obama and the Dems must attempt to resolve.
First, Obama ran for office as a moderate, not as someone desirous of enlarging the size of the state and increasing the size of the deficit at a pace that makes the formerly “drunken sailor” Reps look like the epitome of sobriety.
Second, the country remains a center-right country. The Dems never were able to convince the electorate that their most important issues (Healthcare, Cap and Trade, etc) were appropriate or reasonable.
Pressing ahead with an agenda that is anathema to the center is an invitation to a November disaster of Goldwater-Carter proportions. I suspect there are simply too many Democrat politicians who do not want to sacrifice their careers for the President. They are no more wimpy than any other politicians; after all, the first rule of politics is to get elected, and the second rule is to get re-elected. They are just following the playbook for their profession.

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Elizabeth Collins January 21, 2010 at 6:04 am

I am a die-hard Dem and I totally agree that the Dems in Congress are acting like wusses. I couldn’t believe Obama reportedly said yesterday that it wouldn’t be right to push through HCR after the loss of the Kennedy seat in Mass. What? Push it through! History and the American people will thank you later.

What are they so scared of?

What are WE so scared of that we didn’t dare to protest that incredibly crazy Supreme Court decision back in 2000? Why do we put up with this?

I am not advocating revolution, but you know that the Tea-Baggers basically are…makes you wonder.

Are we Democrats just too nice? Can we play nice and effect positive change? Possibly not.

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