Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Bet? Democrats Are Going To Learn The Wrong Lesson

Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for the Senate seat vacated by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, has conceded to her Republican opponent, Scott Brown. With Coakley's defeat also goes the 60-vote majority that Democrats have held since the 2008 election. I bet that the lesson Democratic pundits, pollster and party leaders will come to the opposite conclusion of the one they should have reached: They will conclude that the Massachusetts election shows that Democrats must move to the center to keep their seats in 2010. The truth is the opposite.

In 2008, Democrats, starting with then candidate for the presidency, Sen. Obama, promised us change. Change we could believe in, no less. Since then, banks have filled their coffers with taxpayers money, they have decreased loans, and returned to the practice of awarding their management sick bonuses. Promised health care reform has been diluted to the point of irrelevance, but not without ensuring that the cost of health care will continue to rise, that Big PhRMA will continue to set prices as it pleases and that insurance companies will continue the practice of rescinding policies (thanks to the loopholes artfully inserted in the bill by insurance company servants in Congress.) The wars started by President Bush continue, Guantanamo remains opens and a new front in the "war on terror" is likely to ultimately open in Yemen, in spite of President Obama's denials (it's not like he has not broken promises he made in the past.) Lobbyists and their friends in Congress, including a number of Democrats, are fighting tooth and nail to declaw the regulatory agency that Elizabeth Warren is trying to establish in spite of special interests attacks.

And now, finally, after months and months of disappointments, one after another, the Coakley defeat, in a race for a Senate seat that Democrats have held since 1952--if memory does not fail me. Time for Democrats to understand that no votes can be taken for granted, that activism does not run on broken promises, that results--not dashed hopes--fuel the people's desire to give of their time, their energy, and their dwindling financial resources to a political cause.

In 2008 I helped many Democrats in many races. Since then I have written several letters to elected representatives and to the White House, begging them not to appease the worst elements in the Party (Lieberman, Nelson, Lincoln, etc.) and to serve the best interest of the American people instead and forgo a supermajority vote on health care. The sixty vote requirement to pass legislation in the Senate is a creation that favors not bipartisanship but corruption and Democrats have been playing into the hands of their opponents by pursuing a sixty vote strategy to pass health care reforms. Seeing as my pleas went unheeded, I sat the Massachusetts election out, like many disillusioned others. No phone banks, no donations, nothing to help.

Now that the filibuster-proof majority is no more, I am just too curious to see if Democrats will get my message and if they will understand that they need to grow a pair instead of giving in to turncoats and DINOs like Baucus, Nelson and Lincoln. They need to show their true colors, and I fear they will.

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