Dear Nervous & Frustrated Liberal Pundit,
It’s up to you.
Yesterday, after a year of angering the American people, the voters in perhaps the most Democrat-friendly state elected a conservative Republican to the Senate seat held by one Kennedy or another for more than a half-century.
You’re depressed: Massachusetts was supposed to be a shoe-in, a rubber stamp, a mere formality with Paul Kirk keeping the chair warm until a more permanent Democrat could be installed.
You’re angry. You’re wondering in disbelief how can the American people vote for a Republican after the 8 years of George W Bush? Have they forgotten already? In Massachusetts?
And let’s face it, you’re scared. Jonathan Cohn is right. If Obama, Bill Clinton, and Vicki Kennedy can’t get a Democrat elected to Ted Kennedy’s seat, in Massachusetts for God’s sake! then no Democrat Senator or Representative is safe from defeat.
Now you have a choice.
You can continue the denial, the self-deception. You can blame Brown’s victory on the process, the stomach-turning sausage-making that has resulted in what was once called health care reform, is now spun as health insurance reform, but what we all know as Obamacare. After all, what’s in a name? That which we call Obamacare by any other name would still smell most foul.
What about shelving the bill. The bickering and dickering, the horse-trading, backroom dealings, and outright bribery would stop… and these are among the things that have destroyed the Democrat brand in the eyes of the public. These are the things that Obama promised us he would end, and yet you, Liberal Pundit, are oblivious to the anger that has risen from Obama’s embracing of the corruption that he swore he would stop. Even CSPAN has had enough.
Giving up on this health care bill will not damage Democrats in the polls. Honestly, what could damage them any more than they are already? Liberal Pundit, are you really listening to what the American people are saying? It won’t fix the problem. It costs too much. How are we going to pay for it? When are Obama and the Democrats in Congress going to actually do something about the economy, and that doesn’t mean passing Stimulus II, Son of Stimulus, “Targeted Investment” or whatever the nom du jour of the warmed-over bucket of spit that Democrats are bandying around.
Liberal Pundit, the American people are willing to forgive incompetence in their leaders, to Move On if you will, as long as they think the leader won’t screw up like that again. After all, Bill Clinton won a second term after the ‘93 tax hikes, the ‘94 assault weapon ban, and the Brady Bill. Why not advise the Democrats to start over, to invite Republicans including Scott Brown to the table, to create a list of solutions that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Maybe it is only 80%, or 60%, or even 30%… but isn’t 30% of a loaf better than nothing? Especially when bipartisan support also means bipartisan ownership? I think it is, if you care for your country more than you care for your political party, if you’d rather do the right thing than be right, if you’re more interested in accomplishing something than stomping on your political opponents.
So, Liberal Pundit, do you have those qualities? Can you urge the Democrats to be good Americans instead of just good Democrats? To walk the walk and work in a true spirit of bipartisanship to solve the country’s problems? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
*A response to Jonathan Cohn’s letter earlier today