"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Today's Must Read

From Josh Marshall at TPM:

"To prevent Obama from becoming the hero who fixed Washington, McConnell decided to break it. And it worked." That's from Matt Yglesias in a post he published yesterday evening before the scope of the GOP victory became fully clear. This is succinct and it is correct.

Indeed, in key respects it worked in 2010. By many measures Republicans should have won the Senate in 2010 and 2012. But each year they were hobbled by a raft of crazy and indisciplined senate candidates who squandered what should have been easy or at least odds-on wins. This year, the terrain was heavily weighted in their favor. And they kept their candidates on the straight and narrow.

But if this was the plan (and it was) and if it worked (which it did) we should ask, why?

Marshall has some interesting insights on this, and builds a good historical context, but there's one point I think he misses: the Republican party, at least as now constituted, is not interested in governing. It is interested in ruling. (And this article only points that up: the gist is that the GOP should wait until it controls Congress and the White House to do anything. Then it can rule without hindrance.) From everything I've read -- and especially from those "mainstream media" figures whose non-partisanship is rather tattered mask -- it seems that the GOP's favored mode is oligarchy. Sadly, too many Democrats have fallen into that trap -- the Blue Dogs and DINOs -- and have paid the price:
One trend that was interesting last night is that clear, strong progressives like Jeff Merkley (OR), Tom Udall (NM), Brian Schatz (HI) and Al Franken (MN)-- who had massive right-wing money thrown at them-- won, while conservative Democrats like Mark Warner, Mary Landrieu, Mark Udall, and Kay Hagan stumbled and the most conservative Democrat of all, Mark Pryor, lost badly. In the House, conservative Democrats-- Blue Dogs and New Dems-- lost everywhere, even in Democratic districts. Almost all of Israel's Red-to-Blue recruits lost, as did many of his Frontline incumbents.

The lesson here is that the Democratic party has a winning message. They should use it.

1 comment:

Pieter said...

According to Nate Silver, no state had more than 59% turnout; California's was 34.9%. That is a shameful statistic. Perhaps if the Democrats had worked to get their voters to the polls they might have done better.