Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What The F?!

Last night in a special Senatorial election in Massachusetts to see who would fill the seat previously held by Senator Edward Kennedy, and the democrats for the last 46 years, in a state considered in ways the most liberal in the nation, a state that just last year voted to send Barack Obama to the White House by over 21 percentage points, and whose junior Senator ran for President as a democrat just 4 years before; lost to a little known, upstart Republican state senator who has been compared to as a Dick Cheney mini-me, and which now topples the balance of power in the United States Senate from a filibuster proof 60 to 40, to a non-filibuster proof 59 to 41, and seriously threatens passing historic health care reform legislation.
What the F?!
How could this happen? How could the White House, the Democratic Senatorial Election Committee, and the candidate herself allow this to happen? I assume that all three were aware that this most important election was coming up, which is more than I can say for myself. That is that up until a few days ago there was no indication on the national radar that the election would be nothing else than a sure thing, remaining safely in the hands of the democrats, and ensuring that important legislation: health care reform, financial reform, climate change reform like Cap & Trade, would progress if not smoothly through the tortuous path of the Congressional law making process, than at least smoother. Hell, I've been sick and preoccupied recently and wasn't even aware the election was coming up until a few days before it occurred. That's not even okay for me... I should have been aware of a problem but wasn't. I should have been aware of the deteriorating situation in Massachusetts and should have been screaming about it since last December, when Martha Coakley won the democratic primary, made a pathetic victory speech, meekly invoking the memory of the great man who had preceeded her in the position she sought, sounding like Minnie Mouse with the bird flu, then taking off on vacation for several weeks. Sure she must have thought, for some reason still unknown to me, that the seat she sought would be safely hers no matter what she did, which turned out to be very little. After all, that seat had been safely held for the last 46 years, right? Massachusetts was the safest state in the Union for democrats, right? Yeah, I should have been aware of trouble brewing in that election, the opponent, Scott Brown quietly and surely marshaling his forces, building alliances, striking small, than deeper fissures in that stolid democratic wall. I should have seen that and commented on it, and indeed, I do hold myself responsible for the loss of the election, the future failure of health care reform, the loss of democratic control of Congress in the upcoming 2010 elections, and the eventual downfall of the entire nation, and civilization as we know it.
But I tend to place too much importance on my position. Gee, I live in a box off of Skid Row in LA.
And it's raining.
But I do enjoy this one cool slice of solace. It's really not my job to be aware of all that crap above and start screaming about it... well in a sense it is, but even if I were to have done it, it's certainly not my job, or am I in any sense in a position to do anything about it (other than scream). Other people are supposed to do that.
It appears that all three of those entities sited above, the White House, the Democratic Senatorial Election Committee, and the candidate herself were sick and preoccupied as well.
Still let's not let the voters of Massachusetts off the hook. They were the ones who voted Coakley in as the democratic candidate, then threw her under the bus when it came time to vote her into office.
Okay, despite the fact that Brown ran a chameleon campaign, using democratic colors at his rallies, and presenting his positions to sound more moderate than his history demonstrates he is (as did W.Bush in his bid for the presidency), despite the fact that media blow hards like Chris Matthews predicted and reported the election outcome as fact as much as a day before it occured, which must have influenced the very public that was expected to vote, and that even if Coakley ran a perfect campaign she still may have lost do to local concerns ("All politics is
local," declared Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill), and concerns with the national economic situation under control of a democratic President (forgetting the fact the downturn was inherited, and in a large part has been shored up by his policies), why in God's name would any thinking person believe that on a national level voting a Republican into office, thereby further hampering whatever possible progress that can eventually be made, make any kind of responsible sense whatsoever? If you have an answer dear reader please let me know, because I certainly can't figure it out. We vote Obama into office on a platform for "Change," give him a democratic Senate and House of Representatives (although I do admit their performance has certainly been at times shameful, especially the Senate), he begins the long process of cleaning up the mess of the previous Republican administration, then a year later because eveything isn't all milk and honey yet, we begin to take away his power to effect change because we're upset we haven't gotten everything we want fast enough. This type of behavior (and historical voting trend. The incumbent party typically loses seats in Congress in the next midterm election, which translates of course in losing the power to affect the policies the incumbent President was elected to perform in the first place, is an expected event) is that of a pissed off adolescent, not that of an informed public.
And whose job is it to inform the public? The Republicans certainly aren't shy about spinning their world view as fact.
Why was this election lost? Why has Obama's position been undermined. Because they simply weren't paying attention, like me.
I believe they're paying attention now.
I think we should all, myself, the President, and the committees responsible for running the elections for the two chambers of the democratic Congress, reread Sun Tzu's "The Art of War," in which he asserts that planning requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Then we may be able to appreciate Lord Toranaga's point of view near the end of the epic novel Shogun.
"It is stupid to lose...neh!"

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