It’s not like we didn’t see this coming.
Three weeks ago, the idea of a Brown victory was ludicrous, but by last week, Michael Graham was getting a sinking feeling that Coakley had well and truly blown it.
Several videos showing one of Coakley’s staffers behaving like a garden-variety thug shoving The Weekly Standard's John McCormack to the ground, then shoving him again and again while Coakley breezed on past popped up all over YouTube, and garnering comments such as ’Thank you Marsha [sic] for being so lame and lazy,’ and ‘We can no longer say that John McCain ran the worst campaign in the history of politics, that distinction now belongs to Marsha [sic] Coakley!’
Worse, was where Coakley was at the time – instead of being in Massachusetts and working to get out the vote, as her opponent was doing, she was in Washington DC… at a lobbyist fundraiser, taking money from corporate and pharmaceutical interests.
McCormack had asked Coakley a question on Afghanistan which she simply ignored, asking the crowd of reporters, ‘Does anyone else have a question?’ Either she didn’t have a rehearsed response for such a question or, worse, she didn’t bother formulating one, exposing both an ignorance and an arrogance on a par with Sarah Palin.
I genuinely hate to say this: Coakley so justly deserved to lose this election and the people of Massachusetts are better off without her. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Unfortunately, they’re not better off with what they’ve now got as an alternative.
Other bloggers will examine the imminent disaster that is Scott Brown, and the damage that he and his teabagging followers will inflict on the state of Massachusetts. But that’s not what I’m focusing on today – and it’s not really what progressive voters and politicians should be focusing on, either. Not yet.
Coakley and this election is a wake-up call for the left and for the Democratic party. No, actually, it’s an ear-shattering warning siren going off, and if the DNC doesn’t dig the crap out of their ears and start listening to the very people who voted them into power a year ago, every hard won victory they’ve had is in jeopardy.
Just because the Democrats won the White House and Congress doesn’t mean the rightwing and its hordes of wingnut teabagging loonies have magically been defeated and sent back to the netherworld to languish for all eternity. They’re watching and waiting for the DNC to screw up badly enough that the tide of anger and disappointment that swept the right out of power will sweep them back in again. We, the voters, know that the only power we have is our vote – we also understand that all too often our choices are limited to ‘bad’ and ‘worse’.
So when a bad candidate like Coakley treats her constituents like indentured peons, acting as if the election were a foregone conclusion and behaving in such an arrogant and offensive manner and not even pretending to pay the slightest attention to her own base, she very quickly becomes ‘worse’. The people of Massachusetts have sent the only F*ck You they can to a truly dreadful politician. The problem is, of course, that in sending that particular message to Coakley and the DNC, they get… Scott Brown. God help the people of Massachusetts.
We’ve had a year of the Democrats in power. And they’ve done… not a hell of a lot. Voters came out in record numbers in 2008, drawn to a message being hammered home by the Democratic twin mantras of HOPE and CHANGE. We’ve seen precious little of the latter and are rapidly losing the former. If Democrats have any hope of winning elections this coming fall, they need to start doing what they were elected to do – their goddamned jobs.
I’m not the only one trying to tell you this, The right had over eight years to screw up this country with an unjust war, a devastated economy, and an incompetency that buggered belief in the face of natural disasters and man-made ones alike before the voters had finally had enough of it and got rid of them – with the only other option available – our guys. Don’t you believe for a second that by defeating them in the last election that they can’t come back to inflict more of the same on us. They’re still in the water, hungry, circling our leaky boat. And all they care about is winning. At any cost.
Our guys, the Democrats, with the popular backing of the country and complete control of the House, the Senate and the White house have blown it… in only a year. And if the voters finally have enough of you, they will get rid of you with the only other option available – their guys.
You’re being told: when Democrats ‘fail to govern based on a morally sound, well-articulated, solidly-grounded set of ideals, you look weak.’ And the sharks are out, smelling blood in the water. Stop trying to appease the right wing, whose only interest is in defeating the left. Man up and start taking a few risks and pissing off the monied special interest groups. Stop sitting on the fence and playing it ‘safe’ with vague promises and ‘feel-good’ rhetoric. Start doing more than talking, talking, talking, compromise here, bipartisanship there, and live up to the campaign pledges we, the voters, elected you to honor: produce some real, tangible results on health care, financial regulation, labor laws, the economy, unemployment relief and job creation, restoring civil liberties, ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan – all those desperately needed reforms this country is literally – literally – dying for.
I don’t know how to make this any louder, any simpler, any clearer. You’ve had a year. Pull your thumbs out and get it done. Before it’s too late. We, the people, who put you in office, are jumping up and down and screaming our heads off – DO YOUR JOBS. Because Massachusetts just proved that if you don’t start listening to us when we’re trying to speak to you with words, all we, the voters, will have left is the ballot, and some very, very bad choices.