Monday, November 01, 2010

Election Premortem

Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.  ~ Yoda
It's going to be ugly, although with sunny weather over most of the country it may not be as bad as predicted. Or, it may be worse. Still, it is not too soon to sniff out the root causes.
  1. Citizens United Case ~ This had the exact effect the partisan majority on the Supreme Court desired. By reversing 200 years of legal decisions the SCOTUS rewrote the Constitution and with a single act converted the United States from a republic into an oligarchy. 
  2. Martha Coakley ~ It is impossible to overstate the importance of the botched campaign of Martha Coakley. Her campaign should have been a cakewalk. By losing she 1) energized the nascent Tea Party movement (if we can make it there we'll make it anywhere) and 2) lost the Senate supermajority.
  3. Divided We Fall ~ For a year the Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate. And they never used it. Whether you blame egocentric Blue Dogs (Ben Nelson) or a timid leadership (Harry Reid) Democrats squandered their chances to accomplish change when they had the opportunity.
  4. Surrendered the Low Ground ~ President Obama was so determined to stick to the high ground that he refused to fight back against dirty, sleazy attacks (think "Death Panels"). By staying above the fray, President Obama has lost all of the battles being fought down in the muddy valleys. To many liberals, that refusal to fight looks like cowardice.
  5.  Tim Geithner ~ Insofar as the Tea Party movement is energized by the prolonged recession, Geithner is the one person most responsible for their growth. As a salesman for the Administration's economic policies, he is worse than Willy Loman. As an advocate for anybody other than Wall Street bankers, he is an abject failure. Geithner is the worse Treasury Secretary since Andrew Mellon.
  6. Collegiality ~ Or more accurately, Democrats repeated attempts at collegiality in the face of the "Party of No" just encouraged Republican obstructionism. The 111th Congress is a Do-Nothing Congress because of Republicans. But because Democrats were in charge they will be blamed for all the inaction.

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