I don't talk politics much on this website. While I was brought up in a house where politics was a regular part of the dinner table, the back yard and virtually every other discussion held, I have learned that talking about government and elections is not for the faint ot heart. I guess it's also that I am somewhat of the political anomaly, that rare social liberal and economic conservative. Since I don't run into many folks that agree with my flat-tax, pro-marriage rights platform, I tend to keep things to myself.
So I have been sitting on my thoughts about Tuesday's massacre election for a few days and I have finally been moved to write. My apologies to those at work and at home that have already heard a condensed form of this diatribe, but here goes.
Can some explain to me how it's possible that every Democrat running for everything from dog catcher to US Senate got sent home on Tuesday night unemployed except the guy running against the woman who went on TV to proclaim that she is not a witch? How is it possible that a major political party can so badly screw up an election that they manage to lose the US House, virtually every governor's race, every contested state house and a vast majority of local elections as well?
To make it even worse, the Democrats lost all this ground from the majority position, taking no advantage of their incumbency or experience, but instead were content to have the fight taken to them on every front by candidates with less experience and frankly less compelling reason to be in government.
Let's look at things from this perspective. How is it possible that a party that accomplished so much in less than two years was sent home early from the dance Tuesday night, without so much as a whimper? Are you really going to tell me that the Majority Leader of the Senate barely holding his seat in Nevada is a big win? Are you frigging kidding me?!? Come on!!! How did you get into the position where your top legislative guy is scrambling for his political life?
It's not like the Democratic Congress and White House have been sitting around for the last few years! They've actually accomplished a surprising amount. Here are a few highlights:
- Ended the war in Iraq
- Created millions of jobs
- Averted global economic disaster by taking decisive action
- Passed important consumer protection reforms
- Took the war to the terrorist leader Osama Bin-Laden in Afghanistan
- Provided free health care for every single American citizen
- Created standards that save drivers money and improve air quality
- Pass $200 Billion in tax cuts
Seems like quite a list. Even if you don't necessarily agree with the accomplishments, the Democrats got a lot done didn't they? And the feats are made all the more impressive by the fact that they did it without the support of the Republicans, who tried to block nearly every accomplishment with partisan politics, just because they could.
So how did these guys lose?
It's pretty simple really. They let the other team dictate the game.
Instead of campaigning on how The Shrub Bush left them a mess that they are working hard to clean up, the Dems were content to get pounded by the Reps for "passing a $700 billion stimulus." No matter that $200 billion of that money was tax cuts, the Republican's Holy Grail. Obviously the cuts didn't go to the right people.
Instead of pointing out that they passed a program providing free health care for every American Citizen, the Dems sat back and let themselves get pounded for "Obamacare." Did anyone in 2008 really think that the American health care system was working? Nope. These guys did something about it.
Everyone wanted us out of Iraq. We're out. Strangely, no one mentioned this. Maybe because we really didn't really accomplish the mission and we're all kind of perplexed at how we didn't despite spending over $3 trillion and countless American lives. Kind of makes the stimulus plan look small , huh?
Still, despite being left the biggest economic mess in history by the bush administration, fighting wars on two fronts, cleaning up a natural disaster created by a foreign company and having to do it solo, the Democrats somehow decided that they had not done enough to run a campaign. Instead they let the campaign run them.
I was at a loss as to how this was possible until I saw Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine on national TV on Tuesday night trying to explain what the loss meant. His meandering answer didn't mention a single issue. Instead he talked about having to "look inside the numbers" and "see how things look in a few days." It was like listening to Andy Reid after a loss.
In a few days it's going to look like Tim Kaine is the most ineffective campaign coordinator since King Phillip of Spain. The numbers are going to tell him that he squandered an opportunity to attack a badly divided Republican party and has left his own party crippled for decades to come as a result.
My final question is this, "If some guy in his study in Mount Laurel, New Jersey can figure this out, how come all those highly paid Democratic strategists can't?" I won't say that I thought that the Dems had all of the best candidates. In fact, there were plenty of Republicans that I did vote for and would have voted for if I lived elsewhere. What I will say is that I can't believe that one team decided just to sit this one out and see what happened.
What happened? Y'all got your ass handed to you. The map is red from one side to the other. California even voted down legal weed.