Going Forward

There isn’t much I can say concerning the Republican win for Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts. What I can say is that, going forward, Democrats need to understand why they lost the seat.

They didn’t lose it because health care reform is destructive and undesirable.

Rasmussen election night poll shows more Coakley than Brown voters said health care reform most important factor in determining their vote. A Rasmussen Reports election night poll in Massachusetts found that 63 percent of Coakley voters said health care was the most important issue in determining their vote, while 52 percent of Brown voters said it was their top issue.

They didn’t lose it because candidate Scott Brown ran a great campaign, either. What killed the Coakley campaign was the same problem that is going to kill Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections and in every election thereafter until they get their act together: complacency, laziness and in-fighting.

The Republicans have several strategies going for them: party unity by filtering those who may stray and sway to the left out of power, party unity by threats of getting disowned, and promise of power and money. They protect each other every single day and back each other up despite hypocrisy and outright dishonesty.

That’s not the party I want to be a part of. If I did, I would be a Republican instead of a Democrat. Nevertheless, Democrats need to learn how to take up that aspect of the Republican party that truly gives them power: unity. The Lieberman’s and Nelsons of the Democratic Caucus, the Reids and Baucus’ of party leadership, and the silent President who can’t seem to find a teleprompter and microphone before the public to show that he is atually fighting for them: they’re the reason the Democratic party lost this election in Massachusetts. They became complacent with their win in 2008, thinking they had it in the bag and could fight amongst themselves to fix the nation’s problems.

The Democratic party needs to unite and stop fighting for perfection, the enemy of good enough. The Obama administration campaigned on change and acknowledged that the road ahead was going to be a tough one that will take time. What they forgot was that very message and the fact that change doesn’t come in monolithic swaths but instead in increments. Our congress struggled to pass the perfect bill and has ended up with a mediocre bill that may or may not pass. The calls for halting any further action are already on their way — not just from Republicans but from Democrats as well. Perhaps it’s time to pass something, anything, that looks like a remotely good bill and fix it later. If the Democratic party can’t agree on that, the most compromising of options, then the party is doomed to forever be the party of Maybe. If that’s the case, every Democrat may as well sell their soul to the devil and root for the Republicans instead of the mediocre party the Democrats have united on remaining.

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