The voters in Massachusetts sent a message that is unmistakable – that people are hurting and way too angry to suffer a party that can’t govern. With 60 votes in the Senate, a strong majority in the House of Representatives, and a Democratic president, they had no excuse for the lack of performance – real or perceived. However, the lost Senate seat in Massachusetts could be the much needed wake-up call that, if heeded, provides Dems with the motivation they need to get busy and do what they need to if they are to salvage majority control of the Congress.
It’s clear that the Obama Administration gets it. And if the Dems in Congress can’t get their act together, it’s just a matter of time until Obama takes a play out of the Bill Clinton playbook. The play in mind is a quick move to the populist center (we already see this in his recent anti-banks rhetoric), and the wholesale co-opting of Republican issues and proposals. Which issues to coopt? More on that in a upcoming post. Bill Clinton didn’t get the support of the Democratic congress in 93-94 for his legislative agenda either, and was re-elected in 1996.
It should be sobering to Democrats across the US that, based upon polls in Massachusetts, President Obama would likely have been re-elected in Massachusetts if the had been running for re-election on last’s weeks ballot. The same pre-election polls in Massachusetts that correctly called the Brown victory, showed declines in Obama’s approval ratings but still with majorities approving his performance in office.
Which issues to coopt? Lawsuit reform!
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