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The conventional wisdom (one way you know it's wrong is that everyone repeats it) is that Democrats lost in MA because the voters rejected their policies and also rejected big government. It's so easy to say so that you can find articles like this everywhere (this one is from Scott Brown and Bob McDonnell's pollsters):

Apparently, the Democrats thought people had voted for them because of their agenda -- an agenda they really hadn't bothered to share with the electorate in the first place. And now, the party's bungling has resulted in the highest disapproval rating in Gallup polling history for a president after his first year.

Actually the polls from MA show something very different. There's anger and frustration (you don't need a poll to know that) but it's directed at not getting things done.

The latest poll is from The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University's School of Public Health (.pdf), and what you see is an important picture of non-voters as well as those who turned out.

For example, here were two question put to all surveyed, not just voters:

Whatever frustrations MA has with Obama, the GOP alternative is worse (that's, of course, not enough by itself to allow Democrats to win.)

What's true for Republican voters isn't always true for the electorate as a whole, but even there, this is not evidence of a GOP agenda win. For example, Brown's voters like the MA health care plan (68%) and even in a Brown win, more voters in MA (50%) thought the govt wasn't doing enough than thought the govt. was doing too much (47%.) Pay careful attention to the reporting: the 50-47 is from voters. Overall, wanting the government to do more is a widely held opinion, particularly among non-voters (click for clearer pic):

The lesson: voters turned out for Brown (who ran a good campaign), and the tepid support for Dem dithering won't win elections since those voters will sit on their hands and stay home if there's nothing offered to them. They won't just vote D because of the brand.

Here's another example of what the MA voters and non-voters want from Brown:

That doesn't look like "I elected you to block the Democratic agenda." In fact, only 8% of Brown voters (5% of total voters) voiced blocking this bill as an "extremely" or "very" important factor in their vote (Q 6), whereas there was 18% voter support and 15% voter opposition to health reform.

The biggest sticking point was that everyone hated the process (click for larger pic):

No kidding. So did we. And how the Joe Liebermans of this world read this as "the public wants more of me" is a question only a politician can answer with a straight face.

Chris Cillizza has an interesting round-up of 5 MA election myths, and I want to highlight myth number 2: Brown's victory means health-care legislation is dead. Cillizza talks about it from the POV of Obama and Dems needing to pass this politically (which is true), but the fact is that that's also what MA voters want. And when it comes to bipartisanship, since Republican policies and agendas are not in the least bit popular, the idea that the pressure is only on Democrats to produce is a fabrication of Republican spin doctors. Browns's voters want him to work with Democrats in Congress; the numbers are there plain as day (70-28, and an even split amongst Brown voters).

Here is supporting info from other polls. For those who want to look beyond MA, another broader poll question, published by Kaiser yesterday, looks at this:

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that Americans are divided over congressional health reform proposals, but also that large shares of people, including skeptics, become more supportive after being told about many of the major provisions in the bills.

If you want to look at the straying MA Obama voters only (the 18% who voted for Brown, and those who stayed home), look here (R2K for he Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, and MoveOn.org.). Support amongst these Obama voters for the public option:

  • 82% of Obama voters who voted for Brown
  • 86% of Obama voters who stayed home

The Obama for Brown voters appear to be independents (85%.) The Obama stay at home voters appear to be Democrats (89%.) Any question that Dems did not turn out?

So when you hear about what the MA voters really wanted, and especially when you are told about what agenda the public wants, dig in to the numbers and see for yourselves. According to the polls, the vote is Cooperate in Congress (and clean up the process) 1, Senatorial dithering (and business as usual) 0. Any incumbent who doesn't pay attention now has only themselves to blame, and may as well start writing their memoirs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01:52 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Angry at not having jobs (8+ / 0-)

    Clings to Music and the hope of three Jets playoff wins.

    by Mro on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01:52:43 PM PST

    •  And Taxes being too High (0+ / 0-)

      Whoever insisted on the excise tax is largely to blame for the MA fiasco.

      Also, and this goes out to Dem governors and mayors, working and middle-class HHs belive they are OverTaxed.

      This means that under no circumstances should you increase the sales tax (Corzine, 16% increase), property taxes, or user fees.  

      You need more revenue?  Fine.  Increase taxes on the most affluent.  Or, better yet, champion some sort of SuperProgressive Wealth Tax, not on income, but on net worth.

      I'll say this much.  If a GOPer won in MA, no reason a conservative Republican can't become mayor of Los Angeles, San Francisco or Chicago.

      And for our federal lawmakers, including Pelosi, E. Emanuel (brother of Rahm) and Podesta, I can only hope that the MA fiasco has done away with your goal of instituting a national sales tax.

                     * OCTOBER 8, 2009

            http://online.wsj.com/...

               Candor about taxes is rare in Washington, so when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admits that Democrats may have to impose a huge new tax on the middle class to fund their spending ambitions, believe her.

               Speaking with PBS's Charlie Rose on Monday, Mrs. Pelosi mused publicly about the rising possibility of enacting a value-added tax, or VAT, as part of broader tax reform. "Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this," she said. "Of course, we want to take down the health-care cost, that's one part of it. But in the scheme of things, I think it's fair to look at a value-added tax as well."

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:00:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stop pushing this Lie. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glynis, willibro, Wary

        you keep posting this right wing lie about Jon Corzine.
        I live in NJ, know what happened here, and grit my teeth every time you post that he raised sales taxes sixteen percent.
        That lie is right out of the right wing playbook. Please stop.  

        TITLE “New Jersey: Taxes”

        PRODUCER Red Sea LLC

        THE SCRIPT A woman announcer says: “Jon Corzine told us he wouldn’t raise taxes. But in his very first budget, he pushed for a 16 percent sales tax hike. Now, he wants to eliminate middle-class property tax rebates. Corzine — Watch what he does, not what he says.”

        ON THE SCREEN Grainy images from a commercial for Mr. Corzine’s 2005 campaign are intended to illustrate his past promises. Juxtaposed with those, none too subtly, are images of a cash register ringing up “$ TAX” and a picture of a mischievous-looking Mr. Corzine seeming to look down on his own earlier ad, and its promises, with amusement. The words “16% tax hike” and “eliminate property tax deductions, rebates” are highlighted. Finally, captions urge viewers to “Fight Corzine’s Taxes!” and to sign a petition at a Web site, JerseyPays.com.

        ACCURACY Mr. Corzine pushed through a measure increasing the sales tax to 7 percent from 6 percent to close a $4.5 billion budget deficit after taking office in 2006. His latest austerity budget, to close a $2 billion gap, calls for eliminating property-tax rebates for most homeowners, with exceptions for the elderly and disabled. Budgets represent choices, particularly in times of fiscal cuts, but to say Mr. Corzine “wanted” to eliminate the rebates is to ignore the dimensions of the crisis he faced.

        SCORECARD Anticipating a deluge of Corzine commercials attacking Mr. Christie, Republicans are trying to inoculate voters against them by depicting Mr. Corzine as someone who will say anything to get elected. These ads have the advantage of bashing Mr. Corzine for New Jersey’s high tax burden, which consistently ranks atop the list of voters’ complaints. The ads completely ignore any mitigating factors, like the collapse of Wall Street, the worst recession in decades and resulting budget deficits caused by factors largely outside of Mr. Corzine’s control. But polls suggest that voters are not cutting Mr. Corzine much slack either, so far. DAVID M. HALBFINGER

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:09:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Reality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bay of arizona

          Christin, calling it a lie doesn't make it so.  Review my diaries, review my comments, and dare say that I am anything but a strong supporter of the Democratic Party.

          Corzine raised the sales tax from 6% to 7%.  That's 1/6, or 16% (really, 17%).

          Extenuating circumstances?  You bet.  But why did he choose to increase a regressive tax?  Why not increase the income tax 5% points on HHs earning more than US$ 250K a year?  Why not propose a steeply progressive wealth tax on HHs with net worth over US$ 5M?

          Christin, you say I lie, but I'm just trying to prepare Dems for the GOP narrative come this fall.

          Either sell bonds to plug budget holes, ask for federal help, or increase progressive taxes.

          Don't increase taxes on the working and middle-class.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

          by PatriciaVa on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mainly, though, Scotty is a cute dreamboat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SlowNomad, PatriciaVa

            Put a cutey on the ballot and enough Americans will vote with their hormones to make policy utterly irrelevant. Mitt Romney. Hell, JFK. Massachusetts doesn't deserve its elite reputation. Bunch of rubes like the rest of the country.

            Super-handsome Republican hunk Scott Brown is Dick Cheney, with charm and credentials. Don't misunderestimate him again.

            by overlander on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:33:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Brown dodged questions re: RomneyCare (0+ / 0-)

              Surprised the press never pushed him on it....

              Massachusetts' Other GOP Winner

              By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

              http://online.wsj.com/...

              This ugly fact, take note, nearly swept up the Brown candidacy. A week before the election, Fox News's Neil Cavuto dared ask Mr. Brown how he could oppose Washington's plan, given that he voted for RomneyCare as a state legislator. Mr. Brown—perhaps unwilling to upset his political patron—claimed that they were "two different programs." He argued that the Massachusetts plan, in contrast to ObamaCare, was a "free-market enterprise." Lucky for Mr. Brown, the liberal blogs didn't seize on his comments until too late. But he'll be asked for further explanation in Washington.

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

              by PatriciaVa on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:38:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

        And Nancy Pelosi had problems with the excise tax, which is certainly more progressive than an across-the-board income or payroll tax increase -- let alone a national sales tax?

        •  In what way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b

          is the excise tax progressive? It only hits wage earners with employer-provided insurance.

          Your two alternate proposal: "across-the-board income or payroll tax increase" (actually one and the same) is far more progressive.  The higher the earnings, the higher the tax paid. Unless you were planning on turning income tax into a flat tax, which has not been proposed.

          If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

          by Angela Quattrano on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:25:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's why: (0+ / 0-)

            The income of the people paying the tax has to be taken into account when determining a tax's progressivity.  Lower wage workers -- the waitress, the retail sales clerk, the hotel worker, etc. -- generally don't get their health insurance through their employer, and would be unaffected by the excise tax.  Under an across-the-board income or payroll tax increase (which are not the same as the income tax exempts a certain level of income before applying the tax while the payroll tax taxes all wages), those lower wage workers would be subject to the tax.  In other words, many lower wage would have a higher tax liability with the across-the-board income or payroll tax than with the excise tax.

            Here's another analogy:  would you consider a tax on sailboats to be regressive?

            •  Irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bay of arizona

              But comparing excise taxes on insurance to a flat increase in income taxes or payroll taxes is irrelevant. No one was proposing a flat increase in payroll or income taxes. The house proposed an increase in payroll taxes and income taxes for the rich ($250,000+), which is obviously more progressive than a tax that will hit union members making $40k a year.

              An excise tax is also more progressive than impaling the children of poor people, but who cares. No one is proposing that as an alternative to the excise tax either.

              •  Except I was responding to Angela's post ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... on why the excise tax is more progressive than the other measures I suggested.  I wasn't responding to whether the excise tax was more progressive as a tax than the millionaire tax.  Stick to the topic.

                And, btw, the House never touched the payroll tax in its proposal; only the Senate did.

      •  Taxes were not a huge factor (4+ / 0-)

        Since this is a thread about the poll, rather than our general impressions of the health care legislation, let's look at the numbers.  28% said that taxes were an "extremely important" factor -- mostly Brown voters.  But only 2% of all voters identified taxes as the MOST important factor.  

        But taxes also played a role in the much larger number of voters who identified the health care reform effort as an extremely important factor.  56% of all voters said it was extremely important, and 34% said it was the most important factor.  Of all voters identifying the health care measure as "extremely" or "very" important (taking into account the "very" number means that this reflects the views of about 89% of all respondents) just 3% identified taxes as a concern. Even sweeping in "cost of reform" and "effect on the deficit", we're still only up to 8% -- and bear in mind, this isn't necessarily the respondent's main or only concern with the bill -- they could give multiple answers on this question.  

        So I have to disagree with the claim that the "excise tax is largely to blame for the MA fiasco."  The loss is much better attributed to the politics and deals associated with the bill.  Unfortunately, we spent too much time trying to be bipartisan, without lining up the Democratic caucus.  

    •  And the thought of never getting them back. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sherri in TX

      Seeing Democrats dicking around for a year and seemingly unable to address this might have something to do with it.

      Watching Democrats fiddle while Rome burns.

      That sort of thing.

      •  You forgot the pickup truck! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wary, Dartagnan

        Style over substance. Forget policy, just be cuter than your opponent.

        Super-handsome Republican hunk Scott Brown is Dick Cheney, with charm and credentials. Don't misunderestimate him again.

        by overlander on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:35:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Incompetence and corruption (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dartagnan, kconeill

        I think the dems are totally missing how angry people are at the process. How the Ben Nelson and Lieberman dealing went down. You don't have to be an idiot to know that the senate HCR is not a good bill.

        It left a VERY bad taste in my mouth. I am angry at the dems for disapointing me so greatly. The realization that 60 dems can't be counted on for a procedural vote was disallusioning, to say the least. I am sick of the political wrangling. I want something done

        It showed everyone how corrupt the system is.

        People want simple legislation that works for the good of the people of this country, not to just enrich the pockets of the favored industry of the week.

        They want competence and good legislation that is easy to understand. That want it done in a reasonable amount of time, without all this wheeling and dealing. The internet and cable tv shows make the politics of old impossible.

        The dems better wake up and make something good happen,and fast, or a third party is going to be created by all the dissaffected dems and republicans.

        This is not 1970. Things can't be kept behind closed doors anymore. There is a price to pay for not delivering, no matter the party.

        Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

        by Sherri in TX on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:49:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And, apparently, that price is to make it... (0+ / 0-)

          ...even harder to deliver.  If the Democrats can only convince 95% or so of their caucus on a good bill (and none of the Republicans), the solution is not to make it so that there are fewer Democrats and more Republicans in the Senate.

          I don't care what MA voters thought they were doing when they voted for Brown.  What they were actually doing was killing the health care bill.  Clearly, they either were:

          1. Too stupid to realize this.
          1. Cared about other things more.
          1. Wanted to kill the health care bill.

          Those are the only three choices.  Stupid, didn't care, or wanted it dead.

    •  I have to question.... (0+ / 0-)

      the party's bungling has resulted in the highest disapproval rating in Gallup polling history for a president after his first year.

      this. Reagans, for example was lower I beleive.

      I came across a viewpoint from a GOP pollster that they would well to heed ( they won't, which is a good thing ). I put it up on my site -- link here --http://donkeysdiass.blogspot.com

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:11:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT

      stop pulling opinions out your ... out of thin air.

      I live in Massachusetts, and I can tell you that the #1 reason for the Brown win was that he ran a disciplined, efficient, well financed campaign, and Coakley ran the absolute worst statewide campaign I've seen in almost thirty years of voting.

      I heard one of the Brown strategists on the radio this morning and he said (1) Coakley ran a campaign whose strategy amounted to running out the clock and (2) the national figures who came to stump for her in the last days actually hurt her.

      Now I doubt that (1) is true, but it sounds plausible which means the campaign was crap.   Coakley did not do a good job articulating why the voters should vote for her.  The performance of the Democrats in Congress didn't help her, especially on health care.  It's not the wonk issue of health care, it's the message that is broken.  The Democrats started low and got themselves knocked so much lower that it undermines the notion that the party stands for anything.   Into that vacuum introduce a Democratic candidate who has trouble getting any kind of message out to the voters, and what do you expect.

      As for (2), I think it is absolutely true.   It's not that we hate Bill Clinton or have anything against Obama's robo-calls for Coakley, but it did not make a good impression.  Suddenly we were being deluged with out of staters, but it felt like Coakley hadn't addressed herself to us.

      Now I have no idea why Coakley's campaign was so tepid. I'm sure it was not for lack of trying.  All I can say is that I was disappointed, but not surprised when Brown won.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:33:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly so (0+ / 0-)

        people were disappointed but not surprised. brown 's sometimes not enough. This year, it was.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:35:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Withut the Dems (0+ / 0-)

        coming to campaign for her, it's impossible to say they hurt her or not,

        I tend to think it HELPED her a great deal I thought so when I saw that she ONLY lost by 5 points, I think it would have been much more of a disaster--

        but there's no way to tell, the 'hurting' her meme is the GOP talking point which their base depends upon.

        This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. Barack Obama

        by Wary on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 04:07:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So Massachusetts non-voters figure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, jj32, createpeace

    not voting is the solution to their problems.

    Hard to follow that logic.

    •  Frustration makes people do dumb stuff (6+ / 0-)

      Illogical, yeah, but not too hard to understand.

      •  :-) hai willibro :-) n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:16:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi Christin :-) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Christin, chuckvw

          I recced your comment in response to that zombie lie about Corzine. This "tax and spend liberals" line is straight outta the Rethug playbook, I'm sick of hearing it. That's not the way to oppose the HCR excise tax, if you're a Democrat who does oppose it.

          •  What happened here was a bitter loss (0+ / 0-)

            So the last thing that's needed is for anyone to take away any misconceived notions on why a right wing conservative Republican won over the most liberal progressive Governor this state ever had.
            There are lessons to be learned here - but I don't know if it's going to help D's nationally since our issues are so localized.
            But I do know that you can't promise to change things, and then not change them because the level or corruption is so deep.
            Which is what happened to Corzine.
            He tried -and then backed off.
            And yes - I know that is one of your concerns on  a national level.
            That being said - thank you. :-)

            "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

            by Christin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:34:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  "If They Didn't Come, You Must Not've Built It" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, churchylafemme, willibro

      Obama proved 14 months ago that even low-turnout voters can be drawn to show up.

      There are no longer any excuses. I call LIHOP.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:02:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When the choice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      is between tweedle-fascist and tweedle-enabler, between tweedle-no and tweedle-"me too", or between tweedle-stupid and tweedle-playin'-dumb, the rational political position is to withhold approval.

      Liberal agenda?  Please.  This is not evident anywhere outside of wingnut ravings.

      The real question is how far will these Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dems take their retrograde, fraudulent, corporate-pleasing imperative as it directly, absolutely on a 1:1 basis destroys their own political viability.

      Sadly, tragically, all the evidence of years (going on decades) of Dem Politicking shows that they are perfectly willing and eager to take one for the team.

      The problem being, you ain't the team.

      Obama: More Dem or Better Dem?

  •  Very insightful analysis Dem (9+ / 0-)

    And artfully written. I especially enjoyed this:

    ...how the Joe Liebermans of this world read this as "the public wants more of me" is a question only a politician can answer with a straight face.

  •  Brown must run again in 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat, willibro

    Maybe, just maybe some Democratic voters stayed home as a protest to Obama's foot-dragging over things that need to get done, like health care. Maybe they realized that a 2-year snub isn't as bad as a 6-year snub, and they wanted to send a message to Barack: DO SOMETHING OR ELSE.

    Memo to Republicans: Video is everywhere, and playback is hell.

    by jimbo92107 on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01:59:24 PM PST

  •  But We're 30 Years Into Massive Anti Liberal (0+ / 0-)

    messaging from all parts of society.

    Just as Dems need 70 Senate seats to have a dependable majority, they need probably 20% approval rating advantage over Republicans just to break evenly when actually voting.

    Wherever Dems rank, liberals are pretty despicable and it's nothing for such a conservative information environment to tar a Dem as a liberal.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 01:59:26 PM PST

    •  that's because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      and you've heard it.....

      liberals have been sitting back and never getting in limbaugh and hannity's face while they distorted and lied and swiftboated year after year.....

      all we had to do is take the protests to the radio stations, the GOP power centers, instead of the state capitols.

      US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

      by certainot on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:30:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Odd analysis (9+ / 0-)

    when it comes to bipartisanship, since Republican policies and agendas are not in the least bit popular, the idea that the pressure is only on Democrats to produce is a fabrication of Republican spin doctors

    Huh? The Dems are the party in power; the elections in 2010, like all elections, will be a referendum on the party in power. There's no pressure on the GOP "to produce." Their rejectionism is working beautifully, thank you very much. Witness Massachusetts.

    •  You're too kind (3+ / 0-)

      calling that "analysis".

      Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:04:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't blame MA on the republican obstructionism (10+ / 0-)

      If anything I'd blame it on dem obstructionism from Nelson, Lieberman, etc... They obstructed until they got the bullshit bill they wanted, and the people are pissed off.

      "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

      by heart of a quince on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:06:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I wasn't (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, willibro, Edger, heart of a quince

        I'd blame a bunch of things, the shitty economy combined with Obama's neoliberal anti-populism combined with conservadems combined with Coakley's awfulness...

        I was merely saying things are going well for the GOP and they see no reason to change a thing, least of all by cooperating with Dems.

        •  I agree with that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willibro, Edger

          There is no way we're getting cooperation, unless bipartisanship is shoved down their throats. By shoved, I mean as an example, the foreign money ruling elections approach to attacking the citizens' united case. THAT might get bipartisanship, but onl y because you paint the xenophobes in the corner.

          Whether we have the guts to do something like that...

          "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

          by heart of a quince on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:19:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Speaking of bipartisanship (3+ / 0-)

            You see his weekly address today?

            One of the reasons I ran for President was because I believed so strongly that the voices of everyday Americans, hardworking folks doing everything they can to stay afloat, just weren't being heard over the powerful voices of the special interests...

            ...

            We've been making steady progress. But this week, the United States Supreme Court handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists - and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence.

            ...

            When this ruling came down, I instructed my administration to get to work immediately with Members of Congress willing to fight for the American people to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision.

            Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

            by Edger on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He said that the other day (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruh1, Nightprowlkitty, Edger

              That's a retread from earlier in the week.

              And ya, I saw it and about puked. However, I've also seen them using the foreign money angle. I see a real route to forced bipartisanship there. I'm hoping that is the path forward, but I have my doubts. We'll see soon.

              "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

              by heart of a quince on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:25:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The xenophobe angle will never work (3+ / 0-)

                Mainly because it's a Totally Teabagger type of theme. Dem leadership will think it's beneath them to use, and teabaggers will get there faster, with some stooopid twist on it, like Washington Politicians, the Traitorous Emeny!

                •  I think it could work (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Edger

                  I really do. I have serious doubts they are willing to push it, as you point out.

                  "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

                  by heart of a quince on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:36:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it has never worked (0+ / 0-)

                    It failed when the Unions yelled "Buy American!"; it failed when the Teabaggers yelled "Illegal immigrants!", and it failed when the Unions again cried "No foreign outsourcing!"

                    And the reason nationalism fails every time is simple --- we no longer live in a world of "nations". We live in a global world, where everyone is utterly dependent on everyone else, where even our food and clothing come from multinationals that belong to no country (and are more powerful than any country), and where anything that effects people here or there affects everyone else on earth no matter where they are.

                    Yelling "nationalism!" is just an anachronism now.  We don't live in that world any more.

                    Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

                    by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 04:14:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  And we'll see what develops (3+ / 0-)

              Here's hoping that Obama will really, finally, go on the attack, on this important issue at least. The Yet Another Call for Bipartisan Cooperation With Republican Two-Year-Olds part is kinda worrisome, though.

              •  kinda? (3+ / 0-)

                Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

                by Edger on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:27:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Bi-partisanship (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Edger

                is essential apologetics for the ruling Reagan consensus of years and years and years, and for maintaining the apolitical space under which corporate/fascist hegemony flourishes.

                What, people still act like there's politics going on here?  Between Dem and Republican?  

                Oooo!

                No.  Please.  We're looking at an era, not of polarization, or of extreme politicking, or of great disagreement and rankor, but of ironclad consensus.  

                Ironclad consensus.

                Calls to heal the process, or heal Washington, through bi-partisanship, reaching out, etc. are utter, retrograde, fascist-apologist bullshit, mostly uttered by folks whose agenda and purpose in politics is pure obfuscation.

                People mean to propose that Dems are even trying?

                That's a good one.

                Please don't feed the security state.

    •  anti-incumbency protest only works (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, citizenx, Phil S 33

      in your favor (the GOP) when you're not the incumbent. A protest vote is not a vote for doing nothing.

      Listen to what the voters say.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's more, this part (7+ / 0-)

      According to the polls, the vote is Cooperate in Congress (and clean up the process)

      Cooperate in Congress? How can you "cooperate" with Republicans? Do you really believe Obama hasn't "cooperated" enough?

      The public is desperate and wants results on the economy; they're far less concerned with how to get them. If it's possible to create jobs and take on Wall Street with bipartisanship, fine (it's not). If it's possible to do it by punching Mitch McConnell in the face, well that's fine too.

      I found the AFL-CIO poll more enlightening.

      This was a working-class revolt, and it reveals the danger to
      Democrats of not successfully addressing workers’ economic
      concerns.  

      Coakley won this election by five points among college graduates, but lost the
      non-college vote by a 20-point margin.  This represents a huge swing among
      non-college voters since 2008, when Obama won by 21 points, for a net swing of 41 points.  (The comparable change among college graduates was a net 25-point decline, from +30 to +5).  

      Non-college men voted for Brown by a 27-point margin (59% to 32%), and
      non-college women also voted for Brown by 13 points (while college women
      went for Coakley by 13 points).  

      Gender dynamics were less important than the class dimension:  the 15-point
      gender gap (men voted for Brown by 13 points, women voted for Coakley by
      two points) was actually considerably smaller than the 24-point gap in 2008.    

      Voters still have the same goals they had in November 2008:  fix the economy and provide affordable health care.  But they don’t see the job being done.  

      Economic dissatisfaction played a large role in Brown’s victory.  The majority of voters who said the Massachusetts economy is not so good or poor (52%) voted for Brown by 56% to 39%.  However, voters who said the economy was excellent, good, or fair supported Coakley by 52% to 43%.   Brown even won voters in the 20% of households in which someone had lost a job in the past year (50% to 45%).  

      People are angry because the economy sucks and pols of both parties are unwilling/unable to fix it, and aren't even really trying.

      •  there's no question that's so (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro, fhcec, david mizner

        (the economy as underlying issue) for many voters but as it happens, that's not exactly what the voters in MA told the pollsters.

        Q 4: In deciding your vote for the special election, how much of a factor was (INSERT
        ITEM) – was it extremely important, very important, not so important, or less
        important than that?

        When asked, the numbers (were 56 health reform, 44 jobs/economy, 39 the way DC works.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:14:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sort of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willibro, dharmafarmer, Edger

          Those are the numbers for "extremely important."

          The same percentage (89 percent - 88) said health care and the economy were at least "very important."

          In any case, I'd be interested to see the numbers for those Obama voters who stayed home or voted for Clark. If voters are fleeing Dems because of health care, then we really do have a problem.

          •  part of the reason for posting this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            willibro, dharmafarmer, david mizner

            is exactly that point - "who stayed home, and what they think" is at least as important as who voted, and the media stories of the moment are all about Brown voters, and not the stay at homes.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:30:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well then (0+ / 0-)

            If a voter voted for Brown, and they think health care is important, clearly they wanted an even weaker bill than the current Senate version, or no bill at all-otherwise they would have voted for Coakley.  The choices here aren't great bill vs okay bill.  The choices are between okay bill vs no bill.

      •  unemployment confounded by education? n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  He's vested in trying to change the subject (5+ / 0-)

      They still don't get it that the voters are not buying the distractions of making this about "be afraid of the GOP." The voters already hate the GOP. That's not the problem. The problem is that they want the Democrats to do something with the power they have been given. I see some of this including the Plouffe move as telegraphing they think they can just mouth the words of middle class populist concerns without actually doing anything in policy to improve people's lives.

      •  um (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        as it happens, that is what I said. Re-read the post.

        Whatever frustrations MA has with Obama, the GOP alternative is worse (that's, of course, not enough by itself to allow Democrats to win.)

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:17:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read your posts (5+ / 0-)

          You are still more concerned with the GOP than the Democrats. On the ballot box, there are two choices. They hate both parties equally right now, and will vote whoever is in power out. That by default hurts us more than the GOP.

          And more fundamentallyp, the fact this is even a part of your calculus as this point (even when you try to nuance the argument) that the public fears the GOP more tells me you don't get it.

          Populist emotions are going to go somewhere. it can go into a right, left or middle form of populism. It is partially fueled by emotions over what is actually happening in people's lives.

          You are not going to convince them by saying "the gop could be worse' they are not goign to listen to you. No more than they did in MA.

          •  staw man (0+ / 0-)

            since I said no such thing.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:27:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the rest of your comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nightprowlkitty

              around the bolded text means nothing? I really wish people would stop misusing logical terms. There is nothing straw mana bout my argument. it goes to heart of your thinking here. That a part of the calculus is how peo view the GOP:

              Whatever frustrations MA has with Obama, the GOP alternative is worse (that's, of course, not enough by itself to allow Democrats to win.)

              saying that my comment is a straw man in context is illogical.

              •  ? (0+ / 0-)

                The lesson: voters turned out for Brown (who ran a good campaign), and the tepid support for Dem dithering won't win elections since those voters will sit on their hands and stay home if there's nothing offered to them. They won't just vote D because of the brand.

                and

                Actually the polls from MA show something very different. There's anger and frustration (you don't need a poll to know that) but it's directed at not getting things done.

                are what I said. Where I refer to the GOP, I document that it's what the voters said.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:48:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't get this, bruh1 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nightprowlkitty

                A straw man is a mischaracterization of an argument, attacked as though it were accurate.

                DemFromCT's usage is perfectly acceptable, as you seem to be claiming that DFC's argument is that populist anger will not hurt Dems worse than it hurts the GOP. When the fact that it will hurt Dems worse than the GOP seems to me precisely what DFC did claim.

                I think there's a comprehension problem here, possible exacerbated by the passive/negative statement DFC made ("that's, of course, not enough by itself to allow Democrats to win").

                Are you just saying that all the populist anger will benefit the GOP, and none of it will benefit Dems? Because to me that seems to depend almost entirely on how much Dems are able to appeal to that anger between now and then (like, say, attacking the banks). Which has little to do with the timeslice of the mood of the country at the time the poll was taken.

                •  We may differ about what he meant (3+ / 0-)

                  Thus, I will let the issue go.

                  Let me move beyond that because you end your comment with something I find more interesting a topic to discuss.

                  "Are you just saying that all the populist anger will benefit the GOP, and none of it will benefit Dems? Because to me that seems to depend almost entirely on how much Dems are able to appeal to that anger between now and then (like, say, attacking the banks). Which has little to do with the timeslice of the mood of the country at the time the poll was taken."

                  I agree with you that if the Democrats act in the right ways that the populist anger can benefit the Democrats. But, the way they act matters.

                  The heart of the matter is that I believe that the Democrats and the President think they can give lip service to the structural issues that middle class voters face through branding and rhetoric. The placing of Plouffe being one indicator. I think we face a Democratic version of "What'st he matter with Kansas" where they think they can mouth populist concerns in the election years, and then govern from the neo-liberal economic playbook. The problem with this strategy can be found in MA. The other problem with it is that people are suffering so the strategy can not properly distract them from there on suffering. I believe 2008 was a one off for running such a hide the "neo liberal" ball from the public, and now, they have got to govern on real middle class populist policies. WHy? because of this:

                  "Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class? If you can, would it still be America as we know it?

                  Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street.

                  Families have survived the ups and downs of economic booms and busts for a long time, but the fall-behind during the busts has gotten worse while the surge-ahead during the booms has stalled out. In the boom of the 1960s, for example, median family income jumped by 33% (adjusted for inflation). But the boom of the 2000s resulted in an almost-imperceptible 1.6% increase for the typical family. While Wall Street executives and others who owned lots of stock celebrated how good the recovery was for them, middle class families were left empty-handed.

                  The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully-employed male have been flat since the 1970s."

                  LINK

                  Now, do I think they can do something between now and the election to change outcomes? Sure.

                  But, that something is not more rhetoric. It needs to be governing and through action because people are going to compare the rhetoric to the pain they are feeling right now,a and they are going to ignore that rhetoric.

                  That's the lesson of MA. Rhetoric, fear and the other tools are not enough. Voters want action. Give them a recovering economy with jobs, and stability, and you win them. I question whether there is enough time for a governing strategy, and thus, I doubt whether a rhetoric strategy will work.

                  The die was cast when Obama signed off the health care bill and the stimulus to the conservatives and plutocrats.

                  He still is not getting it. It was always about his policies helping the middle class. Time is ticking.

                  •  Right (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bruh1, Nightprowlkitty

                    No structural economic problem ever got solved by some bullshitting in front of a teleprompter.

                    But your argument goes deeper, if I get it correctly: The Obama policy stance has obviously not changed, is still essentially neo-liberal in its ignorance of the benefits of maintaining a middle class, and since it is neo-liberalism that is failing (in just about every respect), a lipstick-on-the-pig approach will guarantee electoral disaster.

                    And so we come (as I note we frequently do in your posts) to the nexus of political economy and electoral politics. I'd simply point out two things:

                    1. Neo-liberalism has been failing for a long time, at least 15 years by my own personal reckoning. The suffering and disaster have just gotten a little more acute, that's all.
                    1. Obama's personal approval is still very high. And I seem to remember a certain member of the Bush family, with lower approvals, doing just fine electorally in 2004 using nothing more than a "TERRORISTS! RUN AWAY!" and "Isn't this housing-boom pig really, really pretty?" approach.

                    Seems clear to me that the jury is still out on whether Obama can do the same thing Bush did. Not that just getting Obama re-elected is more desirable than getting the structural problems actually fucking solved. It just seems to actually have a chance with him in charge, and absolutely no chance at all with Prezidunt Wolfkiller Barbie.

                    •  You summarize my position better than I do (3+ / 0-)

                      Thanks for getting my points. Yes, indeed because neo-liberalism has empirically failed the American public, then rhetoric for the Democrats going into this Fall's election will not help.

                      This systemic failure of neo-liberalism has mostly come to a head this decade rather than in the 90s. ie, no job growth this decade, the impact of NAFTA this decade, etc. (decade being 2001-2009 so I should say last decade).

                      I think the death of neo-liberal economic thought occurred in Sept 2008 when Lehman Brothers died.

                      With that death, it took neo-liberalism with it. The only people not to get that are the Democratic leadership.

                      I disagree about the severity. I think this near economic collapse brought everything to a head in way that we have not seen before. I believe that the unemployment rate hovering at 10 percent aids this transition away from neo-liberalism.

                      The president ironically came into power based on the death of neo-liberalism even though he remains a neo-liberal policy maker.

                      I think Obama is personally popular, but his policies are not. I think that there is a cognitive dissonance right now protecting him as it did Bush early on. But, Id on't think it will last forever. How long this bubble of disconnect continues is anyone's guess. That's why the clock is ticking on his presidency. The more he commits political malpractice, the more that he endangers his chances in 2012.

                      I think we are at a tipping point. I don't think either party represents the tides that are coming. I don't know how it will play out. My guess is a see saw where neither party gains decisive power in the next decade. OR, the rise of a third party dark horse presidency born out of right, left or middle populism or some combination of the above.

                      I think that the center is broken, and that what we see now is not sustainable. Just like bush was not sustainable. YOu can not have a dwindling middle class with out eventual social strife taking a hold. That it has not happened yet. That Americans are docile does not mean they will continue to be so.

                      I don't know how this will play out, but I do know that in other ocuntires it does not play out well.

                      I think the President does not appreciate this. I am certain the party leadership is equally as clueless.

                      So, with that tipping point they will either do as FDR did- act because the alternative is worse or keep acting like idiots. If they wait ,t hen something worse could come along. And it is hardly going to be a Palin. SHe's the least of our concerns.

                      •  Thanks for presenting your points so well (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bruh1, Nightprowlkitty

                        Your comments are always among the most thoughtful I find on DKos.

                        I'm particularly struck by this speculation:

                        My guess is a see saw where neither party gains decisive power in the next decade. OR, the rise of a third party dark horse presidency born out of right, left or middle populism or some combination of the above.

                        Your "see saw" has an analogy in computer networks, where there is a condition called "flapping". In this condition, an important device in the network communications stream, upon which many other devices depend, suddenly begins going non-functional -- but non-functional intermittently.

                        "Intermittently" can mean anything from going completely offline once a day for five minutes, to just rejecting a tiny minority of incoming signals, but at random and hundreds of times per second. The flapping condition itself is not necessarily harmful or "bad"; in many cases, the flapping device itself is still considered functional and the flapping itself goes away quickly. But the flapping condition can ripple out and get magnified, sometimes to disastrous proportions, in an increasing rate of failure among  downstream devices that have longer recovery times than, are sensitively dependent on reliable cues from, or are otherwise just not inherently as stable as, the flapping device. The ripples can, by themselves, bring the entire network down -- despite the fact that none of the devices themselves is really "broken", and the vast majority are actually operating, with great precision, exactly the way they're designed to.

                        I submit that our government has already entered that condition. It's been going on since Clinton, and seems to be getting worse. And all us downstream folks are getting very unstable, even though our government is still there, alive and functioning, and it and the majority of us are acting more or less "the way we're supposed to".

                •  Lutz- the GOP strategist and pollster (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  willibro, Nightprowlkitty

                  by the way, made many of my arguments for me over a year or so ago, and he essentially advocated the GOP strategy of obstruction under the theory like on health care that if the Democrats did what hte  public wanted, they would solidify power for a generation. Obama has commited what I consider political malpractice by squandering this chance.

                  This was always about middle class, main street moderation as the American public defines it rather than DC AND middle class populism.

                  It was never about bipartisanship, post partisanship or any of the other baggage he brought into the office. That baggage fits his fatal flaw (a conflict avoider) but not what the public wanted.

                  Let me leave on this, when Pres Obama campaigning in the fall, one person was recorded as saying when she was asked whom eshe would vote for she said 'I am voting for the nigger honey." That's how dire the economics was. It was not about coming to gether. Or any of the other rhetoric that apparently Obama is a true believer in. It was about people suffering so much that they were willing to cast off old beliefs. But that meant we had to fill that vacuum with something new. Some new emotions. That was always about putting people';s lives back on track. It was about being FDR II.

                  He and his ardent supporters never got the historical reasons for why some of us kept screaming. They misunderstood the time or in the case of Rahm- used it for money.

        •  Yeah, exactly (0+ / 0-)

          That's what I thought Dem said.

    •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

      The "Republicans should produce too" is the one conclusion that's not drawn from what's in the numbers. Although it could be inferred if this were a logical world, which, like, it ain't, duh.

      That's the only lapse I can see in this, though. It is clear from the numbers that Rethugs, incumbent or not, have nothing to bank on in terms of public approval.

      •  different poll (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        Tony fabrizio (R):

        Despite Brown’s victory, GOP shouldn’t start dancing yet as their Congressional job approval is still dismal among Independents

        link is to .pdf, last comment

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:59:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  One thing they are tired of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edger

    is people hyping virus outbreaks for pump and dump big pharma.

    Yep, real tired of that.

    In other news, they are tired of their personal liberties being infringed upon by the corporate apologists in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Everyday, personal freedom is eroded upon for the corporate oligarchs while apologists from both sides of the aisle point fingers at each other while the paymasters stuff bribes, nay, corporate free speech contributions, into their pockets.

    That my friend, is what people are pissed about.

    •  What personal liberties have been lost? (0+ / 0-)

      I'd really like to know.

      •  Srly? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trinite, Cali Techie

        Well, just this week we lost the right to redress our government for illegal wiretapping because we had no standing because the illegal wiretapping affected us all.

        So we have no redress in Congress, the President or the Courts.

        A key aspect of the 4th Amendment was lost and we have no redress.

      •  I don't like corporations anymore than you do, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        but I don't think we're losing our personal liberties.  What we're losing is our money and our jobs.  Prices keep going up, but the paycheck seems to stay the same, and health care of all kinds is too expensive to afford if you don't have insurance, and sometimes even if you do.  The middle class is sinking very fast, and anyone who has lost a job can't seem to find another that pays as well.  So where do we put any money we might have been lucky enough to save?  Well, we don't trust banks, and they pay no interest on anything, and we don't trust Wall Street with our money.  Maybe we'll be going back to the days of stuffing the mattress?  

      •  A whole book to answer your question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro, dharmafarmer

        Marjorie Kelly's The Divine Right Of Capital is a brilliant look at exactly the question you are asking.

        The short answer is that you lose liberty because:

        1. The corporations want laws that restrict what you can see and hear.  Net neutrality, for example, is a liberty issue where corporate power is not your friend.
        1. You have no rights at work.  If that's not a liberty issue I don't know what is.  This is especially true for working class people.
        1. Corporations "enclose the commons", and arrogate to themselves public land and culture (which they call "intellectual property") that belong to us all.  So your property isn't safe.
        1. You can't fight a corporation in court and have great chances of winning unless you are rich.  So you do not have the courts to protect your rights.

        You may not think that corporations are a threat to your liberty.  But if you don't, you probably haven't thought very long or very hard about.  Start with Kelly's book, and think again.

        "[W]e didn't elect Democrats to pass crap. We elected Democrats to make a difference"

        --Howard Dean

        by mbayrob on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:31:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Read the numbers. Not as many as you think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenderQT

      In other news, they are tired of their personal liberties being infringed upon by the corporate apologists in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

      I think you are right to say corporate power is a threat to liberty.  But the figures indicate that when asked what was wrong with the process (last chart), almost no one offered this as an answer.

      This is a failure of framing and of communications from our camp.  People are focusing at the scummy behavior of many people in the Senate and the House, but not why these people are acting like the lackeys they are.

      The problem isn't just that our congress people are corporate lackeys.  The problem is that people don't understand that they are, and they don't focus their ire at the corporate puppeteers who are pulling the political strings.

      "[W]e didn't elect Democrats to pass crap. We elected Democrats to make a difference"

      --Howard Dean

      by mbayrob on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:24:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry but I'm focusing my ire at Congress (0+ / 0-)

        "The problem is that people don't understand that they are, and they don't focus their ire at the corporate puppeteers who are pulling the political strings."

        Why would i focus it at the corporations when they're doing what Congress allows them to do. Congress doesn't have to take the money and be bought for votes. They just need to govern, that's it. I agree with the lackeys but i just don't agree with this part.

        •  Curing the Symptom without curing the cause (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dharmafarmer

          It's a whole lot easier to cure the disease here if you get at the cause.

          You want to treat the symptoms, and yeah, you have to do that.  But if you really want to change what these people do, change their motivations.

          Change their motivations, and you won't have to watch these vultures as close.

          "[W]e didn't elect Democrats to pass crap. We elected Democrats to make a difference"

          --Howard Dean

          by mbayrob on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:41:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is why I worked with my baby doctor, (0+ / 0-)

        you know him as Ron Paul.

        Personal liberty has always been our message.

  •  Voters want Brown to cooperate with Democrats? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, Geotpf, willibro, Cali Techie

    Haven't these people watched any of the news since inauguration day last year?  I'm sure the GOP is giving Scotty his instructions.  He'll probably get a call from Sarah too.  These two are meant for each other.

  •  You know what this means? (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to turn their governing philosophy into Values. People AGREE with their government philosophy and their philosophy of life (pro-choice, pro-checks on big business, etc.) but then they turn around and vote against it when they're upset because they don't see the implications of it in the Real World. Democrats need to express that this is their philosophy and this is NOT the Republican philosophy. If you believe this, don't vote Republican because they oppose our agenda and our Values. They vote no on all our bills and automatically filibuster them. Their values are not ours and even though you're upset with us voting for them is harmful to the country.

    I just think if people saw these issues as affecting every facet of their everyday life they wouldn't do things like this. I could be wrong.

    "Everybody lies... except POLITICIANS? House, I do believe you are a romantic."

    by indiemcemopants on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:02:51 PM PST

    •  I feel like when people say this... (0+ / 0-)

      "Their values are not ours and even though you're upset with us voting for them is harmful to the country."

      that out of some sort of patriotic duty i'm supposed to vote for the needs of others but against my own. I thought the democratic party was FOR the little guy. I'm a little guy, but so far the needs of the country come before ours? (i.e. the bailouts/stimulus). Somewhere along the line, the dems became the 'do it for your country' party...i thought that was a republican slogan.

      •  Ask not what your country (0+ / 0-)

        can do for you... is a JFK slogan.

        "Everybody lies... except POLITICIANS? House, I do believe you are a romantic."

        by indiemcemopants on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:42:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the Dems are just as much in love with (0+ / 0-)

        the whole New American Century agenda as the Repugs are.  American nationalism has not died, even though America itself as a world power has.  We are now just another Third World country who has been owned by others for several decades now, but, like Rome, we prefer to keep our trappings of Empire and pretend we're still king of the hill.

        Alas, reality is a stubborn thing, and it doesn't go away just because we don't like it.  (shrug)

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 04:20:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You can only hang in for so long (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, dharmafarmer, Edger

    when you're getting bupkis as feedback.

    It's damn hard to feel any sort of enthusiasm for a party that is so completely clueless about governing and shows very little sign of paying attention to you.

    I vote out of civic duty, but I'm part of a vanishing breed.  You have to give people some reason to turn out -- either fear or hope.  Right now the Democrats haven't mastered either.

    I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

    by dotalbon on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:03:05 PM PST

  •  voters want DEMOCRATS to grow a pair and (4+ / 0-)

    kick the f---ing rethugs out of the way.  Enough with "bipartisanship" bulls--t!  ACT on what America NEEDS NOW!!!  Funny, but I ain't holding my breath for that to happen.

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:05:58 PM PST

    •  Voters want Dems to be cute and drive pickups. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf, bluesteel, dotalbon

      That's all. Policy doesn't matter.

      Super-handsome Republican hunk Scott Brown is Dick Cheney, with charm and credentials. Don't misunderestimate him again.

      by overlander on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:37:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is the best explanation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, dotalbon

        He was reassuringly Real American, she was distant and carried an air of entitlement, and the economy sucked. The teabaggers caught Dems flat-footed, and there goes the race.

        I very much doubt that most Brown voters know anything at all about his positions on issues.

        •  Flat footed or not, Dems were gonna lose (0+ / 0-)

          True, Coakley let him get a head start, but she never had a chance after that debate. Cute guy talks about torturing Africans to death, he's gonna win.

          Super-handsome Republican hunk Scott Brown is Dick Cheney, with charm and credentials. Don't misunderestimate him again.

          by overlander on Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 07:15:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Scott Kleeb is VERY cute (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluesteel, willibro, dharmafarmer

        and drives a nifty pickup.  But he couldn't make any headway in a red state (Nebraska) against a Rethug Senator in 2008.

        I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

        by dotalbon on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:45:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They can't (0+ / 0-)

      Believe it or not, we have some moderates in our party (or sorta in our party, like Lieberman).  Including those folks, we had exactly 60 votes on the current health care bill, so we have to bend to their wishes.  Now, with Brown's vote, we have 59.  That means that unless the House passes exactly the same bill as the Senate did, whatever bill does pass must now be bipartisan, because at least one Republican has to vote for it.  Which means it will be even weaker than the bill that passed with 60 votess.

      I really don't understand why people don't understand this.

  •  "Change" is just letters on a Bumper Sticker. (5+ / 0-)

    Dem Leadership knows exactly why people are angry.

    This playing dumb about the problem is just another sign they will work to continue the status quo because, "obviously that is what Americans wanted when they voted to put Brown into office."

  •  Dems created a populism vacuum (11+ / 0-)

    As i wrote here

    "Pragmatic progressives are losing elections

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    and here

    "Restoring the middle class after MA Senate"

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    and here

    'Dems created Populist vacuum in MA Senate race"

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    This was predictable and people have been sounding the alarms for months.

    Unfortunately, it seems to party still has not learned its lesson, and thinks that messaging middle class populism will be enough to convince people they are for real.

    The problem with messaging is that people are really suffering. No amount of sweet talk is going to convince them to ignore this:

    ""Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class? If you can, would it still be America as we know it?

    Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street.

    Families have survived the ups and downs of economic booms and busts for a long time, but the fall-behind during the busts has gotten worse while the surge-ahead during the booms has stalled out. In the boom of the 1960s, for example, median family income jumped by 33% (adjusted for inflation). But the boom of the 2000s resulted in an almost-imperceptible 1.6% increase for the typical family. While Wall Street executives and others who owned lots of stock celebrated how good the recovery was for them, middle class families were left empty-handed.

    The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully-employed male have been flat since the 1970s."

  •  The WaPo story on this poll was dishonest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willibro, Cali Techie, dotalbon

    It totally ignored the Research 2000 poll -- and also didn't go into these crosstabs which clearly showed that the MA voters wanted MORE change not less.

    Fred Hiatt should be fired. He's turning into the print equivalent of Roger Ailes -- and he's destroying a great journalistic institution.

  •  In the end doesn't matter what voters want/intend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    the politicians get to Washington where other forces matter to them more. Even Obama not immune to it, unfortunately.

    Some posts will attract a strong response from those unfamiliar with robust dialogue

    by Eposter on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:11:37 PM PST

  •  A message from MA (6+ / 0-)

    This is only a tale of two voters, but I get the feeling that those two are not alone.

    My daughter, a twenty something, who lives in MA and voted D, called me after the election to ask me what Obama had done to piss off teachers. Her two teaching roommates stayed home. They are both people who always vote and they vote D.

    They are angry about the excise tax on their so-called cadillac benefits. Maybe they've heard rumors of the latest attacks by Arne Duncan, of that I'm not sure. My daughter was specific about the tax.

    She said that these young women could not ever vote for an R, but they could not voice their approval for the tax about to aimed at them. A public option might have changed their minds. These young voters known people who are out of work and mandated by MA to scramble for insurance even though their rents are high and their bills aren't getting lower.

    I guess if you fail to support women and/or union workers, eventually they won't support you. What you might consider stupid reasoning, makes perfect sense to them. BTW, the fourth roommate in this apartment just returned from India where he was training his replacement for his out-sourced job.

    •  Of course... (0+ / 0-)

      ...by staying home, they increased the chances of the "Cadillac Benefit" portion of the Senate bill becoming law, since it's now not possible to change it via normal channels with only 59 votes.

      Maybe voters simply are idiots, and you just have to drive a pickup or something to impress them.

      •  Note: They didn't vote for Brown (0+ / 0-)

        However, the excise tax can be changed through reconciliation. Everything can't, but taxes can.

        Putting a tax that will hit the middle class into the bill was an act by the stupids in the Senate.

        Baucus and Libermann and Conrad will not vote for an alternative anyway. Sometimes I wonder why those two women are suppose to care more than those highly paid senators?

  •  the Kaiser poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    is exactly what Plouffe was saying in his op-ed

    large shares of people, including skeptics, become more supportive after being told about many of the major provisions in the bills.

    Now it would be nice if commenters here would stop saying how much the public hates the HCR bills.

    I commented to one that I didn't think the polls about it were accurate because the public doesn't really have accurate information.

    Coalition does not equal unholy alliance--Deoliver47

    by glynis on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:13:35 PM PST

    •  And why is that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      The public only has two ears and a limited attention span.  The Democrats are still LOUSY at getting their message out with all the GOP rightwing noise drowning it out.

      To start with, find better spokespeople.  Obama's crew is some of the wimpiest I've seen. Robert Gibbs puts people to sleep (why, for God's sake, not Rachel Maddow?)  

      I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

      by dotalbon on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:49:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All I want to know is when does President Brown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, dotalbon

    give his first major speech??  

    I mean---we DID elect a new regime. right?

  •  what does total votes mean in these tables? (0+ / 0-)

    wouldn't total votes mean the total of all who voted? If so, why doesn't it mean that in the table. Sorry, I'm having a moment here.

    •  if you add total Coakly and total Brown... (0+ / 0-)

      shouldn't you get a number either equal to or a bit less than total voters? But that isn't the case... What am I missing here?

      •  It's a lousy table, but I'll clarify it for you. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT, willibro

        Each column is a category of voter (people who voted for Brown, people who voted for Coakley).

        Each row is an opinion.

        Now here's the key piece: each number entry is a percent of the people who voted for that candidate.

        So in the first table, take the column of "Brown Voters": 24% are enthusiastic or satisfied with Obama; 75% are dissatisfied or angry with him; 1% don't know.  75+24+1 = 100% of Brown voters.

        Now 80% of Coakley voters are enthusiastic or satisfied with Obama.  It makes no sense to add 24% of Brown voters to 80% of Coakley voters (arriving at 104%) because those percentages are figured against a different of total voters (the total Brown vote vs. the total Coakley vote).

        This particular table is designed to answer this kind of question: what fraction of Brown voters like Obama?  What fraction of Coakley voters like Obama?  Since the entries in the table are percentages of the column category, columns add up to 100%.

        Now it's just as possible to construct a very similar looking table that answers questions like "What percentage of voters who like Obama voted for Brown?" That's what you thought the table did; the only way to tell is to add up the columns and add up the rows.  When we add up the columns we always come to 200. Why? Because the columns also include subtotals, so every number is counted twice.

        Confusing? You bet.

        Now the article and tables don't do a very good job at making anything clear.  What makes it worse is that the subtotals for degrees of liking precede the lines in the subtotal (e.g. first we get the total positives for Obama, then then break down of enthusiastic vs. satisfied).  That obscures the fact that you're supposed to add the numbers in the column.

        If there were no subtotals, you'd scan down see that the numbers add to 100, and you'd understand. If the subtotal came after the components, you'd scan down and see more readily that it is a subtotal. It's a hint at least. Instead, you have to think about what the labels mean, then do a little math. This is a sure sign of bad design. Numeric presentations where you have to think about what the form means are bad presentations.  You should be thinking about what the numbers mean.

        These tables could be greatly improved if they had dividing lines that made the line item/subtotal structure more clear.  Alternatively, this dataset is a good candidate for representation as a pie chart. Each pie chart would contain the data from one column.  This would eliminate the possibility that you expect the corresponding slices from Coakley's pie and Brown's pie to add up to one whole pie.

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:06:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your Analysis is Flawed. (0+ / 0-)

    It does not factor in that a large # of Scott Brown voters oppose Obama mostly because he is black. Being from Massachusetts I know that this is a very powerful part of the equation because there is so much racism in Mass. Although it is almost impossible to elucidate through polling (respondents won't tell you), this is a big factor and cannot be ignored.

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:16:30 PM PST

    •  the problem with that analysis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, Cali Techie, Egalitare

      is that many Obama voters stayed home (and some voted for brown). McCain voters voting for Brown don't account for the win.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DemFromCt (0+ / 0-)

        Have any polls measured the % of McCain voters who came back out and voted for Brown? I find it har to believe that there was much churn in the vote for Brown from 2008. If thats true (looking at the town by town vote patterns from 2008 to 2010 certainly suggests that) I would say Coakley/Obama lost the election because they lost the new youth/minority vote that showed up in 2008 but didn't in 2010. I would love someone to show me an estimate of the 2008 McCain vote that came back agian in 2010. Can you provide any insight?

    •  I think you're missing the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      of the diary, which is more to explain that, despite what the media are telling us, people didn't really vote against Coakley because of health care reform.

      Health care was an issue in the race, but it was the decisive element that led to the landslide shift in the last two weeks of the campaign.

      text "YELE" to 501501 to give five bucks to Haitian relief, or "HAITI" to 90999 to give ten to the Red Cross.

      by litho on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama won the state by 26 points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      and the polls specifically singled out Obama voters who failed to vote for Coakley. Why would a racist vote for Obama, who's black, but not Coakley, who's white?

      •  pragprogress (0+ / 0-)

        yeah obama won by 26% but about 3M people voted in 2008, about 1.9M for Obama, 1.03M voted for McCain.
        About 800K Obama voters failed to show up and the turnout in the cities were horrible compared to

        1. Also the youth vote basically disapperaed. to me the correct measuring of the Obama vote to Brown needs to be meausured as a % of the 2008 vote, which would have brought the % of Obama to Brown vote down significantly.

        Again I ask the question what % of McCain voters came back and voted for Brown. Someone needs to answer that question for me with a believable explanation. After all if 1.03M showed up for a useless McCain election, why wouldn't essentially 1.03M show up to produce the biggest upset in our lifetimes?

    •  I find your post offensive (0+ / 0-)
  •  Maybe they'll get it this time (0+ / 0-)

    You'd think after losing all but two special elections the Democrats would get the message.

    I find it astounding Republican presidents can get their agendas passed without having strong majorities in Congress but Democrats can't get it done owning two of three branches of the government.

    Obama has played right into the GOP's hands. They set out to make sure he was embarrassed early and often by taking advantage of his desire for bipartisanship. When are Obama and the Democratic leadership going to get that you can't play that game when one side is unwilling to cooperate?

    The voters are saying "We gave you everything you need to get things done and you're not getting anywhere. Why should we bother to vote for you if you're not going to give us what we voted for when we elected you?"

    Hopefully this is a wake up call they'll actually heed. If they don't 2010 and 2012 looks very bleak for Democrats.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:18:19 PM PST

  •  We don't talk enough about corporate influence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willibro

    The figure that stunned me is in the last table, for the response

    Lobbyists/Insurance/drug companies/corporations have too much power/influence.

    which virtually no one offered as a response. Since I suspect this question was a coding of a free response, this means that this problem -- which is the core problem with the bill and its process -- is not top-of-mind with the public.

    We're concentrating too much fire on ourselves, and not enough on the people who are fucking with the process.  Some of this has to do with how long the Senate wasted on the process: we've had to talk to Congress, and have not been concentrating on the public.

    We need to change tactics on this.

    "[W]e didn't elect Democrats to pass crap. We elected Democrats to make a difference"

    --Howard Dean

    by mbayrob on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:19:29 PM PST

    •  why would Dems want to emphasize (0+ / 0-)

      that Congress sells itself out to the lobbyists, when it was the goddamn Dems who sold themselves out to the lobbyists . . . ?

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:30:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damn good question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        My answer would be:  it wasn't Democrats that have that worry.  It's Democratic Party politicians who do.

        You can't expect a lot of politicians to help you on this, and you can expect it even less post Citizens United.  But activists need to hammer on this.

        This is the fight of our lives.

        "[W]e didn't elect Democrats to pass crap. We elected Democrats to make a difference"

        --Howard Dean

        by mbayrob on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:34:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  so we'll do what -- hand out (0+ / 0-)

          scorecards telling everyone which are the "fake Democrats" who sell out to the lobbyists, and which are the "real Democrats" who don't . . . ?

          And how the hell many Dems ARE there anyway who don't take any lobbyist money?  Enough for a filibuster-proof majority (without which we can't do anything anyway)?

          For some reason, "Not ALL of us sell out!" doesn't strike me as a very workable campaign slogan.  Just sayin'.

          Of course, I doubt that either "We're better than nothing!' or "yeah, we suck, but the Repugs are even worse!" will do much better . . . . .

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:51:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As AG Coakley failed to prosecute (0+ / 0-)

    the string of three consecutive Democratic speakers of the state house who were forced to resign and subsequently prosecuted by the US attorney for corruption, abuse of power, or other crimes against the Commonwealth.

    This vote, more than anything else, was against the corrupt Democratic establishment machine in Massachusetts.  Anyone trying to draw a larger conclusion from it is in trouble.

    One thing that took all of us by surprise was the seismic shift following the last debate.  It was Brown's line "the people's seat" that led directly to that shift.

    Coakley had the race well in hand until that point.  Brown opened the floodgates in the debate, and there was nothing any of us could do from that point on.

    text "YELE" to 501501 to give five bucks to Haitian relief, or "HAITI" to 90999 to give ten to the Red Cross.

    by litho on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:19:29 PM PST

    •  All those resignations happened while (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      Coakley was AG? Hasnt she only been in office since 2007? I dont disagree with you though, that those things might have helped Brown, in addition to the Dem governor of the state being very unpopular.

  •  The main issue is not getting HCR done (0+ / 0-)

    in a timely manner. People are realistic about a compromised package, but they want the things that achieve the goals the President set out.  The Congress has simply taken too long to get the legislation done and has spent too much time on relatively small matters instead of focusing on the big picture.  That angers them, and that is added to a big list of complaints, including joblessness and corporate dominance.

    Right now, the responsibility to make this right rests solely with  the House of Representatives.  They need to pass the Senate bill now and close this chapter successfully for the President and the party.  They need to stop arguing over small matters and do what the President has said he wants and what the people expect.

    The Senate bill is a good starting point that should be enacted swiftly and without further delay.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:21:01 PM PST

    •  the main issue is that the bill is shit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, vankestral

      We started a year ago with a health care proposal that had the support of two-thirds of the voters, submitted it to a government that we controlled absolutely and totally with NO effective opposition from the other party------- and we STILL fucked it up, digging ourselves into a Kobayashi-Maru no-win scenario in which every option now left to us leaves us with shit on our faces.

      And at the end of an entire year of publicly and spectacularly demonstrating that we can't govern our way out of a wet paper bag, we want to take a bill that just a few weeks ago we all agreed was a shit bill that needed to be changed, and now tell everyone that it's the greatest accomplishment since beer and pretzels?

      And you wonder why nobody wants to vote for us?

      Wow.

      We SOOOOOOO deserve the thrashing we are going to get in November.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:44:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The bill is not shit. The bill is great. (0+ / 0-)

        It's always been a good bill.  Keep in mind it was less than a month ago when 60% of the US Senate voted for that bill, including socialist Bernie Sanders.  So don't tell me that there is consensus that it is a bad bill.  The problem is that liberals haven't understood that most think it's a good bill.

        It's the liberals who have drunk a lot of FDL kool-aid to think the bill is crap when any objective reading of it would clearly indicate that it does a lot of substantially important things.

        House Liberals don't seem to understand that the President wants the Senate bill, we are at crunch time, and in crunch time the backbenchers defer to the President. If this were the GOP, voting for this bill wouldn't even be a question. That hasn't happened here and that is why we face a crisis of governance.

        The House Dems has failed to accept the new political reality and for a long time has failed to understand that it cannot impose its will on the US Senate and the White House at the same time.  No matter how we got to this point, the success or failure of health care reform rests with the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

        As Paul Krugman says, pass the bill now.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:34:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

      by Micheline on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 04:07:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really, truly believe (4+ / 0-)

    that if Obama had simply and forcefully pushed for the exact same things that he had promised us as a candidate (no individual mandate, public plan, transparent negotiation process, limited role for lobbyists, no changes for those that like their existing plans/benefits, make it affordable for everyone, bring down costs for everyone), we wouldn't be in this position today.

    He has (had?) the popularity to draw people to that agenda, and it's an agenda that the vast majority of Americans back and it's an agenda that progressives would go to the mat for, particular if it was to back up our President. Why he chose not to do that, I have no idea.

    It's not that complicated. The President articulated broadly shared goals as a candidate brilliantly. Now, he needs to draw the line in the sand around those principles and Congress can either go along or get out of the way. If they want to oppose it, it should be clear to everyone that they are opposing the President and the will of the people.

    •  Throughout HCR (3+ / 0-)

      I said he never engaged people into the process, but that's because he supported the Senate bill, and the public supported the Public Option for all.

      •  I really don't know what Obama really supported (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro, Nightprowlkitty

        in the way of health care, other than that he wanted to get a bill done. I guess for sure getting more, but not all, people covered. I would actually challenge anyone here at Daily Kos to name one aspect of the health care bill that is in there specifically because Obama demanded that it be there. I mean the "Senate bill" does not tell me anything substantively. What about the Senate bill does he specifically support, or just that it's the only one with a chance of getting to his desk?

        •  He twisted arms to push the pharma deal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nightprowlkitty

          on the senate.

          They were in danger of voting favorably for the re-importation bill and his team's response was to twist some senator's arms. He is perfectly capable of playing hard ball, but is a conflict avoider in favor of who he sees as "dangerous" or "a real threat." This is why progressives need to hand him a defeat if they want his respect.

          •  That's interesting because logically the (0+ / 0-)

            only reason that he signed on to the pharma deal was to neutralize their potential opposition, but if the more conservative Senate was willing to vote in favor with that in it, surely the House would, then all that was left was his signature. What gives?

    •  Um, 60 votes? (0+ / 0-)

      Presidents don't write laws-Congress does.  It takes 60 Senators to pass a law.  Fewer than 60 Senators want all the stuff you listed.  Ergo, the problem is not Obama-it's the fact that fewer than 60 Senators wanted the stuff you listed.  And that number just dropped by one more.

  •  the 'political process' question is interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willibro

    dealmaking, closed doors, lack of transparency wins big over lobbyists/insurance cos have too much influence.

    with brown voters it's 30 to 1.

    coakley voters it's 6 to 0.

    what's up with that?

    from my point of view you had obstructionists trying to satisfy the corporate interests and stop obama anything, gumming up the political process all the way along.

    these were all right wing talking points---- dealmaking (nelson, landreau), closed doors and lack of transparency  (not on CSPAN, republicans weren't included)-

    al scott brown had to do, besides coakley being a twit, is piggyback/repeat limbaugh.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:23:06 PM PST

    •  But Obama promised an end to politics as usual (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      He said under his administration the influence that special interests would be curtailed and we would seen an end to earmarks. When you promise to be a game changer people expect you to be a game changer.

      I knew he was was making promises he could n, but I'm glad to see that people are holding him accountable for promising the moon and only delivering a McDonalds in Detroit.

      •  yeah there were probably a lot political newbies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        who expected him to deliver everything without realizing what the GOP is capable of. especially since the dems can't frame anything over the republican volume and they want to obstruct everything.

        the left put a black man in the white house and lets the modern equivalent of the KKK have the biggest soapbox in the country, and expect superobama. go figure.

        US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

        by certainot on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:46:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that our elected Dems "get it".... (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, voters are frustrated primarily by the antics of the Senate.  We Dems spent way...way, way, way...too much time trying to fulfill the wishes of the Repubs who were not negotiating in good faith.  Same for courting Leiberman, the Senator from Louisiana...Mary, I can't spell her last name and Ben Nelson from Nebraska.

    If the Dems get a little more pugilistic, decisive and aggressive in fighting for the things that they campaigned and were elected for, then the Dems will do well indeed in November.  If they choose to waffle, whine and cater to those who would stab them in the back...the Repubs, Leiberman et. al., then just turn out the lights; the party's over.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:25:33 PM PST

  •  what's important is what (0+ / 0-)

    the GOP message machine wants america to think about the election.

    on TV the dem and repug can argue about it but those 1000 radio stations will be talking to 50MIL people every week with some REAL analysis.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:26:24 PM PST

  •  Well those Obama voters who wanted the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32

    public option and voted for Brown are going to be sorely surprised when Brown derails healthcare reform altogether.

  •  Obama's Speech For Coakley Failed To Sell HCR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willibro

    He did not explain it well or personalize it with examples.

    I've rewatched it and it was better than I first thought, but my initial impression was quite bad.

    •  He didnt feel like he wanted to be there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers

      My understanding of it is that the WH already knew Coakley was going to lose, but Obama had to at least try.

      Which is why he couldn't and didn't criticize Brown too much, knowing he was going to have to work with him in the Senate for other votes, if not for HCR.
      Brown himself said the President told him he didn't criticize too much.

  •  And So the MA Voters Cut Off Their Noses (0+ / 0-)

    to get 1 -- Cooperate in Congress (and clean up the process).  And as a result will be left with 0 -- Senatorial dithering (and business as usual).

    The syntactical justice in that just slaps one in the face.

    "Give me but one firm spot to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes

    by Limelite on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:28:42 PM PST

  •  Re MA elections (0+ / 0-)

    A useful analysis.

    One point though that seems to have been missed is that, despite the "anger" out there , the main reason Coakley lost was her arrogant, abysmal campaign. I remember asking my wife around Dec 20th whether she had seen any Coakley commercials or heard about any rallies and she said "no". ( we had seen numerous Brown ads and tons of news reports about his campaigns ) Coakley also made a dumb comment about why she wasnt campaigning outside Fenway Park at a "once in a lifetime" hockey event, which had 30-40K people there and her response was " why would I want to be in the cold shaking hands with people"? This was widely reported. Her campaign figured  to "play it safe" in a strongly democratic state( she was leading Brown 51 - 32 after the Democratic primary on Dec 9th) , and assumed she could win on that basis alone. She had 19 events compared to Brown's 66 in the same period, and all of these came when it was too late, when Brown had already defined himself (and her by default) and the momentum had shifted.
    Ted Kennedy faced the toughest election of his career against Mitt Romney in 1994, and what did he do? He did what Mass voters expected him to do: hit the streets, the towns, the cities of MA, touch flesh and fight! Coakley did NONE of the above. Oh yes, she also had a nice vacation in the Cayman Islands over the holidays!  
    This was a campaign that was LOST by Coakley. Maybe her margin would have been much closer than 51/32, but she could have won. You CANNOT take voters for granted, period, and MA is no different from anywhere else.

    •  no question there are local factors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      just as there were with Corzine and Deeds. Boston v Western MA (Coakley), for example.

      As I noted, you can't simply win by running as a D, not even in MA.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:32:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is there so little focus on the (0+ / 0-)

    candidates themselves? Not saying that the national issues had no impact, but I do think ultimately, all politics is local, and the gap between Coakley and Brown, in terms of the way they ran their campaigns, is so huge. To me, that is what made the difference in this race.

  •  If dems keep blue dogs in their committee chairs, (0+ / 0-)

    that will mean they didn't learn.

  •  angry? me too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    I'm a Mass voter who voted for Coakley and it has been a painful week.  But the results of this has given me an outlet for my anger.  I'm no longer making excuses for this sick Democratic Party.

    Max Baucus should have been taken to the woodshed for his weeks of delay. Lyndon Johnson would have had him by the throat. Then there were the months wasted wooing Olympia Snowe and putting up with the daily dose of humiliation from Lieberman.

    And if I hear the term "bipartisanship" one more time I'm going to puke.  Maybe I'll go next door and thank the neighbors with the Brown lawn sign for waking us up to our own ineptitude.

    There are signs of change in the White House. Maybe eventually we will all be able to thank the voters of Massachusetts if they do indeed change course.

    •  As a Bay Stater who voted for Martha Coakley, ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... on Tuesday, I have to disagree with you here.  Here's what I wrote yesterday:

      Max Baucus and the President certainly deserves their share of the blame, but so do other Democrats.  The CPC wasted plenty of time with their self-righteousness on the public option -- saying they wouldn't accept this or that form of the public option.  And now the public option is rarely mentioned.  Why?  Because progressives finally recognized the insignificance of the policy in relation to the entire health care reform enterprise Democrats have championed the last 60 years.

      Quite frankly, had the House, knowing full well the millionaire tax was never going to pass the Senate, just accepted President Obama's limits on the charitable and mortgage deductions, they could have passed a bill a lot sooner, and that would have put more pressure on Max Baucus to come up with a bill earlier.

      I'm kind of sick of this bickering about who is to blame for why Democrats are in the predicament they are in now.  The truth is that Democrats should have passed health care reform long before the Massachusetts Senate election.  That Democrats weren't able to get things done is another good explanation of why Martha Coakley lost.

      Heck, even if Martha Coakley had won on Tuesday, do you really -- by the House not accepting the Senate bill as is -- want to allow the likes of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, et. al. to get their grubby little mitts on the bill again, and have another shot at mucking it up?

  •  Who Are Scott Brown and Bob McDonnell (0+ / 0-)

    Do they work for Research 2000?  The guys that polled Coakley-Brown as dead even.  If so then yeah, they're pretty believable.  

  •  I'll repeat what I wrote yesterday: (0+ / 0-)

    Here:

    I'm kind of sick of this bickering about who is to blame for why Democrats are in the predicament they are in now.  The truth is that Democrats should have passed health care reform long before the Massachusetts Senate election.  That Democrats weren't able to get things done is another good explanation of why Martha Coakley lost.

    What's even scarier is that Democrats this past week showed that they still haven't learned their lesson from the Massachusetts special election.  These legislators are trying to find creative ways to avoid casting a difficult vote on health care reform when all their political schemes will do is just blow up in their faces, and delay reform -- just as it has done the past year.  The truth is that any coherent, transformational health reform policy is never going to be popular by the time legislators vote on it simply because any such reform requires taking a significant chunk of money out of one person's pockets and putting it into someone else's pockets.

  •  Keep the HC Bill simple and it will pass (0+ / 0-)

    Large majorities support the individual proposals in the bill, but oppose the bill as a whole.  It is too complex a subject for someone not immersed in the health care debate to understand, so people are naturally apprehensive about reform, even though they are in favor of it.  Add the lies and mis-characterizations about the bill and you get too much confusion.  So break it down and vote on the pieces.  Start with the Medicare buy-in for age 50+.  Easy to understand.  Let's see what happens when the Republicans oppose that and vote against it.  Then perhaps expanded SCHIP or SCHIP buy-in with mandatory coverage required for all children under 18. Cost containment and subsidies for the 18-49 crowd next.

    This approach also addresses the back room dealing issue and makes the process really transparent.

    Even if the current bill passes, given that much of the benefits don't kick in for years. Based on how things have gone so far, I would not give it much hope of surviving the 2010 elections.  Imagine fighting through the next two elections cycles the attacks on the bill without any the voters seeing any real benefits.

    We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts. -- Senator Al Franken

    by Do Something on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:38:47 PM PST

  •  So many people in the media, right and left, (0+ / 0-)

    are trying to fit the results of the Mass. election into their already preconceived narratives.  It's been really annoying to see just about everyone assuming what they want from the results w/o any evidence to support it.  So just to add to the problem, here's my unsubstantiated theory of why the Scott Brown is now Sen. elect:

    Massachusetts voters would simply rather have a beer with Scott than with Ma-tha.  End of story.

  •  Actually- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Do Something, willibro, dotalbon

    the amount of progress the republican party has made in Massachusetts within the past decade is incredible.

    Best kept secret of the GOP.

    I used to live in West Springfield-the community where a Brown supporter yelled, "Shove a curling iron up her butt."

    Didnt' even surprise me.

    Reublicans own it all in that town.

    And I do mean all.

    West Springfield is owned by the Gop.

    Fire Dept, Police Dept, School Committee, Homeowner's  Association, Mayor's office, Public School System, local businesses, City Council, real-estate, city planners, Sanitation, City Hall, civic organizations-and everybody belongs to-and attends commitee.

    It's just about mandatory.

    You are literally expected to "donate" a certain amount of time-and get this: they keep track-so they know who's donated and who owes em' time.

    They literally badger each other about it.

    I lived in West springfield for years.

    It was quite the experience.

    People there just about "turn each other in."

    It's eye-opening.

    They've been eying Ted Kennedy's seat for a long time.

    Believe me their ducks were in a row.

    Been looking at it for years.

    Brown was no fluke-and I'd bet my life on it.

    If they all wore uniforms and saluted they'd just about be a military unit.

    I've  never seen anything like it.

    I'm not kidding-nor am I exaggerating.

    On political conservatives: "I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun." Bill Maher

    by lyvwyr101 on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:40:15 PM PST

    •  The right-wing is relentless (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, willibro

      Yea, we campaigned, donated money and time, elected Obama and then went home.  The right-wing never goes home.  They just keep plugging and planning and fighting.  They take a long view and momentary setbacks don't really bother them.  Hell, they are still mad at Haiti for throwing out the slave owners in 1801 (pack with the devil, etc.).  They do not forgive and forget.  They packed the Supreme Court with their own and now have the free-license to us their Corporate overlords to buy whatever elected officials they need.  Trust me, ever since we got rid of the king in 1776, they have been plotting.  At their core they hate democracy and they have no use for the Constitution.  They fool the people by filling them with hate, hate for poor people, hate for "others", hate for "elites".

      We won a great election in 2008.  There was a chance to banish the right for another 50 years, just like in 1932, but the chance has probably been blown.  It has been blown because the Democrats were elected to fix things and somehow instead they are now blamed for the mess they inherited. They have to be the most inept politicians in the history of the country.  And those of us who elected them have to share in their ineptness, because this summer when all hell broke loose with tea-baggers and angry citizens, we sat at home and blogged and stared in amazement at the TV. Instead we should have been at the townhalls, raising cain at those standing in the way of progress.

      We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts. -- Senator Al Franken

      by Do Something on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:02:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You bet. (0+ / 0-)

        I wouldn't argue with a word.

        They are organized, they are efficient, they have a total game-plan from which they never deviate.

        They have discipline, they have focus.

        They take it one state a a time and they completely bulldoze their way through that one state.

        And I do think you're right, it's not so much our elected officials, it's us as well.

        What I mean is-it's both.

        We need to support the people we put in office.

        We elect-then we walk away.

        Wrong approach.

        We need to stay in touch-we need to mobilize-we need to communicate.

        The voters gave us a mandate-not the republicans.

        They put our president in the White House and our legislators in office.

        It's our job to keep them there-they have a job to do-and none of us should back-off until we get to hang our own "Mission Accomplished" banner.

        On political conservatives: "I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun." Bill Maher

        by lyvwyr101 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:06:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brown ran on the cost to MA voters for HC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    Brown's opposition to the HC bill was that the people of Mass. would be subsidizing other states, which is true.  He was not necessarily opposed to health care reform, after all he was running in a state that already has done what the Congress is trying to do for the rest of us.  No, it was that his state would be helping out other states.  Given the hypocrisy of red states electing Senators and Representatives that call for less spending and less taxes, when these states actually receive more in federal money than they pay, the "Brown" revolution may really turn out to be one where the voters of the blue states are saying they have had enough of this arrangement.   That may not be all bad.  Perhaps it is time to give these folks what they ask for.  The results might be not be so good for the Republicans in the long run.

    We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts. -- Senator Al Franken

    by Do Something on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:45:32 PM PST

  •  Instead of looking at what happened, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    let's look at what didn't happen. If MA Democrats were exited about the Obama administration and its agenda, would large numbers of those MA Democrats stayed at home?
    I know, it's a hypothetical analysis, but it helps to solve the mystery.

    •  indeed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotalbon, Brian Pinball

      that's why I wanted to include the "stay home" vote in the analysis.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 02:52:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will get what they deserve (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but staying at home was really not an option.  They had an opportunity in the primary to pick a candidate that would go to DC and fight for the change they needed.  Instead they pick a candidate who apparently didn't even know she was running and then stayed home and let a Republican who by himself will be able to stop all progress.  Not just because he is the 41st vote, but because the stupid Democrats will take this as some kind of message to stop what they were doing all-together.

      Staying at home because everything you want doesn't get done in 12 months? Please give me a break.  We are headed towards another generation of what we got in 2000.  Waiting for Mr. Perfect is not a strategy, it is doom.

      We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts. -- Senator Al Franken

      by Do Something on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:08:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It not a matter of "not doing enough", (0+ / 0-)

        it's doing too much for the wrong people (Big banks, private insurers, big pharma etc). Everyone wants to claim that Obama is a "pragmatist", but he's no pragmatist when it comes to the super-rich, they got what they wanted very quickly and easily (i.e. no incrementalism/pragmatism for the needs of the super-rich). Obama is only a pragmatist when it comes to what the people need (i.e. public option).

        •  I will give him the benefit of the doubt (0+ / 0-)

          I voted for him because I trusted his judgment.  In the end I may find out I was wrong, but 12 months is not enough time in my opinion to judge this.   Given the crisis he walked into, I am not sure he had much choice about the banks.  I don't think we realize just how fragile the economy was back in January 2009, but the wrong move could have sent things spiraling down.  Saving the banks as they did probably was the safest choice at the time and a small (although painful) price to pay to put things back on track. Let's see what he does with them over the next couple of years.  As far as the HC bill goes, we are not going to get to see the end-game and what it would have brought.  Surely a better bill than the Senate's.  But again, with the requirement for 60 votes and Lieberman's backstabbing and the GOP, I am not sure I can see how we could have gotten what most of would have like.

          As far as the super-rich go, I have a feeling that whatever Obama conceded to them will look like small potatoes if the GOP gains control again.  Scott Brown and his like are not an improvement, they are a step backwards.  Electing a strong progressive to fill Kennedy's seat would have been a lot better a message than sitting at home because Obama hasn't done everything you wished.  

          We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts. -- Senator Al Franken

          by Do Something on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 10:56:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

      and when you consider all of the better possibilities that the Obama agenda has obliterated in its self-emolating, relentless drive to the 'center', the questions become perhaps even more hypothetic, yet also more enlightening.

      That's a good thing.

      A poll rigged to offer the difference between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum as the sum total of political possibility and voter motivation is a poll rigged to please and to excuse, but not to enlighten.

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  Help me out here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    After reading this site for several years, this is my very first post.  I'm trying to understand something and would love your input.  If poll after poll shows Americans against HCR, isn't there a point when you say, "Ok...the people have spoken"?  Does the time ever come where you accept a loss and move forward on other issues?

    •  the point is to read the polls themselves (4+ / 0-)

      not the superficial analysis. The polls, for example, showed doubts about Iraq and Bush losing popularity way before the media would actually say so.

      let me repeat what the kaiser poll found, as it has been found elsewhere (such as in continued support for a public option):

      A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that Americans are divided over congressional health reform proposals, but also that large shares of people, including skeptics, become more supportive after being told about many of the major provisions in the bills.

      So, in partial answer to your question, are you talking about policy (still popular with the public) or process (the public is not thrilled)?

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:03:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point, but this bill is too messy to pass (0+ / 0-)

        Somewhere along the way, this bill became 2000 pages and was too difficult for just about anyone to comprehend.  Wouldn't it be better to scrap this bill and come up with one that is less than 500 pages and that can be explained easily to the public?

      •  DemFromCt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT

        I'm from Mass by the way, I would like to know if there is analysis of what the youth/minority vote TO % was also in NJ as a % of 2008 youth/minority vote. I'm going to guess its identical to Mass.

        If MA is identical to NJ in youth/minority TO from 2008 to 2010 then a lot of this is going to portend some huge losses in 2010. The Dems need to find out what happened with the youth/minority vote and get it fixed fast.

        As far as the rest of the progressives who stayed home, I'll give real strong odds those people do in fact turn out in 2010 big time. However they alone won't be enough in many races, that youth/minority vote is going to be the differnece maker IMHO.

        •  I suspect you're right, but... (0+ / 0-)

          according to WaPo Kaiser, there was a 4% drop in 18-29 vs 2008 (a Presidential year) so not enormous. It was the biggest drop off of voters and 65+ yos went up 4. No polling data on 18-29 voted.

          of the others, however, the 30-44s voted 15 less for the D in 2010 vs 2008. That's huge. Also among MA independents, Coakley lost 23 points (2010 vs Obama 2008) compared to losing 7 D and 4 R from 2008 totals.

          This is all consistent with indies showd and voted Brown, Ds stayed home.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:04:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Good point, and yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, willibro, Egalitare

      there certainly is a time to "move on", although in politics you can end up coming back to the same points again.

      But there is a huge disconnect between what the American public THINKS is in the HCR bill and what actually is in it.  That's just failure to sell the message, pure and simple.  And it makes the question of "moving on" to something else more problematical.  

      If the Dems can't figure out how to let the American voter know what they're doing, it doesn't really matter what issue they tackle.  

      I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

      by dotalbon on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:04:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  as for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, dotalbon

      "moving on to other issues...", this is less than a week after a MA Senate race, and with HCR still in the balance.

      Can't move on until there's closure.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:05:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the majority (0+ / 0-)

      clearly do favor reform of the healthcare system.  Not only that, poll after poll shows them favoring a robust PO, if not single payer.

      The crippled, AHIP/PhRMA-centric, obfuscatory, foot-dragging offerings coming out of Washington?

      Not so much.  

      Now, imagine if someone, say, some huge political party that ran on "hope" and "change" in 2008 to a landslide win in the executive and legislative branches, was actually offering, and arguing for, what the people not only want but desperately need.

      The mind boggles.  

      Never mistake what has been crippled, bought, sold-down-the-river, dumbed-down, and eviscerated to please AHIP and PhRMA (while screwing everyone else over -- even teabaggers) for what is possible.

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  think we should start a money bomb (0+ / 0-)

    to send a message, and that is, that the Dems messaging SUX.  

    It doesn't have to be a lot - and after our message is sent it can go for, let's say, the next round of Shelter Boxes.

    "Here's $25,000 fools, to get started on hiring someone with a brain to run your PR campaign the next 8 months."

    I think they would see it.

    "We're creating instability that could lead us into wider war."....Dennis Kucinich

    by lisastar on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:03:56 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the Diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    This is the stuff I like to come to Dkos for.  Some straight talk with solid facts to back it up!

    That poll really does say a lot!  The more I think about it the more I think this election will be a blessing in disguise.  

    Cheney/Inhofe 2012. If a teabagger can win in Mass then anything is possible and America is doomed to fail anyways. May as well go all in!

    by thestupiditburns on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:05:07 PM PST

  •  Data mine (0+ / 0-)

    I thought Brown defined himself as against obama-care, particularly in his message during the last two weeks of the campaign. It was one of the keys to his election win and its hard to believe thats not crystal clear. Also, under all politics is local, its seems to me that Coakley was out of touch with the voters. The whole thing with "Ted Kennedy's seat" and such defined her as anointed and maybe voters said no to that. But saying that the election was not, at least partly, a referendum on healthcare (maybe versus jobs) is just a swing and a miss at a Curt Schilling fastball.

  •  None of this analysis will matter. (0+ / 0-)

    Even if the base is energized, the key Independent voters will simply see that the Democrats lost and make up their own reasons why. It won't really matter why not enough Democrats went to the polls that day, or why so many Independents voted for Brown.

    I asked various people at work, also here in CT, why they thought those crazy people up in MA voted for Brown, reminding that the Democrats held that seat for so many years. A couple of people claimed that it was because of the Obama health care bill. They didn't know much about the bill, but they formed their opinions about the MA election regardless.

    So, it's not really about why people voted for Brown, but about how the situation is framed in their own minds. They aren't going to look at actual polls and determine which polls are more reliable than others. Like most people, they will be satisfied thinking that they know enough about what others' concerns are to get some idea of what will happen in November. And, just like in 2004 when I thought, "Surely, we aren't going to elect this idiot, again," the vote was much closer than I anticipated.  

  •  Liberals would vote ANYTHING (0+ / 0-)

    That's why they're liberals. Conservatives on the other hand are more likely to stick to their principles - that's why their conservative. Brown can never win a Republican presidential primary. Levi Johnston's playgirl cover is nothing compared to what this guy did for Cosmopolitan. I don't hear Sarah Palin saying anything.

    Good looks, a nude magazine cover, a popular American Idol daughter and a famous broadcaster wife - it's not so hard to figure out why people warmed up to the celebrity, gave him a second look and bought what he was selling. I'm surprised that people are actually taking these post-election polls seriously.

    What those voters in MA are telling pollsters is gibberish, in my opinion. They're just trying to justify their ill-conceived votes. After HCR is taken off the table, on what other issues will he vote with Southern Republicans?

    It's only a matter of time before Republicans start threatening to primary him. He's representing Massachusetts - there's no way he's going to vote on the right and not become very unpopular very quickly.

  •  Anger beats apathy. (0+ / 0-)

    McCain got about 1.1 million votes in 2008
    Brown got about 1.1 million votes in 2010
    Obama got about 1.8 million votes in 2008
    Coakley got about 1.0 million votes in 2010

    As I understand it very few switched from voting Democratic to voting Republican. Does any one have the data that suggests there was a big shift?

    What I see is that those who showed up to vote for Obama sat this one out, just like they did in VA and NJ.

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 03:41:21 PM PST

  •  CW/Congress suffer from the self-imposed bigotry (0+ / 0-)

    of low expectations.  You read it all the time when talking to pols or pundits (most famousley Joe Klein) who go about lamenting how the process in Congress keeps things from happening or the process keeps the quoted pol from being able to achieve what he thinks (read what polls tell me people say they want) should be done.  Then guess what?  Nothing gets done everyone (pundits and their pol friends who give them access to quotes to put in articles to feed the narrative) decrying the broken system.  NO IT IS NOT THE BROKEN SYSTEM; IT IS BROKEN POLITICIANS AND BROKEN PUNDITS WHO MASSAGE THEIR MESSAGE FOR THEM.  Everyone of those damn pols has a vote; EVERY obstacle they cite (be it special interest or fillibuster or what have you) has a solution (be it pull the nuclear trigger and END the filibuster, etc.,).  It is time we stop enabling these political cowards and their media helpers from getting what needs to get done.  I'm tired of hearing about "oh we cannot do this" or "we cannot do that"  BS, it can get done you (the pol) just has to have the stones to actually do it; but you dont because you ARE COWARDS!

  •  MA result (0+ / 0-)

      As trite as it may seem, we have to face it, that the Democrats in the Senate in particular, do have a major character defect, specifically, a severe case of being full and complete wimps.  They are helpless, hapless and feckless.
      How can anybody respect a party that allows a member of its caucus to threaten to veto the party's signature bill and remain not only in the caucus but as chairman of a committee?  How can anybody respect a party that has no discipline, whatsoever?
      The Democratic leadership in the Senate claims to be helpless even though Democrats number 58 in the Senate (I am not counting Lieberman).  Put another way, even though the Repugs are outnumbered 58-42 in the Senate (Lieberman is being counted with the Repugs), the Repugs are controlling the Senate.
      It is irrational to think the Dems in the Senate cannot pass legislation with such a majority.  They can but they will not because of the wimp factor.  
      If we are going to be able to stop the Repugs from taking back the Senate and the House, it is really this wimp factor that must be dealt with.
      There is a simple way to deal with this wimp factor.  That is, to advocate boycotting the reelection campaigns of one or two Dem wimp Senators. That will send a message to the others.

  •  When people are unhappy with (0+ / 0-)

    the direction they think things are going in, especially economic things, they vote the party in power out.

    A lot of people voted for Obama in the first place for exactly that reason.

    It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

    by denise b on Sat Jan 23, 2010 at 07:29:54 PM PST

  •  OUR GOVERNMENT (0+ / 0-)

    The right wing spends billions filling the airways and print with rhetoric to divide our electorate because they know with a united electorate we are our government . With a divded electorate they are the government .

  •  The questions about Political Process (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    are interesting. Those opinions don't exist IRL. They've been created and repeated in a specific echo chamber. No one would consider thinking those things if the idea hadn't been introduced.

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