And damn, it feels good!
At least it feels good to us; the GOP is a tad demoralized over the whole HCR affair. But what's that saying? Something about elections and consequences...
Political momentum has shifted so fast over the last week that it has given Republicans whiplash.
Democrats are heading into the two-week Easter recess in high spirits after passing the most sweeping domestic policy reform since Medicare was enacted four decades ago.
...But even as some Republicans talk of using healthcare as a cudgel, others are questioning the hard-line opposition strategy that limited their input on the substance of healthcare reform and may deny them any chance of shaping financial regulatory reform later this year.
Cracks emerged in the unified front Republicans held throughout most of the healthcare debate.
Mmmmm...schadenfreude! Even better, though, is what this portends for the November elections. More news and actiony (inertiay?) goodness down there...
Let's start with the obvious: everyone loves a winner. And people really love a winner who really had to fight for it against all obstructionist, Scott Brown odds. As someone said here the other day, there is no afterglow of failure. Standing on the winning side of a truly historic achievement? Oh yeah. Lots of basking going on at Capitol Hill; they've got afterglow to spare. And it's attractive. It's also inspiring. As Femlaw recently reiterated, people respond to positivity.
I've studied organizing and social movements from the view of a scholar in the ivory tower and the perspective of a participant on the ground, and I have come to one key conclusion -- positive emotions motivate action.
Hope in the future, a belief you can make a difference, the understanding that change is possible, these are the essential ingredients in moving people to act for change.
So, our three greatest weapons are hope, belief and understanding. And the knowledge that change is possible. That's four. So, our four greatest weapons are hope, belief, understanding, and the knowledge that change is possible. People understand the bill isn't ideal, but because the bill did pass, they believe in the Democratic party right now. From that belief springs hope for further change and improvements from the future. And it's manifesting, as Markos informs us in this piece:
Three weeks ago, 40 percent of Democrats were likely or definitely going to vote, compared to 51 percent of Republicans -- an 11 point "intensity gap". Two weeks ago, as the battle for health care reform heated up, and GOP obstructionism came in full view, the numbers were 45 percent for Democrats, 56 percent for Republicans -- both sides equally riled up.
This week, the numbers are 55 percent for Democrats, 62 percent for Republicans. While both sides saw big spikes in their numbers, Democrats were particularly energized, with that intensity gap narrowing from 11 points to a far more manageable seven.
In just two weeks, Dems have both increased likely voters by 7% and cut the enthusiasm gap by a third. Momentum. Here's some more math: It is almost April, which means November elections are only 7 months away. And not to be complacent, but they are ours to lose. The Dem victory on HCR has already started splintering the GOP; wholesale obstruction doesn't seem to have worked out for them after all. And Obama was right to triple-dog dare them to run on the repeal of HCR; I'd love to see them campaign on re-opening the Medicare doughnut hole. Bring it.
And if they think their little poison pill amendment shtick in the Senate was going to provide them campaign fodder, just wait 'til our Dem candidates start rolling the Chronicles of Obstruction. The commercials practically write themselves, no cutesy soundbyte bills required. And of course, they're not fooling anyone. The public is acutely aware of the fact that the GOP fought HCR at every step. "Start over!" "Slow down" "Socialism!" "Death Panels!" "Argleblargleblarrhh boogabooga!"
Well, now is the time to make DeMint and the rest of the GOP wish they'd never heard of Waterloo. We are going to crush them in the November elections, in all defiance of mid-term election trends. We will straight up kick ass and take names this fall. Because we have momentum, not just from HCR, but from the continued wins its success will bring. The historic passage of the most sweeping domestic package in decades will not only fire up his agenda, but it is already getting voters and activists ready to go!
So we're going to ride that momentum every second from now until November. We do that by making sure Congress hears from us while they are at home for Easter over the next two weeks. Did your Congresscritters vote the right way on HCR? Show them the love! Keep dibs on any teabaggin' afoot; let's make sure vulnerable Dems know we've got their backs. If yours voted the wrong way, make your displeasure known. Write letters to the editor every day until they publish you just to shut you up. Okay, I kid, but the usefulness and impact of letters to the editor truly cannot be overstated.
The absolute best measure of expressing one's displeasure, though, is by supporting strong candidates this fall, which also happens to be the greatest benefit of our current momentum. Some races are in primary mode right now and will start early voting soon; the timing could not be better to propel turnout in favor of more and better Dems. And we've got a lot of more and better Dems to choose from! Mr. "Baby Killer" has drawn a challenger, as has Stupak himself. How fun is that? Stupak's PA compatriot, Pitts, has likewise drawn a challenger. Even Bachmann has a fight on her hands. I could go on and on, but suffice to say we have a lot of seats to defend and heaps of great candidates to support.
I hope everyone is regularly visiting the Saturday Election Digest. It's a great round-up of all things candidate from the week and just an awesome resource. If your Senators rock and your Rep is blue as blue, adopt someone else's! I look forward to helping my own Senator Wyden get re-elected in November.
But for right now, I'm focusing on helping our awesome Primarians - Dem candidates who deserve and need the netroots love to get them through their respective primaries. Races like these are what it's all about and why momentum is so important:
Elaine Marshall - told Senator Burr to grow up; running to take his NC Senate once she wins her primary
Jennifer Brunner - cleaned up Ohio's elections after Blackwell; upon winning her primary, will have no problem sweeping Bush's economic pointman Rob Portman brusquely aside.
So let's strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, and use the momentum from HCR to carry them and all of our candidates to victory in November! Did we just do what has been attempted for almost a century? Yes we did! Will we kick arse in November? Yes we can!