Let's take a little trip back in time, shall we? Nine days after President Obama was inaugurated, after one of the most crushing defeats in their party's history, Senate Republicans vowed to vote against the stimulus. In the end, three Senate Republicans voted for the stimulus, and ZERO (0) House Republicans did. This trend was followed, and reinforced, by the GOP for the rest of the 111th Congress. From the very beginning, the Republican Party has fought tooth and nail against every proposal, no matter how milquetoast, from the Obama administration and the Dems in Congress.
You know why they did this? Because they were the opposition party - it was their job to oppose. They didn't come out the day after being slaughtered in 2008 and claim to have learned a lesson from their drubbing - they doubled down and, if anything, became even more conservative than they had been. And you know what? It worked (electorally, at least. For the country, not so much).
This is why I am laying down this marker to my President tonight: if President Obama comes out tomorrow and pledges that he has "learned a lesson" from tonight's results and makes noises and overtures (no matter how finely couched) of moving right, he will have lost me permanently. And mark my words, if he does kowtow to the lunatics of the right, he will have already lost his re-election bid and any hope of us winning Congress back in 2012.
The bottom line is this: the Republican Party is an existential threat to our nation, our way of life, and our freedoms as Americans. I truly believe that their party - the politicians, the professional hack operatives, and the great mouth-breathing base - are an incarnation of evil in our midst. And you know what? In spite of their joke of a "platform;" in spite of their overt hatred of the poor, working-class, and middle-class; in spite of their racism, their sexism, their general bigotry; in spite of their absolute surfeit of ideas; in spite of their generally poor reputation among a strong majority of Americans; in spite of the fact that they just finished their latest round of running this country into the ground a mere two frackin' years ago - they are winning. You know why? Because they stuck to their (horribly dangerous and verging on insane) guns and ideas, and didn't compromise an inch, even when all the "important people" were saying it was suicide not to. People don't want wishy-washy politicians, they want people with core convictions. That is why it is absolutely incumbent upon Barack Obama to come out tomorrow, look straight at the camera, and say "we'll work with the GOP where we can, but we will absolutely not compromise the principles of the Democratic Party and the wishes of the seventy million Americans who elected me a mere two years ago." In other words, it's time for battle.
As despicable as the right is, in terms of pure politics emulating their behavior of the last two years at this time is the only option for the Democratic Party. If the Democrats come back from this and help Republicans pass their odious legislation, they might as well just close up shop, as they will have proven they stand for absolutely nothing. They did precious little for the average man for the last two years, and paid a terrible price for it tonight. What little they did do, they let Republicans define from the very beginning and practically sprinted away from.
What we need is a reset: we need new leadership desperately in the Senate and the WH needs a new messaging and political team, yesterday. For all of the brilliance of their campaign, their PR job during Obama's first two years has been a disaster. The days of letting Republicans define the Democratic Party need to end, NOW. Right now.
Essentially, what we need to see from the President tomorrow is not a chastened, defeated politician bowing to a radical movement that threatens the foundations of American life as we know it; we don't need to see our President taking false lessons from today; we don't need to see our President repeating the strategy of conciliation and attempted cooperation with lunatics that got us where we are today. What we need to see, as Democrats and Americans, is a President with fight. He should take a lesson from the Republican Party and the right over the last two years - don't give a fucking inch. Come out swinging, Mr. President, and put these pieces of shit in their rightful place.