The media is having a field day with Kaine's counterpart, Michael Steele. They doubt every move he makes and ridicule every off-the-cuff remark. Steele, in the eyes of the media and many Republicans, is nothing more than a buffoon. I happen to agree. The Republican Party is in trouble: they have no cash, there's dissent within the party, and they continue to partake into wedge-issue politics. The GOP's pick of Dede Scozzafava to run for an open Congressional seat in New York was a blunder of epic proportions. Bill Owens barely winning in that district was not so much a victory for the Democrats as it was a default decision since he ended up with no Republican Party rival.
But Michael Steele, as incompetent as he is, has also won two important gubernatorial elections and one Senate election. Tim Kaine has not won anything for his party. He didn't even keep the Virginia Governor's Mansion that he vacated for his party. If Michael Steele deserves no credit for the Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, then Tim Kaine deserves all the blame. If you can't outmaneuver a fool like Steele and let him take three leadership positions away from your party, what worth do you have?
You can't just dismiss these three elections by claiming that one state was leaning conservative, another hated its governor, and the third was hobbled with a bad Democratic candidate. There are no excuses! Just a year ago, the Dems, under Howard Dean, greatly increased its presence in state legislatures across the nation, in governor's mansions, in the House and Senate, and it's Presidential candidate won by a landslide. The Democrats were crushing the Republicans. Some pundits went as far as saying that it was the end of the Republican Party.
Then Dean stepped down as DNC chair and Kaine took the reins. Now we're getting our asses kicked by a party that's continues to be in disarray and that's lead by an obvious bonehead.
One sad thing that I noticed in the Massachusetts Senate race was that that quite a few single-payer health care proponents were actually supporting Brown. They so want to "Kill the Bill" as it now reads, because all it guarantees is access to health care, without dealing with affordability, and requiring mandates. So, the Democrats lost their progressive base in a progressive commonwealth. So explain to me how do you win without your base?
In Massachusetts, they're currently suffering over a poorly cobbled together health care law—Mitt Romney's crowning achievement by the way—that has been a disaster because premiums are skyrocketing in the state and it's killing small business owners. Now we have a Democratic Party that is trying to pass through a similar, watered-down health care bill on the national level. So what do you expect from the residents of the Bay State? It's no wonder why so many Democrats voted for Brown.
Yes, Coakley ran an extremely bad campaign. She acted aloof and entitled. She became the Rabbit to Brown's Tortoise. All Brown had to do was drive a pickup truck through the Commonwealth, get the attention of a few tea-party crazies to go with the angry (but misguided) moderates and independents that began to lean his way and he had a enough troops to make it a race.
Meanwhile, the progressive base of the Democratic Party—those that were motivated to get out the vote in 2008—have been neglected ever since that election. Rahm Emanuel insulted progressives at every turn and Tim Kaine said nothing. President Obama governed from the right-center, not even throwing these stalwarts a bone.
Being mocked by Emanuel and ignored by Kaine and Obama upset many of my progressive colleagues, and many of them won't raise a finger to help the Democratic Party now. Some of them, as I said above, even voted for the other side. They feel used. After all, it was the progressives that gave the Democrats a majority in 2006 and an unprecedented majority and the White House in 2008. And then they were kicked to the curb.
While this race should be a wake-up call for the Democrats to run better candidates, I think it proves my theory that without your base, you're nothing. And the progressives are the base of the Democratic Party.
Tim Kaine lost Tuesday's election as well. He also dismissed the progressives since his ascent to the DNC Chair a year ago. They punished him by not supporting Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. It's now the turn of progressives to toss Tim Kaine.
Calling Dr. Dean!
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