I will share some of the more intelligent comments I have read on the internets over the past couple of days, with perhaps some of my less intelligent thoughts mixed in. I think I’ve noted a whole lot that I want to share, so I’ll make a few of these posts so they’re more digestible (and don’t feel like spending much time on this exercise at the moment.)
What the average voter saw of Democrats was weak, watered-down change – and weak Democratic leaders who cut deals with the very Wall Street banks and insurance companies they are supposed to be fighting.
Progressives will be stepping up and insisting that the Democratic Party be bolder, not weaker.
– Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign
Saddest specific storyline from Tuesday night:
– Wisconsin progressive Senator Russ Feingold loses
Unsaddest storyline from Tuesday night:
– Nearly half of the Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats in Congress lose
It is because of the Blue Dog Coalition that there is no floor vote before the August break.
– South Dakota’s Blue Dog representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in August 2009 regarding the healthcare debate; Rep. Herseth Sandlin was among the 29 Blue Dogs to lose on Tuesday
In another words, it’s because of the Blue Dogs that healthcare was watered down and delayed so much. Good riddance, Blue Dogs.
It’s a shame Heath Shuler still as his seat. He says he will challenge Pelosi for Minority Leader should she stay on. Since 95% of the members of the Progressive Caucus kept their seats, I’m thinking Shuler will get crushed.
So, we’re already getting the expected punditry: Obama needs to end his leftist policies, which consist of … well, there weren’t any, but he should stop them anyway.
What actually happened, of course, was that Obama failed to do enough to boost the economy, plus totally failing to tap into populist outrage at Wall Street. And now we’re in the trap I worried about from the beginning: by failing to do enough when he had political capital, he lost that capital, and now we’re stuck.
But he did have help in getting it wrong: at every stage there was a faction of Democrats standing in the way of strong action, demanding that Obama do less, avoid spending money, and so on. In so doing, they shot themselves in the face: half of the Blue Dogs lost their seats.
And what are those who are left demanding? Why, that Obama move to the center.