Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keeping Eyes on the Prize

According to MSNBC Obama was not a factor in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races. In fact, to extrapolate on that assessment, Obama doesn’t seem to be a factor in much of anything these days—certainly not health care reform.

However, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and Armey may have been a factor in the very telling election in New York State’s 23rd district. Their candidate, Doug Hoffman, looking like someone arrested on “Dateline: To Catch a Predator” conceded, handing a victory to a Democrat in that district for the first time since the Civil War.

The strange thing about all the brouhaha raised by conservatives in getting Hoffman into the New York 23 race is that district gets absorbed by surrounding Democratic districts in a redistricting based on the 2010 census.

I can’t wait to hear how Beck, Limbaugh and Palin spin the Hoffman loss. Gingrich ought to have a bit of fun with this. Let’s keep the civil war going.

For Democrat losses, Chris Christie is said to be a moderate, a fiscal conservative but not a social conservative, so the Tea Baggers will not make any real headway there until they put tremendous pressure on him and he caves to Birther demands, if that happens.

Bob O’Donnell effectively refused Palin and her brand of conservatism and won anyway over a weak Democrat. However, she will probably take credit for his victory.

Jon Corzine was apparently an unappealing incumbent. His approval was at 39%. There is speculation that his connection to Goldman Sachs may have contributed to his downfall in addition to other issues. The voters are tired of Wall Street.

Bloomberg got a run for his money, literally, by someone without much political power or billionaire bank account. Bloomberg is also another incumbent and is associated with Wall Street.

Bloomberg and Corzine are connected to Wall Street. This does not bode well for Obama in 2010 if he does not get the economy going by then or does not punish Wall Street more harshly than Geithner and the boys have so far.

While the losses of Corzine and Deeds do not necessarily presage the future of the Democratic Party, they do presage the future of similar Democrat candidates—those weak Democrats like Harry Reid, Blanche Lincoln and others who refuse to be tough.

Reid wants to wait until next year on health care. Obama’s response will probably be, “Well, if you say so.”

Some believe this is a bad idea. I entertain the possibility that they want to move Republican refusal to participate in an historic piece of bad bill legislation that the vast majority of Americans want, despite all that poser Tea Bagger nonsense in July and August, as close to the primaries as possible.

A year ago tonight the great Anarchist of Ann Arbor and I discussed our beliefs that the first party to split, thereby creating a third party, would be the Republicans. We may be seeing that materialize right before our eyes. The Tea Baggers will be so incensed by Hoffman’s loss in New York that they will come back in greater numbers and intensity in 2010.

But the Democrats beginning to split between progressive and conservative may become the speculative talk of 2012 if not sooner.

A possible Democrat strategy for 2010—or simply my delusion—is the Democrats may be hoping the conservative wing of the Republican Party will defeat a sufficient number of Republicans in 2010 primaries so that Democrats gain the Republican seat easily in the general election a year from now.

I do not know what the issue for the 2010 general will be right now that will separate the Democrats from the Tea Bagger/Birthers. Certainly health care reform should be decided in favor of the insurance companies by then. There is still time.

And maybe that strategy applies to conservative Democrats as well. Goodbye Lincoln, Bayh and those in the House too numerous to mention. The delusion disclaimer is still in effect.

One thing I believe this election says loud and clear is: Democrats get off your asses, get some guts and do the right things before 2010.

Obama, this means you too.