Varying analyses of the post-Coakley world

Katrina Vanden Heuvel at the Nation:

Massachusetts offers another lesson: Obama’s decision to demobilize his base in 2009 in favor of an insider approach to governing was a big mistake. I’m not a political strategist, but I don’t know how you win elections by failing to rouse people who’ve worked hardest at the grassroots to get you elected? It is time to re-mobilize the base.
And here’s a no-brainer: Isn’t it time to give up on that faith in genteel post-partisanship when the GOP knifes you at every turn? Nice isn’t going create more jobs or get health care reform….

Get tough, get bold, kiss “post-partisanship” goodbye and fight hard for jobs and a just economy of shared prosperity.

Chris Bowers at Open Left:

In order to pass legislation that will start to make the situation in the country better, and thus make themselves more popular, Democrats are going to have to get rid of the filibuster. With the 60-vote Senate, there was never much of a chance to pass the legislation necessary to start the country in the right direction. Now, there is even less of a chance–virtually none, really.

All Democratic leaders are going to have to ask themselves a question: do they want to make the country better, or are concerns over obscure arguments about the need for a “deliberative body” more important to them? Would they rather be able to govern for the next three years, or are they afraid of a few news cycles where Republicans accuse them of not being bipartisan enough?

Greg Sargent, Plum Line:

The predicament her loss has created for Dems is yet another reminder of the folly of the Dem decision to delay reform last summer in hopes of winning over a few GOPers — and, by extension, of the folly of their broader, ongoing quest for empty “bipartisan” support for the health care plan.

Paul Waldman at the American Prospect disagrees:

Or think about it this way. Let’s say we count how many people each senator represents (I’m using 2009 census data and counting each individual as one-half a constituent for each of his or her two senators). Before today, Democratic senators supporting health-care reform represented a total of 196 million Americans (or 64 percent), while Republican senators opposing reform represented a total of 110 million Americans (or 36 percent). If Brown wins, Democratic senators supporting reform will represent 193 million Americans (63 percent), while Republicans opposing reform will represent 113 million (37 percent). It would be hard to argue that that small change means Democrats no longer have a right to enact their agenda.

Various Dems weigh in:

“The alarm clock has gone off,” said Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Ways & Means Committee, who called for a sharper and more confident leftward tack.

“We fell into the trap of post-partisanship,” he said. “I’m all in favor of being post-partisan as long as the other party is post-partisan.”

The danger for the party now, said veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, is that centrist Democrats might imperil the party’s agenda over health care in an attempt at political self-preservation.

“If they walk away, they will jeopardize themselves to a much greater extent than the jeopardy they face if they stand together, get health care done, and move on to jobs.”

The Nation’s John Nichols:

The party must open an internal (and to some extent external) discussion about their circumstance going into a critical election year.

In particular, they must recognize that they have mismanaged the health-care debate – confusing Americans, offering less than anyone bargained for and spending too much time trying to satisfy the demands of big insurance firms and the pharmaceutical industry. They also must recognize that they have spent too little time focused on jobs and holding Wall Street and the big banks to account.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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