02 November 2010

Change of Fortune

I like to stay up late on election nights. Up until the 2008 election, the news was often to my liking. I didn't realize that only two years would need to pass before I saw the result that I would prefer.

Barack Obama is responsible for his political misfortunes. Whatever the state of the Union when he assumed office, his talk of political cooperation was belied by his abdication of leadership during the crafting of the early 2009 stimulus package. He allowed the partisan leadership of the House and Senate to push an ineffective and huge spending bill through Congress, giving his implicit (by silence) and explicit (by signing) approval to the process.

This pattern continued with the opaque health care reform and the massive and uncertain financial reform bill. A good insight comes from Howard Dean, of all people:

There was a misunderstanding of the kind of change people wanted. Democrats
wanted policy change. Independents and Republicans wanted to change the way
business was done in Washington, and that really hasn't happened.

I feel comfortable saying that the President didn't do anything to meet that last desire. His idea of non-partisanship was for Republicans to go along with his party's initiatives. Now that there is a change of fortune for the Democrats, we will hear the same theme.

It is now incumbent on the Democratic party, not Republicans, to offer their willingness to compromise. The President needs to change his strident and incessantly politicized message machine to reflect our current political reality.

If he doesn't, the GOP can stymie him until he loses in 2012. I think it is that simple.

Republicans didn't win every possible race. They had good chances in California (Senate & Governorship) and some other states. I don't mind a bit that Christine O'Donnell lost, though I do wish we had defeated Blumenthal in Connecticut.

The National Republican Party is not responsible for much of this success. The Florida State Republican party might be even more inept. Neither will see a dollar from me at any foreseeable point.

I hope that Obama takes a lesson from Clinton post-1994. I don't know if he has the personal strength to make that adjustment. I hope that he does.

I won't be happy until some beneficial legislation is passed. The Health Care reform needs to be amended (at minimum). The Bush tax cuts should be extended, as they will stimulate economic growth and tax receipts as well. Still, this is a pretty good night.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I was up too late last night also.

Good results. Now they better do something.