Coakley vs. Brown is our wake-up call for 2010
by Georgeo57, Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:59:59 PM EST
An Obama team and Democratic Party that was so successful in 2008 should not have to struggle to win races like this one in Massachusetts. Yes, health care, jobs and other legislative initiatives are important, but considering that we can only do as much as we're strong enough to do, elections need to be equally important. Losing the Governorships in New Jersey and Virginia should have been enough of a wake-up call for our Party leaders. The possibility of losing our 60 seat Senate majority next week should be the last call they should need.
Obama was a community organizer. We broke all kinds of records in voter registration and GOTV in 2008. It's time that our entire Party, from our Leaders down to our lowliest bloggers understood that in order to do what we want to do, we need to be in campaign mode all year, every year. I hope we're wise enough to spend at least as much time and attention between now and November plotting exactly how we will win more seats in the House and Senate (which, contrary to what too many of even our pundits are saying is quite possible), than we spend immersed in long legislative battles like health care and the upcoming jobs push.
The best way to get an unmotivated base energized is to put us to work. I hope our party leaders start doing that soon, at least with regard to our most dedicated members, so that come November we can focus more on winning than on not losing.
One last point. We tend to hold it as gospel truth that once in power, a party can no longer motivate its base by attacking the opposition. That attitude is all myth and no substance. We may not be able to attack Bush as directly now as we did back then, but we can, and should, ruthlessly, attack the Republicans in Congress who are doing their damnedest to block everything President Obama wants to do for America.
We took Congress in 2006 largely by attacking Republicans and their policies, and we won the White House in 2008 again largely by attacking Republicans and their policies. Are today's Republicans any different than the Republicans we attacked last year? You're darned right they're not. We either persistently attack Republicans as the problem they continue to be, or risk that voters will conclude that Republicans have somehow ceased to be the problem, and start thinking that maybe we Democrats have become the problem. The best way to ensure that voters don't make that mistake is to campaign against the Republicans with the same strategies, tactics and aggressiveness that worked so well for us in 2006 and 2008.
cross-posted as comment at the Democratic Strategist