Squandered Political Capital and the Stench of Failure

Not that they’d listen – they don’t listen to anyone – but I’d counsel Republicans along the same lines as the Democrats when they came to power…keep the fist pumps, terrorist or otherwise, to a minimum. Refrain from the siren call to rub it in, lest you be treated to the swirly next election cycle.

Voters partially returned you to power, but don’t mistake that for an overarching mandate. Their opinion of ALL politicians is only slightly higher than that beagle that shit on their new shoes and they’ll tire of you just as quickly if you can’t turn things around within a few months. That’s highly unlikely and some polls already indicate voters believe there will be as little progress under the Griping Old Pootieheads as there has been under the Demojellies. I fear they are right.

Many voters went Republican not so much because they thought Reps were good, but because they don’t like El Jefe and wanted to send a signal. As goes the President so goes Congress in midterm elections.

Walking on Water to Drowning In Water
No doubt, the O-Man has squandered a tremendous amount of political capital in his two years. CHANGE meant continuing or expanding far too many policies he railed against from the last administration. As for HOPE, he left too much of his base and moderates hoping he would get better – while he didn’t. Had he seized the power of his huge win, he could’ve gotten much more done and he and Congressional Dems would stand a better chance of delivering the Hope and Change they touted. Instead, he let the power of NO run his agenda.

But, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.

Bush the Lesser squeaked into the White House in an election decided by some moronic guy named Chad who couldn’t operate a punch card without putting an eye out. Dub’s first few months were lackluster at best, but then he got the best political gift a pol could ask for – a scruffy hermit with a penchant for bad home movies dispatched some nuts to cause massive mischief on the Hudson.

He, rightfully at the time, climbed up on a pile of rubble, loudspeaker in hand, and railed against the evil trying to defeat America. People rallied around him as they haven’t done since WWII. In a week he went from just another run-of-the mill stumble bum to someone with more political capital than Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina could ever buy… combined.

Imagine What All That Capital Could Buy
With that amazing power, he could’ve done so many things to help this country. For example, and there were many others, he could’ve used it as a bloody pulpit to preach the dangers of foreign oil dependence. Instead, he encouraged domestic and foreign oil companies to poke more holes in the country than ever before at the expense of enforcing any regulation, no matter how trivial. Today we find ourselves not only more dependent, but watching oilagarchs rob the country blind.

He was still riding high at the beginning of term two, although the first rumblings against the most useless and poorly managed war in history were getting louder. By the time Katrina made his uselessness truly evident, the rumble became a shout and he went down in hot flames of embarrassment.

Everyone else’s embarrassment, not his. And all that political capital he crowed about? He apparently banked with Washington Mutual.

Clinton managed to get a few things done in term one, but pissed it away lying about the world’s most expensive BJ. An entire four years wasted, an incredible historical blot on him, and the final death of whatever shred of bipartisanship and civility was left in Washington.

Bush the Elder fared no better. He squandered the terrific political abundance delivered by Gulf War I by encouraging people to watch his lips as they said, “No new taxes”. He then called every new tax a fee until it got to be such a charade he asked people to stop staring at his lips. Voters repaid him by saying, “Watch our lips. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

He did manage to stay out of jail over that whole Iran/Contra thing though. No small feat that.

Failure is one of the few things that is truly bipartisan. Whether, like Obama, you negotiate like a fear-crazed 90-year old lady buying a used car at Mad Man Dapper Dan’s Used Car Emporium or are so incompetent you choke on a pretzel, whether you can’t keep your Johnson out of your intern’s mouth or puke in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap, there are a million ways to fail. Failure is cumulative. Failure is contagious. In short, failure fails.

Unfortunately, I’d say odds are far more than even that we’re well on the way to another failure.

And, it will no doubt be one huge MoFo.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Carly Fiorina, Democratic Party, failure, George Bush, Meg Whitman, political capital, Republican, washington mutual, white house (all tags)



Interesting stat of the day

it was the conservative Blue Dogs that got slaughtered, not the liberals.

% of House losses:
Blue Dogs 45%, Progressives 5%

% of members returning:
Blue Dogs 46%, Progressives 95%


For the first time ever, the Progressive Cacus is bigger than the Blue dogs and New Dems combined!

by jeopardy 2010-11-04 10:21AM | 0 recs

and more than 1/3 of the House Dems who voted against HCR got booted this election.



by jeopardy 2010-11-04 01:29PM | 0 recs

-of the 16 Democrats who joined the GOP in voting against unemployment extensions in a suspension vote in July, all 16 either lost or are in serious danger of losing their recounts.


by jeopardy 2010-11-04 02:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Interesting stat of the day

They brought it upon themselves.  

Tearing down your party's leaders (eg. Pelosi and Obama) and bringing down his ratings, tearing down your party's prevailing ideology and proposals while reinforcing the otherside's views, obstructing your the president of your party and making him look ineffective, destroying your party's message, and preventing your party from getting things done is going to kill you and drag down a lot of your party's other members.  
Not only will many voters take it out on you and your party directly, but the other party will smell blood and run far more credible, far better funded candidates than usual, which itself will bring down your totals.  Talking about pork and how "moderate" you are will likely not save you.  "Independent" members of an ineffective/unpopular party were generally not spared last Tuesday, nor were they in 2008, 2006, or 1994.

by TheUnknown285 2010-11-04 05:50PM | 0 recs
I love this line

Check this line out from this blog post...


"Voters partially returned you to power, but don’t mistake that for an overarching mandate."


You have been partially returned to power.  Let's not mistake that for an overarching mandate. LOL


Seriously man. The hype around this election was unreal. More money was spent developing the advertising 'package' deal that went along with the big GOP story than any other election in American history.


* rolls eyes *. Does anyone else besides me notice the stench of a bought election?

Alan Grayson is a good example. The GOP went in there with professional ads, a lifetime veteran politician air mailed into his district to run against him - and won the house district that they lost in 2008.  Pfft.


4 Billion dollars and all they got was a house. Sounds like a foreclosure crisis to me.

by Trey Rentz 2010-11-04 01:56PM | 1 recs


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