Democrats, please don’t take the wrong lessons from yesterday’s primary
If I see one more media “expert” tell me the vote turned out
the way it did because voters are pissed at incumbents in general, I think I’ll scream. As
you listen to these people, keep in mind; these are the same dipshits who declared
Hillary Clinton the “presumptive nominee” a year before the first primary, and
held onto that hope even when she was officially mathematically eliminated in
2008.Remember that? Some of them wouldn't give up, even when it was clear that 80% of super delegates would have had to vote Hillary to give her the nomination by a vote.
What you saw yesterday may have had a “throw the bums out”
flavor to it, but has it occurred to these geniuses that it’s because the politicians thrown out were genuinely “bums”?
What you saw yesterday was a tide that is continuing to turn in our favor, if we can be smart enough to take advantage. I
told everyone back in 2006 that what we were seeing was the beginnings of a
progressive wave that would take at least a few election cycles to take hold,
and I was right. It’s continuing, and it looks as if it will continue for at least the next few
election cycles. We are witnessing the end of the most cynical political era in
our history; voters aren’t tossing candidates out on their asses because of a
general disdain for politicians of a particular stripe; they’re throwing out
the dead weight. If you’re a politician running for reelection this November,
listen to me carefully; if you plan to keep your seat, you’d better stand for
something. It doesn’t so much matter
whether you stand on the left or the right side of political discourse; voters
are looking for politicians with convictions; politicians who will stand with
them when the time comes.
Look at the politicians who lost (or didn’t win); Blanche
Lincoln, who deserves to go down in flames on June 8, couldn’t muster a majority
of Democratic votes, mostly because it’s impossible to tell what the hell the woman
stands for. Here’s a Democrat in a state with a loud right wing contingent, and she’s
spent most of her time in the Senate toeing an imaginary line in which she
tried to stick to Democratic ideals, while making sure she did nothing to piss
off the loudmouths on the far right.The result of such a strategy is and always will be a candidacy that seems to have no basis. Does that sound like a smart idea in the middle of the worst recession in 75 years? Really?
Note to Blanche; the right isn’t going to vote for you
because you have a D after your name. THEY have “principles.” Got it? You should
be beaten on June 8, because Bill Halter stands for something, and you stand
for nothing, and even if you win on June 8, you will be extremely vulnerable in November, because you're largely an enigma. Standing for being elected is no longer enough. Back when the
right wing was throwing dog biscuits to apathetic voters, it was probably
enough to just say whatever would get you reelected. But you know what?
People are paying attention now. They’ve seen what happens when we allow
unprincipled douche bags run the government, and they're no longer in the mood to
Arlen Specter was doomed the day he decided to take his
Democratic Party membership out of mothballs last year and wear it like an
Easter bonnet. He lost yesterday because he’s an unprincipled lout, and because
Joe Sestak actually wants to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania
and the country.
Even Rand Paul’s win in Kentucky demonstrates my point. Trey
Grayson can whine and cry all he wants about how horribly he’s been treated,
but the fact of the matter is, Paul won because he has the courage of his
convictions, and Grayson just parrots Republican talking points, which ring a little hollow these days. Whether or not Paul wins in November is another story; if Jack
Conway can convince voters that he is a strongly principled candidate who truly
cares about Kentucky and the nation, he’ll win because, let’s face it, Tea
Party Rand Paul’s “principles” are largely offensive.
But that’s the key, folks. I’ve been saying it for years,
and the deaf ears in the media simply will not listen. The vast majority of voters
don’t vote for a candidate because he or she is liberal or conservative; most voters really don't care. They vote for the
candidate who stands for something, because they are most likely to do what is
asked of them once they take their seat in whichever body they’re running for.
The reason Republicans were able to win so many elections from the 1970s through the 1990s
was because voters largely stayed away from the polls. And they did so because
Democrats took the wrong message away from Republican wins, and refused to take any stance on any issue that they felt might piss someone off.
Al Gore lost (allowed the election to be close enough to steal, anyway) because
he was trying to please everyone, and in the process never took a principled
stance on anything. Here's a guy who was coming from the most successful administration in decades, and he lost to a carpetbagging moron with a fake Southern accent, because the idiot actually appeared to stand for something. The same with John
Kerry and Michael Dukakis. On the other
hand, in an election that Senator Norm Coleman should have won in a walk,
comedian Al Franken was able to eke out an election victory by standing on his
principles.And Barack Obama was able to roll over John McCain, because he stood on principle, and McCain pretty much renounced what few principles he ever had. And now, the unprincipled McCain could become the next Arlen Specter, and lose to abject moron JD Hayworth because of his incredible lack of principles.
At this point in time, Democrats are poised to take the reins of the government for
a generation. More importantly, progressives are poised to once
again take the reins of the public discourse for even longer. All it takes is principles. Democrats and
progressives; please stand on principle in everything you do. If you do that, you will win in the long run,
even in the “deep” South. I promise.
And don't worry about pleasing every voter out there. People love a fighter. Besides, if you're not pissing someone off, then you have nothing to say that's worth hearing.
Ben Nelson, are you listening? You’re next.