Okay, so I’m looking through the news today, and I come across this, from Dan Balz at the Washington Post:
To his credit, Balz takes a balanced approach to the fact that, with less than three months to go, analysts and pollsters are declaring the election over, with Republicans the big winners. Nate Silver, at Five-Thirty-Eight, even gave the odds the other day, claiming the GOP has a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate. Spare me. He’s not a psychic.
If you’re one of those who believes this nonsense, consider that Obama and McCain were tied at 48 percent as late as Labor Day 2008, and Obama ended up with 56 percent of the vote in the end. Also, these analyses use models based on recent elections as a guide. In other words, they’re predicting the future by looking at the recent past. We have three months; that’s plenty of time to confound expectations.
It’s August. Progressives have the ability to change everything. We can change the model and we can raise expectations. All we have to do is get behind Democrats everywhere, especially in red states, where they can’t necessarily be full-on progressive and still expect to win.
We’re progressive; our entire ideology is all about setting tradition and expectation on its ass. The New Deal confounded expectations, and the civil rights movement defied the tradition that, somehow, black people had to be treated differently. We’re sitting here watching as the state of marriage changes forever, right before our eyes, as the courts strike down every same-sex marriage ban in the country, one by one. Of course, we could have sped things up, had we not lost to Republicans, and allowed them to pass crap like DOMA in the first place…
Starting THIS YEAR, we have a job to do. We have to prove these analysts wrong. And that starts with not repeating the “Conventional Wisdom,” which is, of course, that Democrats “should” lose.
Why? Because of midterms? Well, Democrats held a supermajority in Congress for most of 40 years, between 1932 and 1972, and I could be wrong, but there must have been some “midterms” in there. At a few points, there were more than 65 Democratic Senators; that’s impossible to do if the incumbent president’s party always loses seats in midterms. Isn’t it? In other words
We know it sure as hell isn’t the GOP’s year because of their policies. They’re running the most “do-nothing Congress” in the history of the Republic. Last year, they shut down the government over a bill they couldn’t possibly kill. For crap’s sake, 144 of them voted to default on the national debt. They run up huge deficits while discussing “fiscal responsibility,” and they cut taxes on he rich while raising them on the poor and working classes. We can’t beat that? It’s not the Koch brothers who give he GOP power, it’s vice-versa. Make the current version of the GOP a permanent minority, and the Kochs have no power.
The reason the GOP wins is not because of their great propaganda machine at Fox News and talk radio, or because they have a message that resonates. In fact, they don’t win at all; progressives lose. And we lose because we buy “analyses” like these, and we give up. We lose because we’re intimidated by the GOP and Fox and Limbaugh, and all of that. But most of all, we lose because we don’t propagate a message that voters want to hear. And we don’t do that because we’re spending too much time responding to their BS.
Oh, yeah. And we lose because our side tends to attack Democrats more than we attack Republicans too much of the time.
We CAN win, and we can win big. But just as we did from 1932-1972, we have to align with Democrats against Republicans. We can’t work against Democrats and expect to stop the GOP from tearing the nation apart. We just can’t.