Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tough night for Democrats

1. Once again the pollsters got it right. The fact that I can think of the 2008 New Hampshire Primary (Hillary Clinton-crying moment and media pile on), NY23 (the Republican drops out and endorses the Democrat over the Conservative) as the only cases where the polls were wrong shows that the art of polling is pretty much a science.

2. I was wrong. There is no "machine" that can help a horrible candidate. Once things get so bad, and especially if the candidate keeps making it worse, just accept it. Martha Coakley was that bad. From her demeanor, to the lack of a message, to the lack of a campaign against the Republican, etc. He says the healthcare bill is horrible, she says "?" He says we should be tougher on the terrorists, she says "?" On the other side, what was her agenda?

3. President Obama needs to pick an agenda and fight for it 100%. His way of governing gets everyone mad at him. There is no one waking up this morning thinking "this" is worth it. The President needs to fight for bills that are worth it. I accept that oftentimes the right thing to do is unpopular. If you really study it, it pretty much has to be that way politically. You have to do things that others wouldn't do because of the political costs. But in doing so, the President and Democrats need to stand for a principle that lasts beyond the political moment. Take President Bush. He lost the 2006 election pretty much over the War in Iraq. But instead of dialing it back, he doubled down and came up with the "Surge". The Republicans lost everything over President Bush's policies but as you can now tell, President Obama has accepted the Bush framework in terms of Iraq and Afghanistan. That is Bush's legacy. He is proud of it. While I disagree with both Iraq and Afgahanistan (today not in 2001), I respect it. The President needs to decide if healthcare is worth losing for, and if so do it properly.

Newsflash: Everyone currently in power will one day not be in power.

The question is what do you want to be remembered for. Is it how long you stayed in power?

4. Doing the right thing is never popular. If it were, it would already be done. So when people claim to have an easy answer, you should know they are not being honest or they are ignorant.

5. House Democrats should pass the Senate Healthcare Bill this week. They should then prepare a "popular" fix of the new healthcare law. Take out the special deals for Louisiana, and Nebraska. They should reduce the tax on the "Cadillac" plans, etc. Then challenge the Republicans to filibuster that, they will be standing in the way of reform of the reform.

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