Democrats seem to be encountering a problem familiar to athletes in a challenging situation. The crowd is yelling, they are facing a really good team, and it's tough to think straight.
Coaches will always tell you that the reason you practice so much, and why it's important to practice the way you want to play, is that under the most intense moments you will revert to your work habits and whatever feels comfortable.
For most people, there is an innate "fear of winning". It isn't logical but it is powerful.
While nearly everyone will tell you how they want to succeed, and really enjoy what it is they are doing, in the toughest of moments they "choke" and revert to doing things that don't help.
Democrats are like an underdog team in the NCAA tournament with a big lead on a #1 seed.
If they could just calm down and play their "normal" game, Democrats would probably win easily in November.
But that's much easier said.
The media is hardwired to seek out controversy. Since Democrats are in power, they are the target. So here comes the scandals (Van Jones, Charlie Rangel, Rep. Massa, etc.)
The media wants to see a close race in November. No one wants to go to an election day, saying "there's no drama". So for as long as possible the media wants to create a narrative that says the Control of Congress is on the line.
The Republicans have no real power. Their only hope is to fill the media with fury and hope to scare the Democrats. Sort of like telling a person who has climbed really high up, "don't look down".
So the Republicans make something up, and that becomes the issue that must be debated.
From "death panels" to "dithering in Afghanistan" to "Democrats being socialists" etc.
As a party we have to overcome being "Scared to win".
On the other side of this is a reluctance to win and move on. It's like a team that has played in one of the best games ever; but if a player hits a free-throw, kicks a field goal, catches a ball, or whatever, then it's over. All the excitement, all the drama, and then it fades to nothing. There are many people addicted to the limelight and will do anything to stay in it.
So somehow Democrats have to overcome all of this just to get an easy win.
The President is trying.
He should try harder by being clear.
Set goals, deadlines, and refuse to budge off of them.
Mr. President, you are the show.
That's the key, if Democrats ever calm down and legislate, the Republicans are in big trouble.
The media would be in big trouble because it's just not as fun to cover success.
Just calm down, and think what do we as Democrats want to have as our accomplishments 1 year from now, or mayber 5, 10 or 20 years.
There will be a day when every single person in power today will be out of power for one reason or another.
Rep. Murtha and Sen. Kennedy being the ultimate reason.
That is really the reason, I think. The fear of death. The panic of thinking about what happens if I achieve everything I've been working for, then what?
I think people fear the unknown and think it will hasten something really terrible.
So we become paralyzed in an emotional mess rather than doing as much as we could while we can.
Had 1994 not happened, there'd be no chance Democrats would pass healthcare.
But now that they can figure "death" in November is more sure without passing, I think we can actually get this bill passed.
And once it passes, we will start reforming the reform.
That would have happened no matter what was in the bill.
This is how you overcome the fear of success, it's to realize that tomorrow, there will be more to do. It's a question of whether you want to look back realizing success or a disaster.