If Democrats were Republicans, they would be doubling down the day after electoral defeat. They would be pushing through their agenda even harder — not bemoaning the “message” voters had sent. But Democrats are not Republicans. Democrats are Democrats, and so they are doing what Democrats do better than anyone else on the planet: cave, run, admit defeat.
Paul Krugman is “pretty close to giving up on” the POTUS:
Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man who was offering hope and change, is this:
I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.
In short, “Run away, run away”!
Liberal blogtopia is awash with frustration at a Democratic Party leadership (h/t Digby) that could have gotten a good, strong health care reform bill passed six months ago had they been competent and confident enough to take advantage of their 60-vote supermajority when they had it — and that now is complaining that they can’t do what they could have done and should have done back in early summer because they lost their supermajority.
The collective Democratic nervous breakdown is most stunningly portrayed in an email sent to Josh Marshall by an unnamed Senate staffer. Here is Josh’s introduction; the entire email is below that:
I want to recommend that everyone read the email we just got from a Senate staffer who will have to remain anonymous. Here’s one part of the email that stood out to me. The whole thing is after the jump …
The worst is that I can’t help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. Now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done. While I always thought we had the better ideas but the weaker messaging, it feels like somewhere along the line Members internalized a belief that we actually have weaker ideas. They’re afraid to actually implement them and face the judgement of the voters. That’s the scariest dynamic and what makes me think this will all come crashing down around us in November.
If you don’t look at any of the other links in this post, read that email. It really will take your breath away.