…because that’s your job. TPM reports the following whine from an anonymous Senate Democratic chief-of-staff:
However, I believe it’s worth reminding folks that–as long as the Republican Senators hold together–we have to hold EVERY single Democratic Senator, including folks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, which is usually impossible unless the legislation in question gets substantially watered down.
So, what we might end up with is a Senate Democratic Caucus that holds 98% of its members but still fails to pass healthcare reform, AND a mob of angry progressives who are screaming for the heads of “the Democrats.” This isn’t fair, but more importantly, it’s self-defeating. If progressives REALLY want to transform America, they’ll make an issue of the anti-democratic rules of the Senate which make real change virtually impossible. Blasting their elected Democratic officials, the vast majority of whom will vote for the Senate bill (and would also support a more robust public option if we didn’t need 60 votes to achieve cloture), may make folks feel good, but is both short-sighted and stupid.
Actually, asshole, it’s not about “folks feeling good.”
Rank-and-file Democrats were told we needed to elect a Democratic President, and we did that.
Rank-and-file Democrats were told we needed to elect a Democratic House, and we did that (in fact, because we didn’t listen to the Democratic ‘leadership’ and supported ‘long-shot’ candidates, the Democrats have a huge majority in the House).
Rank-and-file Democrats were told we needed to elect a Democratic Senate, and we did that.
Rank-and-file Democrats were told we needed to elect a Democratic Senate with sixty senators, and we did that (although if the Democratic ‘leadership’ had listened to the rank-and-file and supported Lamont, one of the two claimed problems wouldn’t exist).
Maybe we needed seventy Democratic senators and you forgot to tell us? Although any additional Democrats would be picked up from conservative states and would probably be Ben Nelson/Kent Conrad clones.
If overturning the filibuster was so damn important, why wasn’t the topic ever raised? Why wasn’t it put into the party platform under ‘democratizing the Senate’?
I bring this up because, from where I sit, the Democratic party–that is, citizens who are Democrats–haven’t gotten a damn thing. I didn’t expect to get everything, but I didn’t expect to get nothing either. A crappy ‘stimulus’ bill that was insufficient and a political liability? A healthcare bill that MA officials think will be worse than Romneycare? (and doesn’t really kick in until 2014). Moving backwards on abortion? The modest tax reforms Obama ran on are non-existent. Creating green jobs has stalled out. And we’re still in Iraq.
These things matter to people’s lives–they’re not about self-validation. They needed to happen years ago, but they’re still not happening. There is no more time for excuses. If the Democratic ‘leadership’, both Congress and President Hopey Changey, were out there campaigning hard and not using conservative talking points–that is, shifting the frame of reference, Nelson and his ilk would be under much stronger pressure. Instead, the leadership doesn’t even try to take them on.
But, hell, let’s just insult Democratic voters instead.