I'm having flashbacks to the Republican loss in 2012. Remember when, immediately after the election, they were all talking about what they'd done wrong, that they must not have been reaching the American people, and then they came out the other end with the idea that it must be that they had to change, not the message, but the way they sold that message. Say what???
So let's move forward to 2014. Here are the Democrats, all demoralized, wondering what they did wrong. All talking to each other having meetings and forming committees, trying to figure out why people didn't come out to vote for them. It seemed like they almost nearly just about had it figured out. Maybe it was because they hadn't represented the issues that Democrats were supposed to stand up for. Maybe they were trying too hard to soften the message, to distance themselves from the President. Maybe they had failed to talk to the voters about all the successes the Democrats had, in spite of Republican obstruction.
In fact, I'm hearing one Republican strategist say he can't understand why the Dems ran away from their successes, were afraid to talk about all the people that were now insured, the low unemployment rate, the declining deficit. And Rachel Maddow is pointing out how the Dems that won in this really bad year were the ones that actually ran on Obamacare, the environment, saving Social Security, you know, Democratic issues.
So here we are a week and a couple days later, and I hear that Mary Landrieu who is in a runoff race for her Senate seat, is trying to push her opponent's bill to approve the XL pipeline before the end of the session. Huh???
And here's a Harry Reid story: apparently he is reluctant to get all those Obama judicial appointments -- and that all-important attorney general appointment -- through the Senate while the Democrats still hold the majority.
So what have we really learned from this year's midterm disaster? Well, President Obama has figured out that if he plans on enacting all those things he promised in his two election campaigns, he's going to have to do it without the help of his party. And the Republicans have learned to keep doing what they are doing, because it really scares the Dems and keeps their base happy. The Democrats who didn't get it to begin with seem to have learned nothing.
With people voting to approve gun control measures, and legal marijuana, and gay marriage, the only big success stories from the candidates were those who ran a campaign on solidly progressive issues, like Al Franken. Even the two guys who were beaten in an NRA-sponsored recall election in 2013 in Colorado for their gun control legislation had their day. The voters re-elected them to the seats they had lost such a short time ago. And Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who promoted that gun control legislation has also won his re-election. And my goodness, in the Arizona town where the school board voted to remove pages from an honors level science textbook that discussed abortion, the electorate sent those recently elected idiots back to their caves and elected candidates who actually approved of educating students.
Maybe voters aren't really paying attention to what the candidates stand for. So when the candidates are afraid to be outspoken and challenge their opponents, all we have to go on is the rumor, scandalous headlines and idiotic ads. No wonder then that voters are often able to vote smart on issues, but just pull that big "R" when it comes to candidates.
I just don't think that Wendy Davis or Alison Lundergan Grimes understand that where they fell short was where they backed off from being a Democrat. And it seems that Mary Landrieu will learn too late that pushing the pipeline isn't what will make people head to the polls to support her in the runoff.
Silly times, tragic consequences.