Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Brown Can Do For Us

While Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts last night has prompted much soul-searching and teeth-gnashing among Democrats (and high-fiving among Republicans) at the very least it provided one more piece evidence that Republicans are still always wrong.

How so? I’m referring to this:
[...]CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer says that Scott Brown's Massachusetts Senate win tonight will mean a "gigantic rally" is in store for stocks tomorrow.

Ooops. Not so much.

And then there’s this from ABC News at 1 pm yesterday:

The Dow Industrials are up almost 100 points at this hour and traders say the potential for a Republican to win Ted Kennedy’s senate seat is behind the rally.

Double oops.

And my utmost favorite:

Fox and Friends Suggests Brown Win Will Boost Your 401k (VIDEO)

Not yet!

The stock market has been tanking today. And I do mean tanking. Is it because of Scott Brown? Of course not. Reuters blamed bank results and earnings reports from IBM. The AP blames China. In other words, the usual smoke-and-mirrors voodoo magic bullshit that causes stock market fortunes to rise and fall on the tiniest sneeze from some far-flung corner of the financial world.

But Republicans peddling that whole “vote Republican and get rich” meme are looking a little silly today. One thing Brown did not do for us today is rally the stock market.

Cold comfort, yes, but there’s that.

And here’s something else I’m sick of hearing. I’m tired of hearing how the Democrats have now lost their filibuster-proof majority, which seems to be all the mainstream news media can talk about. Ohmygosh that glorious super majority that did us all so much good for the past year, what will we do without it?

Puh-leeze. When did we ever have a super majority? Here’s “Party Of Joe” Joe Lieberman threatening to join a GOP filibuster. And here’s Democrat Ben Nelson threatening to filibuster the post-conference healthcare bill if it’s not to his liking. Here’s Ben Nelson again threatening to filibuster healthcare reform if it doesn’t have the Stupak Amendment. Oh lookie, here’s Democrat Blanche Lincoln threatening to filibuster the public option.

And here are eight Democratic Senators joining the GOP in support of the filibuster on cap and trade.

So give me a break. When members of the supermajority decide they aren’t getting enough attention and threaten to filibuster their own party's key legislation just because, you know, they can, then we’ve got a bigger problem than how many D's and R's are in the Senate.

Democrats need to grow a pair. I’m sure the predictable result from the Scott Brown win will be that Democrats conclude they need to be even more “Republican light.” Already Jim Webb has called for a halt to all healthcare votes until Brown is seated. And this makes me very sad, because it tells me Democrats have no fucking clue as to what's happening in the country.

I don’t think Scott Brown's win was a “referendum on healthcare reform” so much as it was a "referndum on the status quo." For one thing, Massachusetts already has universal healthcare which is in many regards far superior to that which the rest of the country would get if healthcare reform were to pass. So near as I can tell the federal healthcare legislation wouldn’t affect people in Massachusetts one bit.

I think more than anything people are tired of the status quo. Brown was an unknown state senator, from a party that had not held that Senate seat for an entire generation. People want change, and in Massachusetts that was Scott Brown. In another state it could be someone else, from a different party.

People are frustrated. They want Washington to work again. We were promised change with President Obama and we didn’t get it. We were promised an end to lobbyists running our government and we didn’t get it--the healthcare bill proved that.

So to the Democratic Party I send you a cautionary piece of advice: either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. Your epic fail in Massachusetts signals a problem far bigger than just being too liberal or too conservative. You were handed the reins government and you promptly twiddled your thumbs. We've got the same corporate control of government and our discourse that we had under Bush. That is what people are tired of. We're tired of banks and insurance companies and Wall Street brokerages getting all sorts of wonderful legislative boons that ordinary citizens never get.

So people are frustrated and they want someone, anyone, different. Remember the root of populism isn't left or right, it's people. So, dear Democrats, focus on things that help actual people and you might be okay. Continue to bend and scrape before the mulitnationals and, well, see ya.