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Sunday Morning: D’oh! Sooooo close.

The fallout from the midterm election is still being analyzed by the blogosphere and the mainstream media.  Some of the best analysis can once again be found at Anglachel’s Journal.  Her latest, The Failure of Team Obama , gets almost to the heart of the matter:

Political choices have political outcomes. Failure to act in the long-term interest of the party – which is just another way of saying failure to enact policies and engineer outcomes that will build mass support for continued electoral success – and subsuming party interests to that of elite factions within a party (and even more those elite groups spanning parties) will erode institutional strength:


This simple fact – that Obama chose the team he wanted, with full knowledge of who they were and where their loyalties lay – undermines the Obamacan apologists like WKJM who whine on about how we have to give The Precious more time and we aren’t being fair and times are tough and any way Clinton lost big at the midterms too and blah blah fucking blah.

This is also why the growing meme of “This is Bill Clinton’s old financial team, so really it’s all his fault because he started it, and Obama inherited his problems from Clinton, and it’s all due to the evil Clinton cabal!” can’t hold water. If the economic choices of the Clinton administration were wrong, then Obama should have had the wisdom to chose different advisers. There was time enough to see the long-term effects of those past political choices, with special emphasis on how the loopholes of the legislation (loopholes demanded by both Republicans and Democrats, each in turn guided by that cross-party interest group, Wall Street) were exploited under an out-of-control Republican regime.


The biggest problem here is not that Obama pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes. He was this way all along and has performed exactly as he said he would – center-right, non-confrontational, go with the status quo, listen to all the Very Serious People, and earnestly pursue bi-partisan capitulation.

The failure lies with those who believed his bullshit in the first place.

There’s more where that came from.  Go read the whole thing.

Add to that two small posts at Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix.  The first was about how the Democrats lost significant support in the states where Hillary Clinton had won the 2008 primaries by landslides.  In Dems Lose Clinton Country, Crawford writes:

Forty of 63 House turnovers to GOP were in states Obama lost to Hillary in 2008 primaries. Just something for the President’s camp to think about as they ponder a more daunting reelection map than they had faced before Tuesday.

Had Hillary been available to campaign – her position as secretary of state doesn’t allow it – could she have made a difference? Bill Clinton was more than available, barnstorming everywhere she might have helped, but Democrats still lost much ground in HRC 2008 states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana (12 House turnovers).

Although Obama won those states in the general election, Tuesday’s drubbing suggests he’ll be spending a lot of time there over the next two years.

The other post, Was 2008 an Outlier?, comes closer than a gnat’s wing to the truth but doesn’t quite connect:

How can elections two years apart look so different? But Tuesday’s vote seems to be the norm. Its center-right results fit into the main stream of the last 30 years far more than 2008’s assumed lunge to the left.

Even the Democratic congressional sweep of 2006 was actually more in keeping with tradition. Democrats won Congress largely by recruiting centrist candidates – which created a time bomb that exploded in their faces this week, as voters in those right-leaning districts and states switched back to the Republican column.

This has me wondering if Barack Obama’s election was merely an exception made possible by the alluring uniqueness of his personal history and appeal. If so, the biggest mistake Democrats made was in assuming that their recent successes were transformational, instead of merely temporary.

Let’s clear this up right now.  I don’t think that the Democratic party in 2008 really believed that Obama’s candidacy was transformational.  Obama was a franchise, complete with two autobiographies of a man who didn’t have a history, and a slick brand marketing campaign.  The Democrats sold the Transformation brand to win but forgot to include the crucial ingredient- actual transformation.  And the voters called them on it.

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Speak for yourself, Frank

Frank Rich is still basking in the afterglow of Obamagasm.   When you’re in love, everything he does is wonderful, even when it’s not.

For example, Mr. Wonderful won Frank’s heart with his superb, inspiring, poetic eloquence.  Everything Obama said touched that spot in the heart that brought instant tears to the eyes with visions of promise, new worlds, golden vistas, vast tracts of land…  Ahh, I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it. 

But Obama’s inaugural speech was sobering.  It was the kind of thing he says in the gray hours of the morning just before he says he hears the lark when you’re still listening to the nightengale.  The rude awakening your daddy told you about is about to come crashing down on you.  But Obama is there.  The “Ooo, baby, baby” is gone but he’s still going to rock your world one last time before he leaves you to seek his fortune elsewhere.

Poor Frank blames us for overspending and taking Bush’s advice to consume.  We were profligate.  We lived only for today.  That bad dude, Bush, he seduced us.  Oh, woe is us, but we brought it on ourselves.

Excuse me?

I never liked Bush, didn’t vote for him- twice. I begged my relatives not to give in to his pseudo religious siren song because I smelled a kleptocratic rat.  But did the country listen?  I paid my bills on time, didn’t get over my head in debt.  I didn’t buy myself a second home I couldn’t afford.  I put the 12% of my income away in my 401K as I was told I must if I want to skip the Alpo in my old age.  I went on ONE expensive vacation in my life and I paid for it- in advance.  I’ve lived with furniture hand me downs to buy a new roof for my house.  I carefully budgeted a basement reno.  And still, I worry about my job, like whether I’ll have one next year.  I worry that my attempts to stimulate the economy, because it is that important, are going to eat into any savings I have and it won’t be there when I need it most.  Here I am, minding my own business, being a good, responsible citizen.  What did I and millions of Americans as responsible as myself do to deserve to have our nest eggs looted for gambling chips?  What did Taggles do to deserve to be laid off when she has a son to raise?  What did SM77 do to have her contract jobs dry up so that she’s forced to apply for food stamps for herself, her mother and her daughter? We aren’t the agents of all this destruction and pain.  We’re collateral damage.

Not one of us deserves to have our hours and salaries cut.  After all, we have been told for years that we are the most productive people on earth at the same time that the fruits of that productivity went to line the pockets of the “bossies”.  Here’s a better idea: confiscate the wealth from those who stole it from us in the first place.  Rescind the tax breaks for the Accentures and other white collar organized crime companies that took their headquarters off shore.  Pass a retroactive windfall profits tax on anyone who speculated and made money off of energy.  Tax Frank Rich back to Clinton levels.  If you made out like a bandit during the Bush years, now is the time for YOU to give back.  Maybe Frank and Maureen could outsource their columns to India.  Surely, there is a well qualified but poorly  compensated woman in Hyderabad who is more than capable of turning out drivel in the style of Frank Rich at a significant cost savings to the NYTimes.  When it comes to sacrifice, you go first, Frank.  Lead by example.

While Frank and MoDo and other Timesy people were at the Bush years cocktail parties with the backroom for the upcoming Obama orgy, the rest of us were pulling our weight.  There wasn’t any Obamagasm for us.  We just wanted the Bushies to go away and never come back.  We wanted competence and experience; Frank gave us Obama.  We wanted a Treasury Secretary that would be responsible and accountable to US; Frank’s Obama has given us Geithner.  The party’s over but it was good for Frank and now he feels guilty for enjoying himself so much.  So we must feel guilty too.

Hey, it’s your bed, Frank, YOU can crawl into it and sleep in the wet spot.

Ooo, Frank, What’s She Going to Do? “Nibble your bum?”

This morning, Frank Rich relates the Tale of the Vorpal Hillary. She’s vicious and evil, I tells ya’! She was mean and nasty enough to rent the Hallmark Channel for an hour. The HALLMARK CHANNEL!

As Frank richly spins this yarn, not only was the dangerous creature in question a “racist”, “boring” spendthrift, she was also the pretender to Johnny Carson’s throne with Carole Simpson playing the roll of Ed McMahon (Yess!), carrying her microphone like a lantern.

Rich is only the latest pundit this week who is “soiling his armor” as he goes up against this most lethal of foes. But because they foolishly lobbed their Holy Hand Grenades back in the 90’s, this is what they are reduced to:

“Let us taunt it. It may become so cross it will make a mistake.”

May the lord smite them to tiny bits.