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.
Filed under: General | Tagged: Anglachel, Barack Obama in India, Craig Crawford's Trail mix, Frank Rich, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Obama Franchise, Socials Security, Transformation | 193 Comments »