Thursday, March 04, 2010


Rick Klein at ABC's Note:

... What if 2010 isn't 1994 or 1982, but 2006?

Congress lurches forward on health care haunted by old memories: If you're not thinking about Tom DeLay, Bob Ney and Mark Foley, you're not thinking....

Klein is talking about scandals in the Democratic Party -- Rangel, Paterson, Massa. I'm sure Republicans are quite capable of making hay out of all of these (even though Massa, while allegedly a gay sexual harasser, also has terminal cancer, and even though exploiting the Paterson scandal might require Republicans to declare that battering women is a bad thing). And I'm sure Democrats will do a less-than-spectacular job of damage control.

But I don't see why 2010 has to be just one of the above-listed years. It could be all three -- 1982 (party of president presiding over 10% unemployment loses lots of seats), 1994 (party of Democratic president who actually dares to try to push through his own agenda gets compared to a multi-headed Antichrist and loses majorities), and 2010. In other words, this election year could be off the charts.

I've come around to the notion that Democrats' best hope is to pass health care reform -- not because I believe that voters will magically warm to HCR once it's signed into law (actual beneficiaries of the few provisions that kick in early might have that reaction, but flagrantly dishonest GOP messaging will still dominate with regard to the rest of the bill). No -- the reason passing HCR might help the Democrats is that the GOP and right-wing crazies will go stark raving mad (or I should say even more stark raving mad) when and if this happens; the demonstrations are going to get more extreme, the signage is going to be even more threatening, there'll be calls for impeachment (and probably for a coup, and I mean that literally), and there'll probably be an uptick in at least attempted violence -- if HCR passes, security at all federal buildings should be beefed up immediately). Assuming (as I do) that the economy doesn't magically start generating jobs, this is really the Democrats' only hope going into November: the fact that they won't seem to be the party of anarchy and chaos.

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