Lost Optimism

Back in April, I predicted that Democrats would actually shape up to be in a good position heading into the November election:

It feels really weird to write this, but as of today, April 22nd, 2010, I’m not that concerned about the fate of Democrats in midterms. Granted, they haven’t done much to make me care too deeply about the size of the Democratic majority in either chamber or even holding on to both. If I had to guess based on where we are in late April, Democrats will lose a couple seats in the Senate and a low two-digit number in the House, but maintain legitimate majorities in both chamber.

In addition to healthcare, I expect Wall Street reform and immigration reform to pass in some state. There’ll probably be a number of smaller jobs bills that are passed before the fall too. Take into account that Republicans continue to abide by a doomed-to-fail strategy of mistaking their base’s disappointment with Obama with independents’ disappointment with Obama and this doesn’t look like it will be a catastrophic election for Democrats. I don’t expect gains, but given where we were six to nine months ago, I think it’s a pretty good place to be, if you care about the electoral fate of Democrats.

From where we are today in early September, this prediction was massively off-base. The economy has stayed south and there has not been a lot of good legislation moving forward from Democrats. We don’t really know today what the administration’s plan for fixing the economy is, nor do we see any urgency about solving the unemployment crisis. This has lead to a truly awful environment for Democrats. While people aren’t really in love with the Republican brand, “Anyone Else” is winning out over “The Guys We’re Not Happy With.”

We are about to come off another brutal August where Republican messaging dominated the media. Congress will come back soon and that will change, but from where we are today, I’d predict that Democrats lose the House. If they hold the Senate, it will only be by 2 votes. Things still have ample opportunity to get better for Democrats, but more importantly, there is still opportunity for them to get worse. And right now, I’d bet the Under.

2 thoughts on “Lost Optimism

  1. Voters hired a huge number of Democrats in 2006 and 2008 who have communicated to people like me that they weren’t up for the job.

    They do deserve to get fired.

    Politics is a contact sport. Rs know that. They play hard, and for keeps.

    I’m going to try to teach the Ds a valuable lesson about life: success takes effort.

    I don’t think I should vote this cycle.

    Hopefully getting trounced in 2010 and losing the House, next year’s endless investigations, then Obama losing the WH in 2012, plus losing the Senate in 2012 will teach them.

    The result of losing this badly will either teach them that they need to FIGHT for what they believe or, the other possibility, which is that the Party as it currently operates will utterly collapse.

    I’m okay with either outcome.

    The only thing that gives me pangs of guilt is SCOTUS.


  2. Yeah SCOTUS is a big problem in the absence of a strong Democratic Party. Of course, we got Alito and Roberts confirmed with Democratic approval even prior to this, so it’s not as if there is a proud tradition of principle on this.

    I do think you should vote this cycle. But that’s not to say that you have to vote for Democrats if you don’t think they’ve earned your vote.

    I hope that Democrats can learn that “success takes effort” – it’s not clear that this group knows this.


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