"Geez we got beat today by a Republican. Maybe we should try to act more like Republicans."
That's pretty much the way the party has thought since 1972. I was three years old then, so I've never actually had a political party to get behind (let's face it, the SWP, PL, etc. are not going to win any elections and while part of me wants to join one of those parties because maybe if enough people joined it would change, another part of me resists joining any party at all). Sure, I vote Democratic mainly to keep pure evil at bay, but there's little joy in seeing corporatist pawns parading around like they're champions of the working class because they happen to get a little less from lobbyists.
These tools have had a supermajority for months now and they couldn't pass anything meaningful. Imagine if Cheney had had that material to work with. There would be next to nothing left of labor laws or civil rights legislation. The Bill of Rights itself wouldn't be worth the match it would take to burn it. Hell, the Republicans got more done with 51 votes than the Democrats could get done with 60. And you can poo-poo all you want that Lieberman isn't really a Democrat and so what, you'd be right. So what? Come out forcefully with a health care bill with teeth and let the do-nothings block it. Let them take the heat for the impasse. Let them look like fools filibustering instead of offering solutions.
Instead, what do the Dems do? They dilute and dilute in a feeble attempt to herd every cat in the Party into one pen. It ain't gonna happen. So instead of the do-nothings looking like roadblocking fools and Lieberman looking like a turncoat yet again, the Democrats in the Senate and the White House (and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives) look like weak dithering morons.
Did Gingrich give a rat's ass when he ramrodded the Contract on America through Congress? Hell, no. The Republican leaders had a program and they executed it. Sure, it was shit reactionary mean spirited legislation growing out of a deep hatred of government, but they didn't care. It satisfied their misguided ideology. The Democrats, with superior numbers, couldn't capitalize on the Obama wave to do anything useful to mainstream Americans. Instead, they scatter like cats from a vacuum cleaner at each incoherent utterance from some teabagger. The Democratic Party of the 21st century is not the Party that brought the USA Civil Rights legislation, the right to collective bargaining, or anything remotely progressive. Let's go over some of their recent hits:
- Gutting social programs under Clinton
- Continuing under Clinton the creeping deregulation of banks etc that helped bring on the current recession
- Rolling over and playing dead -- no, even worse lap dog -- for the Bush Administration in giving Bush a blank check for the Iraq Boondoggle, passing the PATRIOT Act, and No Child Left Behind.
- Being held hostage by one soulless Senator whose party allegiance is worth about as much as Rush Limbaugh's marriage vows
So does the Massachusetts Senate seat loss mean much to Democrats? In real terms, no. They'll continue to act as if they lost because they weren't Republican enough. They'll continue to shiver every time some pudgy comfortably compensated pundit on cable news barks "Communist" at them because their giveaways to industrial interests weren't big enough.
RIP Ted Kennedy. RIP Paul Wellstone.