(Michael Zahara) – Every traditional Democrat I know saw it coming; every progressive extremist I know, thought it was impossible.
We lost a seat we held for 57 years—Teddy Kennedy’s no less!—and there are still some Dems in DC who insist on pushing forward.
Let’s hope that calmer heads prevail and that the grown-ups in the Democratic Party take back the reins and calm the bucking bronco of the over-exuberance of far too much spending and far too ambitious an agenda.
They tried to do too much too fast! Elections are never about ‘mandates’ and huge social shifts and social policy in America has always moved at a glacial pace. When the political movements are too sharp, people recoil; they need time to absorb new things!
I think the US House is already gone for Dems and if there’s not a sharp realignment soon, yes, we could lose the US Senate too, though that would appear to be more difficult for the GOP.
The GOP recruiting efforts took a big jump forward with Sen-elect Scott Brown’s impressive five point victory. I’ve seen the numbers here and in several other states, and we really have completely lost the Independents
The Indies have solidified their place as the group that flows between both parties and controls elections in about 2/3’s of the states.
Harry Reid is so gone, it’s not even funny, and he’s taking a lot of local Dem offices down with him. I’ve been telling you that was going to happen for 4 years!
Incrementalism!: In the aftermath, finally some prominent Dems are embracing the incremental approach to healthcare we’ve written about and that are posted on the archives.
It’s the ugliest piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime—even worse than the Patriot Act; that’s how bad a bill what’s currently moving truly is! There’s no reform within it, no cost controls; there’s just industry and special interest protections. Reread all of our healthcare pieces and get an idea of how Congress should be proceeding.
Maybe there’s some hope too! In the past few days, all of those pieces are the #1 views of our website from Washington DC!
Remember when I wrote this in November?:
1.Barring insurers from canceling existing policies because beneficiary becomes ill and bar bonusing for such cancellations. Two page bill.
2.Barring gender discrimination in coverage costs. One page bill.
3.Ending McCarran-Ferguson’s health insurance federal anti-trust exemption. Two page bill.
4.Allowing for all health insurers to compete in all 50 states. Two page bill.
Finally, some traditional Dems are talking horse-sense like this in DC! All would pass with huge majorities from both parties!
Whatever they do, it will never be real reform without first ending McCarran-Ferguson Act industry protections that will force insurers to actually compete with each other for the first time in 65 years!
I dare any Republican to vote against any of the four; they can’t, and Dems are too damn stubborn to present things that can and will pass easily!
That’s what Tuesday was all about!
(Mr. Zahara is a longtime Democrat activist who writes the WatchdogWag.com blog)