After yesterday’s special election loss in NY-09, the fallout is only beginning for Democrats:
Even before the polls closed, the recriminations — something short of panic, and considerably more than mere grumbling — had begun. On a high-level campaign conference call Tuesday afternoon, Democratic donors and strategists commiserated over their disappointment in Obama. A source on the call described the mood as “awful.”
“People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless,” said the source.
Less expansive but equally telling were the remarks of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who in a conversation with reporters Tuesday morning said bluntly that Obama would take some blame for the two special election losses.
“I think every election reflects on the person in charge, but do I think it is an overall statement on the president alone? No,” said Hoyer. “Do I think it will be interpreted as being a statement on Obama? That’s probably correct.”
A senior Hill Democratic aide was more direct in attempting to explain the New York loss: “The approval ratings for the guy at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue cratered.”
A Turner consultant, Steve Goldberg, validated that assessment: “It was all Obama — not even a thought of anything else.”
Got that? Democrats are feeling “hopeless”. HOPELESS! This under the tutelage of an empty suit, who brought nothing but styrofoam Greek columns and empty promises of Hope and Change to the table of our political discourse. If it wasn’t so damaging to the country, I’d encourage Obama and the Democrats to keep doing what they’re doing. Because it’s working wonders for the Republicans.
With unemployment remaining over 9%, and Democrats providing nothing in the way of solutions, it’s no wonder voters are getting fed up:
[Democrat David] Weprin tried to adopt that strategy, warning that Turner would try to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security. But with unemployment still stubbornly high and voters upset with Washington over the debt ceiling negotiations, the pledge to protect entitlements was less resonant this time.
Democratic leaders trying to explain their bad night blamed it on the quirkiness of low-turnout special elections.
“The results in NY-09 are not reflective of what will happen in November 2012 when Democratic challengers run against Republican incumbents who voted to end Medicare and cut Social Security while protecting tax loopholes for big corporations and the ultra wealthy,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York.
So Democrats are still sticking to the same talking points, despite a big denunciation of those talking points. Sounds like they have no solution that doesn’t involve wasting more taxpayer money. That’s a great strategy. For Republicans.
UPDATE. Mickey Kaus echoes what I wrote earlier on the failure of Mediscare:
After decades of pledging not to touch the two sacred programs, it’s beginning to look as if Democrats can’t just suddenly agree to pull trillions out of Social Security and Medicare and expect voters to maintain their reflexive loyalties. [...]
Scaring voters about Paul Ryan and the Tea Partiers’s entitlement cuts was what was going to save Obama’s party from being dragged down even if Obama himself goes the way of Jimmy Carter. Now it looks as if that life preserver won’t float. …
Read Kaus’ entire post. He’s citing a Dave Weigel piece, which includes this bit of tragedy for Dems:
It’s the start of a problem for Democrats, who have gone from attacking the Ryan plans for entitlement reform to vouching support for some undefined “everything on the table” entitlement reform. There might not be any way for Democrats to dodge this, and there’s no sign that they want to. And that leaves all of them in the position of Democrats in New York’s 9th. Their traditional base, weary of the recession, not sure what Democrats have to offer any more, are ready to be wedged.
There’s a lot of talk about an upset in the making, although I’m not buying it. The pessimist in me says there’s no way in hell a Republican can take this seat, even if it is the
former seat of the disgraced Anthony Weiner.
But then there’s this from PPP”s recent polling on the race, which is truly an eye-opener:
55% of voters in the district report having voted for Obama in 2008, which is the actual percentage of the vote he got in the district. Last year a lot of the races Democrats lost were because their voters didn’t show up and the electorate was far more conservative than for a Presidential year. When you lose that way you can say, well, our voters will come back out in 2012 and we’ll be fine. But there is no enthusiasm gap here. Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008. But only 65% of them are voting Democratic. That’s a really big cause for concern.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
UPDATE. Turner wins handily, 53% – 46% over the Demcorat Weprin. A big high-five goes out to Anthony Weiner for being a degenerate douche, President Obama for being a complete and utter failure, and a sincere thanks goes out to the people of NY-09, for putting country over party.