The L Magazine’s Guide to Not Panicking Over the Massachusetts Senate Election

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01/19/2010 1:01 PM |

This post will be, alas, a bit shorter than The L’s Guide to Panicking Over etc etc. Keep cool, my babies:

-Nate Silver, Predictor of Elections, hedges his prediction: “There are a lot of reasons why I might be wrong, and here they are, so that if I am wrong, I will get credit for being right about being wrong.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

High turnout is expected statewide, which helps the Democratic candidate in a Democratic state. Early turnout in Boston, which is essential for a Democratic victory, is outpacing the fairly high turnout for this past November’s mayoral election, according to David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix, though he’s not sure if it’s enough.

-Healthcare reform will actually still pass one way or another, be it through a sped-up process before the results are certified, reconciliation to avoid a procedural filibuster, further negotiations to get Olympia Snowe on board, or actual flame-breathing dragon-monster Nancy Pelosi whipping the House into voting through the Senate version of the bill. (John Cohn, the New Republic‘s estimable health care correspondent, runs all this down here.)

-In my previous post I talked about how it only took a year of a black wealth-redistributor as president to reenergize a conservative base, and scare the inattentive and easily convinced. The flip side of this, of course, is disillusionment: It is fucking hard to get anything accomplished in a system of governance as sloggish and fucked-up as ours; it is doubly hard when your agenda involves solving the problems left by your unpopular predecessor, while also trying to effect a significant against-the-tide leftward shift in the way Americans think about their government and the world.

This post is predicated on an assumption about who you are, reading this, but I think I’m right. Dig: Unless you were old enough to vote for Bill Clinton in 1996, this is the first time you’ve watched a guy you voted for run the country. Unless you were old enough to vote for Clinton in 1992, this is the first time you’ve watched a guy you voted into office run the country. Unless you were old enough to vote for Reagan in 1980, this is the first time you’ve watched a guy you were genuinely excited to vote into office run the country—but also fuck you for voting for Reagan!, I only mention him because I’m not sure any modern Democratic candidate inspired comparable levels of excitement. (I couldn’t say, Obama’s my first president.)

It is reasonable to fume at held-over Bush-era policies, and to second-guess legislative strategies. It is equally important, to remember, that this frustration—as opposed to the funnier, impotent kind that leads to secessionist Facebook groups and you traveling abroad and defensively apologetically joking with strangers in bars that it’s not your guy who’s fucking the world with a curling iron—is what you voted for, so get off your ass and volunteer for the next election cycle.

Democrats will still control both houses of Congress after the 2010 midterms; for this reason (as well as for personal and intangible ones), Obama will have less resistance from Congress than Clinton did. And Clinton was a quite effective two-term president whose anointed successor won the popular vote and probably would have won in 2004, too.

7 Comment

  • Your viewpoint is refreshing (albeit a little vulgar). Thanks for staying the course!

  • Oh to be young and oblivious to the realities of the world. Why do so many left leaners think they must always denigrate the other side (through bad language or name calling). Do you think it makes you sound smart???? Do you think it makes you sound more experienced??? Do you think it makes you more intellectual??? Do you think it makes you more insightful??? All it does is make you sound shallow. For lack of true facts and insight you rely on name calling and vulgarity. Dumb it down some more, I’m sure you will get lots of young, ignorant and inexperienced people that will read your drivel because they too think along the same shallow path.

  • I have an honest question for conservatives. Is there any honest breakdown of their concerns about the Senate bill? I sincerely would be interested in that, because I straight up don’t know what the issue with this bill is– other than the idea that status quo is working. Death Panel bullshit aside– what’s the concrete issue (also, for those of you who bitch that you don’t know what’s in the bill– it’s just because you haven’t looked. There are a million breakdowns of the bill to be found all over the place. It’s complicated– but not that complicated).

  • El Gaupo: here is a link to a discussion and if you look under health care on the site there are more…


  • Here is one more post. This is not a conservative issue (as you can see from the posts) nor a liberal issue, it is an issue that will affect every American. There is so much disinformation and uninformed points of view out there that just confuses the discussion that needs to take place.

    With 25 years of health care experience, Managing Partner of one the largest international consulting firms, winner of two national awards in health care development, and someone that has had to personally use our health system extensively, I think I have earned the right to have an informed opinion.…

  • To Doltwhacker:

    How did that feel? Maybe you can now understand how the rest of feel. Leave the emotion out of it and focus on facts and the discussion. Quite the name calling and foul language. It does nothing to contribute to the conversation and confuses people that don’t have the time to look at the source documents and draw their own conclusion.