I made the mistake of tuning in to the news just long enough last night to hear that the Massachusetts results are the result of Obama coddling his base and "overreaching."
The narrative from the DLC/ Blue Dog wing of the party is that because liberals refused to compromise the democrats lost their 60 supermajority. A supermajority, I might add, that was clear to anyone paying attention months ago that we didn't really have.
Judging by the comments of "progressive" bloggers like Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein much of Brown's election falls squarely on the shoulders of liberals who continue to make "the perfect the enemy of the good.
I don't pretend to speak for all liberals, but here's how I see the breakdown on some of the major issues confronting the country and why it becomes clear that many, many of us have become completely disillusioned with the democratic party.
OPTIMUM POSITION: Single payer health insurance provided to all legal citizens financed through higher taxes on the wealthy, drug importation allowed.
COMPROMISE POSITION: Government provided national public option coupled with insurance company regulation that would broaden coverage and drive down prices to those in private insurance plans.
LOW-BAR: Medicare expansion coupled with new insurance company regulation.
OPTIMUM POSITION: Immediate withdrawal of all but a handful of token troops, close most permanent bases.
COMPROMISE POSITION: Lengthy (several years) withdrawal of all but a handful of token troops, close most permanent bases.
LOW-BAR: Token withdrawal of troops leaving tens of thousands of soldiers in Iraq and no base closures.
OPTIMUM POSITION: Glass Steagall reinstituted, Banking and Lending institutions separated again, assets of major financial institutions seized and nationalized, executives and decision makes shown the door or prosecuted.
COMPROMISE POSITION: Some re-regulation of finance including controls on executive compensation.
LOW-BAR: Executives called before congress to have their hands slapped every few months but pretty much get to continue on unabated with ruining the economy.
OPTIMUM POSITION: Repeal of DOMA and DADT. Major speech towards gay rights and push to nationalize gay marriage.
COMPROMISE POSITION: Repeal of DADT.
LOW-BAR: Lip service to gay rights issues.
OPTIMUM POSITION: Major federalized jobs program with investment in future industry such as green jobs and rebuilding infrastructure. Major and immediate credit card regulation. Mortgage and bankruptcy relief.
COMPROMISE POSITION: Stimulus package build around appeasing concerns of faux deficit hawks rather that what's needed. Token credit card regulation.
LOW-BAR: Weak stimulus package and focus on re-inflating housing bubble rather than addressing core problems with economy.
On almost every issue Obama and the democrats have been weak, spineless corporate suck-ups that weren't even to meet the compromised low-bar for most of the members of the democratic party. As absurd as that is when you put it in the context of 30+ years of proven failure of conservative economic policies, coupled with a clear electoral mandate then Obama's failure to make progress on much of anything important is almost surreal in it's breadth.
Look; if this was a corporation and we were shareholders we could sue the leadership of the democratic party for malpractice. They'