Midterms: Democrats Lose Senate By Running Away From Obama's Success

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Democrats yelled "Barack Who" while Republicans yelled "ISIS" and "Ebola" and now Mitch McConnell is Senate Leader

The biggest lesson from this midterm election for Democrats is that you don't run away from success.

How could Democrats campaign and hope to mobilize excited voters by trying to pretend they didn't know who President Barack Obama was?

By indicating the president was politically toxic, that's the message that voters also got. Democrats created a false narrative that took on a reality of its own.

Republicans were able to campaign with a consistent theme: that the Democratic president had failed and even his fellow Democrats running for re-election to the Senate, were also failures.

Going by this Republican narrative, not only were these Democratic candidates failures they also had no political principles or courage of conviction.

And what were the evidence of Obama's great "failures"?

Many voters who helped shift control of the Senate to the GOP mentioned the economy. To this we can say "you gotta be kidding."

News about the economy couldn't be any better compared to the abyss where President Obama found it when elected in 2008. The economy was shedding 800,000 jobs a month. The Dow was reeling. Republican sages like Mitt Romney wanted Detroit to go bankrupt. Wall Street bankers were regarded like the villains that many indeed are. The major banks were on the verge of collapse. Many people believed unemployment would soar well above 10%

The nation had been severely weakened.

President Obama has been able to reverse the dismal economic conditions, creating more than 5 million jobs since 2009; and, the Dow has surged and the unemployment rate is at 5.9%.

The president's signature legislation Obama Care has: provided coverage for millions of Americans who previously had no health insurance; provided coverage for young adults by allowing them to remain on their parents' plan; provided care for people with pre-existing conditions; and, filled the medication gap for seniors' who couldn't afford it.

Because Democrats insanely decided not to trumpet these and other Democratic achievements, many voters must have asked themselves: if these are remarkable achievements why aren't Democrats campaigning on them?

So Republicans didn't have to make the preposterous campaign claim that there had been no economic turnaround; the Democrats did the GOP a favor by not bringing it up.

All Republicans had to do in the last few weeks was yell "ISIS" or "Ebola" while Democrats yelled "Barack Who?"

And now the Republicans officially control the Senate and both houses of Congress.

In essence they had been in control all along, especially since their 2010 midterm election gains when official but unwritten policy became -- won't work with this president over my dead body.

Will they now show political maturity and find a compromise with the president and enact  comprehensive immigration reform and other significant legislation or will it be more of the same -- even worse -- paralyses in the next two years knowing the the president also has veto power?

Republicans have a great track record of always overreaching as they did after the 2010 midterms. Will their agenda remain: to undo Obama Care? Impeach the president? Oppose immigration reform? Allow unfettered military spending at the expense of social programs? Let the banks and speculators run amuck and destroy the global economy again?

What's more, given the highly charged negative rhetoric the Republicans used, even suing the president and claiming he was violating the constitution, the GOP will even have more pressure from its base to continue negativity, dooming prospects for compromise.

One good news down the line for the next election cycle: Republicans will be defending 24 seats to the Democrats 10 seats and there are also a few swing states.

And if Republicans choose the latter course history will repeat itself: they will suffer defeat in the 2016 presidential election and also yield back control of the Senate.

Perhaps things are as they should be.

 

 

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