The optimistic Democrat will look upon the results of this year’s midterms and have a couple of thoughts that will leave them feeling a bit hopeful. The party is hard at work coming up with their excuses for their 2014 Autopsy, but if I know my political opposition, there will be some who hang on to other ideas that will help them sleep better at night, and if any of them read this, I hope I can assist in some way. I am, after all, a helpful soul and one who knows a thing or two about sleeplessness.
Over the weekend, [mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ] was resoundingly (although predictably) defeated in Louisiana’s Senate run-off, making way for [mc_name name=’Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001075′ ] to take over her seat in January. If you were to look at the results parish-by-parish, however, you would see that in some areas, Landrieu lost by more than 30%, but other, local Democrats had double-digit wins. The optimistic takeaway here is simple: [mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ] simply wasn’t liked or trusted. Of course, the outgoing Senator chose to blame the political state of the… well… state on sexism and (in some places, racism), but overall, you could make the argument that the problem was Landrieu, not Democratic policies.
You could say the same for other races, like Iowa. [mc_name name=’Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001259′ ] had a nice, slimy sheen that shone quite nicely in videos of him insulting the farming populace of the state. Similarly, [mc_name name=’Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’U000038′ ] had issues retaining typically Democratic voters by focusing on a single, failing issue. “Surely,” the optimistic Democrat would say, “the problem is the person, not the policy.”
The optimistic Democrat might also point to Barack Obama and declare him a poor example of a truly liberal Democrat. He’s in the pocket of big business, they’d say, and too weak to effectively lead a divided Congress. Or, it’s his overreach that turned the voters off, not necessarily the policies. Maybe he made too many promises and gave up after half-assed implementing a half-assed Affordable Care Act. Again, it’s the person. Not the policies.
My father-in-law has a saying, and one that sometimes see a lot of evidence for: Optimism is a mental disorder. The optimism to believe that the policies that have been rejected through two midterm cycles are still what people want, but are being implemented by the wrong folks, is a foolish take when all the evidence is laid bare.
It was what [mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ] represented that turned voters off. It was [mc_name name=’Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001259′ ]’s promise to help the lawyer class, and not the farming population, that turned voters off. Across the nation, those that supported the policies Americans routinely poll in favor against are the ones that ended up voted out of office. I have no doubt that there are Democratic strategists, behind the scenes, who are warning their party of this and are trying to figure out a way to elect people who can do the job more effectively than an old man muttering about the political spending of private citizens on the Senate floor.
But, their voices will undoubtedly be drowned out by the voices on the Left that call those of us who vote against them stupid, ignorant voters and will proceed to force their policies down our throats.