If Coakley Loses . . .
Unlike Jeralyn, I strongly hope Martha Coakley wins the Senate race in Massachusetts. There simply is no comparison between her and her opponent Scott Brown - Coakley is infinitely superior on the issues I care about.
That said, it is now clear that Coakley may lose. What happens if Coakley loses? What would it mean? One thing for sure - it would mean that the Democratic political message is not working. It's one thing to lose the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey in tough economic times. Like NYC mayors and Presidents, Governors are blamed for everything that happens. And times are tough. But Coakley is not an incumbent. Surely she is not being blamed for current conditions. It seems that Coakley is not a good candidate, but still, Massachusetts? Something is wrong. More . .
There has been much teeth gnashing against criticism of Democrats from the Left. Some I suppose will attribute the Dem weakness demonstrated by Coakley's struggles to the internecine carping.
I think that explanation is too simplistic. Overhanging every election is a referendum on the ruling party. In most electoral districts (one would have considered Massachusetts to be one of them), this does not matter. They are not called blue and red states for no reason. But in some, the prevailing conditions are treated as a referendum on the governing party.
But let's accept the premise that internal carping has damaged Democratic electoral chances. So what do you do about that? Do you try and shout down the Left Flank of the Democratic Party in an off year election cycle? Is that really the thing to do? Of course not.
What you do is
pander address the concerns of this important disaffected sector. Because, in the end, that is what politics is - pandering addressing the concerns of the voters you want to work and vote for you. Berating voters and activists for not liking what you are doing is not a winning strategy in politics.
Of course, the likely FIRST thing to happen if Coakley loses will be the rush to point fingers - Coakley was a bad candidate, etc. But once that phase is over, it seems to me that the next thing to do is to figure out what is wrong and to try and address it. Preferably BEFORE a 2010 November debacle.
Speaking for me only
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