Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Voters Speak

The punditry is atwitter today about the Republican's victory in the race for a Massachusetts senate seat the Democrats had held since Noah became a boatsman.

It's all inside baseball, as if it were a game.  "Coakley should have come out swinging," Tim McCarver tells his sidekick. "Now the Democrats don't have enough players on the bench to beat back the Republicans'  filibusters."

But it isn't a game.  It's about whether our government reverts to the treasonous criminality of the Bush years or makes a genuine effort to right the wrongs of those years.  It's about whether ours is a government of, by and for the Beltway, or the People.

The punditry correctly says the Massachusetts election was in fact a referendum on the Obama presidency.  A heavily Democratic electorate repudiated the President and his party.

But the punditry vastly over-inflates the significance of the victory.  So the Democrats lost their so-called 60-vote filibuster-proof majority.  So what?  What did they do for us when they had it?  Nothing.

At least until the mid-term Congressional elections, Democrats still have majorities in both houses.  A Democrat still sits in the Oval Office.

What the voters of Massachusetts have told them is, "Now govern, or suffer the same fate as Ms. Coakley."

Govern, Mr. President.  Take the helm, House Speaker Pelosi.  Get some spine, Senate Majority Leader Reid.

Go back to the drawing board, write legislation not just on health care but on climate change, clean energy, regulation of the financial hog trough, protection of the environment and creation of jobs.  Never mind if aspects of these bills are  "politically unpopular" or draw criticism from the punditry.

Do what's right and then, by Nettie Dingo, ram it through the Congress and sign it into law.

Impossible without 60 votes in the Senate?  Bull excrement!

It has been done by previous presidents, most notably by Lyndon Johnson with Medicare and the Civil Rights Act.

He knew that the latter, especially, would politically doom his party in the South for decades to come.  But he knew it was the right thing to do.  And he had the courage, skill and will to get it done.

If this were indeed a game, We the People would be down a run with a man on base and two out in the last of the ninth.  Time for Mr. Obama, despite his anemic batting average over the last year, to hit a home run.

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