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Friday, January 15, 2010

 
Questions, Anyone?

by tristero

In my previous post, I blamed the Democratic party for screwing up the Coakley race. Sure enough. in comments, several folks rushed to the party's defense, blaming Coakley for a nonexistent and/or rotten campaign.

I don't buy it. What's going on is similar to the dreadful behavior of the Dem party during the 2004, and for that matter, the 2000, presidential election. Democrats had two candidates who were both vastly superior in every way, shape, and form, to their Republican rival (a manifestly incompetent sociopath named George W. Bush). There campaigns were mishandled when they weren't simply unsupported. Their efforts were all but deliberately undermined. Could Gore and Kerry have been better candidates? Sure, they made mistakes, but the lack of genuinely serious support and defense that they received from the Dem party was, imo, decisive.

And here are the Democrats, working overtime to help Coakley not only lose, but lose really fucking badly. This is completely inexcusable political malpractice. But I'll bet there are a few commenters who will find a way to excuse this, or dismiss it as a trivial error, or place the fault with Coakley.

This refusal to pin the blame for spectacular Democratic crash-and-burns on the leadership - meaning the people who set the overall strategy to fund, market, and sell candidates - is, quite frankly, weird. There is far too much evidence and history to ignore or dismiss. Should Coakley have started campaigning earlier? Duh. And you think the decision not to - and the economic decisions related to it - were simply hers to make unilaterally? Please, people. Her strategy, or lack of one, was a collective decision, coordinated with the national party, I suspect. (And if, by some odd happenstance, the party is NOT coordinating Senate races, that should be cause for heads to roll at the top of the party.) Likewise, no: It's not that she didn't have the "character" to stand up to the party bosses. It's that, for whatever the reason, they simply weren't gonna do a good job for her, period, no matter what she did. Or put it another way if you prefer: they're too inept to even know what a good job is.

I repeat: It is hardly any fault of Coakley that the race is so close. She could be the least charismatic person since Zelig and the most uncooperative since Bartleby and she'd still be trouncing a rightwing lunatic like her opponent if Democratic leaders had really wanted to focus on retaining Kennedy's seat for a progressive voice.

Or, for that matter, cared very much to pass a healthcare reform bill.


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