Democrats Lost Because They Wasted Their Most Valuable Weapon in the Midterms

This midterm election campaign and result was, although disappointing, certainly not unexpected and it was down in part to how each party based their campaigns on the performance of a politician who was not on any ballot. Republicans lacked any agenda that appealed to most voters’ concerns, so they chose to base their message on fallacy and campaign against President Obama they claimed was a disaster for the nation. Many Democrats, on the other hand, pathetically ran away and attempted to  distance themselves from the President that certainly lent an air of credibility to Republican candidates’ assertions that the Obama Administration was a failure. However, despite the results of the elections, Barack Obama is still the President, and his administration’s record achievements over the past five-and-a-half years were squandered by Democratic candidates intent on appearing to be more like Republicans than Democrats affiliated with a President with a record of successes.

There was a very revealing exit-polling report from the Associated Press that revealed a majority of Americans are indeed discontent with the government, but they also support the President’s policies that many Democratic candidates were afraid to campaign on. For example, a majority of voters favor giving immigrants who are in the country illegally a path to citizenship. More than half think abortion should remain legal and is a woman’s personal health decision. Surprisingly, most of the voters considered climate change such a serious problem that the government should be taking more steps to assuage its damage.

Nearly two-thirds of voters think the U.S. economic system unfairly favors the wealthy who have taken the lion’s share of the recovery. Well over half say their own family’s financial situation has not improved over the past two years, and a fourth say it has gotten much worse. Even the people who said health care is their top issue were more likely to say the President’s Affordable Care Act did not go far enough as to say it went too far.

These are the themes that all Democratic candidates did not run boldly on and, worse, failed miserably to relate them to the President’s agenda or campaign on supporting his policies to help more Americans. Whether it was immigration reform, climate change, healthcare, women’s choice, or addressing income inequality, all important issues to voters and the President, every Democrat running for office should have embraced the President instead of running the other way toward Republicans.

What is not a surprise, is that despite voter support for the President’s agenda and position on issues important to them, Republicans won; except against Democrats who ran on either expanding on the President’s successes, or campaigning on those he championed for good of the people. In more stark terms, they ran as strong Democrats pushing Progressive, populist, issues. For example, Senators Brian Schatz, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, and Jeanne Shaheen overcame strong challenges from Republican candidates backed by Wall Street and the Koch brothers because they led, and based their campaign messages, on issues like raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security, and taking real action on climate change; all issues AP’s exit polling revealed are important to a majority of voters and something more Democrats should have campaigned on in support of the President and to defeat Republicans.

Indeed, across the nation, voters overwhelmingly approved myriad state ballot measures and initiatives the President advocates, many national Democrats were afraid to campaign on, and Republicans vehemently oppose. For example, voters approved every initiative to legalize or significantly reduce the penalties for marijuana; Florida’s weed initiative garnered 57% of the vote but it required 60% to pass (it is Florida). Voters also approved every initiative to raise the minimum wage in states it was on the ballot, with San Francisco and Oakland approving raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Against ardent Kock-ALEC objections and mountains of dark money, voters in Oakland and Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved more generous paid sick leave that Republicans want eliminated.

Despite the rush toward biblical theocracy and a well-funded religious right crusade, Colorado and North Dakota voters rejected yet another Vatican-inspired edict to grant a single-celled zygote (fertilized egg) full constitutional personhood rights under their criminal codes to criminalize birth control and imprison non-compliant women. Washington state voters rejected Republican and NRA gun-fanatics and approved background checks for all gun sales and transfers; including private transactions.  And lastly, in a seriously righteous smack down of the Education Secretary’s anti-teacher crusade; by a wide margin conservative Missourians rejected a constitutional amendment that required teacher evaluations based on poorly-parented student’s test results and allowed them to be fired or demoted at will and without cause; an important aspect of the Administration’s Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan school privatization agenda (much more on this in another article).

Coupled with the exit-polling revelations and the results of over a hundred state ballot initiatives and measures, it is obvious that voters support nearly everything President Obama has fought valiantly for. It is why Democrats that boldly campaigned on those issues in the face of mountains of Koch and religious right money were victorious; they are popular issues with the voters. Tragically, Democrats that shied away from the President, including the economic successes his policies have produced, were unsuccessful. Maybe it was Howard Dean who said that given a choice between a real Republican and a “Republican-lite,” voters will always opt for the real thing because any Democrat attempting to appear “Republican,” or pretend to reject their own party’s President and policies cannot be trusted; by either party’s base.

Republicans claim the Obama Administration has damaged the nation, and yet they never  once even alluded to how the nation has suffered, or what their policies to mitigate the damage would be. Oh, they deftly used the appropriate dog whistles to appeal to their ignorant racist, theocratic, and corporatist base, but except for privately promising the Kochs they would eliminate most federal agencies and domestic programs the Kochs and Wall Street despise, they kept their plans close to the vest. They also covertly promised the theocracy crowd to pass personhood, gay marriage bans, and put god in government, but like their dedication to the Kochs, they kept those pledges out of the mainstream voting public’s awareness. What some Democrats failed to comprehend is that most Americans, although not the smartest people, shudder at government-by-bible as well as Koch, Wall Street, and corporate fascism as the governing authority.

It is curious why even one Democrat would fail to take advantage of the weapons the President’s achievements and policies provided them. Combined with the stark failures of  Republican-led state’s experiments in pure conservatism, they were provided with a one-two punch that all but the most extreme red-state teabagger could have withstood. One understands why Republicans running against President Obama never mentioned his economic successes, but it is beyond comprehension why any Democrat did not herald the Administration’s achievements and campaign on expanding them to benefit more Americans. It is doubtless that if a Republican administration had achieved even a quarter of the successes as the Obama Administration, every GOP  and teabagger candidate would have hammered Democrats mercilessly and won in a landslide.

Sadly, when Democrats had a preponderance of presidential economic achievements,  including lowest spending and taxes in 60 years, falling unemployment, fastest debt and deficit reduction in decades, business profits soaring, and world-leading oil production responsible for rapidly falling gas prices,  they avoided and abandoned the President like plague and played into Republicans’ hands  losing the Senate in the process.

It is true that voter suppression, dark money, racism, religion, and profound voter stupidity contributed to Republican victories, but one cannot dismiss, or ever forget, that between apathetic Democratic voters, and frightened Democratic candidates, the midterm  election results are as much the fault of Democrats as the Kochs, religious right, Wall Street, and lying criminal Republicans.

26 Replies to “Democrats Lost Because They Wasted Their Most Valuable Weapon in the Midterms”

  1. Steve Israel is fired so that’s a start. I think before they ask for any money in the future we as real DEMOCRATS should demand a report card on everybody who call themselves a campaign manager, consultant ,guru whatever to see their record of failure or success. You fail you don’t get the job. Time for a total purge of these idiots who get paid 6 figures and have nothing but failure to show.

  2. Most amazing is the Wall Street people, who were going down the tubes when Obama took office and manage to rescue the economy, are moaning the loudest about their improved lot & high earnings.

    The other intersting part is the Democrats candidates who went out suffering from the Al Gore syndrome ( the misguided idea that disassociation with a winning candidate is the way to win), instead of beating the drum and speak loudly of the efforts and good deeds of president Obama despite the obstructionist GOP.

    Maybe it is time to bring whole new system with congress & senators representation limited to one 4 year term, and the president to one 6 year term. That would get rid of the “professional” representative who spend a life sucking the blood of the people and the system, instead of help move it along.

    I’ll be glad to say good bye to the creeps like McCain, McConnell and their chronies.
    The founding parents would have never allow it to become an exclusive life-time clu…

  3. Grimes lost my respect when she wouldn’t admit she voted for Obama.
    I agree with the story’s assessment. Stand up and be a proud Democrat and support the policies.

  4. The poisoned well, also known as the us media, has infected even the left who thought they had tuned it out. Democrats are now questioning their core principles. Welcome to the new McCarthy era.
    I’m with Obama….even if he ends up being the last democrat standing.

  5. The Dems lost because they didn’t turn out and vote! In Michigan, the vote was down 625,000 by the Dems from the last season.

  6. The Dem’s are spineless cowards who no longer represent us. They care only about catering to their corporate masters, and keep the bribes coming in.I am a Democrat who has lost all respect for the cowards.

  7. Well the Republicans got what they wanted,,,lets see if they want what they got???…LET US SEE THAT THE BORDER IS SECURE,,,,how long will it take you guys you got all the answers lets see them,,what do you think?? 2 weeks good for you it is about the same amount of time YOU and your ilk gave to the sitting president,,,,SHOW ME WHAT YA GOT,,,,the Unemployment is down finally but there are still too many Americans out of work and you do not approve of any unemployment funds so you can have a month or so to get this country working again,,,

  8. Don’t do that Mary please, we are still the only real Americans left and we need to hang in there because America can only stand so much crazy.

  9. Correction and this is the problem

    DCCC Head Steve Israel To Resign — After Pelosi Offered Him Third Term!
    Here’s what Howie Klein wrote about good old Steve:

    Ros-Lehtinen, a close friend and political crony of DCCC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has protected her in the past, was a member of Steve Israel’s Center Aisle Caucus. Charlie Dent was a member of the same centrist caucus composed of Blue Dogs and other Wall Street-owned Democrats and relatively mainstream conservative Republicans. One of the premises is that the members don’t oppose each other– which was certainly a good enough reason for Nancy Pelosi to have not made him head of the DCCC. But she did. And tonight she’s reaping the whirlwind– and so are more rational Democrats and the American people.

  10. Want to REALLY get out the vote? Want to end people voting against their best interests? Want to stop funding welfare red states with blue state tax money?
    End their cycle of dependency.
    Give red states everything they voted for. Get the federal government completely out of their states. Get rid of all forms of ACA, EPA, food inspection, workplace safety regulations, WIC, SNAP, medicare, medicaid, social security, infrastructure spending, education funding, grants, transportation funding, subsidies…. EVERYTHING the federal government funds, get rid of it. That’s what they voted for, they won, give it to them. THAT’S how you get them to vote for their best interests from now on. You make them sit in the shit pile they voted for. They’ll come around REAL quick.

  11. In North Carolina the Dems didn’t bother to vote!!! Don’t bother to analyze anything else if the turnout is 44% and the Dems in NC outnumber GOP by 700,000. Pitiful. Hagan election was a no brainer for Dems despite the hoopla over voter restrictions that didn’t make a difference. We got to vote or let the corporate money run the country. Voters really screwed up here.

  12. Even I, as a daily Obama watcher had forgotten some of his achievements but my goodness, I followed the link on this site to Stonekettle Station and am once again in awe of our president, you all should read it, it would be such a shame if he is stopped from completing his agenda after what good he has done. I really love our president!

  13. You are so right. CNN is already out with lies tooting GOP’s wins cause the Dow surge, but the market show something else. check it out.

    And here a little bonus of their Base.

    This is the prime example what “we” are up against. & it only going to get louder & bolder in the next 2 yrs.. We’ve better be prepare for it. I’ve got Pres. Barack H. Obama back. Because I am Barack H. Obama.

  14. It appears that President Obama IS the last Democrat standing in a sea of Republican-lite “Democrats”.

    It was shameful how the Party establishment disrespected this man for whom 51% of the American electorate voted in 2012. Shameful.

    Had they stood beside him and wielded his popularity, they would have shown their courage, and people LOVE to admire courage, not rubber spines.

    Do these Dems believe that disrespecting a minority president would garner them the minority vote? Really?

  15. Yep. And apparently a large swath of Democratic voters felt the same way you do, Mary. It’s probably why the turnout was so meager.

    It’s self-defeating if they’re so disgusted that they won’t get out and vote, but it does need to be said that the disrespect the Party establishment displayed regarding our first black president who is popular than any congresscritter, and have disenchanted those very minorities, college students, and Latinos to the point that they didn’t bother to vote.

    I was disgusted as well, and it took some effort for me to get out to the polls, but I did it anyway because the alternative is much, much worse.

  16. I’ve come to accept that the American people, completely inundated and brainwashed by savvy corporate propaganda posing as our 4th estate, will always do the right thing – after all alternatives are exhausted. And not before.

    I shake my head in utter despair for our fellow Americans. They are making turning this country from a democracy to a plutocracy much too easy for the moneyed elite who have made NO BONES that they dislike and disrespect the U.S. Constitution, and the American workers, with a passion.

  17. I live in Georgia. Our Republican Governor campaigned on job creation and making the state attractive to new business because of our low tax rates and The President’s failed economic policies. Governor Nathan (BAD) Deal was re-elected when Georgia’s unemployment numbers are the worst in the nation at 8.1%. We elected a senator whose primary job before politics was outsourcing jobs to China. Both democratic opponents in this race steered clear of the president. Now that’s just stupid with a capital S!

  18. I was also disappointed how the Democratic Party ran from the president. If you don’t stand up and be proud of what you have accomplished than who will? The Party should have done this right after they passed the ACA. Yelling “Hell yes we passed this law and you can thank us because….” This President deserves more support than he is getting.

  19. They did the chicken-isht thing that he was already expecting them to do, which is why he didn’t put his own neck too far out. They let him down in 2010 and he was expecting them to do it again in 2014. He was right. Smart man.

  20. Democratic politicians are gutless minions that earned their spot in the political unemployment line. Never standing up for their successes, but, so willing to be pulled by the nose ring. Running away from what got them their in the first place. This one did not donate a dime to these gutless want-a-bes anyway. Then they have the nerve to call themselves progressive democrats. If it was not for one grounded moral foundation, I would probably be one of those blindly loyal republican followers. Voting to take the very food off of my table all in the name of republican.

  21. Gas prices are still 50 percent higher than when Obama took office. Furthermore the recent dip in oil prices is in spite of Obama, not because of him. He has opposed domestic drilling, opposed the Keystone pipeline and has made a mess of the Middle East. Which Obama position or policy are we supposed to Credit with the dip in oil prices?

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