Thursday, January 21, 2010

Editorial: Americans impatient for promised change

The headline is right, and the last line is right, both in ways the editor didn't intend. The rest is just horse hockey.

It's amusing to see most of the commenters doing just what the unnamed Courier editor is doing from their various political perspectives, and that is seeing what they all prefer to see in the Mass Senate election. The teabaggers see populist revolution, the Republican stalwarts see mass repudiation of Dems and Obama, and Dems see failure of Obama to deliver on campaign promises.

Near as I can tell, all of these may be minor factors, but all miss the obvious. The Mass Dems ran a campaign of entitlement with a candidate who largely didn't bother with voters, and lost. It was their seat to lose, and they did.

Nationally, neglect of the Dem base by the Prez and congressional leaders is becoming a serious problem. Reactionaries show up reliably to vote because they run on fear, but progressives need inspiration. Democracy is designed to operate by compromise, and I appreciate that principled people will try to work that way regardless of the tactics on the other side, but the unalloyed gutlessness of the Dems in pursuing vital change in our health-care system, failing to follow through on getting us out of Bush's military adventures and rescuing the investment portfolios of the Wall Street warlocks has caused widespread disgust among the base. I couldn't say from direct knowledge whether this was a significant factor, but the exit polls seem to indicate it was.

Be that as it may, the editor is playing out of his league again. Stick to your knitting, editor: keep it local. You don't generally have the gumption to research the stories that are near at hand, leave alone what's going on so far away.

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