Wednesday, November 04, 2009

We’ll Always Have New York's 23rd

So said Andrea Mitchell to David Axelrod. (Hmm …)

Thanks to the right wing PAC ‘Club for Growth’, the gift that keeps on giving!

The Democratic Party’s BFF just elected another Democrat, Bill Owens, from a safe Republican district to join Nancy Pelosi’s growing army of infidels in the House. The notorious New York 23rd was such a reliable Republican redoubt that no Democrat had been elected there to Congress for the past 140 years.

It all changed yesterday when Caribou Barbie, Tim Pawlenti, the Pigman, and the lunatic Beck intervened to purge the Republican establishment candidate in favor of a wingnut, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. The Club for Growth poured $1 million to support Hoffman, and the RNC answered with $1 million for their candidate Dede Scozzafava. All of it down the tubes when Dede dropped out endorsing the Democrat, Bill Owens, who won.

Question: Is the Club for Growth a front group for the Democratic Party? By raising money from Tea Bagger dupes for marginal candidates to knock off Republicans in the primaries, the Club for Growth so far is 0-for-2: They forced PA Senator Arlen Specter to switch parties, and now they’ve elected a Democrat from a 140-year Republican mortal-lock-safe district. Ah, we so love Sarah Palin. She's promising to return, saying the race isn't over, just “postponed” until 2010. Please come back, Sarah, and meddle some more!

Hopefully the wingnuts have enough money in the till to knock off Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, their next target, in his bid for the open Senate seat of retired Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.

Despite Michael Steele’s comic gloating, Republicans would be mistaken to read national implications into the races they won, much less that their governor pickups were a referendum on President Obama. The President’s job approval numbers remain solid with voters in both states.

Virginia and New Jersey reverted to historical form in off-year results electing candidates different than the party controlling the White House. Add to that a weak Democratic candidate (VA), a highly unpopular incumbent (NJ), local issues and low voter turnout, forming the perfect storm that was too much even for President Obama’s campaigning to overcome.

The lesson for Democrats is clear: not delivering on healthcare and jobs for the American people will cost them dearly at the polls in 2010. Had healthcare reform passed Congress with the President’s signature before the elections, I think the base would have been energized to turn out at the polls in sufficient numbers to hold NJ, and make Virginia competitive.

The Democrats need to pass comprehensive, meaningful healthcare reform and a second stimulus that emphasizes jobs. Now is not the time for timidity.

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