It was awful nice of Arlen Specter to give Democrats that 60th vote on HCR in hopes of getting support from the party in his re-election bid, and it was good looking-out for Obama and the gang to give Arlen the backing that was part of the original deal.
That’s all great, but the primaries are where voters get to have their input. And the real Democrat, Joe Sestak, won. No hard feelings, Arlen, except for the 28 years you spent being a Republican. Certainly nobody can blame you for jumping ship, as the GOP was leaving all non-radicals behind. You did everything right, but that doesn’t mean Democrats have to keep electing you.
And in Arkansas, public-option killing Blanche Lincoln, who didn’t act out of conviction but out of cowardice, is facing a run-off (and already behind) against Bill Halter. Hating on the public option didn’t gain her a single vote, and had she supported it she would have faced her Republican opponent with full party support.
Unlike the Republicans, who are seeking to replace anybody sane with jabbering idiots like Rand Paul, the Democrats are simply asking that their representatives actually be Democrats with some semblance of genuine conviction. Triangulating cowards provide a few votes but always bend and break as soon as something important to Democrats comes along, immediately flocking to the Republican aisle as soon as the rightwingers act outraged about something (tip: they’re always “outraged,” yet shockingly easy to take down in argument if you don’t get scared off).
Democrats enjoy a platform that is ridiculously middle-of-the-road and uncontroversial, very much targeted at things voters like. They enjoy opponents who have fallen so far off their rockers they’ve crushed themselves underneath, babbling cynics who say words like “people” and “Constitution” but who in reality sell nothing more than partisan obstruction and the hopeful return of the same broken policies and misplaced priorities that put America in the ditch in the first place.
Any Democrat running this November should be secretly grinning at the prospect of taking on a Republican. They also shouldn’t be looking for Obama to inject some artificial stimulants into their race, they should be looking to campaign for Obama, selling the strengths of his first two years instead of running scared from Republican blathering about “socialism.” Obama, of course, hasn’t been the liberal dream president, but he’s been a pretty damn effective center-left guy who’s built a good case for any general election showdown against Republicans. Even when Obama doesn’t bring down the hammer on Wall Street hard enough, you’ve still got Republicans diving on grenades for Wall Street like the loyal elite servants they are.
Here’s hoping Halter wins, and then he and Sestak and a horde of other Democrats fuckin’ take it to the Republicans with a vengeance this fall. There is no other way.