Contrarian Thought of the Day

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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33 Responses

  1. God knows they’d damn well better alter something. Report

  2. Avatar Lev says:

    I actually had a similar thought earlier, though the Broderist assumptions of the piece you link to grate on me. It will force Democrats to start negotiating with Republicans? Umm…that’s kind of been the problem. Too much negotiation with Republicans, as initiated by Baucus, bogged down this process. Much of that negotiation, by Enzi, Grassley and Snowe, turned out to be in bad faith. At some point, we’re going to have to realize that cooperation with Democrats simply doesn’t help Republicans, unless the voters punish them for not doing it (and I’m not certain they will). No, forcing Democrats to bargain with Republicans wouldn’t be an upside.

    No, I think that a Brown win would serve as a wake-up call. In a 60-seat Dem Senate, the natural strategy is to cut a deal that the caucus agrees with. Recent history suggests that this sort of thing is unpopular. If that condition no longer exists, Obama will have to get forceful. He’s going to have to get out there and campaign for what he wants, and try to define the Republican opposition as obstructionist and worthless (and he would have plenty of material to work with). Most importantly, he (and we) would always needed to have to address the indefensible institution known as the filibuster sooner or later.

    Should be interesting. If Brown wins, the Dems will need real leadership. Let’s hope Obama finds the right tactics–and, admittedly, a new and better enemy. My vote is for Mitch McConnell. If ever there was a candidate for a villain, it would be him. I mean, just look at the guy.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This makes much sense to me.

    However, a lot depends on whether Democrats believe their own spin (assuming a Brown win).

    I’ve seen people explain how frickin’ awful Coakley is, so of course she was going to lose. I’ve seen people explain how Massachusetts isn’t *THAT* blue, all things considered, why Mitt Romney was governor there after all and they have lots of Republicans elected to office all the time and so having John Kerry’s junior be a Republican won’t be surprising at all, so on and so forth.

    Republicans believed their own spin after 2006. It’s not unheard of.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Jaybird says:

      Also very true. My personal feeling is that it doesn’t matter much, in the end. If the economy continues to struggle mightily, Democrats will be slaughtered. If, somehow, the economy starts to turn around, Democrats will not be slaughtered. Still, a strategy of blaming Bush wasn’t exactly going to help the Dems mitigate that problem.Report

    • Avatar Kyle in reply to Jaybird says:

      But don’t forget the NY-23 was yet still more evidence of how out of touch conservatives are…Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      My own contrarian response, do you think Ted would have lost the seat had he been running in Coakley’s place? Because I don’t see how the blame for this falls outside her own incompetence. She pretty much sat on her hands until like a week or two ago after securing the primary nomination.

      I don’t see any reason to believe that an even average candidate would have lost the seat if it is indeed lost.Report

      • Avatar Kyle in reply to North says:

        Teddy? No. That said, would his win have been an endorsement of his policies or an appreciation of the man? Hard to say in a republic.

        I don’t think anyone should read into this a mandate from Massachusetts to repudiate the President. All the attacks (from the left) on how terrible a candidate Coakley sounds like the same refrain on Creigh Deeds.

        Reminds me of that bushism: “fool me once…shame on…shame on you…if fooled, you can’t get fooled again.”

        North, what happened? How are Dems picking these candidates? Out of a hat?Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Kyle says:

          The problem is every losing canidate is always defined as a bad canidate. Obviously some are, Coakley sounds like a bad one, but every post mortum on both sides usually the simalar.Report

          • Avatar Kyle in reply to greginak says:

            yeah, that’s pretty much true, both sides never really own up to the degree to which their policies might be their problems and choose to scapegoat terrible campaigners (dems) and insufficiently conservative candidates (repubs).Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kyle says:

          The same way they picked Kerry.

          They had a primary.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

            That wasn’t intended to sound as snarky as it came out.

            The primaries tend to attract only the truest of true believers. The truest of the true believers then pick someone for the rest of us to vote for (or against).

            So when you’re saying “how in the hell did Bob FREAKING BARR!!!! get the freaking Libertarian nomination????” or the equivalent… well, they had a primary. And only the truest of the true show up.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Kyle says:

          Kyle, I’ll tell you what happened. The Mass. State Democratic Party never considered that it was remotely possible that the seat could be lost. It never entered their minds. So they didn’t pay much mind to who got nominated and Coakley kindof stole the march on the other primary candidates. I’m not in Mass so I can’t give you exact details but suffice to say it’s a perfect storm of a complacent establishment, a very poor campaigner and a capable republican challenger. I am still waiting to see if it really shakes out and he takes home the win. But it should be interesting to see.Report

  4. Avatar Kyle says:

    Not so contrarian thought of the day: Bob Menendez’ DSCC leadership is both underwhelming and undermining. Sorry Mark, I know he’s your junior senator.Report

  5. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    If Brown wins the dems are toast simply because there’s no way to “create” jobs…gummint “jobs” are a joke and the unwashed know it…socialists don’t know how to do economy, usually they gotta start a war…but Bush already did that one!Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

      Careful Bob. The economic indicators, remember, are actually pointing up at this time. I’ve heard many a person say that the economy can thrum along pretty well if the government gets out of the way. If a Brown win induces gridlock then they’ll be out of the way and if the economy is noticably up come the next election the Republicans are going to have a serious problem.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

      This one is for you Bob, I trust you’re enjoying the victory. Brown will be a RINO in no time of course but for now the Republicans certainly have reason to be happy. Teddy’s ghost can’t be happy about this. Here, I even stole a verse for you to show good will. The brits played this when they marched out of York to surrender:

      If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
      If boats were on land, churches on sea,
      If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
      And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
      If the mamas sold their babies
      To the gypsies for half a crown;
      If summer were spring and the other way round,
      Then all the world would be upside down.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Looks like he got it.

    Now what?Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      Now what? I have a good scenario, the bad scenario and a gridlock scenario.

      Good scenario, the Dems don’t try any kind of silly certification game. There isn’t a point to it and frankly it’s unnecessary. If Pelosi actually puts the screws to her caucus she can pass the senate bill in the house. Once the bill is passed they can reform all of the financial portions using budget reconciliation which require only 51 votes in the Senate which means that they can leave the republicans and Leiberman to scream on the sidelines and they can moderate or reform the bill pretty thoroughly. Then we actually see what the public actually thinks of the thing once the Democrats have the legislative win under their belt.

      The bad scenario: they collectively lose their minds and try and delay certification of the new Senator. Perhaps they are within their rights to do so in the rules, I haven’t reviewed the details immensly closely but that is irrelevant. The optics of it are nightmarish, legal or not. Bad scenario has them do this and pass the bill using 60 senate votes to bust the filibuster and reconcile with the house bill as if they didn’t lose Mass.

      Finally we have the Gridlock scenario. Think of it as either the bad scenario only things go so bad that the party fractures and leadership loses control. Nothing gets passed and the whole affair goes down in flames. Obama and the leadership just spent the last year and a dump truck load of capital on a big fat bupkiss and have to start over or more likely abandon the entire effort. The base will defect in disgusted fury, the independents will flee the association with failure and the Dem’s will probably spend from now to the midterms trying to glue their governing coalition back together. A de facto gridlock ensues and I imagine the bloodbath in the midterms are terrible. Republicans take control, and libertarians take off their socks and shoes and resume their prone position in the kitchen of the GOP as the social conservatives and terror hawks ride back into power and the tea parties melt back into the woodwork like springtime snow.

      Regardless of if any of those we may be able to mitigate global warming by harnessing an electric turbine to poor old Ted Kennedy’s grave. I imagine the old boy has to be putting out a couple thousand rotations a minute by now at this particular situation.Report

      • Avatar Kyle in reply to North says:

        Optically, the D’s should thank Jim Webb, who said they shouldn’t hold any health care votes until Senator-Elect Brown is seated. There weren’t going to be any health care votes in the Senate until that happened so for nothing he gets the added bonus of looking fair and reasonably populist.

        Well played, Senator Webb, well played….Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

        I’m hoping for a gridlock scenario except the Republicans take control, like, 218 to 217 in the House and, like 47-51-2 in the Senate.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

          Er, Republicans would be in charge of the senate with 47 senators.

          Six more than they (apparently) need to run the entire country.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

            Not run the country, just prevent anyone else from running it either. It’s like being in control only of the brakes. So long as you’re fine with where you are right then you can maintain the status quoe.Report

    • Avatar Kyle in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m just waiting for the Slate (or maybe Daily Beast) piece that asks if Scott Brown’s centerfold pic won him the election, come on guys, you know it’s in the new media pipeline.Report

  7. Avatar Koz says:

    That’s okay if it’s true. America and the American people won a big one tonight and that’ll do for now. The GOP had lots of good days last year as the voters learned the meaning of buyers’ remorse the hard way.Report