Alan Grayson, the defeated Democratic congressman of "die quickly" fame, went on the offensive Thursday, telling reporters that the Democrats' "appeasement" of Republicans cost them the election."Blue Dogs Dumped" (Joe Klein):
In an appearance on MSNBC and an interview with Salon.com, Grayson argued that the "enthusiasm gap" that prompted millions of liberal voters to stay home Tuesday happened because the Obama administration and congressional Democrats did not fight hard enough for progressive values. MORE...
Normally, I don't have much patience for the whining on the left about the Blue Dog democrats--who were sliced in half on Tuesday, losing at least 28 of their 54 seats. When they lose, the Democrats lose control of the Congress. This year, however, I do feel that there is an argument that, to an extent, the Dogs brought this on themselves by being penny-wise, dogpound-foolish. The argument goes like this: a larger stimulus package might have helped the economy recover at a faster clip, but the Dogs opposed it on fiscal responsibility grounds. A second argument: the public really has had it with Wall Street, but the Dogs helped water down the financial regulatory bill, gutting the too-big-to-fail provisions. There is real merit to both points. MORE..."Howard Dean Rules Out 2012 Bid" (Wall Street Journal):Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the unofficial general of the liberal movement, has ruled out posing a primary challenge to President Barack Obama, according to his office."In Feingold’s Loss, Independents Turn on One of Their Own" (NY Times)
Mr. Dean, who energized the left with his unsuccessful 2004 presidential bid, has been a frequent critic of the president – most notably for the White House’s decision not to push for a so-called public option on the health care legislation. MORE...The irony was lost on no one. Senator Russ Feingold, a liberal with a fierce streak of independence who crusaded against the influence of money in politics, was toppled Tuesday in a campaign awash in the kind of unregulated cash he had struggled to keep out of the system."Nancy Pelosi, undone by her own success" (Eugene Robinson):
And in a poignant twist, the loss came, in part, because independents flocked to his opponent, despite Mr. Feingold’s record of one maverick vote after another.
He was the sole senator to oppose the USA Patriot Act after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He also broke with President Obama on several occasions, opposing the expansion of the war in Afghanistan, the bailing out of financial institutions in 2008 and the regulation of Wall Street this year, saying the restrictions did not go far enough.
Most prominently, he battled his colleagues to overhaul the campaign finance system; the resulting law, passed in 2002, bore his name and that of Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican (who won re-election Tuesday). MORE...Pelosi did what was right for the country, and what's right isn't always what's popular. Democrats may decide they need a less-polarizing figure as minority leader; if they do, well, that's politics. But I'd love to see her stay in the Democratic leadership - and I'm betting that eventually she'd find a way to take back the gavel that she pounds with such righteous authority. MORE..."Rich Media, Poor Democracy" (Amy Goodman):As the 2010 elections come to a close, the biggest winner of all remains undeclared: the broadcasters. The biggest loser: democracy. These were the most expensive midterm elections in U.S. history, costing close to $4 billion, $3 billion of which went to advertising. What if ad time were free? We hear no debate about this, because the media corporations are making such a killing by selling campaign ads. Yet the broadcasters are using public airwaves.
I am reminded of the 1999 book by media scholar Robert McChesney, “Rich Media, Poor Democracy.” In it, he writes, “Broadcasters have little incentive to cover candidates, because it is in their interest to force them to publicize their campaigns.” MORE...