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Democrats: stop blaming each other -- you're all guilty

There is one thing worse than losing an election. It’s losing your dignity, your credibility and your sense of responsibility.

Long before Republican Scott Brown was declared the victor in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate special election, Democrats turned on each other with an unseemliness that does not behoove a party that wants to hold power.

The truth is that everyone who is attacking someone else shares responsibility for this loss. This race was the Democrats’ to lose, and they managed to lose it.

Democrat Martha Coakley and her campaign fell asleep while Brown was hustling from one end of the state to the other in his pickup truck. The Coakley crowd woke up too late. Her campaign pollsters and strategists failed to catch the movement of voters to Brown early enough to arrest the swing. They let Brown define the campaign.

The United States Senate should take a lot of blame for taking forever to pass a health-care bill. The Senate Finance Committee in particular delayed and delayed, failing to produce a bill before Congress’ August recess. This allowed the raucous conservative protests to dominate the late summer news and prevented Congress from passing a bill this fall, which is when it should have been sent to the president. The longer Congress took, the worse the process looked. The ugliness of the process badly tarnished the bill itself. The excessive time consumed by health care prevented Congress from acting on other issues. And having still not passed it, Democrats now have to figure out how to get it done without that 60th Senate vote.

The Obama White House should have been keeping a watchful eye on this race, realizing the 60th Democratic vote in the Senate was at stake. More broadly, Obama also needed to create a national narrative that Democrats could proclaim with pride. The narrative has been missing, and conservatives have filled the vacuum. And, by the way, whoever sold the White House on claiming that under the stimulus bill unemployment would rise to only 8 percent last year and peak at 9 percent this year should be sent off on a long foreign trip.
There are other culprits, including the unpopular (and, in the case of some individual members, corrupt) Massachusetts legislature. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s low standing in the polls also hurt Coakley.

Why does the term “circular firing squad” seem to pop up after every Democratic defeat? Those Democrats whose mistakes led to this fiasco know who they are. If they don’t take responsibility and instead just try to shift all the blame to someone else, they will prove themselves unprepared for the work they now have to do to get their party out of this hole.

By E.J. Dionne  | January 19, 2010; 10:07 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Next: Scott Brown beats Martha Coakley -- and life goes on


Obama never wants to enforce immigration laws so illegal immigrants can keep receiving welfare and healthcare benefits as in the case of Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango, an illegal immigrant from Kenya yet lived in taxpayer-funded public housing complex in Boston for many years and also contributed $260 to Obama's presidential bid. In fact, Obama, with his immigration reform, wants to naturalize twelve million illegal immigrants so they can get healthcare insurance and vote for his Democratic Party. Worse still, without California's votes, Obama would have never become President, but he refuses to give financial aids to California while bribing Nebraska to accept his healthcare reform!!!

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 19, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, did it ever occur to you liberal loons that it was not the campaign, it was the platform--America is fed up with Obama and his cronies, look for more come November.

Posted by: JCM-51 | January 19, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Pure comedic gold, Dionne. The Dems push your policies and fail miserably, of course you dolts should take responsibility. This was so predictable, anyone with common sense knew your guys would overreach.

Posted by: je121819 | January 19, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Every sitting incumbent on both sides of the isle better heed this election.

Posted by: dcperspective | January 19, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

3 completely inane analyses of the national political scene - don't quit your day jobs...

Posted by: spqr2k | January 19, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

The thing Dems should glean from this is that Republicans are not the "bad guys" they are just the guys on the other side of the aisle that disagree with you.

We are America not Left America. Is that too hard to grasp? Done right, America could come up with real health-care reform - not some backroom sham to salve the egos of ego driven leaders.

Posted by: 2009frank | January 19, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, could you please wake up!! That's the most maddening part of this entire episode; I have yet to see a commenter who actually gets it. The blame doesn't like with what Democrats failed to do. The blame lies with what Democrats have been doing.

The Bush years sucked, so we picked a different group, only to find out that they sucked too only for different reasons, and now people are tying to send a message that we really, really want a non-sucky group.

There are a lot more independents in this country than most commenters appear to appreciate. And independents get quite angry when they see elected representatives spending their money to buy votes for legislation that apparently isn't good enough to pass on its merits alone. Obama won because independents, this one included, went his way. Brown just won for the same reason. It was NOT because the Massachusetts voters want a return to the Bush years, it was because Obama and Congress have sucked so far and an unknown is always better than more suck.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | January 19, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

It's the I Won, stupid.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | January 19, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

As usual you have brought up important reasons for the failures of the Coakley defeat, and the shortcomings of the Democrats. And yes, this past summer was one of delay, carping, indecision and fumbling around by the committees trying to come up with the health reform bill. It was painful to watch; they all looked like a group of freshmen without a clue. And yes, from the president on down, everyone contributed to today's fiasco: the defeat of a "safe" senate seat. Maybe one thing learned is - there's no such thing anymore.

Posted by: jbleenyc | January 19, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse



Coakely has received poetic justice for her horrific oppression of the Amirault family as well as the family with the one-year-old baby girl who was raped in 2005.

This cancels angry unlawful Al's seat he stole from the Minnesota electorate.

God is good!!!

Posted by: kwoods2 | January 19, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"The Senate Finance Committee in particular delayed and delayed, failing to produce a bill before Congress’ August recess. This allowed the raucous conservative protests to dominate the late summer news and prevented Congress from passing a bill this fall"

Yeah they should have rammed it through sooner before people got wise to what they were doing. LOL

God forbid that the unwashed masses disagree with getting screwed by educated rulers.

Posted by: truth2 | January 19, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to see if Washington gets the message. This election, in every single exit poll, was about JOBS and ending support for those Wall Street banks. President Obama, instead of criticizing the bankers for their outrageous bonuses, put them out of business. They aren't loaning money to small businesses in this country because they are investing like crazy in India and China. So, have the Small Business Administration make direct loans to small businesses at a flat 5% interest rate. Use the money that was going to go to those banks to fund this. Kill any tax breaks they or their investors enjoy and use that, too. Similarly, permit the establishment of an independent credit card issuer for small banks and credit unions, so they can issue credit cards with a 12% interest cap, bipassing the usury and criminal conduct of those big banks. This will get money flowing in the economy and stimulate the creation of jobs here. And, Congress needs to eliminate every tax write-off for investors and corporations that outsource jobs, that HAVE outsourced jobs. Bring back trade tariffs and apply them to all goods and services imported by any U.S. company. Hit them on their bottom line and they will think seriously about moving their call centers and manufacturing lines back here.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 19, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

no interest in the politics itself - everyone involved in the process is a fraud, period. however, it is quite remarkable to see what happens in economical life also takes place in political arena. complacency, over stretching, poor execution, etc., all the things that can hurt a company were in play to create this bebacle for the democrats. it also illustrates another rule in investing: don't beat the dead horse. when republicans looked so doomed and finished a year ago, that was the time to hedge against their rising from the ashes. amazing stuff...

Posted by: acttang | January 19, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse


Since Junior Bush, Hell will have frozen over solid before I would ever vote for any Republican candidate. In 2008, the Democrat running under the banner of being the “Anti-Bush” won. We have just experienced one more year of Junior Bush’s incompetence running our country.

The Republicans as a whole are very well organized, although I think most should be in jail for war crimes for having enabled Junior Bush’s eight-year long war crime spree.

The Democrats on the other hand were offered the world on a silver platter. In response they have demonstrated total incompetence and totally chaotic behavior. They blew their golden opportunity! I am surprised the Democrats are able to figure out how to wipe their own behinds without help. The Democrats reaped that which they have sewn.

Heaven help the US in the future.

Posted by: MrZ2 | January 19, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Most of Dionne's comments, for a change, seem accurate. However, as usual, he refuses to acknowledge the strong disappointment many people, especially independents, have about Obama's performance as president so far. Contrary to cynical partisans in both parties who seem to think deceiving and lying to people is acceptable, most moderates, independents yearn for honest politicians.

Obama seemed as a candidate to offer more character and integrity than most politicians. However, the many broken campaign promises reveal he is no different from other politicians, who deceive people to win elections.

Coakley would have easily won, despite her mistakes, had Congress passed a true health care reform bill, and Obama been more faithful to his promises.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 19, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

BJ Says - "This allowed the raucous conservative protests..."


BJ and the Post Toasties still don't get it. Because they don't want to.

Coakley's failure is all about people who refuse to listen.

Brown's victory has NOTHING top do with his being a Republican.

And this just in - Jim Webb has cautioned the US Senate to DELAY any action on HC until Brown is seated. Now he listens, but I believe it is much too late.

Posted by: mdsinc | January 19, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I honestly believe that the Republican are snakes and they will mess up as usual. Democrats are no better, but at least they are progressive, they have ideals. Republicans sit around and whine about what should and should not be, but they never do anything. Republicans are all talk, they are do nothings, they lack intergity and hide behind their so call morals. I am sure they will do everything they can to derail progress and I see it happening now. Mark my work, Republicans cannot make this country a better place, they have never tried and they will use their underhand tricks to make a mockery of the American People. I also believe that their are so many Americans who have no common sense at all, mostly these so call conservatives. People don't realize, these conservatives are the people who got us in the economic mess we are in now. Everybody know that the bank execs, mortgage lenders, home builders who overbuilt, were Republicans who are not even getting a slap on the wrist. If it was not for a bailout, thousand of more people would have been unemployed, several major banks would have failed, and still it would have been Obama's fault because you Republicans would blame him for the cold weather. Furthermore the thousands of people laid off since late 2008 could not easily find a job within weeks, but you idiot Republicans fooled others to believeing it was possible and it was Obama's fault that people are not working. First of all, this is not the 1930's, Americans, both Republicans and Democrats are too lazy to take any kind of job, we sit up on our high horses and look down at professions because we think they are too good, or they don't supplement our unnecessary expenses. So of course people can't find jobs, and the government is suppose to create jobs, I thought you Republicans did not want government in your lives, but anytime there is a need, just like everyone else, you are sticking your hands out, such hypocrits, always want to tell people who they can or cannot marry, if they can or cannot adopt children base on their sexual orientation, what they can or cannot do with their bodies.

Posted by: devmonbar | January 19, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic party will now be pulled in opposite directions by those who draw opposite conclusions from this election.

Posted by: Compared2What | January 19, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I am a Democrat who voted for Obama but I did not vote for massive debt, a health care reform bill that is anything but reform, backroom deals to buy the votes of senators, treating our allies Israel, England, Germany, and France as though they were the enemy, refusal to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism is a threat to our country and does exist, a carbon tax energy policy that will cost the middle class billions of dollars in new taxes, and the arrogance, hubris, and attitude of Obama and his diehard supporters that are harming America.

I am glad Scott Brown won and if the liberal Democrats don't get the message that this country did not want a far left turn when Obama won the election this life long Democrat will never vote for a Democrat again.

Posted by: mjkoch* | January 19, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

E.J. skewers the "circular firing squad", but I'd say his finger-pointing easily covered 360 degrees, lol.

Posted by: stratman1 | January 19, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Spin it any way that you want Demoncraps, but the point is the American public is sick of what you are trying to do to our country. You control both houses of Congress and the Presidency and are making a mockery of our political system. Americans want transparency, compromise, and bipartisanship not backroom deals, payoffs, and criminal enterprise. Americans want fair play, not Acorn. Americans want real immigration reform, not amnesty. Americans want real health care reform, not payoffs to special interests and trial attorneys. Americans want the terrorists treated like enemy combatants, not hoodlums who knocked off a liquor store. Americans want lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and smaller and less intrusive government. Wake up Demoncraps (and your media minions) - you don't know what hit you!

Posted by: freepost | January 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting analysis by E.J. as always, but stunning that he can fire so many arrows at worthy targets yet completely miss the reason for the Virginia-New Jersey-Mass. reversal trend. It's not about failing to have a "narrative," or letting Brown or the Tea Party frame the issues, and certainly not about taking TOO long to pass health care reform. It's about disillusioned swing voters rejecting this administration and Congress' nakedly political and often unserious approaches to the hard policy challenges of 2009--taxes, deficits, health and environmental "reforms" and private sector job creation--not to mention the basic American wariness about phonies. The president still has time to prove that he is what he claimed he would be. Without some clear evidence of that by midyear, the fall elections will make this look mild by comparison.

Posted by: ultrawriter | January 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Dems are in dilemna. Ram the health care bill thru by subterfuge or take it off the table. Either way they lose BIG. That's what arrogance gets you.

Posted by: delusional1 | January 19, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

So let me see if I have this straight. This Senator Centerfold just won largely on a promise to vote DOWN health care reform because it would interfere with Massachusetts' current system of socialized medicine. And the right wing is pointing to this as a repudiation of the "leftist" policies of a president who has never so much as uttered the phrase "public option"? Did I get all of that right? Is this what the right wing is telling us now? They are even nuttier than we thought.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 19, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Dionne, there's a place for you, it's called Europe. Get out of our country and go live with your kind. You live in a center right country and this is proof

Posted by: axxionx12 | January 19, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are between a rock and a hard place: their liberal ideology and mainstream America.

Massachusetts repudiated Obama-Pelosi-Reid.

It doesn't get any worse for D's than that.

Posted by: DagnyT | January 19, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

EJ, let's not over analyze it. This was Voter anger at the Democratic party's complacency and going to bed with Wall Street, AHIP and PhRMA instead of delivering what the voters need; good jobs and universal healthcare.

It seems that Obama's only objective was to win the election in 2008. After that he was out of ideas for America. I don't think the Republicans are better. Both parties are rotten to the core. But no more of that "lesser of two evils."

Posted by: Single_Payer | January 19, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

This election was about the direction the Democrats are trying to lead the country. Moderates, independents, as well as conservatives have spoken. The USA does not want to move into a total government state. To those who say the USA needs to be more like Europe, remember this--most of our ancestors left Europe because they wanted something better. They came here and started a new country--the USA. They were willing to fight for liberty. Americans are still willing to fight for liberty, and the first shot was fired in Massachusetts today.

Posted by: johntu | January 19, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

You only have to look at most of the comments to this post to see how much trouble we are in as a nation. Even with Brown's win there will be no more than 41 Republicans in the 100-member Senate. How does that signify a "center right country"? It does, if you do not know your mathematics.

Surely, we are not where we are as a country in economics, foreign policy, fighting terrorism, etc., etc., because of anything Obama has done in the year he has been in office. That people have forgotten how we got to where we are in the first place, is mind-boggling.

I for one, welcome Brown's election. I hope it hamstrings Obama and makes it impossible for us to solve any of the huge problems that we created for ourselves in the past decade. Does anyone think unemployment or healthcare costs are going to go down because of Brown's election?

I say let the Republicans win more seats in the mid-term elections and let's see where we will be in 2012. If you think California is a basket case, wait until you see where we will all be as a nation in 2012.

Posted by: ZnanaB | January 19, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Coakley's yet another tone deaf, bottle blond democrat who knows better than the people what's good for them.

Obama has to decide whether he wants to be president of a bank or president of the United States.

Let's not get emotional or overly superimpose these results on the election 9 1/2 months from now - BUT if Massachusetts can swing 20 to 30 points in a month or two, democrats can continue ignoring the Independents at their peril. This Independent is fed up with anyone supporting bankster & insurance & auto bailouts or supporting predatory lenders. This wake up call MIGHT be a blessing democrats - but only IF they will stop acting tone deaf. Lastly, democrats should thank and replace Reid as majority leader. Parties should only have majority leaders from safe states or districts. And Reid, like Daschle, is very vulnerable.

Posted by: jkelley11 | January 19, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party, of which I am a member of, does not have anyone to blame but ourselves. Hubris is contagious.

Posted by: 1huffer | January 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Dionne, You imply that if only the Senate didn't delay the healthcare bill, allowing
the raucous conservative protests this summer, that the Democrats wouldn't be in the position they find themselves. Between a rock and and hard place.

First of all, thank God the Senate delayed this sham of a bill so it wasn't passed.

Would you rather the Congress not debate it, not deliberate and have discussions to make sure what they're doing is best for this country? Just write up the bill and jam it down our throats?

If it was such a good bill, why isn't Obama and Congress including themselves in this Healthcare program?

And it isn't just Healthcare, it's the whole Obama/Democratic agenda starting with the Stimulus and ending with Healthcare.

American voters of all parties are sick and tired of not having their voices heard by Obama and their representatives.

Now they've sent a message.

Can you hear us now!

Posted by: janet8 | January 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

johntu wrote "To those who say the USA needs to be more like Europe, remember this--most of our ancestors left Europe because they wanted something better."

Those who don't know history are doomed to misunderstand it.

You need to understand that the Europe left behind by the founders of the US looked a lot like what the Republicans keep trying to make America into: a society and economy controlled by church interests and a wealthy privileged class which owned the vast majority of the wealth and the power.

America is slipping towards oligarchy and fascism and it is the *right* that is pointing the way. Unfortunately the left is too busy infighting to notice.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy | January 19, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

To EJ Dionne,

Bravo on your post. Hope the right people get the message.

Martin Weil

Posted by: martinweil | January 19, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

mm mm mm SENATOR ELECT BROWN mm mm mm

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | January 19, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Excellent article, except in the non-PC world it is called a Mexican firing squad. Speaking of whom, the fact that Democrats were talking up an immigration giveaway at a time of high unemployment didn't help. The Party seems to have developed a tin ear and a contempt for American opinion.

And, less you wonder, I voted for Obama and favor "socialized medicine" to use old-fashioned plain speech.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 19, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Dems together with reps should let Obama go through resignation or impeachment. Then Biden could take as VP McCain (they are friends, as I remember), and November election would be about quality of each candidate, not the full and final crash of democrats, as it looks now. Of course, I-uncorrectable leftist want Howard Dean instead of McCain, but the former would be much better for the country's unity.

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 19, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

This is Massachusetts we are talking about. There are not 1.2 million tea baggers in the bluest state of the union. They did not vote against Democratic principles they voted against an out of touch Democratic establishment. Twelve months and the only thing the Democrats have accomplished is the bailing out of Wall Street and GM and the preservation of incredibly large executive bonuses. It is true that Obama inherited the economy and the war, but other than his dog (which also took forever) and his garden what are his successes?

Napoleon said that one bad general is better than two good ones. If the Democrats want to actually have any members in the House this time next year they may want to actually do something, anything. If the Republicans remain the party of NO, then pass populist bill after populist bill and let them be the bad guys heading into next fall.

Posted by: caribis | January 20, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Once again you have it all wrong Dionne.

It wasn't the "ugliness" of the process but the enormous bribes the Senate handed out to get just 3 votes.

The Democratic Party is not a homogeneous party but rather a amalgamation of special interest groups.

Thus anytime the party wants something done it has to bribe the individual special interest groups.

It's a simple issue; if health care is so self-evident and important for the country then why does one party, with an unstoppable majority, have to bribe itself to get a deal?

That is the question Massachusetts voters sent back to Obama and the rest of the Democrats.

Why do all Democratic Policies cost so much?

Posted by: krankyman | January 20, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Americans Are Finally WAKING Up...Some of us never got sucked in by the Obabots who thought the hand of God had suddenly touched America with his nomination and win. They yawned instead of SCREAMING when one of his very first acts was to nominate 3 tax cheats in a row to high positions. Geithner got in, but Daschle and a woman withdrew the very day The N.Y. Times printed the first highly critical editorial. No candidate has had such a free ride as Obama. While "looking" presidential, this administration operates from "the head," attempting to impose ideology on Americans--who have very, very diverse views and who have felt shut out. They are reacting and I am glad. The fantasy is starting to crack. Remember--he was the "uniter." But America is probably more divided now than ever. He would "polish America's image" instead of giving terrorists (who ARE enemy combatants by their own words) a lawyer (at the expense of taxpayers). This is what the Nigerian near-bomber got, at which point he shut his mouth and stopped talking. N.Korea? Iran? Neither fear the U.S. or West. I fear Islamic Terrorist radiological bombs in the near future. This administration has little muscle, mouths sanctions and then drops the idea and can't seem to get tough with anyone except former allies (like Israel who now have him figured out). The Dems could have run Daffy Duck and still won the election. Rhetoric will NOT unite America or halt Obama's spending spree, which is frightening.

Posted by: marat1 | January 20, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Great. No health care bill! The cost of health care will now go from 40% more than other counties spend to twice as much. And all that money, one half trillion per year or more, will continue to come out of the pockets of the middle class and go to the insurance companies, big pharma, medical device manufacturers, hospital corporations, hedge funds, etc.

Anyone who thinks the Republicans are going to help fix this problem is delusional. The special interests out played the Democrats, but they own the Republicans outright.

While Democrats certainly screwed up on this one, do not forget that the Republicans stalled the bill for months, and then, aided by a few Democrats from contested states, stripped the bill of all the features that would have made it actually work for middle class people and control costs.

It is hard to see how we can get out of the economic doldrums until the overall costs of health care in relation to the economy is reduced. But now it will continue to increase. Thanks a lot Massachusetts and Republican propagandists.

Posted by: Nodoubt1 | January 20, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

This is the Senate Democrat's fault for lacking the discipline to make changes. Now we're screwed in the hands of the teabaggers and the party of no-- the party who bankrupted the country and now blames the Democrats for it.

When are we going to finally learn?

Still, a majority is a majority, and the Democrats better shape up or else.

Posted by: alarico | January 20, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse


Has it ever occurred to you that the reason Brown won was BECAU$E of the health care bill (it is unconstitutional, do you care about that? I did not think so. The constitution states that whatever is not IN the constitution for the Federal Government to get into, is left to the several states. HEALTHCARE IS NOT ENUMERATED IN THE CONSTITUTION, so Congress has no busyness putting their money stealing hands on it.

Fact: Congress passes all spending bills and are charged with lending legislation.
Fact: Congress has been in the hands of democrats since 2006. 2 full years before Bush left office.
Fact: Bush and other Republicans warned about the coming banking crises and cautioned to reign in Freddie and Fanny's flawed lending practices 2 years before the collapse.
Fact: The democrat controlled congress REFUSED for 2 reasons:
a: Freddie was a cash cow for democrat re-election coffers.
Frank Raines was the head of Freddie and they did not want him touched for some reason.
Fact: Obama was part of that congress.
Fact: Blacks voted for Obama @ 95%.
Fact: Whites voted for Obama @ 43%.
Fact: The numbers show Blacks voted for Obama JUST BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK, which is a RACIST reason for doing so.
Fact: Democratic policies since the Johnson administration
have destroyed the black family, which was stronger than whites at that time. Those policies paid black women NOT to get married, and would add to the monthly stipend for each child born out of wedlock.
Those same policies broke up poor white families as well.
Those same policies built the inner city slums of today, places that are some of the most unsafe IN THE WORLD.
The Black community has suffered this disease of poverty due to voting for democrats who continue to promise to help them but never deliver.
Einstein said: The definition of insanity is to do something over and over again expecting different results.
Liberals teach others that they are OWED something. No-one is OWED anything. Thinking you deserve the fruits of another's labor is the sin of covetousness. God WILL NOT BE MOCKED, you cannot continue to brake His laws and expect to be blessed. As long as you believe and act on sin, you will be a SLAVE to that sin, and the burden of that sin will be laid on your back.
You voted for the metro-male and the thieves in congress we have now. You are now REAPING THE REWARD OF GENERATIONAL SIN.
In order to stop the punishment you are placing on yourselves, you must do things differently, that is called repentance (turning away from what you use to do).
I am not saying vote republican. I am saying vote conservative principles. I am saying find a new way of doing things. I am saying find a need in peoples lives and fill it.

Posted by: funbowhunter | January 20, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

EJ..what are you smoking tonight???? If you do not now understand that it wasn't that Martha was too quiet on the stump, the end came because of what she was saying on the stump! Period. And you're advocating more of the same. Personnaly, I hope the Neocommie leadership (Pelosi, Reed and Otrauma) head your call, stays the course and goes over the falls together. Good riddence.

Posted by: MDDem1 | January 20, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

What never ceases to amaze me is the strident voices from both sides that comment on this site. Could Coakley have lost becuse she did not have a message? Could she have lost because she did not campaign until it was too late? Could the people of MA not care about health care because the state has a universal mandate? Could the people of MA simply have voted for someone who shook their hands and asked for their vote? From what I have read this disaster was in the making for the last month with one candidate that was a gaff machine who did not get retail politics and the other a man who worked the whole state not just the urban areas. Maybe that is the lesson for Democrats, work for the office. Maybe the lesson for Republicans is you can win but can you govern? Let us not be too arrogant on either side here. The president has another three years and the Republicans do not have a majority. Some of us do remember 2001-2009 as not much governing for the people. Note the article yesterday about government and phone tapping. Lest either side get carried away; Democrats in hair shirts and Republicans strutting, we need to work together as a nation to solve our problems. The last I knew none of us asked for the banking fiasco, unemployment, two wars and a national debt that soars endlessly. How about we quit discussing what happened in MA and start discussing, with some ideas besides political, how to work our way out of the mess we are in?

Posted by: Thinking4 | January 20, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, you don't seem to get the point. Brown won, NOT because the Senate too to long pass a health care bill, but because of the bill ITSELF. If the bill is passed without the 60 votes, like you want, what you saw tonight is nothing......there will be hell to pay for the Democrats in November. They will lose both houses of Congress.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 20, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I thought I was in the twilight zone at first but then I just remembered that people love mediocrity in this country.

They would rather pay higher health insurance costs than work at serious collective reform. They would rather pay $4.00 a gallon for gasoline than move towards an alternative energy model that will save them cash over time. They would rather support two endless wars costing us 1 trillion dollars a year in Iraq and Afghanistan than be realistic and pull out. They complain about the fat cats in business and banking but they want less regulation of the industries they say are exploiting them. And worse of all they want gov't to "create jobs" while at the same time they say gov't is too big and spending too much money.

No wonder the Chinese and Indians are gaining on us. We are out of touch with reality.

Posted by: gmro | January 20, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Not much of a hole. Not likely the rest of the country will get the same deal with health care Mr. Brown was elected to protect either.

Not like Mr. Brown cares about that a whole lot, that's kind of his mandate after all.

Republican's do a better job of lying about their mistakes, that's for sure.

Posted by: Nymous | January 20, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen. Mr. Dionne.

Posted by: yvette7825 | January 20, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

And Obama brought his Power Democrat Team to defend Coakley and the Bluest of Blue and the liberalest of liberal states
Many came to bat for Coakley and to save this liberal mecca, There were many high powered Democrat players that came to the plate including Bill Clinton and then Obama stepped up to the plate...
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in the White House— mighty Obama has struck out.

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

This country will be saved by Joe the Plumber and Scottie the pick-up truck driver. This country is going down the tube faster than we can drive however. Not surprising the bankers do only lend to China and India. Why would they lend to a bunch of jawboned guys whose solutions for the future rely on plugging leaking pipes or reading newspapers while running on a treadmill. Waow! We are the greatest people on earth, we are American. Do you have a leaking pipe? I'll drive over to fix it in my pick-up truck.

Posted by: benhibou | January 20, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Dionne bemoans the finger pointing and missteps by Democrats then launches his own recriminations including foreign vacations for over optimistic White House staffers who predicted lower unemployment. Massachusetts voters probably don't subscribe to the latter as neither do I. However, packing the lot out of positions of responsibility seems appropriate, and the task should continue come November. Republicans have plenty of work ahead of them, We've got three more years of Obama-change, and with rabid partisans like Durban still trying to push legislation few want, Tuesday's victory is a small step towards righting the boat. But it sure is welcome.

Posted by: ecrutle | January 20, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

There is no question that the major candidates in the VA, NJ and now MA elections were seriously flawed.

Creigh Deeds (VA) and Martha Coakley failed to run real campaigns and both put their feet in their respective mouths when they spoke.

Gov. Jon "GoldmanSachs" Corzine (NJ) suffered from a state overwhelmed with negative economic numbers but also got into lots of personal trouble in his time. He was simply not a personable guy. He was a wealthy jerk.

These elections were not about Obama and, try as he might to save them, he couldn't make up for their inadequacies. Most independents vote for the person, not policies. That's the nature of someone choosing to be an independent. It's only partisans who realize that it is parties that bring about real legislative change.

Independents like superficial change. They prefer pleasant and attractive candidates or tell it like it is candidates but, without a real party or agenda, they don't really seek rean change.

Independents placed Coakley's personal failures and Brown's personal appeal above the need for Coakley's vote to complete Ted Kennedy's mission.

In fact, Coakley and others failed to run on the idea that this was Ted Kennedy's seat. He had been elected for 6 years and the argument should have been to respect the choice of that vote and elect someone who would fulfill that mission. After that, a new direction could be considered.

Moreover, being Ted's seat, it was the people's seat because no one cared more about average people strugling to survive than Teddy.

Of course, nothing could probably make up for Coakley taking time off, making fun of meeting voters in the cold at Fenway Park, and saying that Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan. What planet has she been living on anyway?

The bottom line is that the Democratic caucus now must face up to the need to demand that majority rule the Senate. It shouldn't take 60 votes to win. That was not the intention of the Constitution and the GOP agreed when they were in charge.

Senate Rule 22, the filibuster in its current form, must go!

Posted by: campaignman | January 20, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are in this mess in part because they don't seem to have the backbones to forcefully push through the things that voters put them in office to do. The healthcare reform was like a long miniseries. It was an ugly thing to behold. Throughout the process, polls consistently showed the public 60 to 70 percent in favor of a strong Public Option. I realize that the President had Joe Lieberman sabotaging the process and taking special interest in killing the option. We keep hearing that there is a way that Democrats could accomplish this with reconcilliation, but they seem to be afraid to be that forceful. That is their problem in a nutshell. They keep on watering down and compromising away things that their base is adamant about passing. They seem weak and ineffectual when Joe Lieberman and a disgraced republican party can call the shots.

Posted by: fredfawcett | January 20, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Blame Dems like Ben Nelson, who put country and party second to ego - proving in the process that Dems can't govern, and for what? That's how it plays to the middle...

Posted by: jtool | January 20, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

EJ says:

"More broadly, Obama also needed to create a national narrative that Democrats could proclaim with pride."

is "narrative" equivalent to policy and result? or is it a cousin of "propagnada?"

apparently, the fractious Democratic Party still won't realize that voters didn't choose them to be kinder and gentler Republicans.

take the bullshet by the horns or get out of the way.

the One party system must go!!!

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 20, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

EJ- you re missing the whole point- Congress, esp. Baucus/Senate delayed at the BEHEST of the corporate forces allied vs any health reform esp. health was all planned to slow things down, and Baucus did their bidding with his shadow game of trying to get Pubbies on board when anyone could see that wasn't for Obama he do toed the line for corporate interests (no public option, no real cost cutting) AND Democratic special interests (exempting unions from cadillac taxes-what nonsense !)-the results was a hopelessly delayed, bowdlerized, balkanized, incoherent expensive, disingenuous piece of legislation - independents said enough- Obama needs to go back to the drawing board, tighten up this bill and pass meaningful health care reform with cost controls - if he simply has a bill that extended medicaid to ALL children and allowed early Medicare enrollment for anyone over 55 with some tort reframe he would accomplish his stated objectives and get huge majorities.

Posted by: jdwhite | January 20, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

I love it when the libs pull out the long knives. First, let's assign blame. We'll identify the guilty and punish the innocent.

And Dionne still doesn't get it. He's telling the Dems how to pass the bill. He doesn't understand that the people don't want the bill; that was the message from MA. And, of course, he's blaming the Dems for not sneaking it through before people could find out what's in it. You'd think that, as old as he is, he'd have learned something by now - but you'd be wrong.

Posted by: neilwied | January 20, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Even Dionne doesn't get that "We the People" think the bill stinks.

Kill the bill.

We need health care reform, but that is NOT what is being proposed. Any reform needs to address health care costs for ALL AMERICANS.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

First off, Coakney took this thing for granted, and lost... horribly.

Secondly... does anyone from MA have an actual opinion on this? Does health care matter to MA voters, being you already have it universally? The irony that health care was the dagger in Coakney's heart in a state that already has it is... well, ironic.

Posted by: fenzilla | January 20, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Coakley did not lose by healthcare at all.It's still does not bode well that the government at hand does not listen to the people.They still don't get it.It's the freedom stupid. It's freedom that the people fear is being taken from them. The healthcare is just one of the many of a long list of grevances we the people have.We have it in our power to begin the country over again.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

E.J. Is SUPPOSED to be a reporter; He sounds as if he has suffered a personal loss!

Democrats and Republicans may be more evenly matched than you think. It's just that the entire main stream media is on the Democrat end of the teeter-totter, ignoring all Democrat crimes and criminalizing Republicans who are late for work.

Posted by: PhillupSpace | January 20, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Bush & war crimes, is that what got Obama elected? The Americans who voted for Obama are the ones to blame. What did you expect from the White House, when you put a Chicago Democrat in power. Most of you do not understand Richard J. Daley and friends, they get what they want by simply taking what they want. The Politicians in Chicago have been stealing elections since before Kennelly. I can go back to Ed Kelly who ran the Park District, while Daley ran the City. Those guys in Chicago were masters of deception. Most never got caught because the dirty stuff was so well hidden. Now, we have George Soros hiding in the halls of the ACLU, pulling Obama strings. Soros does things on a grander scale, he is for a "World Order", much like the Daley's had and have in Chicago, but far larger. Soros has Billions to throw toward the corrupt Washington Politicians. All we can do is vote the bums out before they destroy the United States of America and enslave all the good Americans. Politicians are crooked, not smart, they can be led by the nose over the cliff, while all the time thinking they are in charge, they are stupid.

Posted by: bnboftn | January 20, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

From a personal perspective, although I understand how completely incompetent the democrats have turned out to be without Howard Dean, what really strikes me is that this outcome is a personal slam against the memory of Edward Kennedy, who devoted most of his professional career to the embodiment of a health care system which would be available to all income classes and not just to those with enough money to feed the coffers of the insurance cartel. Good job, Obama and Rahm !

Posted by: rbe1 | January 20, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

EJ is not a reporter. He is a copy writer for the Democratic National Committee.

Posted by: g0tcha | January 20, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Nowadays people can hear about and see everything. The shady back deals on health care. The "sweeteners" to get votes. The GOP put the Dems in the spot where it was all on them, and they looked horrid in trying to pass the bill. The Dems deserved this.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 20, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

The democrats were caught between a Barack and a hard place..If they had only listen to the tea party folks,maybe some, might be able to keep their jobs?
Just kidding;their all going down!

Posted by: sdavis4 | January 20, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans were totally united with their - NO
Now their agenda will move forward with their - NO
As far as to who is to blame? The present Un-United States of America. This is not the same United States I knew. Read all the BLAMERS here. United? ha ha ha. Last one out turn off the lights.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | January 20, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

There's always therapy E.J.

Posted by: hz9604 | January 20, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, around 20,000 Americans die each year because they can't get the health care they need

“ROBERT LASZEWSKI, Health Care Industry Consultant: So you go to a family making $65,000 a year and you say, "You are mandated to buy health insurance. And by the way, it's going to cost you $8,000 for your family." Well, that- well, you just solved the guarantee issue problem because now you've got everybody in the pool, except that you don't have everybody in the pool because as Massachusetts found, they had to back off on the mandate because you can't force a family to pay that.”

“The Massachusetts experiment has revealed a basic truth, that changing health care is not just about covering everyone, it's also about controlling medical costs. Massachusetts has among the highest medical costs in the country and insurance premiums there have been rising at about 10 percent a year.”

FRONTLINE Sick in America:

Go to
Everybody in America should watch this.

Posted by: dcox82 | January 20, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse


"According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, around 20,000 Americans die each year because they can't get the health care they need."

And 8,000 of them DOPED, SMOKED, boozed, over-ate and "lived extremely" (Bwarney Fwrank).

Why is that my fault?

Where is the personal responsibility?

I'm not paying for THEIR stupidity.

Posted by: russpoter | January 20, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse


You wrote that last week.


You push people -- they push back.


Posted by: russpoter | January 20, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

"So let me see if I have this straight. This Senator Centerfold just won largely on a promise to vote DOWN health care reform because it would interfere with Massachusetts' current system of socialized medicine."

Glad you asked. No, you don't have it straight.

People of Massachusetts were basically repudiating Obama's approach precisely because they've seen the failure of it firsthand.

I do admire a man who asks first. It saves a lot of time and trouble later.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 20, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Dems have had all the votes they needed for quite some time and they have managed to do absolutely nothing on Health Care, aside from turning a single payer opportunity into a lobbying free-for-all.

Since the resulting bill is so convoluted and weak, what's there to fight for?

Blame it on the Republicans all you want to. The Lobbyists for the Insurance Companies have had Congress sitting on their hands for nearly a year now.

And who got richer for it?

There you go.

Posted by: Thinker_ | January 20, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

EJ - By pointing your finger at "everyone," you've become part of the circular firing squad you criticize.

Posted by: cglist | January 20, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article, Dionne. I agree with everything you've written and I'm a Democratic.

Posted by: carolo43 | January 20, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

I canvassed for votes and donated money to elect a democratic president and to have a majority both in the house and senate. I was disappointed to see democrats take our votes for granted. They could not even give us a good healthcare bill even with a 60 vote majority in the Senate!. Jobs were not forthcoming. I admire president Obama, but I want to see him take charge of his agenda, especially creating jobs and curbing the influence of the lobbyists as he promised during the campaign. He should also be more aggressive in pursuing what he believes in and fight more for the middle class. Finally, he should shake up his advisers. I think some of them are out of touch with what is happening to us.
The GOP should not gloat over Martha Coakley's loss in Massachusetts. We, the voters have not forgotten that it was the republicans that ruined this great country

Posted by: oraukwu | January 20, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

This may be a good thing. The Dems only have to look at the visuals on their 2009. Their lack of discipline and money grabbing for votes is unseemly.

That said, 2009Frank lives in an alternate universe. He is right the Republicans are not the "bad guys", sometimes. Less he forget, the Republicans have not moved on health care reform when they were in control. They have blocked efforts when they were not in control. In all of their principled stands, 2 positions stand out; tort reform and removal of state boundary restrictions. Who really benefits?

The deficit was a trillion dollars under Bush. Allowing him to leave the costs of the wars out of the budget merely hid the facts. How many examples of his administration breaking the laws do you need to read about? Someone mentioned back room deal. Does closed bidding on contracts in Iraq ring a bell? How much did Cheney's company get?

Posted by: concerned13 | January 20, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse


But you are paying for YOUR ignorance

Posted by: dcox82 | January 20, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Dionne misses the central point of his own tirade. Demcorats don't believe in personal responsibility. Therefore it couldn't be their own fault.

Posted by: jdonner2 | January 20, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse


But you are paying for YOUR ignorance

Posted by: dcox82 | January 20, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse


NOT paying for this stupidity. A teachers' union graduate.


Posted by: russpoter | January 20, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

After the Democrats took over everything, the Republican leadership (the old one that is passing, thank goodness), did not seem to have any idea what to do to regain footing. But then the Democrats basically did a lot for them with Dem ineptness, closed door meetings, and bribing to get its health agenda passed. After that, it took three smart, younger Republicans to run their own campaigns, not follow the old Republicans roadmap, and show them how to win an election.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 20, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

This is not something the Repubs did. The INDEPENDENTS, of whom I am one, did this. And it needs to happen again and again and again until Washington gets it. It should have happened while Bush was still in office. And it needs to keep happening until all the hard heads "get it". Make no mistake, Dems and Repubs - we do not CARE about your party, either of you! We care about what BOTH PARTIES have done and are doing to OUR country. STOP being under the control of the big corporations and the big banks and so forth and work for the PEOPLE. Stop getting us to vote for you and then stabbing us in the back!

Posted by: nana1ellen | January 20, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse


Taking 500 billion from Medicare, just as the baby boomers are going to need it, is just asking for trouble.

Nuff Said...Dennis

Posted by: dgiansante | January 20, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Place the blame where it belongs. On Obama. His pandering timidity, lack of leadership and his nagging to pass a lousy complicated healthcare bill no one understands led to his defeat in Massachusetts.

Posted by: elsasands1 | January 20, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Obama did set up that nationl narrative, Dionne. He said that people who disagree with him are "teabaggers." In short, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid hold Americans in contempt.

Complain all you want about Bush destroying the country. But, when Cindy Sheehan started protesting Iraq, Bush had compassion for her. She had a right to disagree and even Bush understood that.

But, nobody has a right to disagree with Obama or you're a "teabagger" or as Pelosi says "un-American."

Where did you get such poeple, Dionne?

Posted by: Cdgaman | January 20, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

One thing that the Dems HAVEN'T discussed regarding health reform is some sort of Tort refrom. It stands to reason that this also needs to be addressed since Doctors must bear high insurance premiums which are passed on to the patient.

Posted by: dontblamemeivoted4gore | January 20, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that's RIGHT!!!

It wasn't Coakley's promise to support Obama's socialist agenda.

She lost because of Brown's pickup truck.

Yeah, RIGHT!!!

See YOU again in November!!!

Posted by: bob59 | January 20, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that's RIGHT!!!

It wasn't Coakley's promise to support Obama's socialist agenda.

She lost because of Brown's pickup truck.

Yeah, RIGHT!!!

See YOU again in November!!!

Posted by: bob59 | January 20, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

"Why does the term “circular firing squad” seem to pop up after every Democratic defeat?"

Answer: Because liberals, progressives, populists and whatever else you label yourself are and have always been a bunch of whiney, self-righteous, self-absorbed, hypocritical cry-babies. The great majority of people in this country don't blame it at every turn for all the world's ills. We know we make mistakes but we also know we are an overwhelming force for good in this world. We are always first to help those in need, protect those in danger and we are always trying to promote freedom.

We are sick of your supposed teaching moments where you think you can tell us what to drive, what to eat, what temperature to keep our homes, how many children to have and how to raise them. This election was about telling you once and for all to mind your darn business. We'll help others in need because we volunteer to, not because the government forces us to.

I hope you take this lesson to heart but I seriously doubt you will.

Posted by: gorams1 | January 20, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Or...maybe Democrats in Mass. were sending a message to the Democratic Party.

"You don't own our vote. We won't vote for a Democrat JUST because he/she is a Democrat. If you want our vote, nominate a quality candidate."

Posted by: MDLaxer | January 20, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone imagine anything so stupid as the Post allowing this Dionne column to appear in their paper?

Isn't this the same Dionne who so blindly supported every Obama and Democrat congress move. Is it possible the Post believes he has any credibility remaining other than with that very small minority in the far left...

Posted by: chod1560equines | January 20, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone imagine anything so stupid as the Post allowing this Dionne column to appear in their paper?

Isn't this the same Dionne who so blindly supported every Obama and Democrat congress move. Is it possible the Post believes he has any credibility remaining other than with that very small minority in the far left...

Posted by: chod1560equines | January 20, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Last night was about people in the middle taking back control from the liberal children.

Coakley lost because of Obama. Any moron with a "Dem" label can win in MA. She was that moron. The difference last night was Obama's agenda that the country is rejecting. It was rejected in VA, NJ, and now MA. Hopefully our leaders are listening and get it. The Chicago-style backroom deals are completely unacceptable and so is the out of control spending.

People like Dionne don't get this. They just blindly support Obama and Pelosi with their misguided idea that money is free and we can just tax people to death.

Posted by: asdf9876 | January 20, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

EJ'sleading sentence. "There is one thing worse than losing an election. It’s losing your dignity, your credibility and your sense of responsibility."
He could have stopped there! :-)
When you promise transparency and you deal in bribery behind closed doors, you lose all credibility! Credibility, once lost, can never be regained!
You cannot promise healthcare that won't raise taxes, is fair for everyone, if you like what you have you can keep it, and the government won't come between you and your Dr. - and we discover it is all lies -you cannot recover!
The tipping point - I think - for the holdouts, was the fact that the bill is still behind closed doors - even C-Span
cannot get in as promised - and we are told that once see it we will like it!!!
Three down - 47 to go!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | January 20, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The majority of Massachusetts voters are registered as Independents.

There are more registered Independents than Democrats and Republicans COMBINED.

The vote wasn't the Democrat's to lose. They had lost before Ted Kennedy's corpse's whiskey evaporated.

The vote was a rejection of the socialist policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Martha Coakley thought joining the socialist bandwagon would get her a Senate seat. She could've won if she promised to help IMPEACH OBAMA.

The American public is very angry with Obama and Congress.

...And won't forget this coming November.

Posted by: bob59 | January 20, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

In November 2008, Americans voted for change.

Instead, Reid, Pelosi and Obama gave them accommodation, negotiation and compromise. They also favored Wall Street and banks with hundreds of billions in bailouts. This was not what people voted for.

Hopefully, this defeat will enrage the Democratic voters enough so their representatives will stop dithering and selling out the programs they claim to support.

Barack Obama’s distant and ’statesman-like’ approach and the vision of building a broad political consensus in a time of serious troubles has not worked.

It is years past time for Reid and Pelosi to step down from leadership posts. It is time to discipline Wall Street and the banks. It is time for Barack Obama to be the advocate and agent of change the people voted for.

It is also time to punish the Republicans for trying to drag America back down the road to ruin. We’ve seen too much of that already.

Posted by: stivgdgy | January 20, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

For once Dionne Jr., You have a good analysis. However you missed the main point of what was rejected, and what will continue to be rejected by American Voters, whether Independent, Democrat, or Republican. That would be progressive liberal extremist policy and agenda.

Now we will see all good liberals claim to be moderates and centerists, like they have done so many times in the past. The educated public will not let them pull it off this time. Fall of 2010 will be a blood bath if the current liberal extremist spend and tax agenda is continued to be rammed down the throats of an unwilling constituency.

A far shift to the right will need to occur. More truely moderate Democrats will need to take back control of the Democrat Party from the liberal extremists. More Conservative Republicans, and Conservative Independents will have to take more positions away from "RINO" Republicans.

You can blaim that the liberal extremist Obama Administration, the liberal Extremist lead and followed Democrat House and Senate, and for people like yourself for that matter Dionne Jr.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | January 20, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: tjhall1 | January 20, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I think I learned a few things

1. Power of the 24 hour news (opinion) networks to intercede and intrude in campaigns and change the whole debate can not be underestimated.
2. Beauty and skin deep matter more than I was aware of in elections
3. Kennedy should have been promoting someone to move into his place.
4. Independents appear to be fair weather friends for any candidate Rep or Dem. No strong beliefs one way or the other, just whatever way the wind is blowing.
5. Republicans do better at getting people in an uproar over issues than do Democrats.
6. Democrats are still like hearding cats.
7. I think I become more cynical all the time.

Posted by: bkeil45 | January 20, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, you and other "pundits" who have been stroking the administration and Democratic congress are as responsible for Brown's win as the politicians. You've consistently written glowing, sychophantic reviews of the current political "leadership" in Washington and the politicians believed their own matter how out of touch you and they are with even "blue-state" voters like those in Massachusetts.

You'd have done the President and Congress better service by approaching the political landscape objectively--telling your readers and the pol's with whom you're star-struck that there was a real and legitimate ground-swell of opposition to their policies (stimulus that didn't stimulate; huge future national debts; health care "reform" with little or not cost-controls.)

But you shrugged off the opinions of people with whom you disagree--accusing them of right-wing stupidity and ignorance.

Who was stupid?

Posted by: mftill | January 20, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

1ofamillion nailed it right on the head.

There are also an increasing number of independents or moderates with Democratic or Republican leanings who have decided that voting for gridlock is now the least bad option.

Posted by: wrs4 | January 20, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama is to blame. While the Republicans were establishing their narrative about Obama spending excessively, where was Obama explaining why the government had to step in and support the flow of money through they system. Obama has taken the side of the Rubin-Summers wrecking crew. He came across as someone who was just happy to be at the table with the power players, not someone who was going to take a leadership position. Contrast his performance on health care with Reagan and Bush, who went in and jammed through their signature legislation in a hurry. With the supermajority requirement and the incredible ignorance of a population raised by tv ads and talk show hosts the US is going right down the tubes. Obama is just another lawyer who wants to split the difference. He doesn't appear to have real values in the policy arena. Like his feckless support for nuclear power. He doesn't want to break up the corrupt system of corporate subsidies. He and his crew failed to recognize that they were being set up to take the blame for the Bush fiasco. Now they failed to take note of the populist rebellion whipped up by the Republicans and like deer in the headlights they are getting run over. IN retrospect they had to be out there promoting their own position and calling the bluff of the faux populists. But no. Obama wanted to bask in the joy of his greatness rather than defend anything worth defending. Let the Congress be the leaders! Great idea, but not why he was elected.

Posted by: scientist1 | January 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

There's one Democratic segment not to blame: the Progressive wing, represented by Howard Dean and Democracy For America, that has been marginalized, patronized and ignored for the last year. Power simply shifted from one side of the Beltway to the other while the Progressive Populism that won in 06 and 08 found itself shut out, letting the national populist momentum shift to the neo-Klan Teabaggers. Where will Progressives go this fall? It's likely they'll watch as Obama and Emanuel hand the country to Sarah Palin and Glen Beck, all they've been asked to do.

Posted by: ericfree | January 20, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Dionne, one of the most "progressive" of Democrats, now changes "we" to "they" when he writes of Democrats. Leftwing pundits also helped spread the word that left is good. Liberal pundits also need to take some of the blame. The American people do not like big, intrusive government. They do not want bureaucrats to tell them what they have to buy even if it is health insurance and it is supposed to be good for them. Keep the government out of our lives and our pockets.

Posted by: mhr614 | January 20, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

After a dreadful year of arrogance and lost opportunities - the old political pendulum is swinging in the other other direction. It should be no surprise that Coakley croaked.

The Massachusetts election was a perfect storm - a powerful Nor'easter and a warning for Frank, Kerry and the president. Political polarization is deadly and so is the word "teabaggers." Yesterday was Obama's Waterloo.

Posted by: alance | January 20, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Took too long??? To craft legislation that affects around 1/6 of our GNP?

I'll bet that 95% of all senators and congressmen never even read half of the crucial legislative language that they were in such a "hurry" to pass.

This is too important of a problem (yes, some of us looney Repubs and Independants see it as a problem that must be addressed) to rush a solution with only one party's input accepted.

You are WRONG EJ.

Posted by: jryan0505 | January 20, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I hear that in the big cities of Massachussetts, there was only a 30% turnout. This is shameful. The real story is that the Democrats are demoralized. And why shouldn't they be? The Bush recession has been hard on the country, the Republican opposition in Congress has been fierce and solid (thank you, Olympia Snowe, for destroying healthcare), and it seems that even with a majority, we cannot pass legislation that the country needs. I repeat, we needed healthcare reform with a public option. It is a sad day for America.

Posted by: bertram2 | January 20, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

From that great philosopher Pogo, "We have met the enemy and they are us".

Posted by: tomfin69 | January 20, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. It's only been a year - did anyone really expect that things could be turned around in 1 year? We were on the edge of the cliff, it takes time to get something this huge turned around and back on course. If you voted for Obama there were no secrets as to his agenda - obviously you agreed with it at the time of your vote.

As for healthcare - can't anyone see the trend - so much unemployment, when one finds a job they usually take a pay cut (the employeer has the upper hand, we settle just to have a job and some money coming in) and now, they will pay higher insurance premiums on a lesser salary. These new pay scales are and will be for some time a trend. The American worker will be working for less while the cost of goods (healthcare) will increase changing for a long time the dynamic of the spending habits of the workers (read: middle class).

One day soon we will all wake up and look around ourselves and ask "oh where, oh where has our middle class gone".

I would like for just one MA voter to tell me one thing - I understand you are fustrated with the progress in WADC, but what has the (any) Republican done for you that has improved the quality of your life in most recent years? Surely you don't believe they will be changing their MO anytime soon and actually look out for you, the middle class do you?

Posted by: Kathy5 | January 20, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Scott Brown stands a good chance to begin rebalancing Washington.

The various versions of the Healthcare bills in the House and the Senate are all fatally flawed peices of potential legislation; and as such, should be immediately, and totaly, scrapped. The bills are all partisan, rewarding blue states and penalizing red states, loaded with massive pork that does nothing to improve the healthcare of the nation, significantly written to enrich the bank accounts and portfolios of Washington legislators and their cronies, and are economic time bombs set to launch a coupe de grace on Americans after Obama leaves office.

Any national healthcare bill should be destroyed and the issue moved to a secondary priority after the tripartate issue of the economy, unemployment, and homelessness due to mortgage defaulting.

When the healthcare issue is brought back for resolution it MUST provide an equal level of access and quality everyone, it MUST cost less than the current system of healthcare costs, and it must provide a standard, basic set of services to everyone.

And yes, it will need to set a limit that the government will not go beyond for spending on any individual's care.

Calling the deciders of that limit a death panel is a gross, self-serving distortion of the truth, a bald-faced lie. The fact of the matter is that the people of the United States cannot afford to provide all of the healthcare needed for everyone who has a catastrophic illness or condition. They'll have to pay the rest themselves, or die.

Even if that person is me.

Posted by: mhoust | January 20, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse


Where is Chuck Schumer today? They just joked on MSNBC -- under the bed!
Chuck can lead the band wagon and resign too.

This nation does not want despotic government and Marxism!

Where is Southers today?

Where is Dodd today?

And E.J. can choke on it too!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | January 20, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

E.J. "The longer congress took, the worse the process looked." Perhaps but the longer the process took, the more we the people came to understand how poor the bill actually is.

Posted by: indypol | January 20, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The Dems thought this election was in the bag. That's why they lost. People don't like being taken for granted.

Posted by: forgetthis | January 20, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

dems/pubs beware. finally the independents and the misguided voters who have loyalty to either party have awakend.this is not about a political party,it is about thinking for urself and seeing thru the bs politicians speak

Posted by: pofinpa | January 20, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Massachusetts voters have forgotten the past 2 Presidential terms? Perhaps they think that Scott Brown will not vote in lockstep with all of the other Republican senators and representatives? Do Massachusetts voters think Democrats need to be punished for Republicans filibustering about 70% of all bills and bringing government to a crawl? That the party that tried to privatize social security cares about them?

Posted by: ACounter | January 20, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The Senate Finance Committee took too long? Are you kidding me? You really don't get it, do you, Dionne? And now Obama's nominee for TSA head has withdrawn his name because of the "political agenda of others." Oh, so does that mean that he and the rest of the Obama crowd don't have their own political agenda? If you're a Democrat, it seems, you don't have an "agendum," you're just right! If you're a Repubican, you have an agendum.

Posted by: georges2 | January 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

If anyone knows about holes, it's Republicans: they created a wilderness in Iraq and called it peace, meanwhile bankrupting our nation and the best they can do is lie about it. We'll be digging out of that hole for a long time. Hold your heads up and pass health care, end the wars and continue to heal the economy. Granted, the loons in the Republican Party will continue to celebrate as if they had a majority in the Congress and owned the White House but guess what? They don't!

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | January 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Brown won because most Democrats and Independents who voted for Obama wanted a real change from the failed policies of the Bush administration. Unfortunately, what they got is just more of the same.

The Democratic leadership in Congress is nothing but a bunch of clueless, incompetent jerks who think they can go on making deals with corporations, selling out their principles, and governing in a complete and utter vacuum.

The Republicans are no better, they would sell their mothers as slaves to the corporations at the drop of a hat.

The oligarchy has won, and we the people lost.

Posted by: Chagasman | January 20, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse


Perhaps we will go from a "dialect free, light-skinned" Black President to a Brown President in 2012........

Ted Kennedy is roasting in hell.....and a Republican got his seat........ain't it KOOL!!!!!

Thanks Obama!!!!!!!

Posted by: georgedixon | January 20, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Mr Dionne still doesn't get it--most Americans want a moderate centrist approach to our problems not a far left agenda which the Obama Administration continues to push. Most of America is outraged by the special deals and secrecy that have been the hallmark of this Democratically controlled congress. Most Americans are not happy with the priorities this Administration has put forth. Healthcare is not the number one issue neither is climate change--its the economy stupid. Most Americans do not want Gitmo closed nor do they want terrorists treated like criminals and lawyered up vs treating them for what they are, enemy combatants. Mr President you had better seek a bipartisan approach to our problems or you will be a one termer and your legacy worse than that of Jimmy Carter. Get a clue.

Posted by: rpg629 | January 20, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious from these comments that governing in the age of the Faux News propaganda machine is going to be impossible unless the Democrats establish a propaganda machine of their own to counter the lies of Ailes & Co. The "he said" "she said" approach of awarding equal time to facts and lies that we're getting from CNN & the MSM is not going to do the trick. What Americans want is a Congress that can legislate, and a Democratic party that sides with the people against big business and Wall Street. Without publicly funded elections, we'll never get that kind of reform, of course.

Posted by: ZenMan1 | January 20, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It is very discouraging, to say the least, to read Comments - if the Comments section is indicative at all of the political situation in this country, it is no wonder our elected representatives haggle a good deal of the time. And another thing! I'm disgusted with the movement for an Independent Party - what the heck does that mean? what do they stand for? Opposition only? It is only natural that there are issues in both parties that the "other side" isn't going to agree with, but do we have to resort to such infantile behavior as name calling etc? Is there such a thing as reasonable disagreement, discussion, and some kind of compromise?

And, yes, I'm really disappointed in the Dems in the Senate - can't hold together. Of course the GOP can hold together, because it does appear they have mostly offered up Opposition and No, instead of trying to be part of the solution.

What a mess!

Posted by: pbboice | January 20, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The circular firing squad from the DEMs this morning is appropriate. Someone needs to be shot, and I suggest that person is Rahm Emmanuel. He needs to be fired.

The President was told by his advisers that 1)health care reform needed to be pushed in 2010; and 2)the President needed to lay low and let Congress hash out a bipartisan bill.
Rahm Emmanuel was the key adviser on this strategy and was the point person to Congress.

The Bipartisan approach turned into an obstructionist game,and the current bill is so weak it has no supporters from the left, the right or the center. It will be killed and deservedly so. A new bill is out of the question this year, so health care reform is dead. 47 million go uninsured and the rest of can expect double digit premium increases for another year.

Regroup, take a run with a clear proposal from the White House, and pass it using reconciliation if you have to in early 2011. Remove Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus from their chairmanships in the Senate now. Lieberman is a traitor (McCain promoter/Dem basher) and Baucus is going to lose his election anyway.

Posted by: LeftGuy | January 20, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

It is very discouraging, to say the least, to read Comments - if the Comments section is indicative at all of the political situation in this country, it is no wonder our elected representatives haggle a good deal of the time. And another thing! I'm disgusted with the movement for an Independent Party - what the heck does that mean? what do they stand for? Opposition only? It is only natural that there are issues in both parties that the "other side" isn't going to agree with, but do we have to resort to such infantile behavior as name calling etc? Is there such a thing as reasonable disagreement, discussion, and some kind of compromise?

And, yes, I'm really disappointed in the Dems in the Senate - can't hold together. Of course the GOP can hold together, because it does appear they have mostly offered up Opposition and No, instead of trying to be part of the solution.

What a mess!

Posted by: pbboice | January 20, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

George I mean Obama and far-left progressives miscalculated one thing in their plan to systematically disassemble America -- 'We the People'

Posted by: seawolfR | January 20, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

American voters reward competence and clarity. The Administration and Congressional Leadership have shown neither.

President Obama - do the things you promised during the 2008 election. No more backsliding or apologizing. And, with regard to the Republicans, call them the liars that they are and TAKE NO PRISONERS.

Finally, you MUST take a stand for the people and against the banks, insurance, and drug companies that are bankrupting average Americans and our nation.

We want results, not more pretty speeches or cute vignettes about Bo and the girls.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | January 20, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The posts from Repubs or conservatives re: this article are overwhelmingly based on anger, swagger and personal attacks. And, of course, misguided "facts" on health care, taxes, etcetc. Grow UP! Just say "no" politics are NOT patriotic. Angry chest-pounding and finger-pointing doesn't result in good policies. Obama is President, not God. Health Care is a complex problem that changes from region to region. The new Senator Brown will now have to come up with something other than "no" to represent the people of Mass.

Posted by: karin5 | January 20, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

This victory should come gift-wrapped with a card signed: "From Max Baucus, with love." At his behest they dithered and now they got burned. Serves them right.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | January 20, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"The Bush years sucked, so we picked a different group, only to find out that they sucked too only for different reasons, and now people are tying to send a message that we really, really want a non-sucky group."

You're not going to get it. You're just going to get a pendulum swing back to the Bush years. Enjoy.

Posted by: crblaisd | January 20, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

All of you Republicans who are crowing about our crushing defeat in Massachusetts should keep in mind that that only reason you won is because the people turned out to vote in such huge numbers.

Posted by: thinking2 | January 20, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

as pbboice wrote"what a mess" Ted Kennedy must be tossing in his grave.. this is an embarassment and it makes my heart sad.. they could lose any seat but Kennedy's seat..the Dems should have put their efforts into overdrive to make sure that this seat of all the seats was protected... sorry arse losers....

Posted by: sabrina2 | January 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Need to find a way to make the white male feel part of all of this change with out making him feel that he is not important. There are still lots of white guys who vote and felt like they were not part of the party. They voted against their own self interest and fell for the same old crap that the republicans put out. The red necks live in massachusetts suburbs and there are many

Posted by: cambridgeman | January 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Dionne, you are a yellow journalist and guilty too of aiding and abetting socialists in America. You are nothing but a mouthpiece for the socialist Obamacons.


Posted by: jim000122 | January 20, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The message is clear. Get on with it. Get things done or you will be punished. it is incomprhensible that anyone would want to return to the disaster of republicon party rule, but if Democrats do not do what they were elected to do there is going to be a price. This is not a repudiation of agenda, it is a repudiation of letting the agenda fall prey to the vultures of the right. Dionne is right. Done. Stitch the wound to the nation and shove the republicons out of the way and get things passed and do it now. The tinfoil hat crowd sees this as validation of their insanity, but it is really a slap in the face to inertia. MOVE already!

Posted by: John1263 | January 20, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

One thing is abundantly clear. Not one of the minions f the right knows what the words socialism, Marxism, communism, or leftist actually means. And from that we can deduce they do not have an inkling of anything they are repeating from fux and the beck show, they are simply repeating the phrases they hear over and over - the mantra of the talking points. If you heard interviews with bown voters it was like they were literally reading a script written and produced by roger ailes - the nixon strategist, and produced by murdoch, the Australian who is in charge of the republicon party agenda.

Posted by: John1263 | January 20, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

And don't forget the stupidity of the American people--simple-minded, good-hearted souls who seemed really to enjoy being led to the edge of fascism by Shrub. Well, in the next election they can allow themselves to be pushed over the edge as they vote out of office the only hope for saving this country and its political values. Dems may be wimps who are shocked whenever the far right acts like a passel of snakes, not to mention snakeoil salesmen, but they do understand what even Adam Smith understood--capitalism without government intervention to provide a safety net results in the concentration of wealth in a few hands. And that, my friends, is how fascism is born!

Posted by: douard1 | January 20, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

For me, this is pretty simple. Democrats really wanted to push for Single Payer health insurance but wimped out when push came to shove. The current "Frankenstein" health care bill is an abomination that pleases no one. As a result, Dems look weak as leaders and are being punished by the electorate.

If you care more about keeping your seat than leading and making positive, progressive change then you will pay the price. Leadership takes guts and the Dems are looking pretty gutless at the moment...

Posted by: daddybat | January 20, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats lost the Massachusetts senate seat for one simple reason that Democrats do not seem able or willing to grasp: most Americans do not want the federal government dictating how they should live their lives.

Democrats did not lose their majority in 1994 because they failed to pass government-run health care, but because they tried and it scared the crap out of people.

Democrats will not retain their majority in 2010 if they proceed with adopting (i.e., ramming down our throats) their step #1 on the road to universal, government-run health care. Rather, they will lose it - again.

Think about. United States Senator-elect Scott Brown, Republican from Massachusetts, (has a nice ring to it, eh?) was very forthcoming in his position on what the Democrats in Washington were doing on the issue of health care. There was no mistaking his position. And the people of Massachusetts agreed with him.

It's just that simple.

Posted by: bbahler | January 20, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This is a diagram of what has transpired in the Democratic party- they won the BIG election and staked out their majority and then all they did was 1) posture, 2) posture, 3)fight with Republicans, 4) embarrass themselves by continuing to behave in ways that were ridiculous, irresponsble, out of touch and unproductive. They have had a rare opportunity to use this platform to start to make government sensible and responsive and fiscally mature- but that doesn't do much for the ego or the bank account, does it. Winning for winning's sake is not vistory because it is completely hollow. The Republicans have not fared much better with their behavior, but they are not serving the ball right now, so the audience is beginning to root, for no real or dynamic reason, for the underdog. Massachusetts Democrats and the whole national party should be really ashamed of themselves- this really should have been a slam dunk- but to use a sports metaphor, there is always an Appalachia State to stagger a Michigan.

Posted by: poppysue85 | January 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne - you don't get it either - the health care bill is one of the worst, pork laden bills even - Americans' want health care reform, but not as pork barrel full of special deals.

Posted by: sarno | January 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats had any brains they would hire David Ploufe to run the National Democratic Party. The fundamental flaws in this campaign starting with the national party president down to the local strategy which was horribly flawed. It's a harsh wake up call we didn't want, but in many ways it might avert a bigger disaster in November if someone steps up to the plate and makes some strategic moves. If health care fails, besides rising premiums for employees, they will see deductibles rise as well. By 2012, you will see deductibles go to $1000, $2500 and $5000 as wages continue to stagnate, premiums rise, as wokers cannot afford the monthly payment of a $500 deductible policy. We in America always wait until a disaster happens before we act. Let a US airliner go down, not because of a terrorist, but because the mechnical work was outsourced to cheap labor. Then everyone will be outraged and maybe something will change. With health care, perhaps 1 Million people need to go without health care to jam the emergency rooms so hospitals and communities go bankrupt and more people need to die needlessly so that someone finally recognnizes we really do have a problem. I guarantee you this, if the Republican Party comes back to power, you will not see a health care bill, you will not see much in way of anything that benefits the American people other than tax cuts for the rich and for corporations and wars. The tax cuts gain votes of the ignorant and the other feeds elected ego and their legacy. Just ask George W.

Posted by: rectifyitnow | January 20, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Please---Martha had baggage (incredibly tone deaf and was gaffing daily), Scott made sense, but more importantly, exit polls indicate that 90+% of voters that voted for Brown were down on the health care legislation.

That should be the message here; all the deals that were done to secure the 60 votes turned a bad idea into one that not even the voters of MA could swallow--and that's a mouthful.

One other thing, when Obama shows up saying nothing about the specific issues and knocks the outsider driving an old truck, you know he really is adding nothing to the exchange. How sad to see the great orator trying to sound folksy but coming off as a street hustler--pathetic really.

Posted by: mr986 | January 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Come one EJ. How can you still not get it. It's the platform and the people's collective response to it. Modern democratic policy is an autoimmune disease. Witness the "circular firing squad".

Posted by: rogerherd | January 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Would be unkind to point out that the people of Massachusetts may have opted fellow Americans out of the health care benefits they currently enjoy? That the cause favourite native sons aspired has been put in harms way? What exactly did Brown promise aside from obstructionism? Less taxes, less regulation, less government...a recipe for...what Obama inhereted and is being punished for not extracting Americans from, fast enough?

Posted by: lescaine | January 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

> All of you Republicans who are crowing
> about our crushing defeat in
> Massachusetts should keep in mind that
> that only reason you won is because the
> people turned out to vote in such huge
> numbers.

Exactly. It shows that most people, even in Massacusetts, do not like the statist agenda of the Democrat Party.

Posted by: narceleb | January 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Stop blaming the Dems, Dionne, until you start blaming the media too. The media has let the corporates win in their attempt to derail healthcare reform by lying about what is in the bills. They have scared people with gossip and lies, and the media let it happen. The media has criticized Obama on everything he has said, down to his very breath. The media is in the corporate pocket. The media is the poodle of the rich. The media is spreading these misperceptions and so this country will fail because the rich don't care about this country. The rich can move wherever they wish. The rich people are who I blame. They will be our downfall. All for a profit. Sell the country out for a profit, and the media is helping them do it. You are to blame Dionne. You are the media. And even though the Republicans are also the poodle of the rich, the media allows them to pretend, like this Scott Brown, that they are for the people, when they only will do the bidding of rich. They won't help average Americans, only the rich, but the media lets them get away with that pretense.

Posted by: goldie2 | January 20, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter woke this country up. Barry Obama is doing the same thing. This country is majority center right and when the wacked out liberals come along and ruin the economy and endanger the country with incompetent foreign policy people vote them out of office. Obama is a phony and he's incompetent.

He has refused to support the people in Iran risking their lives to overthrow crazy Islamic terrorist who run the country and he refused to even meet with the Dali Lama, who to the wacked out liberals, is as close to Jesus Christ (God incarnate) as one can get. Plus he goes around the world bowing to people like he's a moron and then insulting us be denying that he does it.

The guys a joke and unemployment is stuck at a real rate of 17% and Barry's stuck on stupid. Bye, bye Barry you one term loser.

Posted by: djo4 | January 20, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The reason Democrats make a "circular firing squad" and won't stand up to take responsibility is because the whole premise of liberalism and Democrat policies is to shirk the blame - it's not my fault I can't get a job, it's not my fault I don't have health insurance, it's not my fault I can't control my actions, and it's not my fault that I lost this election. When you peddle an ideology based on equally distributing blame and responsibility across society then you reap a party that can't take the blame.

Posted by: allenkris02 | January 20, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama has become the kiss of death for Democrats.

Posted by: Jerzy | January 20, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

It is not over till the fat lady sings. Hopefuly she is not republican!

Posted by: artg | January 20, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy's endorsement of liberal Barrack Obama over centrist Hillary Clinton has put an end to his legacy. The Armani liberals who don't pay their taxes but want to redistribute the wealth of the hard-working middle class have just been put on notice. This coup took place in the Senate, but this election was about Nancy Pelosi and her ultra-left-wing agenda. The crowd needed to find middle ground with their centrist counterparts. They played chicken and now they have lost all hope of passing health care reform. And come next January, Nancy Pelosi will be the House Minority Leader.

Posted by: pepperjade | January 20, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

A major victory for the special interests. This is exactly what happens when you allow corporate interests to pump election dollars into a democracy that equals the GDP of many of the world's countries. The fix is in people, and the special corporate interests couldn't be happier while Republicans and Democrats stay at each others throats. NOTHING GETS DONE and nobody seriously addresses the countries very real problems.

The United States of America is a joke of a country. Fiscally bankrupt, morally bankrupt and intellectually bankrupt. God help us all.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 20, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, it was all the dems fault. They pushed through healthcare when that wasn't the most important issue. It's the economy. The few things they've tried failed or had more to do with helping auto industry and wall street/banks then average americans. meanwhile, high unemployment, more troops overseas, housing market slump, state and local govt/schools are having to cut back and raise taxes...Where does it end. and then today you read that India has hired on more then 16K people to do the same jobs that could have been done in the US. So, why is it I lived within my means and get penalized for all the people that were either ignorant or didn't care? The dems gave away billions to banks/wall street without any rules so they could party and payout big bonuses. yeah, think the dems(and Obama) talked about change but nothing has really changed. I didn't think anyone could catch Bush for worst president but Obabma seems to be coming close. I wonder how he'll explain that to his daughters???

Posted by: larry40 | January 20, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The real problem is that D's and R's are so focused on grabbing and holding on to power that "we the people" have been shoved to one side and forgotten. Maybe it's a good thing that no one party has a filibuster-proof majority. Maybe if both sides stopped bashing each other over the head and started actually working on the issues, holding substantive discussions, and actually getting some things done, we voters could put aside our disgust and maybe have a little faith in the people who are supposed to represent us. If not, there's always the November elections. We can throw some of the bums out then, the rest of them in 2012.

Posted by: n_mcguire | January 20, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

These A@@ho&* Repugs continue to amaze me. They drape themselves in the Flag and wave Bibles spouting their piety, while continuing to flog the poor and most unfortunate. They ignore that most of the Democrats have health insurance but are really concerned with their fellow citizens. For the richest country in human history to REFUSE to provide basic health care to the most vulnerable of its citizens is a mortal SIN and we will answer for it. The Democrats understand this and want to do something. The Repugs stand on the corner and loudly proclaim that they care also, but refuse to support any reform or offer solutions. How disgraceful.
In March of last year President Obama said, a govt. run health care program was not most important to him. If 2 Repugs agreed to support a program without a universal health care plan Obama would not have had to make a deal with the Unions, or Lieberman, or the Senator from Nebraska. They did everything they could to destroy or water down the bill and now proclaim “They will support a good bill. Bottom line, the Repugs do not want health reform. Period.

Posted by: GabsDaD | January 20, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Don't you mean to say, WE DEMOCRATS ARE ALL GUILTY, AJ?

Posted by: InHarmsWay | January 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Blame Obama's lazy as.s. He never shows the energy that for better or worse showed Bush to advance his agenda in congress. Obama'a is probably the laziest and detached president ever.

Posted by: bluelagoon21 | January 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Thank you EJ, for telling it like it is! There is blame enough to go around and in particular for the infantile demands by left leaning Dems to get everything they wished. How did these people get into congress? Faced with a Republican Party determined to destroy Obama, they willingly assisted. I can only hope they are next to be axed so they can experience more years of dangerous extremes of wealth and poverty in this country. A pox on both their houses.

Posted by: kaycwagner | January 20, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

EJ...You still don`t get it.Scott Brown`s victory is a bold,clear rejection of the bulk of your ideology.Obamacare is still about to be jammed down the throat of Americans who are gagging on this corrupt,flawed legislation.

Posted by: bowspray | January 20, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It would appear that the Democrats strategy of "blame Bush for everything" is starting to run out of steam with the American people...

Posted by: wolfcastle | January 20, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Really, EJ? You think rushing to pass a health care reform bill before anyone knew it would have been the right strategy? You mean the same one the CBO said would cost $2 trillion? Keep thinking like that and it's over for the Dems for another 20 years.

Posted by: GodFamilyNation | January 20, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Nice spin, E.J. Coakley lost because she was asleep? Not true and you should know it. Her decline in the polls nicely coincided with three disgusting developments - Ben Nelson's cornhusker kickback, the vote to exempt union healthcare plans from the Cadillac tax, and the reading of Miranda rights to the Christmas terrorist. All three were in the service of Obama's hard-left agenda. The people of MA spoke. You apparently STILL aren't listening. See ya in November!!

Posted by: mastermind238 | January 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This daughter pimping, tea bagging, porn star ran as an independent. None of his placards mentioned the Repug party. He took party money but refused to even say the word Republican! Even at his acceptance speech he never said Republican. NOW he has to go to Washington and vote as Mitch McConnell tells him. The Repug party allows no independence, brooks no dissensions and tolerates no independent thought. He will vote as told and in four years will have to explain to MA voters why he is not a Repug. P.T. Barnum said you can fool most of the some of the time. Brown has just proved him right.

Posted by: GabsDaD | January 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Feel I'm goin' back to Massachusetts,

Something's telling me I must go home.

And the lights all went out in Massachusetts

I will remember Massachusetts

Posted by: lescaine | January 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bigger question is, who's next? Kerry? Frank? Maybe Reid? Nelson? Landrieu? Out of power for almost 20 get the presidency, control of both houses and yet you all blow it in less than a all are hardly qualified to manage a 7-11, forget about health care.

Posted by: luca_20009 | January 20, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

EJ continues to amaze with his blind cluelessness. The Healthcare bill that he wanted passed in the summer was a piece of garbage that most Democrats didn't want (who cares about the Republicans, the Dems were bullet proof at the time). The "progressive", read communist, wing of the Democrat party was monolithically for a federally controlled program. The "Blue Dogs", who's political future is now doomed by their linkage with the extreme left of their party, wanted a more transitional approach. The Dems were arguing amonst themselves because the bill was crap and everyone from all sides knew it. Then the horse trading began, $300 million of tax payer money to buy off Louisiana, Hundreds of millions more of taxpayer money to by off Ben Nelson, Hundreds of millions more to buy off other votes. The final blow was carving out the unions as the final payoff for their support and excluding them from the "Cadillac tax" thereby creating different classes of victims in the move to government control of healthcare.

The tax payers are not pleased with the Democrat leadership using their money to buy votes. If the bill was so good, why do they have to buy votes from their own party? The 11th hour closed door deal with the unions may have been the final straw and if EJ and other apologists don't see that pay off as wrong, then fine, you will be doomed to repeat last nights defeat only in exponential numbers in November.

The other message? Obama's promise of openness which was one of the most captivating virtues of his campaign, has been completely and totally ignored and the press and no one in the Dem Leadership seems the least bit concerned. The Healthcare bill process has had all the appearances of a Trotsky/Lenin Bolshevick takeover and nothing of leaderhip expected of a Democratic Republic. Most fair minded citizens view this for what it has been, regardless of party affiliation, and they don’t like what they see. Dem Learship – Ignore at your own peril. Republican Leadership – Read into this an acknowledgement of your positions (or lack thereof) at your peril.

Posted by: slainte1 | January 20, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My vote for Brown yesterday was a message to national Democrats that you cannot take your liberal base for granted. You cannot bargain away the public option. You cannot impose a Cadillac tax instead of a Millionaires' tax. You cannot impose restrictions on a woman's right to choose. Brown is a protest vote now, and gone in 3 years. I want the vacillators and gutless wonders to know that they are not safe bargaining away the liberal agenda they were elected on in 2008.

Posted by: seve2yoo | January 20, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

..."I too have told the President for months he has "Fools" for advisers, "Told him his poll numbers are falling like a rock, still they didn't listen to me, now I don't care anymore, they blew it you hit the nail right on the head sir, the Democrats took too long to pass this Universal Health Care Bill, too the Mass Race for granted and "BLEW IT!

..."I'm done with the Obama Adiminstration until they clean house and get rid of these fools they have for adisers, they are ruining the President, ruining the Democrats, and as a registered Voter/Vet USAF, I am disgusted with them...

No wonder American's don't Vote, "NO WONDER...

Posted by: ztcb41 | January 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I see this as a start for Obama abandoning the lefty loons and moving to the center. Unfortunately by moving to the center and casting off the lefties he may have a better chance of getting elected for a second term in 2012.

Posted by: fastaire | January 20, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Ted regreted not working with Nixon on upgraded health care for Americans. Did he sense that was America's last best chance?

Posted by: lescaine | January 20, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

A clueless writer the Post has hired for this column.

The issue is that "normal" citizens (not the nut cases on the far left or right) are not happy with Obama and the DNC. They were not happy with W either.

Nobody wants Obamacare other than those whose bribes got them a good deal.

Nobody wants Tax and Cap of $1 Trillion on the bad economy except for the tree huggers.

Everybody knows the "stimulus" package was $1 Trillion in waste, pork, and payback slush.

Clinton was right, it is the ECONOMY STUPID. Unemployment is at 15%+ and growing. National Debt (including all the govt IOU's sitting with Social Security) is well over $50 TRILLION and growing.

The DNC we have to day is a far left, extreme nutcase gang that normal America rejects. They also threw out W and his gang.

2010 in the fall alot of other DNC bootlickers are going to get thrown out too as a result.

Posted by: snuf | January 20, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia to Obama & Democrats:


It's beginning to look a look a like November...

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | January 20, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse


Obama never wants to enforce immigration laws so illegal immigrants can keep receiving welfare and healthcare benefits...... In fact, Obama, with his immigration reform, wants to naturalize twelve million illegal immigrants so they can get healthcare insurance and vote for his Democratic Party.

People see right thru the corruption and schemes of this administration. Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangle and the like, need to be culled from government. Our government is ethically bankrupt.

Posted by: richard36 | January 20, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

EJ - add you as one more Dem in denial. It was NOT that the DEMs took to long on was the longer it stood out - the more it could not stand the light of day. It was a dying fish - it stuck up the place..but the dems were convinced to jam it down our throats. The final nail was the special favor to the unions - exempting them from a cadillac tax that the rest of america's working slobs would have to pay. Time to wake up EJ - its the agenda - its the policies.

Finally - I'll bet a thousand bucks now - Obama's state of the union will try and be a populist those evil banks for getting us here..meantime - they paid back their loans w/ interest - but what of GM-Chrysler - where's the tax on them - they have yet to pay back a cent.

You dems are in denial.

Posted by: short1 | January 20, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

What allowed a Republican victory in this most Democratic of districts is the public's growing fear that Obama + 60 Senate Democrats = the USA spending itself into oblivion over the next 15-20 years. It was the reason why I could not bring myself to vote for Obama and it was a fear in the back of many people's minds (especially independents) that did. That fear has now been realized. The naked accounting lies the Dems are employing in an attempt to show this bill as a fiscally responsible exercise are laughable. Anyone with half a brain is seeing right through them and it, among other things, has cost the Democrats their credibility.

You cannot reorganize 1/6 of the world's largest economy without debate. Dionne is dead wrong in thinking that this needed to be done faster. The quickness of the pace is only adding to people's fear and apprehension. The ugliness involved in crafting such a bill does not help, but that does not seem to be one of the primary concerns people have about this bill. It is just another tired excuse Democrats are using to try and explain away the bill's lack of popularity. Why they do not understand that a great many people are fundamentally very satisfied with their healthcare and are extremely wary of having it tampered with is beyond me. Add to that the well founded fear that we are putting ourselves in a financially untenable situation plus the outright and obvious lies that the Dems have fed the people (yes the Repubs have lied plenty too) and you have ample reason to not like where this bill is taking us.

Posted by: jmcdavisum | January 20, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, and David Plouffe are all out and about reassuring us that they don't get the message.

Nancy Pelosi will never in a thousand years get 218 votes to pass the Senate health bill.

The most significant impact of the election is not the end of the Senate super-majority: it is the terror that it has awakened in incumbent Democrats. As Brown said last night: "If this can happen in Massachusetts, it can happen anywhere". Every incumbent Congressional Democrat is on the phone this morning to his/her pollster.

EJ Dionne is the last person I would have expected to understand this, given the partisan blinders that are his trademark. But I think he actually does -- finally.

Posted by: miglefitz | January 20, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

A major victory for the special interests. This is exactly what happens when you allow corporate interests to pump election dollars into a democracy that equals the GDP of many of the world's countries. The fix is in people, and the special corporate interests couldn't be happier while Republicans and Democrats stay at each others throats. NOTHING GETS DONE and nobody seriously addresses the countries very real problems.

The United States of America is a joke of a country. Fiscally bankrupt, morally bankrupt and intellectually bankrupt. God help us all.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 20, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Dionne and the Dems (sounds like a 50's doo-wop group) are sticking their head in the sand. There's not one word in this column about the pure visceral anger over the Cornhusker kickback, the union tax-emption, and Obama breaking his holier-than-thou pledge to put the negotations on C-SPAN.

Posted by: Chippewa | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse


You are the typical Liberal liar, the "Iraq War" does not cost "1 Trillion dollars" per year. That would be just under 10% of our GDP. Of course, since you know nothing about facts that does not raise any alarm bells.

Perhaps this will, we have spent under 1 Trillion dollars for the entire war, um like 20% less than you claim for the entire war. Not that facts matter to people like you. "Worst thing ever will happen to people if what I say is not accepted!!! Please, we see you now,horrible little taebaggaettte that you are.

Do you want me to teabag you to make you feel better. I mean that only in a political way. Not in any other funny way. Really, should I? Your mouth sure is pretty.

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | January 20, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse


I don't know how to break this to you but special interests have always played a primary role in American politics. Our time is not at all unique. As messy as the process is it has a proven track record. Your pessimism is baseless. Our fiscally tenuous situation is a concern, but to say that we are bankrupt is just silly. Grow up

Posted by: jmcdavisum | January 20, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

You still don't get it EJ. It's not that healthcare reform hasn't been enacted. It's the fact that we don't want it or the other debt laden schemes of Obama and your liberal cronies. Please keep your head in the sand until November cause you ain't seen nothing yet. Moron.

Posted by: bandsposs | January 20, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to popular opinion, this is not the end of the world. Obama may not be soft on terrorism, but HE IS soft on bankers. His administration is full of technocrats who imagine that God is on their side and are full of arrogance and hubris. We have spent the entire summer accomplishing nothing, except splitting hairs over health insurance. Meanwhile, people continue to lose their jobs, their homes and their lifetime savings. The voters of Massachusetts - like most of the rest of us - don't know what to do about all of this, except to get somebody else. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't.

Posted by: sameolddoc | January 20, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It turns out the Democratic majority in Massachusetts (80% of registered voters) are just like Republicans in that they prefer greedy self-interest over party and nation. They voted against the Obama health plan because they already have universal health care in their state and don't want any new national plan roiling the Bay.

The legacy of Teddy Kennedy meant nothing to them. They have theirs. Screw the rest of the country.

Posted by: jest70 | January 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

No point in blaming Democrats or Republicans.

We the People deserve the government we vote for.

Anyway you look at it, what we've got and what we're getting is pretty sad and getting sadder.

An institutionally crippled, deadlocked Senate is no victory for anyone, except the predatory rich and powerful, the insurance, Wall Street and Big Oil interests that now look forward to more of the same unrestrained greed and profiteering at public risk and public expense, all of it underwritten still by that most gullible of creatures, the average American taxpayer.

Posted by: washpost29 | January 20, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

One way to fight back against the Waterloo Republicans may be to identify the health insurance status quo with a name -- the name of a major funder of the tea party and anti-reform effort: Scaifecare.

Posted by: PaulBalt | January 20, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who voted for Obama is guilty.

Thankfully, many of them are now making amends for their grievous mistake.

OBAMA is actually an acronym for:


Posted by: Jerzy | January 20, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Republicans vs Dems ... it's all the same rotten kettle of fish. Its power and while the world is distracted those fish are making plans!

Posted by: wildernesslight | January 20, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

President Obama and his gang who can't shoot (or talk) straight may have made a pig's breakfast of his first year in office, the Christmas plane bomber security lapse, and the Republican win in Massachusetts - thus losing the 60th Dem seat in the Senate.

But President 2Kool did manage to go on vacation in Hawaii, wander the beach, shoot some hoops, do some posing for GQ, and work on his all-important washboard abs. So his first year as America's CEO wasn't a total waste.

Maybe the new one will go better. Who knows? Stranger things have been known to happen.

Maybe he'll even come out of his coma!

Thanks much. HLB

Posted by: HLBeckPE | January 20, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

One lesson to be learned is that voters are a lot smarter than most politicians think. In the case of last night's upset victory, I believe that voters united in wanting to put the brakes on Washington by denying Senate dems their super majority.
Now that this has been accomplished, voters will expect both parties to sit down and jointly solve America's most pressing problems. Which is to say, both Dems and Repubs are now on the hook for getting it together by November.

Posted by: mtpeaks | January 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

EJ: As an independent, moderate female voter in Massachusetts I agree completely.
President Obama and his administration wasted a year on a costly healthcare reform bill that remains unresolved.
Instead they should have focused like a laser on the economy and jobs.
Many voters are still scared and hurting from a weak economy and double digit unemployment, losing homes, savings and retirements, fighting two endless wars and a huge federal debt.
Many voters are also angry with arrogant, self-serving politicians (as in my state with one-party, Democrat rule and accompanying corruption) who forgot they were elected to serve the people...and the anger is aimed equally at both Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by: pjsilva | January 20, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

You are so lucky Gibbs is the guy that looks worse than Obama right now.

I hope you take the time today, to go to the voter registration office and move to the Independent Party.

The people are done with the electoral college over taking the simple "one man one vote" plan of the people today.

Posted by: dottydo | January 20, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, no one can win elections by saying, "please accept rationing on your own health care so that we can afford to cover other people who don't now have insurance". That's what Democrats are now in the position of defending.

It would have been smarter to Federalize the unemployment insurance and Medicaid programs, and tighten up some of the restrictions now in play- like the problems with pre-existing conditions. Congress can still do that, with Republican support. You can make the case that these costs will go down, on their own, when the economy recovers; that this is just a temporary measure to help people who have no jobs.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | January 20, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is jumping on the "anti-Washington" angle but I think everyone is missing the compelling local issue of "Gates-gate," i.e., when President Obama gave his opinion on the arrest of his friend Henry Gates. I, for one, thought his comments were spot on and that he had nothing to apologize for. But my guess is that they left a bitter taste in the white ethnic cop and firemen constituency (who all enjoy generous, government-subsidized health plans)

Posted by: Cossackathon | January 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

JCM-51 wrote:
"...did it ever occur to you liberal loons that it was not the campaign, it was the platform--America is fed up with Obama and his cronies"

Yes, the thought occurred, but since we're NOT stupid, it was rejected out of hand.

JCM-5, In case you have trouble remembering something so far back, the American people kicked out Bush and *his* cronies a year ago.

Democrats can't get anything done because of the obstructionist strategies invented by Gingrich in the 90s. They still work. Now they'll be prevented by the lack of a majority.

I'm no Obama fan. Clinton, Bush, Obama - really every president after Carter has been bought and paid for by the wealthy. But this defeat has nothing to do with him so much as it does a with frustration over a country that's so evenly divided that nothing can happen.

Posted by: ian807 | January 20, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Guilty? Yes you are Dionne...

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The floggings will continue until the democrats pay attention to the people. The face spankings of people like Dionne and Robinson will continue because it's so satisfying.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately for the GOP the American voter has a very short memory. The last time the GOP controlled things, the country was brought to its knees and nearly collapsed. Why anyone would want to return to a party that throughout the first decade of this century proved over and over and over again that it could not govern and was corrupt to its core is beyond me. But hey, plenty of people in this country believe the earth is 4,000 years old and Adam and Eve were real people. Go figure.

Posted by: raqualung | January 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It would be interesting to see the "Dems for Dummies" talking point sent to E.J. post results so that he could include them in this supposed "column": oh go eat a bagel Dionne after church! It will do you well.

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | January 20, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As much as anything, this was a referendum on Obama, and the Progressive Congressional and Senatorial leadership. The voters, across the country are disgusted with the lies, the corruption, the back room deals that this administration has brought to Washington.

Posted by: mike85 | January 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Cheer up, losers. You'll soon see how fast the Party of No becomes the Party of Yes, just as quickly as America can get back to its business of making the rich richer, the poor more numerous (but quieter, thank you, Jeebus) and oil-rich countries nervous.

Once it was kind of sad watching a formerly-great country collapse into bickering, greed and screeching craziness. Now, it can't happen fast enough. Get it over with.

Posted by: marknesop | January 20, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 wrote: "We'll have to see if Washington gets the message. This election, in every single exit poll, was about JOBS and..."
Um, there was no exit polling in Mass last night.
And all you people carping about the "liberal Dems health care bill" haven't been paying attention either - all the liberal parts were stripped out to pacify conservatives.

Posted by: sylkyj | January 20, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thw Obama administration corrupt? Cite a single piece of evidence of this, please. You have this administration confused with the last one, I'm afraid.

Posted by: raqualung | January 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts has made health care a priority - so don't you think that Massachusetts citizens know what they are talking about, from on-the-ground experience, when they express displeasure with health care reform?

Obama should have been watching this race more closely? What other state has democrats so liberal? What's to watch? Who'd a thunk? Coakley shoulda, coulda, woulda... been a shoe-in.

When Republicans are in power, there's the constant grousing that 'if it weren't for THEM...' Well, now, there's a Democrat in the White House again. Massachusetts out-liberals everyone else and yet - who's so damned happy about it? (aside from the gay couples who move there to marry?)

You just love what the Democrats have done? You vote for them. As simple as that. You don't love the package they've handed you, you withhold your vote. Equally simple.

Posted by: KathyWi | January 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

There was exit polling done. Rasmussen.
The number one issue and reason he won was the HEALTHCARE BILL. They do not want socialized medicine forced on them against their will.

This was the message sent. There is nothing to spin about it, there is only accepting it as the will of the people or taking the stand of tyrants and going against them.

Posted by: Elisa2 | January 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I have been pondering a scenario in which having 41 votes prevents Republicans from claiming that the Democrats are excluding them because they don't need them, and will, in fact, have to play along for fear of being accused of actually obstructing any reform. That won't happen unless Democrats actually make a public splash of entertaining Republican suggestions to fix the bill in response to their having obtained a 41st seat, even if only out of necessity, but someone might be clever enough to launch such a strategy. If Republicans fear that actually being responsible for obstructing any reform by refusing to even discuss changes, someone might suggest discussing some real improvements to the legislation so Republicans could take even more credit for fixing the bill with their 41st vote than they would for just using the 41st vote to kill it, and avoid the risk of being exposed as just wanting to obstruct.

it's a theory

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 20, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the Republicans to make a come back. They will fix the economy and banking problems, repeal the Patriot Act, pave all the roads, lower health care costs, and allow free trade again. They will clean up the mess Bush left and bomb Iran off the map Their pockets will be full. Hide the women and children.

Posted by: clairevb | January 20, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Once again the Democratic party shoots themselves in the foot. I am beginning to think that they are to educated. Now lets look at the Republican party members - they ran a young, handsome fellow against our grandma. He has a young following because he has young children and he communicated well plus he is easy on the eyes. Full of life and a picture to show what is under the suits. Leaving nothing to the imagination.

This is one reason the President was elected plus he is so smart. I love him-but he can not do the job without everyone in the party pulling together to support him. When the teabaggers march then we should be marching longer; when they paraded down the streets with a painted sign of our President then we should have sued for deflamation of character. We need to hit them where they will feel it - the wallet. This will leave a lasting impression.

Posted by: sun52shine | January 20, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

No, EJ - it is you, and all those who aided, abetted, enabled this neophyte to run for presidency. The guy with barely six months of being a senator, declares for presidency, and all of you "progressives" who were looking for instant absolution from years of past discrimination saw this as a "Get Out of Jail" card and cast your lot with him. In the process you pilloried and pounced on anybody in his way.

You made your bed. Lie and enjoy.

Posted by: pKrishna43 | January 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Harry Truman said that if people have a choice between a Republican and a Republican, people will vote for the Republican every time. Obama's main problem was trying to be bipartisan and make nice with the Republicans, while the Republicans were never going to make nice with him. They were going to scream "SOCIALIST!" no matter what he did or how accommodating he tried to be. Obama had a huge mandate and he pissed it away sucking up to Republicans rather than the Democratic Party's base. He should have tried a lot harder on the health care bill, he should have closed Gitmo and canned the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy by now, and he should have prosecuted Bush and his cronies for their many well-documented crimes (yes, crimes!). What he should do now is can Geithner and his other financial advisers and stick it to all these creepy bankers in no uncertain terms. He should also take Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman out back behind the barn and beat the ever-lovin' crap out of them. Would LBJ have put up with those jerks? The "Mr. Cool" strategy has outlived its usefulness, if it ever was useful. The time to hesitate is through, no time to wallow in the mire. Come on, 'bama, light my fire!

Posted by: rbmurals | January 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

EJ: re > "Those Democrats whose mistakes led to this fiasco know who they are."

Well for heaven's sake: NAME some Names!!!!

This is more of the insider/inside the beltway elitism that makes ordinary every day people want to puke and makes me know that you fellas up there are completely in collusion with them.

Your job is not to support either party but to expose them to the citizens.

EXPOSE them and do your job please!

Posted by: demsRwimps | January 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

This race going the way it did isn't about Dems or Reps. It's about people fed up with nothing getting done. If party A isn't doing it, what's the other choice? Party B. The problem is, we had party B for 12 years in Congress and 8 years in the White House, and look where it got us. Now party A has been worthless since getting the majority, with party B doing everything they can to obstruct. Neither of these parties is doing the work of the American people. They're doing whatever they think they have to do to get reelected. Someone needs to remind them that their job is not to get reelected.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | January 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, you are dead wrong, the Democrats were given their report card for 2009 and they got a failing grade; it is as simple as that.

Posted by: edfo | January 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

My comments are irrelevent like most comments but I offer a few observation. Amongst all the too big to fail is the government. Like wise politicians of all stripes will fail. The democrats always seem to grasp failure from success and republicans know this and regardless of how bad they are they can always find a worse democrat. George Bush was so bad he caused the democrats to win and now the democrats are so bad that the republicans win. It's ground hog day all over again. 75% of the democrats helped Bush and the republicans to spend 7 or 8 trillion dollars with no intention of ever paying for it as Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah said in an interview two weeks ago tha republicans have no intention of paying for anything. They just want to bankrupt the Federal government I would guess. Do all these A holes hate America that much? If so, then I think it is time to Vote all incumbents out of office other wise we will continue to have ground hogs day. When I was in Vietnam the scuttlebutt was save all the good ones on a boat and nuke the rest then sink the boat to make sure we got all the bad ones. It is time to sink the congress boat with all the republicans and democrats and just hang any left overs.

Posted by: n2avalon | January 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

So, you're saying the Senate was too slow in moving on this thing? We're not buying a new a set of silverware! This bill warrants a lot more than the rush job that already has happened. And you want them to move faster? Why? So they can sneak more crap past an American public that doesn't want this and knows what the end result will be? You should be in Congress. You're as corrupt as most of them are.

Posted by: TheDubb | January 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Just passing a bill for the sake of passing a bill, does not a good bill make.

Red flags went up as soon as Obama gave the nation his initial timeline of 2 weeks to bring a bill to the voting floor. The country went in an uproar and people at town-hall meetings became raucous.

You can't rush a bill that will affect 1/6 of the national economy through in a matter of weeks.

Also, Dionne, yours and Eugene's blinders are still on. Look at the latest polls from August until now, and you will see that the country does not want the healthcare version Congress is trying to press upon us. By withholding the details from America, and refusing to make the process open and on the record, the situation was made worse.

Time to get a clue and face the facts, that passing a bill, just to pass one, will not be beneficial for the country. Besides, since the Senate version of the bill doesn't start most of its benefits until 3 years down the road, what is the rush?? Its not like it will make an immediate impact.

Like most of the time, Dionne, you are dead wrong, and the voters in New Jersey, Virginia, and now Massachusetts have made that clear.

Posted by: alutz08 | January 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Another, really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: stephenwhelton | January 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

E.J. it looks like your socialist lost and the founding principals won. If you think I'm sorry, I'm not. If things are so intolerable for you here, head to Havana. I'm sure they could use someone of your stature down there. By the way, don't let the door hit you on your backside on the way out.

Posted by: panamajack | January 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Do not worry! We're on the right track. Scottie the pick-up truck driver will hire Joe the Plumber and we'll unplug this mess soon. Likewise we'll move faster down the drain.

Posted by: benhibou | January 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

totally agree with you Dionne

And is isn't it wonderful!!

Posted by: kathymac1 | January 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

When Bush was elected and the Republicans gained control of both houses all of the pundits were sounding the death knell of the Democratic party and what they needed to do to resorrect themselves. Then when Obama was elected and the Democrats had control of both houses the pundits sounded the deaathnell of the Republicans and what they needed to do to survive. Now it's swinging back the other way. The pundits always count on the short memory of the American people. Otherwise they would be out of their jobs.

Posted by: browneri | January 20, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

And, please tell me, just what did the GOP ever do to create JOBS, morons, other than in 3rd world countries? Hmmmmmm? The Dems lost because they are tone deaf, cowards, and lead by the likes of Rahm Emmanuel and the DLC and Joe Lieberman. Get a clue. The GOP loves power only and will do whatever they can to get it. The Mass. voters were rightly angry...they just had nowhere else to go. And they;ll soon regret it. How soon they forget 8 years of Bush/Cheney. How soon the Dems forget how to lead.

Posted by: rjpix | January 20, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat. I voted for Obama. I campaigned for Obama and for other Democratic candidates in my state. My party's leaders left me, left most party activists. I cannot imagine voting for one of them, right now. They just don't get "it". The voters are angry about jobs. In particular, they are angry about outsourcing jobs and factories and the banks and companies using federal bailout money, tax breaks, etc. to fund their outsourcing madness. All of us, independent, liberals, and quite a few conservatives, understand that "free trade" has undermined this country, undermined our future, and we want it ended. The leaders from both parties, on the other hand, seem to think they can salvage their globalization schemes, that if they keep on doing the same old "stuff" that it will somehow lead to a better result. Well, it wont, they aren't listening, and we are going to do whatever it takes to end this insanity. This November the targets are every incumbent, but especially Kerry and Schumer from my party. If we defeat them, and we will, that ought to rattle their cage.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats can comfort themselves by remembering that the Republican brand is still "dog food" and that, even with gains in November, the Republicans will not have enough members of Congress or the Senate to promote an agenda. The most they can hope for is to block the Democrats. In fact, the Republicans seem happiest in blocking the Democrats since they do not have new ideas.

We can expect gridlock as far as the eye can see. And one question: Why are Republicans opposed to health care reform when so many of these Republicans get Medicare, Medicaid, and other government help?

Posted by: qlawrence1 | January 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Independents are what drive this country. They are the middle. The two extremes liberal and democrats get all there money from the extreme sides of their party and the beholden to the idiots on both the far right and left. Independents need to stand up and Scott Brown should seize the moment and decide that he's changing to INDEPENDENT status immediately after being introduced in the Senate: call it common sense, saving america party from the idiots on both sides. Small, efficient government, independent thinking and reduced intervention into people's lives both positive and negative! START a REAL 3rd PARTY NOW

Posted by: jdb70 | January 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

What a laffer. Dionne advisers not getting into the blame game. And then that's exactly what he does. The only one he forgets to blame is himself. Of course, he was regularly pimping the policies that got Democrats into the fix they are now in. So thanks, EJ, for today's humor column.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | January 20, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Blame? Dionne, this is a good thing...

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't the Democrat's process of passing health care reform, or their method of communicating it, that led to Brown's victory. It was the substance. Massachusetts residents already have government-mandated health insurance and state-provided health care for those who can't afford insurance. No state's citizens, with the possible exception of Tennessee's, know the consequences of government intervention in health care better than Massachusetts's.

Posted by: wdevinney | January 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

America has lost it's ability to innovate and create. What I saw yesterday in Mass. was mob rule and ignorance on display. The end result is this: Americans will never have quality healthcare. Companies will continue to pass on increasing healthcare costs to employees and would continue to reduce coverage options. That's called shooting ourselves in the foot.

Posted by: ATLGuy | January 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The Dems did err by letting Brown define the campaign, and by failing to vigorously defend the health care legislation. On the other hand, they hold the majority in both houses, the presidency, and are fixing the problems of the Bush administration. If you're blaming, revisit the years 2000-2008.

Posted by: e9999999 | January 20, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The delay in passing a health bill is NOT the problem. The proposed bills are the problem.

The bills do nothing to lower costs and improve quality of care. They're filled with earmarks, which is why they're thousands of pages in length. They allow exemptions for favored constituencies. (What happened to "equal rights" for all?) They were passed by the respective legislative bodies via bribes for particular legislators/states. Republicans were shut out of negotiations in both the House and Senate; Obama has refused to meet with Republicans on health care since the end of May. Finally, the two bills are now being merged in secret by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their trusted minions instead of being submitted to a conference committee.

Where is the transparency? Where is the post-partisanship? Where is the promised C-SPAN broadcasting?

The Democrats have been drunk with power. Perhaps Brown's victory will help the Democrats achieve sobriety.

Posted by: judithod | January 20, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Scott Brown will now be doing more nude centerfolds?
...Please, pretty please!

Posted by: mmoody1 | January 20, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama is still President and the Democrats are still in power. MA has a new junior Senator, big deal, he can vote against the Health Care bill. America still pays twice as much as any other country for health care and 27 other countries will still have healthier people than America does. Once again the Republicans stopped any kind of health care reform. But those same Republicans sure like their health care plan paid for by the taxpayers.

Posted by: rj2008 | January 20, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Take responsibility for what happens? EJ, that's simply not possible. There are just too many sociopaths inhabiting the circles of power for responsibility and accountability to be applied. "Taking responsibility" is something those folks just can't do.

Posted by: _BSH | January 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

To be sure, the problem is just that the Democrats didn't bankrupt the country FAST enough--the delay is certainly inexcusable!

Posted by: Steve59 | January 20, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Worst analysis I've seen yet! Dionne has succeeded in completely missing the point. Most Americans' health care insurance needs a tweak, not an omnibus overhaul. Nobody believes that we need to bankrupt ourselves in order to insure the "30 million without health insurance" that don't exist! "Increasing coverage while reducing costs" is an oxymoron. Before you create any more bloated medical bureaucracies how about FIXING MEDICARE? Where's the outrage at the deal Ben Nelson made on behalf of Nebraska? What are voters supposed to think when Democrats insist on holding votes in the dead of night? This approach to Health Care Reform was completely wrong from the very beginning. Why was there not one brave soul among the Democrats to stand up and say "We promised transparency. Bring in the cameras!" Thank goodness for this situation that allowed at least SOME members of Congress to come to their senses before the Obama administration bankrupted us all.

Posted by: OhYeahBabe | January 20, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, a$$hat Dionne, Hustling is what your object of worship Obama does, not Brown. Like when Obama hustled to lure the Olympics into the failed city of Chicago and failed miserably, like always the case with him. That's hustling.

Brown was not hustling, he was campaigning, actually talking to the voters. You Demo-c4aps need to try it at least once. But you are too smart and thoughtful for that, I guess. Sore losers

Posted by: pihto999 | January 20, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This is just one final nail in the coffin of governability that we have come to build. We are all responsible. Too bad for us.

Posted by: Geezer4 | January 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Dionee you and EJ and Maureen and Kathleen and so so many others are guilty too of salivating over this unknown Obama character and helping the media pull the wool over the eyes of the average American. Can you hear us NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW ???????????????

Hes a failure ..its over.. the exposure begins

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | January 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Senator elect Brown for running a marvelous campaign and for bringing a breath of fresh hour into the political arena. And yes, his win is a major event in this state and has major national implications. President Obama and the Democratic party are governing much to the left and transforming this country into an alien nation that a great majority of americans are not accepting and the time has come to bring them down.

Mr. Brown ran a very clean campaign and stuck to our national defense, the economy and healthcare and his message resonated with a great majority of voters which were composed of Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

It is pitiful to see how quickly the Democrats turned on their candidate and abandoned her. For all of her failures, she was caught in a no win situation because of all of the misdeeds of Obama, his administration and Congress.

The winds of change are quite strong and no matter what Obama does, which will not be much, to stall it, the elections in November will be resulting in major upsets and 2012 cannot come fast enough.

The failure to listen to the various constituencies and the socialist ways of Obama are a very clear prescription for a one term President. He needs to return to private life and take plenty of lessons of appreciating the values of our country!

Posted by: Hispana | January 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And what resonated most with the voters in MA was Mr. Brown's position on our national defense. It is time that we torpedo all the policies introduced by Obama including the treatment of these terrorists that want to destroy us. The ACLU and all these civil rights organizations have gone too far. We need to get back to learning how to defend our country.

Posted by: Hispana | January 20, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts may prove a blessing in disguise for the President: The spectacle of a Senate beholden to special interests and making a mockery of the legislative process had discredited the President's best intentions. Sad characters and Prima Donna such as Senator Joe Lieberman who was blackmailing the Democratic caucus in his position as the 60th vote in the Senate were hijacking the democratic process. Today, Republicans with their newly found blocking minority in the Senate no longer have an excuse for continued obstruction: Come November, they will be held as much accountable for legislative gridlock as their Democratic counterparts by a rightfully angry populace . The President now has a realistic opportunity to work with true patriots on both sides of the aisle to enact legislation that will serve the interest of the American People.

Posted by: dossevi | January 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

That was hillarious, dossevi! "Oh, now the Democrats and the Republicans will have to work together! This is all it takes!" Comedic gold.

Posted by: joshlct | January 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The commentariat is busy opining how the new senator from Massachusetts's election signals a Renaissance for the GOP and is a demonstration of what Americans don't want: big government, higher taxes, and intrusion. Big government originated during World War II and has been ever present since. No matter which party is in power, Big Government spends and spends and spends. Where the money goes, what it is for, may change slightly. Higher taxes certainly has been no problem for America's most wealthy 400 families. The GOP pushed through two massive reductions of income tax on those who have plenty. The rest of us get taxed pretty much as usual. As for intrusion, the 9/11 attacks essentially tore up the Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution. When Dick Cheney's security apparatus wanted to wire tap or do other intrusive things, it was carte blanche in the name of anti-terrorism. We are approaching a point where every member of Congress should have his or her term permanently ended. We need new blood, amounting to a total transfusion, in Congress. If Americans want right-winger nude models to decide our fate, so be it. The current members have amply demonstrated they can't hack it.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 20, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Put a lawyer in a pickup truck and he's still a lawyer. He's a drug store truck drivin' man. He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan.

Posted by: blarsen1 | January 20, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I blame George Bush and Dick Cheney. It's their fault that Coakley lost last night... I also blame them for the losses in Virginia and New Jersey. If we lose the Govenors office in New York, it will also be Bush/Cheney's fault.
I blame them for Global Warming. I blame them for the guy that takes my parking spot every week. I blame them for my weight gain. I blame them for my bald spot. I find it a lot easier to blame Bush/Cheney than to look and the mirror and ask myself what I'm doing wrong. I'm your typical Democrat in Washington today.

Posted by: meaton11 | January 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Stupid. Stupid voters, stupid Democrats, stupid, stupid, stupid. And stupid Republicans for putting the future of the country at risk during the Bush admninistration. We need a different style of Democracy, perhaps based on the British or other model.

I think running the DNC with the DLC will not work. Let's get back to the Dean 50 state strategy. That worked.

Posted by: commentator2 | January 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Coakley's feminist backers also deserve some of the blame. See

Posted by: bobskis | January 20, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Most want to know the country is being on their behalf. That's why we voted for Obama. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. He still has not figured out how mad people are that his economic teams smells -- it smells like Goldman Sachs! People are mad as hell that Goldman still runs America when we elected Obama to put leash and collar on them and yank it until they behaved. Well, even I, a lifelong Liberal and Democrat, might have voted for Brown. WILL SOMEONE NOW GET THE MESSAGE?

Posted by: Larryman | January 20, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

When it takes sixty votes out of one hundred votes to pass anything, nothing gets done. If the government is to get anything done ever, the filibuster will have to go. If the healthcare reform proposal would have been able to be determined by a normal standard the reform would have been long completed and the lies of the critics have been totally exposed. The country would be long on the way to other pressing matters and the casual participants in democracy would be freed of their impatient anger.

Posted by: jake1231 | January 20, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

First to those who claim America is fed up with Obama policies. The policies, wars, tax system, immigration situation are all those of the previous administration and largely of Republican crafting and execution.

As for blame, in losing this election, it rests squarely with the White House and Democratic leadership. Knowing the consequences of a loss should have been motivation on the leaderships part to make sure from day one Martha's campaign was on track.

Posted by: chucko2 | January 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This opinion piece is missing the serial graft and corruption that Democrats are famous for. I.e. Reid's purchase of Ben Nelson's vote. Or OBAMA's Union payback by not subjecting Union members' Cadillac plans to the crushing 40% tax.

Posted by: iphony | January 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dionne, it should be "We're All Guilty." Once again you disingenuously distance yourself from the very mess you have advocated all along. Over the past year you have counseled the president to think big, act boldly and move even further left. You blame, as does the president, this democrat downward spiral on the failure to communicate well. You have really missed the boat. The anger and rising rebellion is not about presentation; it is about content, about policy. And you, despite your feeble attempts to distance yourself from your fellow democrats, are part of the problem this white house now has.

Posted by: jpfann | January 20, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Reading these comments, it's clear that this election in Mass. has brought out the claws in people. I have read many "Comments" before, and I haven't seen such vitriol from the Right since Sen. Kennedy died. Given the smug attitude to both events from Republican commentators, it should be no surprise that many people have missed the point of this article, which is to give constructive criticism to a party that hasn't been in power for almost a decade.

To end, I don't believe, no matter how many times a Republican condescends to tell me so, that the American Public is composed of outraged, pooping-their-pants tea baggers. Would the majority of commentators on this particular wall argue with their mothers the same way they argue with us "pansy liberals?"

Posted by: 1234510 | January 20, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

EJ, plain and simple.
You are irrelevant, no one listens to you. Your columns are unread - check the stats.
Your sycophancy to Obama is clear and ignored by the mass of DC and its suburbs.

Posted by: jedrury | January 20, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Filibuster exists since many many years.
Your asssumption that nothing gets done if filibuster exists is totally false.

The cloture (end of filibuster) vote at 10 June 1964 (Civil Rights Act of 1964) had the following votes:

yeas 44 or 66% of the democratic senators, 27 or 82% of the republican senators

Nays 23 or 34% of the democratic senators, 6 or 18%of Republican senators.

One Senator in the Nay List is still in the Senate: Robert C. Byrd.

This was a major piece of legislation.

What went wrong since 2000 is the lockstep in which the democratic senate leaders forced their troops. It had its beginning with Daeschle, who was unloaded from the South Dacotan Voters in 2004, and was refined to a ridiculous precision from Reid, who has a good chance to get unloaded in 2010 from the Nevada Voters.

After Reid, hopefully, the senate may return to their normal procedures, where locksteps (see the cloture vote of the civil rights act) are not appreciated.

Posted by: coloradosp | January 20, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"The blame doesn't like with what Democrats failed to do. The blame lies with what Democrats have been doing."

Yea, and what the Democrats have been doing is exactly what the repulicans would be doing if they had the majority, and were doing during their years of majority rule in congress. That is following the same economic polies favored by the financial sector which has captured this government. And when the facade of fake populism fades away and the independent voters see that the republicans are no better (actually worse) than the democrats at the economy, then they'll dump the republicans and move on to some other party...

Posted by: bromisky | January 20, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Your assumption that the democratic party is out of power since almost a decade is false.

Daeschle was majority leader from 2001 until 2003, after jefford had changed party affiliation, and since 2006 Reid is the majority leader.

I find it interesting that you complain about the vitriol, and in the same article you seem to dish out vitriol.

Posted by: coloradosp | January 20, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually the downfall of the Democratic party and the administration was that they did successfully convey their message to the people.

The people weren't buying it.......

Posted by: Spitfires | January 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Et tu, E.J.?

Haven't you joined the circular firing squad?

Ready, fire, aim!

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | January 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"The narrative has been missing, and conservatives have filled the vacuum."

No, it's Obama who has been missing. Off in Copenhagen, Oslo, Hawaii, Cairo, Moscow. He said healthcare reform was central to his presidency, then he left it to the unpopular legislators to come up with a program. He never made more than a half-hearted attempt to sell the program. Obama is clearly happier soaking up good vibes from a crowd (if it's overseas, so much the better), than doing the hard work of the chief executive. He'd rather play-act at being presidential than actually be president.

Posted by: WylieD | January 20, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

So, the message is..don't try to change anything after you have been elected to change things. Political analysis in this country is silly. The election reminds me of when Harris Wofford, an established old guard liberal the established half assed his way through the PA sentate race and let upstart nobody Rick Santorum become the face of the Bush Repubs. Sure, it took a few painful election cycles to fix this problem...

Posted by: stokes1 | January 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

750,000 fewer people voted in this election than voted in MA's 2008 general election for president.

Yes, the White House and the Coakley people are to blame for not getting those people to vote.

But those people - assuming many of them are Democrats - also bear a share of the blame for thinking that voting ONCE will get the job done.

The White House (and Democrats) have got to make sure that their supporters realize that CHANGE does not happen overnight or even after ONE election cycle. REAL change happens over a decade of elections - see FDR/Ronald Reagan revolutions.

Posted by: drossi2 | January 20, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Just a few short days ago, Mr. Dionne was praising the Democrats for their fine work on the nation's business and lauding their efforts to fill the Ted Kennedy Memorial Senate Seat.

What a difference a couple of days and a thorough trouncing can do to the enlightened liberal.

You, too, Mr. Dionne, must share in the blame for this Democratic debacle.

Time, now, for you to become constructive in finding ways to achieve the goals that our nation wants and needs without all the ideological overtones and messianic worship of a failed...and continuing to fail...administration and Congress.

Speak now to those bitter partisans, Harry Ried and Nancy Pelosi.

Posted by: Crmudgeon | January 20, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

MA is not all that Dem. It is simply way less GOP, with 15%. It's mainly indie, with 51%. And the lesson to be learned (other than that Martha Coakley is a really, really bad candidate) is this: WaPo commenters and HuffPo bloggers to the contrary, you must play to indies to win. The challenge is to hold to your core, which is rabidly partisan, while placating indies.

Indies elected Obama, and unless Repubs put up a total wingnut job (don't put it past them), indies will boot him out. He should take a page from Clinton, utter something like "the era of big government is over" (how about "the era of high taxes on working people stops today"; send me a check, DNC) and act like a moderate, while sneaking in progressive legislation here and there. Beat up on the big banks and Wall Street, they're asking for it.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 20, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The counts yesterday were:

Senate: Dems 60 votes - GOP 40 votes
House: Dems 257 votes - GOP 178 votes
White House: Dems 1 - GOP 0

The count today is:

Senate: Dems 59 votes - GOP 41 votes
House: Dems 257 votes - GOP 178 votes
White House: Dems 1 - GOP 0

TSUNAMI or tempest in a teabag ?!


Posted by: free-donny | January 20, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Is Dionne delusional?
The democrats took too long to pass the Health Care Bill?
It is because of the Health Care Bill that Coakley Lost. That and the Climate Bill, Cap and Trade and the EPA's unilateral declaration that the fizz in beer and pop is a toxic gas. The Wall Street Bailout and the banker bonus'.

Are you people dense?
Obama expands the war in Afghanistan, drags his feet on pulling troops out of Iraq and now wants to invade Yemen?????????????????????? We got the worst of both worlds with the Obama Democrat bunch.
Brown won because he is an Independent that ran on the Republican ticket. Just the same as the commie neo-conservatives ran on the republican ticket. Only Brown and the Independents don't want to destroy our country like the Neo-Cons do.

If the Republicans think they're going to get a free ride back to the majority then they are as delusional as the the Democrats.

Posted by: dedreckon | January 20, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

To EJ Dionne,

Thank you for an article that says what needed to be said. The good news, judging by his press conference today, is that the President is at least starting to understand what he has to do differently.

The vitriol and bile expressed by so many of the previous posters underlines what a dangerous current is running through American politics at present.

Martin Weil

Posted by: martinweil | January 20, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Circular firing squads, indeed.

Democrats need to learn how to *make the case* for health care, further economic stimulus targeted at jobs, environmental protection, and other issues that affect ordinary Americans. They failed to do so convincingly, allowing Republicans to outshout and out-demagogue them into losing that 60th seat.

I'd be more upset about it if the Conserva-Dems in the Senate hadn't hijacked health care reform into ineffectiveness. They'd likely do the same for any jobs bill, financial regulation, or environmental regulation, so the loss of the super-majority won't make a real difference in much except stalling a baby step towards improved health care financing.

So what did a 60-seat Democratic majority accomplish? Nada. What will the Senate 59-seat majority do now? Nada. No difference. Sad to say, Democrats appear to be inherently unable to capitalize on both a majority in Congress and a situation that cries out for aid to the average American. Contrast that to the Republicans' ability to bring enough Democrats aboard to give huge gifts to the rich in the form of tax cuts passed as we entered a recession in the early 2000's and to prosecute an unjustified war in Iraq.

I'd give up on the Democrats, if it weren't for the fact that the Republican alternative is far worse for the average American.

Posted by: JDWV | January 20, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, Mr. dionne. "The narrative has been missing?"???The narrative?? Obama has been on tv nonstop for a year, and was on tv with Stephanopolous after the mMass. election CONTINUUING THE NARRATIVE. Have yu suffered an incapacitating incident, Mr. Dionne? If you count the campaign, the narrative has been going on for two years. Raveon.

Posted by: chatard | January 20, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

If Coakley had run some semblance of a good campaign, it would be easier to blame health care reform for her loss. She didn't. "All politics is local," Speaker Tip O'Neill said many years ago. This is absolutely true with Coakley. The comments E.J. made regarding anger with Mass. Dems are also relevant here.
I have no sympathy for a candidate who defeated herself, and actually hope Brown will be a decent Senator. But a localized screwup here has helped to exacerbate a national mess.

Posted by: peck3 | January 20, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

From axxionx12:
"Dionne, there's a place for you, it's called Europe. Get out of our country and go live with your kind. You live in a center right country and this is proof."

How dare you. How dare you invite someone to leave the country if they disagree with you on a policy issue. What kind of a knuckle-dragging schmuck are you, anyway? We get to express opinions in the USA, even when you disagree with them. And as for your "this is a center-right country" imbicility, take a look at the White House, Senate, and House. All controlled by Democrats.

Posted by: chuckbarb23 | January 20, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Statistics indicate VOTER APATHY WON.

Brown was the beneficiary. Show me a voter who cares one whit about Coakley.

DC Democrats literally threw away all the goodwill and enthusiasm in the electorate to do something bold in exchange for avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in negative TV spots next election cycle funded by health insurance and banking lobbyists.

Posted by: boscobobb | January 20, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Posted by: donnolo | January 20, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Dionne! With your own words, you condemn yourself!

Dionne wrote: "The truth is that everyone who is attacking someone else shares responsibility"

Posted by: Maerzie | January 21, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

1ofamillion:Just a short note in reply to your comment. If you and the rest of the folks who supported Scott Brown to replace Senator Edward Kennedy think you have somehow fixed the "problem" you perceive, IE the Dems suck just as bad as the Repubs, how do you think you fixed the problem by electing a fellow who feels rape victims should be have to travel from emergency room to emergency room attempting to find someone who will treat because they(the on-call medical personnel) have religious convictions that preclude administration of a contraceptive to stop any pregnancy resulting from the rape? Brown feels those convictions outweigh the victims rights to medical care that includes contraception. How about his support for torture by our military and CIA personnel? Did you even listen to the guys five point plan to fix the economy and creat jobs? It's the same hackneyed repub BS that would continue the spiral into depression that has been avoided so far. The president has worked hard to repair the damage done by the republican policy over the past eight years, but you let the same people who crippled the country use their scare tactics to get you to elect one of their most rabidly idealogical fanatics to replace Senator Edward Kennedy. Haven't you just jumped out of the frying pan right back into the same fire you voted to put out when you elected President Obama.

Posted by: trbajaz | January 21, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

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