Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Masschusetts and the words of Robert Frost

YEARS AGO, IN an interview with the poet Robert Frost, he mentioned the resiliency of Americans in the wake of a nuclear disaster. "They'll be up in heaven dusting themselves off," he airily predicted, "and saying, 'Boy, that was something, wasn't it?'"

There are a lot of living Democrats dusting themselves off today, desperately trying to find the appropriate words to describe that historicastoundingepicbombshell event in Massachusetts. The pendulum in the Bay State not only swung, but also crashed through the firewall that has long protected the most liberal state in the Union.

I haven't heard anything that has made much sense from either side in the haze of the moment. Democrats say they have to do better; Republicans credit themselves with already having done better. You can expect a lot of this in the days ahead, depending how long it will take the congressional Henny-pennies to retreat from Foxy-woxy's lair to get back to work in behalf of the American people. It won't be enough for the conservatives, the immovable rock in the Senate and House, to gloat that "We told you so." Nor for the Democrats, a skittish group that takes cover against the slightest suggestion that the other side is lying in wait, to have shaky knees..

You can take your choice of what happened in Massachusetts:. A lackluster Democratic candidate, voter frustrations, a state that already had government framed health insurance,
a helping hand from the Tea Parties, a Republican candidate who pledged his first order of business in the senate would be the 41st vote against health care reform. All the while, the Democrats simply took the state for granted. After all, this was the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy, who dedicated much of his time to such reforms.

Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill, it remains a mystery of how the Democrats forfeited their 60-40 numerical lead over the other party other than to notice that they have often appeared gutless and duplicitous - particularly those who shared the booty from the health care industry and the pharmaceuticals. The Republicans are now operating as the majority party on all major issues. Climate change will be next.

The election couldn't come at a worse time for President Obama, with Afghanistan, Haiti, sober unemployment figures, Wall Street excesses and such Blue Dogs as Evan Bayh and Ben Nelson on his plate with Joe Lieberman in reserve. His hospitality to the other side hasn't worked, and won't work, which leads me to believe that his only option is to say: This is where I stand, take it or leave it. Put up or shut up. (Nelson, who is not above political bribery to get his way, even managed to plug into the haggard Senate plan a special benefit for his red state of Nebraska, which will later vote for him but not Obama.

What a mess! It might be a good time for rest of us to spend more time at the movies.


PJJinOregon said...

It's sad to say, but the irrational and unpredictable behavior of misled angry voters that has characterized California and Oregon politics for 20+ years has finally invaded the East coast. Get new shock absorbers and prepare for a rough ride for the next 20 years or so. Next week, Oregon has yet another vote on a referendum to rescind a tax increase approved by the legislature. Public services be damned, but no new taxes. Get accustomed to that battle cry.

Anonymous said...

The South rises again! Reports on the development of an all White Basketball league in 12 southern cities and Oklahoma Senator Inhofe calling for racial, ethnic, and religious profiling spells great times ahead for southern conservatives who will be placed in charge of the Tea Party Revolution soon while be whistling dixie.

Grumpy Abe said...

PJ: When you have a populace on a slow track and agitated by a bloc of blockheads on Capitol Hill, we should anticipate nothing more than the current comedy of horrors. For further citations, check the comment on the proposed all-white basketball league in the south.