Washington need to "stand up and fight for solutions, not just stand up to fight."
That message would extend to both sides of the aisle. It hasn't been surprising that Republicans have used health care reform and other progressive breakthroughs as weapons against their opponents. But there's evidence everywhere that Democrats who voted for these measures have been seeking lower ground when challenged. As The Economist magazine observed in a review of the political season: "...most Democrats running for re-election are staying mum or apologizing for their votes for reform." That would dramatically exclude Sutton, who has been on the cutting edge of many issues (including Cash for Clunkers) from job creation to health care.
The problems with strategic retreats is that voters can rightfully ask why the candidates voted for this measure or that one in the first place. It's a sign of weakness that has given the Party of No new opportunities to pursue its mulishness with still greater zeal (if that's possible!).
It has been an election in which Republicans have called for solutions without a hint of specifics, and squirmy Democrats have meekly stood aside and conceded that even without those specifics, their rivals might be right. What a way to lose an election!