You probably heard there were elections yesterday. Both New Jersey and Virginia now have Republican Governors. There were also special elections for House seats in New York and California, both going to Democrats. I’ve read a number of stories this morning about how this is a huge win for Republicans and that Democrats should be concerned about next years mid-terms. Michael Steele was not gloating/gloating about it this morning:
Frankly, I don’t know what he’s so happy about. Yeah, you have Governors in two more states than you did yesterday. But Democrats picked up two votes in the House (CA-10 was previously Democrat, but Ellen Tauscher resigned to become Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs). I’ll take the votes, thank you very much. So will Steve Benen:
by winning both of yesterday's congressional elections, Democrats have not only managed to expand their House majority, they've also moved the caucus ever so slightly to the left. Bill Owens (NY-23) is a moderate, but he's more liberal than the Republican he's replacing, John McHugh, and he's endorsed a progressive approach to health care reform.
Likewise, (John) Garamendi (CA-10) is more liberal than (Ellen) Tauscher was, and he, too, favors a progressive approach to health care reform.
This is a great thought, but all is not roses. Democrats need to take heed because now is not the time to get soft or take this as a sign that the nation is moving right. Remember, we voted for everything on Obama’s agenda. Everything. There is a lesson here and Kos delivers:
- If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary "bipartisanship", you will lose votes.
- If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.
- If you forget why you were elected -- health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform -- you will lose votes.
That’s right. One year ago today, the nation stood up and voted. Remember that night? It was amazing! I’ll never forget watching the celebrations all over the country and thinking to myself, “this is like the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’”. Our guy won. We had the House. We had the Senate. We’re going to get things done! They’re going to work for us!
Well folks, I still have that optimism, but it’s fading fast. I can’t express this any better than Kos does, so I’ll let him:
Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.
The choice is yours. Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home. And you aren't going to make up the margins with conservative voters. They already know exactly who they're voting for, and it ain't you.