Democrats, Disarrayed, Never Seem To Manage Victory Well

by Paul I. Adujie

The Democratic Party represents every political convictions and ideals which I hold fervently and passionately. Nevertheless, the Democrats tend to always annoy everyone with their inability to manage electoral victories into power, which should, in turn, be leveraged and translated into good public policies.

It is quite disappointing that the Democratic Party which won a majority on November 4, 2008 in New Jersey, New York and Virginia, have on November 3, 2009, is completely routed, only one year later. It is not even midterm election yet, and still, the Democrats were routed and overwhelmed by the Republicans who essentially grinded the national economy to a halt, as simultaneously as they, the Republicans bungled two foreign wars, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Any yet, quite inexplicably, the Democrats were unable to find their voice with which to remind the voters how the United States got into these messes of economic or financial meltdown and deepening unemployment, and the out of control foreign wars, with their concomitant loss of blood and treasure to America. The American public is hemorrhaging and acutely feels it, and since we live in a microwave culture, where the electorate is known for its short attention span, it is advisable and quite wise, to remind the American electorate, the source of their multiple hemorrhages. And the Democrats failed to do just that!

The Democrats have become so self-destructive, without cohesion and quite incoherent on core policies of the Democratic Party. Instead, the air is pervaded with the Democratic infighting and confused middle of the road social conservatives also known as Blue-Dogs Democrats. The Democratic Party needs to be coherent and cohesive on Health Care Reform, Energy Policy, and Employment creation and forget the nonsensically confusing Blue-Dog, Yellow-Dog, Pink-Dog Democrats labels. Democrats should support party policies or be defeated by Republicans in the next elections. It is rather idiotically silly for Democrats to pretend to be almost Republicans by claiming to be Blue, Yellow, Pink or Red-Dog Democrats!

It is this sorts of obtuse middle of the road definitions and labels by Republicans in the New York 23rd Congressional District which ensured the resounding defeat of the Republican candidate for congress on November 3, 2009 election season.

During the past several months, I wondered why Democrats are acting in timorous, tepid and timid manner, in their policy pursuits. Democrats have been lukewarm in their reactions to all manners of distractions created by their mortal foes, the Republicans. The Democrats always appeared tongue-tied and even incoherent in their flimsy lackluster rebuttals of Republicans. The Democrats have by default, allowed the Republicans to conduct referenda on President Obama’s political prowess and relevance as a national leader of the Democrats. Mr. Obama campaigned enthusiastically in New Jersey and Virginia, for his party’s gubernatorial candidates and lost. Mr. Obama and the candidates were repudiated.

In essence, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have allowed damaging body blows from the Republicans. The Democrats brought this upon themselves, through timidity and ineffectual management of the huge electoral victory which was garnered by the Democrats nationwide in November 2008. In various instances Democrats seemed afraid to assert themselves. Democrats allowed the Republicans to hijack the Health Care Reform debate during the summer of 2009. Democrats ignored the clears signs and writings on the wall by the Republicans, that is, the Republicans’ lack of interests in bipartisanship. This phenomenon was exampled in the Republicans’ votes against Justice Sotomayor for the United States Supreme Court the second economic stimulus package and the overwhelming opposition to Mr. Obama’s Health Care Reform but for the tentative support of just one Republican, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine for the Health Care Reform debate.

In New York City for instance, a city in which the Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, in an anti incumbent year, and abhorrence of Mr. Bloomberg’s role in the repeal of term limits and yet, Mr. Bloomberg won? This, even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg was criticized by many, for being part of a usurpation of the electorate with his tinkering with term limits. It is conceded that Mr. Bloomberg did not accomplish term limits repeal by himself he procured the support of a majority of the New York City Council

Inexplicably the Democratic Party left Mr. Bill Thompson to his own devices. Mayor Bloomberg was an incumbent in a season of high rate of unemployment in which incumbents were fairly and unfairly punished by the electorates nationwide. Secondly, Mr. Bloomberg poured so much money into his campaign for a third term, a third term which arose by his undemocratic usurpations of the New York City voters, who had earlier voted to impose term limits on elective offices citywide.

New York City voters were livid and seething with umbrageous rage as they perceived Mr. Bloomberg as an arrogant person who seems to think he can buy everything, including the mayoralty of New York City. Mr. Bloomberg has been vulnerable as he suffered defeats in his congestion pricing efforts as well as his defeat in his support for a Westside stadium project.

Despite all these antecedents, the Democrats neglected to rally around Mr. Bill Thompson who strenuously argued the elitism of Mr. Bloomberg. President Obama neglected and refused to endorse, fundraise and campaign with Mr. Thompson, the Democratic candidate. It must be said that Mr. Thompson did extraordinarily well, all things considered. Mr. Thompson with adequate support from Mr. Obama and the Democrats could have been elected New York City mayor, and even without such support, Mr. Thompson came very close to being elected mayor.

On the other hand, President Obama campaigned vigorously in the neighboring state of New Jersey, and then, in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates and both candidates lost this means that President Obama’s clout did not translate into a coattail rides for the gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia. These defeats in New Jersey and Virginia are either due to the local issues there or the irrelevance of Mr. Obama’s clout in both locales. Can it be legitimately argued now, that this is not a referendum on Mr. Obama? Perhaps

The preferred view is that President Obama and the Democrats have allowed themselves to be Swift-boated by the Republicans. President Obama and the Democrats literarily slept at the controls or slept at the wheels, as the Republicans pummeled them during the Spring and Summer of 2009. The Republicans in their appropriately consigned irrelevance since their electoral defeats and repudiations, in November 2008, still, somehow, managed to hijack public debates from the Democrats!

This ability for the Republicans to survive and thrive is a consequence of President Obama’s idealism, professorial disposition, and his over analyses of issues; which seems to turn to analysis paralysis on occasions. An instance is President Obama’s adamant insistence on his romantic notion of bipartisanship, despite the very clear, repeatedly demonstrated Republican Party’s lack of interests in bipartisanship or cooperation with President Obama and his Democratic Party.

Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no qualms in employing dirty-tricks and unsavory tactics to win elections. Republicans are ruthlessly brutal in political competitions. Think Watergate, Think Willy Hutton, Think Swift-Boat. Democrats on the other hand, are not prodigious in power seeking tactics. Democrats are not aggressive or brutal in their search for political power and what is worse, is the fact that the Democrats, even in victory, do not seem to manage and leverage their supernumerary well.

The Democrats obtained a major electoral victory in November 2008. The Democrat

s elected President Obama into the White House. The Democrats also obtained a majority in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. The Democrats have had the good fortunes of being in total control of the executive and legislative branches of the United States government since January 2009. But what is the value of power, when the holders are too timid, too timorous and tepid in the use of such power?

No one is suggesting that the Democratic Party, from President Obama down the line, should wield their new found powers flagrantly in unbridled and offensive manners. No one expects the Democrats to become arrogant with their electoral victory. But, no one also expected the Democrats to become disabled and crippled in victory, just because the Democrats are concerned with not appearing arrogant and power-drunk! No one is saying that the Democrats should engage in overreaching, no!

President Obama and the Democrats, have, despite their uproarious victory, and mandate, become too restrained, too measured, and outwardly engaged in endless delicate balancing acts. This has assumed an appearance of being completely crippled and intimidated. The Republicans, on the other hand, have taken full advantage of the Democrats’ frozen-on-the-spot timidities. This is quite sad, given the fact that the Republicans brought and wrought upon America, the needless invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has since turned into a quagmire and utter debacle.

America is now compelled to confront these debacles and quagmires; which are replete with so many endless consequences and attendant deficit expenditures known to be already over a trillion dollars. President Obama in effort to be the consummate gentleman, seem unwilling to articulate the source of his burdens, including the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and consequent hugely tremendous drain on public resources!

President Obama and the Democrats seem unwilling to articulate the fact that the depressed American economy was foisted on them by the Republicans who advocated lax regulation or deregulation, which brought about the economic and financial meltdown; which is only comparable to the great depression of the 1930s

I take the view that President Obama and the Democrats can effectively and efficiently convey reminders to the electorate as to the source of current deficits in American public financing, two foreign wars, the current economic depression and the consequent high rate of unemployment. All these are interrelated and wrought upon America by Republicans, the same source, of the bad governance inflicted by the Republicans during the preceding eight years

The unwillingness or inability of the Democrats to present a summary of these antecedents of all of America’s current national challenges, and put these challenges, right where they belong, which is at the doorsteps of the Republicans, is the only explanation for the electoral misfortunes suffered on November 3, 2009

I will be charitable in saying that President Obama inherited three wars.

This current economic debacles are tremendous and with severity of global proportions and huge or dramatic impact on Americans. The Economic Meltdown/Financial Crisis started in the United States; Afghanistan and Pakistan spinning out of control Afghanistan humbles empires… historically. The quagmire and debacle also known as the unfinished business of the invasion and occupation in Iraq by Bush

This above challenges have global implications and ramifications; no American president has ever had the singular “fortune” of these multiplicities of inheritances!

President Obama is engaged in delicate balancing acts… he is so measured… almost to the point of analysis paralysis! He needs to show that he is not too tepid, timorous or even timid of actions. President Obama is so entrenched in his “romantic notion” of bipartisanship… even when it has not worked…. the Republicans are only interested in defeating the Democrats in the next election and the next and the next…. Bipartisanship is dead on arrival… see Republican votes on Sotomayor… see Republican votes on Health Care Reform… except for the tentative Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine…

It is becoming irritatingly frustrating and even excruciatingly bewildering, to see the Democrats squander the power which they waited so long to obtain at the ballot box in November 2008. After all, what is the use of electoral victory and the powers which arises from such victory, if the victors are unwilling, neglectful and tepid in the use of such victory and power?

The off-year elections are over now. President Obama and the Democrats should realize and recognize the reality having just received a wake-up call to put their November 2008 victory, and power, to use and for the benefit of the electorate who invested the president and his political party with victory and power for collective aspirations. The president and the Democrats must get to down to the business of prodigious pursuits of the business of the people, without distraction and without hindrance by Republicans desperadoes!

President Obama and the Democrats will do well to become proactive in public policy pursuits and certainly, without deference to the Republicans. The time for tepid, timid and timorous policy pursuits by the president and his party is over. Otherwise, the midterm election in 2010 will be reminiscently identical with 1994 sweeping victory by, and for, the Republicans

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