Thought (frustration, really) #1: Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton never had close to 60 votes in the Senate and they got stuff done. What is wrong with the current Democratic leadership– Obama, but also the folks in Congress– that they can’t get things done? Haven’t these people done this before?
Thought #2: I think the main reason why the Democrats lost the senate race in Massachusetts (and btw, I think they lost rather than the Republicans winning) boils down to “hubris.” Democrat leadership in DC and in Boston simply assumed that it wouldn’t be possible for a Republican in bluer than blue Mass. to win “the Kennedy seat” in the Senate and they assumed they could have run a potted plant for the job and win. Hubris, and the lesson should be to take every election seriously and don’t assume anything.
Thought #3: I am (or at least vote) Democrat for all sorts of different reasons, not the least of which is I identify with the progressive ideals, the empathy for my fellow citizens of the country and the world, the thoughtfulness of the approach, etc., etc. The Democrats (at least the current version) is the “thinking person’s party.” In contrast, the Republicans– especially in this particular instance of debating health care and the senate race in Mass.– tap into the “reptilian brain” that is in all of us and below the levels of reason. The Republicans know that people respond unconsciously and powerfully to fear and self-interests. And I have to say I think that the Democrats are going to have to make at least a nod to the reptile brain that is (unfortunately) a bit too forward in too many Americans if they are going to hold in 2010 and/or win in 2012.