Nov
07

How’s about a tepid, heaping helping of moderate?

By

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:15-16

Sometimes the left just needs to get over itself and quote some King James Bible. Comedian John Fugelsang, for instance, wields scripture with the adroitness of Mackie Messer.

These particular lines from Revelation have hung around like an earworm since Tuesday. After polls closed, the woman ranked the “most moderate” senator, Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, narrowly lost her bid for reelection to North Carolina’s immoderate, Republican Speaker of the House, “Tholl Road Thom” Tillis. Democrats across the country who tried distancing themselves from the president and Obamacare lost as well.


Gary Younge assesses the midterm results in the Guardian:

According to a CNN exit poll, 8 in 10 Americans disapprove of how Congress has been handling its job, while almost 6 in 10 are displeased with President Obama. A full 44% have a positive view of Democrats; 40% have a positive view of Republicans. Americans have just elected the party they like the least to run the government body they least trust.

Why? Because while they might support the kinds of progressive policies several states passed on Tuesday, voters find many Democrats as infuriating as Eliza Doolittle found the mawkish Freddy Eynsford-Hill—?all talk and no show. As others have said before, Americans love a fighter. Even one they disagree with. Hagan had a huge, Obama-style field operation, but what she was selling voters (probably on expensive advice) was a tepid, heaping helping of moderate. It cost her volunteers, voters, and the election. It cost the country much more. And she wasn’t the only Democrat voters spued.

When Republicans accuse a Democrat of being like Neville Chamberlain, they are evoking an entire constellation of Eynsford-Hill-ish weakness. On the right, weakness is a moral failing and a mortal sin. The only reason Republicans tolerate the weepy John Boehner is the powerful position he holds. No matter how wrong, a Republican politician rarely apologizes or backs down. He knows if he shows weakness one of the other alpha-dog wannabees is ready to tear out his throat and replace him. Democrats (the president included) seem to believe if they play nice, maybe they won’t get eaten. Good luck with that.

Probably like many of you, I found myself again this cycle yelling, “Stand for something!” at Democratic candidates trying to go along to get along. Try motivating voters with that. Or with being lukewarm when opponents fight unashamedly for more crazy. Voters choose those bold enough to stand for something, anything. And in the absence of vision, even for tearing up the government they’re elected to run.

So now a GOP Senate welcomes the T-Party Bloc Panthers. Burn, Beltway, Burn.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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