I spent a chunk of time on the train to New York yesterday reading through bloggers’ reactions to Democrats’ reactions to the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts. And I’m confused.
First, an awful lot of liberal bloggers seem all too eager to advance a pernicious stereotype about the Democratic Party — that it is feckless, weak, wimpy, cowardly, unprincipled, etc. Look, it’s not that every Democrat was scared away from health care reform by the Brown win. As far as we know, very few were. If you want to make accusations of cowardice, aim them at those few specific legislators who have flip-flopped — the rest of the party can’t do much to make them vote in favor of reform. If President Obama didn’t come out as aggressively in favor of passing the Senate bill as you wanted, that’s probably because he knows he doesn’t have the votes and has little interest in self-immolation. By tarring the entire party, you aid and abet Republican efforts to caricature Democrats.
And for the love of God, if you feel no longer energized to elect Democrats in November because some congressman in some other state caved, well, you need to take a deep breath and count to 10. Losing health care would be a huge, regrettable defeat, but by sitting out November, you would also make progressives in Congress worth supporting suffer for the sins of others.