Friday, January 22, 2010

Energy and Stealth of G.O.P. Groups Undid a Sure Bet

As a Democrat, this lengthy article on the front page of today's NY Times about how Coakley lost in MA makes me so mad I can't see straight – the mind-boggling hubris, complacency, bureaucracy and incompetence from Coakley, the White House and just about everyone else in the party is captured perfectly in this article.  Jon Stewart also captures it perfectly in this all-time great rant two nights ago:


I think it's now likely that 30+ million people are now going to continue to go without healthcare for a LONG, LONG time – many of the same people, sadly, who are being screwed by our educational system will continue to be screwed by our insane healthcare system.  What a travesty – we should be better than this!  One last depressing thought: I am quite certain that if Alan Khazei had been the candidate, he would have won by a double-digit margin.  Sigh…


The article below is well worth reading carefully because there are a lot of lessons for us.  As much as the outcome upsets me, I have grudging respect for what the Republicans and Tea Party activists were able to pull off.  Their story reminds me a great deal of how a handful of Democrats (myself included) became furious at how the teachers unions had hijacked our party, causing it to sell its soul, so we developed a plan, which is working to perfection, to break this stranglehold.  Yet more proof of the truth of one of my favorite quotes, by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."


For more on this topic, see my all-time favorite Malcolm Gladwell article, How David Beats Goliath: When Underdogs Break the Rules (  It's a classic!


January 21, 2010

Energy and Stealth of G.O.P. Groups Undid a Sure Bet


BOSTON — The e-mail message from a Massachusetts supporter to one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement arrived in early December. The state was holding a special election to fill the seat held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, it said, and conditions were ripe for a conservative ambush: an Election Day in the dead of winter with the turnout certain to be low.

"To be honest, we kind of looked at it and said, this is a long shot," said Brendan Steinhauser, the director of state campaigns for FreedomWorks, which has become an umbrella for the Tea Party groups. But the group was impressed by the determination of organizers inside this decidedly Democratic state and was intrigued by the notion that this could be a way to effectively derail federal health care legislation.

 Subscribe in a reader