"Dear the Left," writes E.A. Hanks at The Awl. "We’re through." In the wake of Scott Brown's upset in Massachusetts, that has not been an uncommon theme among the liberal commentariat. With various factions of the Democratic Party seemingly huddled in a circular firing squad—moderate Blue Dogs sniping at "the Left"; liberals blasting centrist "Lieberdems"; everyone taking aim at President Obama—is the American Left falling apart?
Giving up is political suicide: "Many panicky Democrats see Mr. Brown's win as proof that angry voters will punish them in November," says The New York Times in an editorial, especially if they push ahead with health-care reform. But that's misreading the results. With "courage and creativity," Democrats can reunite and pass health-care reform. Giving up would be "a terrible mistake."
"Don't give up now"
If the Democrats can't govern, who needs 'em? Democrats spent most of 2009 with a once-in-a-lifetime political hand to play, says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post, and what did they accomplish? "Not much." At this pace, "what's the pitch for voting for Democrats," even if you agree with their ideas? "A plumber and I both agree that my toilet should work. But if he can't make it work, I'm not going to pay him."
"Can Democrats govern"
It's time to 'cowboy up,' liberals: If there's one thing Democrats excel at, it's "bleeding, kvetching, and woe-is-me-ing," says Tim Egan, also in The New York Times, "particularly the Left." Democrats would be wise to take a page from the 2003 "lovable underdog" Boston Red Sox: "Cowboy up, pass health care ... and then explain what they're doing." That said, America is "essentially center-right," so it would be political suicide to always give the Left its way.
"Time to cowboy up"
Democrats need to tend to their base: When has this "omnipotent, dominant, super-human 'Left'" ever gotten its way? asks Glenn Greenwald at Salon. It's becoming an "Unchallengeable Truth" that Democrats are "failing" because they're "governing from the left," but that's "moronic." If Democrats want to recover, they should try appealing to their left-leaning base—"as the Republicans never forget," the base is "the foundation of the party."
"Blame the all-powerful left!"
The political winds will shift again: Liberals today are like a bunch of panicked poker players who've seen their winnings "whittled away" with a few bad hands, says Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. And "if the base is burned out" come November, defeat will be "self-fulfilling." But political cycles are "moving faster and faster," so the best thing Democrats can do now is hang in till their luck turns.
"Will the base abandon hope?"