Back in 2008 when Barrack Obama was elected along with a Democratic party sweep in the House and senate giving Obama and the Democrats the biggest congressional majority any president had in 60 years, one of the first things he said as the newly elected president who's party had just won a landslide victory over the opposition across the board was, " I want Republican ideas".
Which not only goes down in history as the single dumbest comment ever made by a newly elected president, it was a harbringer of things to come and should have revealed to any Democrat that it was going to be a bumpy ride because of who and what he was: not a Republican, not a Democratic president who favored Republican ideas, or even a Democrat who favored Democratic party ideas, but a truly empty politician with no real convictions or principles and no intention of fullfilling the promises and pledges he made (which was evident during the 2008 primaries). It all proved to be true.
Seemingly it never occurred to Obama in 2008 that if the country had wanted Republican ideas after 8 years of George W. Bush and a Republican congress and the catastrophes they caused, they wouldn't have elected him president and the Democrats to congress with the biggest majority of any party in 60 years, a majority Obama wasted his first two years. Now that seems like a long time ago.
Over the next 6 years, time and again Obama caved in to Republican opposition. Not that he gave them what they wanted. He just didn't give the country, the Democratic party or his Democratic supporters and the people who voted for him what they wanted and expected based on all the pledges and promises he made, every one of which he either reneged on or broke in one way or another.
And through it all, Democrats, hand picked sycophants in the Democratic party leadership and people who call themselves progressives at various Democratic and progressive groups around the country like MoveOn, Daily Kos, or PFAW, set new standards in lying to themselves about the Obama presidency.
For decades reality has proved that Democratic party ideas, initiatives, and policies have worked and benefited the country in major ways while Republican policies, when in a position to be implemented have been an unmitigated disaster for the country from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, and for the most part have never worked.
Yet , with the exception of the Clinton years, Democrats do not seem to have a political strategist worth 2c who has been able to formulate a strategy, message or design political campaigns that know how to use substance and facts against Republican policies to give people a good reason to vote for Democrats.
Instead they do utterly stupid things like trying to make the Koch Brothers the issue instead of giving people a substantive reason to vote for them over Republicans. Though admittedly with Obama's failures and his capitulations which resulted in none of the Democratic agenda being implemented that would have been hard to do without repudiating Obama which was suggested here for months as a necessary truth and fact of life if Democrats didn't want to lose and lose big.
Nancy Pelosi, who along with Obama and Harry Reid were responsible in 2010 for the Democrats suffering the worst political defeat of any party in 80 years only two years into Obama's first term after gaining the biggest majority in 60 years because they went along with Obama's dropping of the public option and sell out of health care reform, this year urged congressional Democrats to run on Obamacare, chiding Democratic candidates that the first word in the Affordable Care Act was " affordable, affordable, affordable". Given that 98% of the 50 million uninsured in America are still uninsured because under Obamacare they still cant afford coverage offered by insurance companies who wrote the bill, Pelosi's Marie Antoinette act didn't go over very well with voters.
Given the disatrsous results of the 2014 elections for Democrats it would be worth remembering that, with the exception of Bill Clinton, Democrats are always running not to lose. But even in 2008 when any Democrat running for president would have beaten any Republican, even when Democrats couldn't lose they found a way.
In a year when Democrats couldn't lose the hierarchy of the Democratic party chose to rig their primary process and convention to assure Obama had the nomination with the help of some dishonest journalists instead of just letting the process play out honestly. They did it perhaps because Democrats know they cant win any kind of national election without African American support. But by forcing the issue with Obama, they found a way to lose in the long run and they have been paying the price ever since.
Democrats were crushed in the 2014 elections and it was a defeat largely of their own making. They stood idly by and let a weak, indecisive president with no real convictions and no commitment to the Democratic or liberal agenda sell out, capitulate and compromise every Democratic party ideal and belief, a president who sold out healthcare reform for a watered down version written by the insurance companies and couldn't get a single piece of gun safety legislation passed in the aftermath of Sandyhook even though it was supported by 86% of the American people. In foreign policy, Isis and failures in the Middle East and being bullied by Putin and looking weak over Ukraine and a red line over chemical weapons that disappeared when it was crossed, didn't help.
Obama caved in so many times on so many issues people working at the White House probably went to work wearing miner's helmets with little flashlights on top so they could wave and see each other amid the debris.
He fail miserably and inadequately in dealing with every unexpected issue or crisis that emerged either domestically or foreign. And congressional Democrats and Democratic political groups didn't have the backbone to stand up and say something. Or rebel. Instead they lied to themselves and in the aftermath of the election some still are.
What must be especially painful for Democrats is that with 68% of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track, it's not because Obama implemented Democratic policies, it's because he didn't. And it cost them the election.
The Democratic party needs an overhaul in leadership and it needs to start now. The triumverate of Obama, Pelosi and Reid is what brought the Democrats down.
A close look at the election results make clear what happened. Independents didn't want to send a message to Democrats that they approved of Obama's presidency and voted Republican, and many Democrats didn't want to send a message that they approved of Obama's presidency and stayed home. And to underscore how much this election was a repudiation of Obama and not Democratic policies, five red states who elected Republican senators, voted to increase the minimum wage in their states and did it by landslide margins, in some cases by a margin of 40 points. So it wasn't a rejection of policy. It was a rejection of a vacuum created by Obama and Democratic leadership where there was no policy. As Obama pointed out when he said publicly that he had no strategy on Isis. The result of his rejecting the advice for three years of his own Secretary of State and two Secretaries of Defense.
Democrats need new leadership starting now and they need to take that mantel away from Obama even with 2 years remaining in his term. If they don't 2016 could be a repeat of 2014. And 2010. Just as I correctly predicted in August of 2010 (to blow my own horn) that if they let Obama drop the public option on healthcare they would get wiped out of congress in the November election. And as I predicted repeatedly this year warning that if Democrats didn't, not just distance themselves, but repudiate Obama's undermining of the Democratic agenda, admit his mistakes and his failures, and stand up for Democratic policies instead of the stupid, inane strategy of trying to run against the Koch Brothers and their money, they would get wiped out again.
The Democrats have less than two years to clean house and get it in order. And that means new leadership. By somebody. Which includes no more whiney dishonest fund raising emails by Democratic campaign committees, extolling the virtues of Obama and being so stupid as to think that is going to motivate a Democratic base that has seen Obama sell out their agenda.
Because now they have to deal with the reality that, when Obama was elected in 2008, and said " I want Republican ideas", thanks to him and Democratic party leadership, they are going to get them , and be forced to deal with Republican ideas for at least the next two years.