Broken Cookie

Oh, what a difference a day makes. On Monday all the Democrats were wringing their hands in grief over the impending loss of Ted Kennedy’s long-held liberal seat in the Senate to Republican insurgent elephantista Scott Brown. Losing the seat would be a repudiation of Barack Obama and his policies among independents and disaffected voters, they all cried. Losing the seat following Obama personally campaigning for Martha Coakley would mean that his coattails had been shorn away. Losing the seat the day before his first anniversary as Commander in Chief would mean not only that the honeymoon was over, but also that the public was considering filing a petition of divorce. Losing the seat meant losing the filibuster-busting 60th vote in the Senate and, with it, the likelihood of passing Obama’s cornerstone healthcare reform this term, next term or any term. Losing the seat meant Obama now had the best chance of being a one-term Democrat since Bill Clinton blew healthcare reform back in ’93.

Woooh. That was a close one. But, as I boldly predicted in my fortune cookie blog Monday, Coakley won in a squeaker. In retrospect, I can’t imagine what all the hand-wringing was about. Did people really think the Democrats would actually take the Kennedy seat for granted and not find the best candidate possible to fill in his giant liberal shoes? Did people really think the Democrats would nominate someone with the personal touch of a cucumber and the political savvy of a stone to run for the a seat formerly held by one of the most gregarious, hand-pumping politicians ever to come from the Bay State? Did people really think the Democrats would run with a candidate who didn’t even know which team Curt Shilling played for? Moreover, did people really think Obama’s whiz-bang White House political machine would actually send their man up to the Bay State to campaign unless their own private polling showed that the thing was in the bag?

I mean, pleazzzz. These are the Democrats we’re talking about here, not a bunch of just-off-the-turnip-truck jokesters who couldn’t pass a bill holding a super-majority for the life of their party. These guys don’t blow elections by resting on weak Massachusetts candidates with the personality of a codfish. These guys don’t blow successive presidencies by trying to run healthcare reform straight down the middle into the unyielding Republican defensive line, giving up the ball at the next midterm election. This is the party of Carter! Gore! Kerry! Have a little faith, people.

No, the egg is certainly on the face of all those doubters who didn’t believe the vaunted White House machine would roll over this one as easily as a semi running over the Pillsbury Dough Boy, yessir. And After the Dems finish with healthcare reform, there’s nothing stopping them. Minimum-wage legislation, Wall Street-bonus bashing, reversing the 30-year slide in middle class income-level job creation? There’ll be no stoppin’ ‘em now that True Shoot Annie Oakley Coakley has stapled Scott Brown to the Cosmo centerfold…

Hold on, this just in.  What’s that…Brown?…By five percent?…Really?…Oh.

My apologies, all. I don’t know what I was thinking. (Damn you, California medicinal marijuana law!) Apparently the Democrats ARE THAT STUPID. And now, year one into his administration, Ba- “Rock the Status Quo” Obama is reduced to Bill Clinton sans philandering, waiting for the Republicans to overreach after winning the House next November and then nominating a right-wing ultra-conservative to alienate every independent in the country in 2012. Luckily for Obama, the odds are probably 8:3 in his favor on that one.

Oh well, at least I can take solace this weekend watching the Bolts take down the Colts this Sunday. After the trouncing they gave the Jets last week, there’s no stopping the chargin’ Chargers, despite what any party-pooping naysayers might have thought. I mean, people really think the Chargers would actually choke again in round one of the playoffs, throwing multiple interceptions and missing easy field goals……………

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Fortune Cookie

Two quick predictions:

For all the horserace drama the Massachusetts special election is generating my bet is, when the fortune cookie crumbles, Coakley and the Democrats hold on to Ted Kennedy’s ancestral seat and Barack Obama keeps his thin filibuster-busting sixty votes in the Senate.  As far as I can tell (and I may well be wrong on this, as I often am), the touted polls showing Scott Brown up a by a few percent over Martha “Makes Bland Seem Exciting” Coakley have been of “voters” and not “likely voters.”  The turn out tomorrow is going to be bleak, comprised of party stalwarts who actually care enough to brave the thirty-something freezing rain to vote.  While Brown is doing well with independents. Both Bush and Obama have shown that independents matter far less than getting the party base out.  And Democrats have a three-one advantage in their Bay State base.   Brown has gotten a lot of out of state support.  But getting Rudy “I’m from New York and You Know How Much People In Massachusetts Love New York” Giuliani to campaign for you is a far throw from getting Bill “Show Me the Love One More Time Massachusetts” Clinton to stand by you.  Throw in the Obama Express stop yesterday and the Mass Senate race begins to resemble the Owens/Hoffman row last fall in New York’s 23rd Congressional.   If Coakley wins—even by a narrow two or three percent—Obama celebrates his one-year anniversary with a second major congressional victory (which he can claim as his own due to his quick visit) and National Republicans look like they’ve blown yet another one.

Of course, if Brown does pull it off and upsets Coakley Republicans go into the spring fundraising season invigorated and on the offensive, Healthcare gets filibustered to death by the Republicans, despite whatever Nancy Pelosi may Pollyanna-ishly hope, Republicans score big victories in November and Barack Obama faces the real possibility of becoming the Democrats first Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century.  So relax, Democrats.  Nothin’ on the line here.

Closer to home, I’ve got to disagree with long time Charger Voice Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton’s observation on “These Days” this morning that the Charger’s Disappointment Bowl loss yesterday won’t impact the franchise’s quest for new digs. Going all the way to the Big Dance in the Big Easy was the Charger’s best chance in years to rally Bolts fans—particularly the “We only pay attention to the Chargers when they win” fans, aka the “independent voters of the sports world — to support a new stadium at the ballot box.   In disappointing defeat, Bolts fans are more likely to balk—and bolt—at any municipal effort to throw public money at a team who didn’t deliver on the publics hopes.  Will this make the Bolts more likely to bolt themselves?  Maybe.  Though any reality of a bolting is years in the future.  For know Dean Spanos had better suck it up fast and launch a determined “Just wait’ll Next Year, San Diego!” campaign, replete with a willingness to throw a few million more at team building over the next year.  John Moores at least knew enough to buy a guaranteed championship team before he hit the voters up for big bucks.  It’s time for Spanos to put up and shut up—or sell the team to someone willing to do what it takes to make San Diego winners.  That is, if they want a big, new home for the Chargers.  If not, just keep doing what they’ve been doing.