Like Jamelle Bouie, I totally endorse everything my friend Ezra says here:
The loss in Massachusetts was a terrible disappointment to Democrats. But it can be explained away. Martha Coakley was a terrible candidate. Scott Brown ran an excellent campaign. These things happen.
But the reaction congressional Democrats have had to Coakley’s loss has been much more shattering. It has been a betrayal.
The fundamental pact between a political party and its supporters is that the two groups believe the same thing and pledge to work on it together. And the Democratic base feels that it has held to its side of the bargain. It elected a Democratic majority and a Democratic president. It swallowed tough compromises on the issues it cared about most. It swallowed concessions to politicians it didn’t like and industry groups it loathed. But it persisted. Because these things are important. That’s why those voters believe in them. That’s why they’re Democrats.
But the party looks ready to abandon them because Brown won a special election in Massachusetts – even though Democrats can pass the bill after Brown is seated. What that says is crucial: Whereas the base thought it was making these hard compromises and getting up early to knock on doors because these issues are important, the party thought all that was happening because, well, it’s hard to say. It was electorally convenient? People need something to do? Ted Kennedy wanted it done?
If Democrats let go of health care, there is no doubt that a demoralized Democratic base will stay home in November. And that’s as it should be. If the Democratic Party won’t uphold its end of the bargain, there’s no reason its base should pretend the deal is still on.
Seriously. I have much better things to do with my time and money than work for a party that won’t work for me.