Talk about a sucker for punishment. Politico is reporting that in the even Scott Brown wipes the floor with Martha Coakley, Obama plans to take a “combative” turn:
President Barack Obama plans a combative response if, as White House aides fear, Democrats lose Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts, close advisers say.
“This is not a moment that causes the president or anybody who works for him to express any doubt,” a senior administration official said. “It more reinforces the conviction to fight hard.”
A defeat by Martha Coakley for the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy would be embarrassing for the party — and potentially debilitating, since Democrats will lose their filibuster-proof, 60-vote hold on the Senate.
A potential casualty: the health care bill that was to be the crowning achievement of the president’s first year in office.
The health care backdrop has given the White House a strong incentive to strike a defiant posture, at least rhetorically, in response to what would be an undeniable embarrassment for the president and his party.
There won’t be any grand proclamation that “the era of Big Government is over” — the words President Bill Clinton uttered after Republicans won the Congress in the 1990s and he was forced to trim a once-ambitious agenda.
“The response will not be to do incremental things and try to salvage a few seats in the fall,” a presidential adviser said. “The best political route also happens to be the boldest rhetorical route, which is to go out and fight and let the chips fall where they may. We can say, ‘At least we fought for these things, and the Republicans said no.’”
Clearly Obama and his advisors are not reading the message that a Brown victory would send. While Obama and the Democrats recognize the anger of the electorate, they refuse to recognize that the anger is directed at them.
When Republicans screwed up, the electorate threw them out because they did not perform as advertised. In the case of Obama and the Democrats, the American people hold a much worse view. The American people are viewing Obama and the Democrats like a threat to the nation. This is not something that is over come by boldly pushing ahead.
Obama and the Democrats need to view a Scott Brown victory as if the American people pushed a panic button. The people see the wild spending and the deliberate deaf ear to their displeasure over healthcare reform as a government out of control. Electing a Republican in the bluest of blue states is equivalent to jamming on the breaks.
Obama and the Democrats’ best course of action would be to chuck healthcare reform, begin taking huge chucks out of the deficit (i.e. HUNDREDS of billions in cuts), knock off the big spending and go about doing things that actually help to create jobs. Anything short of that and the public will remain in panic mode.