Chances are they won´t if we look at recent history. But let me provide some guidance in case they are listening about why this train wreck occurred and how to make the right changes to steer their agenda forward.
First, the Democrats didn´t lose by being too aggressive, they lost by not being aggressive enough. It feels like just yesterday that the right was charging Obama with trying to do too much at once. But in the first year of his presidency the major problem wasn´t trying to do too much, but trying to do everything half-way. You can say what you want about Independents, fired-up Republicans, and the tea-bag crowd, but there is no way the Democrats would have lost a special election for Senate in Massachusetts if their Democratic base wasn´t upset. Obama forgot the most basic lesson in politics: ¨dance with the one that brung ya.¨ It´s time for Obama to return to his base, those who knocked on doors and pounded the pavement to get him elected. Without them, he has no political space to maneuver. If the base of the Democratic Party isn´t ¨fired up and ready to go¨ as candidate Obama used to say, they might as well not waste time and money on the 2010 midterms.
Second, the Democrats need a full time campaign operation, and a part time DNC Chair, Tim Kaine, couldn´t get the job done. Howard Dean had a nearly perfect record as DNC Chair because he viewed it not only as a permanent job, but a mission, to remake the party, and to sell the Democratic agenda everywhere, in all 50 states. And what have the Democrats had issues with in the past year? Selling their agenda across the country. And where has Obama had issues? Governing in the way he campaigned, in a way that brings the public along with him. There isn´t much of a chance that Gov. Dean is asked to re-take the reigns at the DNC, but it´s what the party needs. As Dean said last night, ¨People who blame others are losers. If you want to win elections, you stop blaming and get to work.¨
Third, the Democrats need to get real about the prospects of bipartisan governing. The Republicans don´t want it. Their abuse of the filibuster has been historic, using it almost double the amount that Democrats used it to block Bush´s agenda. With a party hell bent on obstruction, Democrats need to learn that they are going to have to get tough and use whatever ethical means they can to pass legislation through simple majority votes. They can not let Republicans hold the governing of this country in limbo because they only have the 2nd largest Democratic majority in decades and not the largest. They still control the House and the 59 % of the Senate and they should act like it. If they use this as a further excuse to do nothing, the American people will punish them again in November.
Here is the lesson: Americans want change and they are impatient. The Democrats promised bold and swift change in 2008. They haven´t delivered so the American people are turning to whomever they think will. It´s not a grand philosophical statement, it´s a simple truth. Americans are impatient and they have every right to be. It´s been decades since government did big, bold things in America and the results have been devastating. This election isn´t a call for restraint, this is a wake-up call that anyone who stands in the way of change, whether it be changing the financial system which Americans are more than fed up with, or changing the way politics works in the nation´s capital, will go down. If only the Democrats would get the message now, they could avoid further embarrassment in 10 months. If only