Football analogy time. In this age of Game Change (see previous post), why not?
I'm predicting Martha Coakley will lose. I'm predicting Barack Obama will be a one term president. (More a George Bush Senior than a Jimmy Carter loss, but at this point does it matter?).
Why am I courting the wrath of true believers? Because the Democrats are like the Ravens, Cowboys, Chargers, Cardinals et al.
Both sets rely on big plays on O or D or both, and big personalities to win. If you get behind them, you're dead. Period. Yet if you trip them up, pierce their lack of a fundamental game plan, you win. Little discipline beneath the surface of either the Dems or these teams. The coaches/leaders aren't ruthless field generals. They are arrogant young guys or self-serving paycheck collectors or technocrats or avuncular types. I guess Norv Turner fits the latter two categories?
So where are the fundamentals that truly win games? Block, tackle, run, throw, catch, kick. That's it. The GOP does it well. In Massachusetts, it has. In Virginia and NJ as well. Don't blame it all on weak or sublimely flawed candidates (though that helped!). Fundamentals don't just mean physical or digital grassroots stuff (the latter, ironically, what Plouffe did for Obama with the template laid by Howard Dean...and where are they now?). Fundamentals also mean dirty tricks, soft money, lies, distortion, casting yourself as a victim or oppressed when you and your target demos clearly aren't, displacement of evil out-groups or straw villians (ACORN, illegals and other hobgoblins), recruitment (and eventual casting away...watch it folks) of stormtroopers (e.g. Tea Partiers). Couple that with your own PR arm--Fox News and Fox Business News--well, you have a machine where the players are interchangeable, not irreplaceable.
The Baltimore Ravens kicked Rex Ryan to the curb in favor of Harbaugh. Barack ( or his people, and who are his people, his team, his sanctum? Growing up a loner, a la Tony Romo, doesn't help) punts Plouffe, distances himself from Dean. Brings in Rahm et al. Outsource's his leadership to Harry Reid and former Baltimore Colt-Memorial Stadium in her blue and white booties booster Nancy Pelosi. How's that been working out for the Ravens, the Jets, and the White House's agenda? Ryan was the Ravens' rock for fundamentals, for gritty football. Harbaugh may have just ridden that legacy this season.
Likewise, when I see the Dems in Massachusetts this week I see the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone knew Teddy Kennedy was sick for long time. Why wasn't an heir apparent trained, pimped, hyped and hustled? Well because they were hot, unstoppable, flashy, the boys. Now the Commonwealth will be stuck not with an Olympia Snowe type, but rather with some Rick Santorum clown for 6 years. Nice legacy for Ted. Though I predict Brown will be a one term senator...and none other than Derval "Barack with balls" Patrick will knock him off. I dare you to bet against me.
For Barack the implications are grim. Grim as the post Reconstruction extremism and dark ages of 1876-1898, revisited. As grim as Colts-Vikings Superbowl...
Then again, extreme pain and shame may be a good thing for the Dems, for Barack, for teams like the Ravens, the Cowboys, Kurt Warner's bunch, the Bolts & such. Extreme pain pushes out the conventional wisdom, the entrenched fools, the Kool Aid drinkers. It induces change. Real change, not bullshit. Pain becomes an inducement to fundamentals. Fundamentals win.