Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Build on this

Can Democrats build on Kathy Hochul's upset win in NY-26?  Unless GOPhers manage to backpedal faster than Bobby Orr getting back to meet an odd-man rush, the answer is:  Yes.  Rebuplicans stand to be crushed next year, broken on the wheel of their plan for Medicare--that is, the plan to kill it.

But if Democrats want to build something more lasting than the Rebuplicans did in 2010, they need to win over voters on more than Medicare.  The Times quoted a couple of Republican voters who pulled the lever (well, actually, pushed the button) for Hochul:  "'I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.'”   "'Pat Gillick, a Republican from East Amherst, who also cast a ballot for Ms. Hochul, said, “The privatization of Medicare scares me.'”  If Hochul is to be more than a one-term congresswoman, she's going to have to find common ground with people like this.  Constituent service is one way to do that, but in these contentious times, it's likely to be more important to find issues on which there is common ground.  In suburban and exurban conservative districts, suspicion of big banks and Wall Street might be one of them.  Can that be used to get these voters to support reforms such as the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that has been such a lightning-rod for Rebuplicans beholden to those very interests?  Perhaps.  Indeed, the biggest risk for Democrats may be that so many of their own people are in thrall to the same masters.

Just another reason for Democrats to re-discover their roots.

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