Congressman Perriello nails it yet again in his response to last night's election results. This quote embodies Tom's strengths as a legislator, and shows why the righties have a much tougher fight on their hands than they realize. From Salon.com:
And already, some Democrats were trying to quash the impulse Bayh and Lieberman had Tuesday, and rejecting the idea that the solution for 2010 would be to play dead. "What people are upset about is a lack of leadership and a lack of solutions -- not doing too much," said Rep. Tom Perriello, a freshman Democrat from southwestern Virginia, who is one of the GOP's top targets for defeat in November. "There's certainly an omnipresence of risk aversion among politicians that prevents us from doing what's necessary. We need wartime consiglieres, not risk-averse politicans right now." Perriello won election in 2008 by defeating a six-term incumbent Republican by 727 votes -- you might expect him to be one of the most risk-averse politicians out there. But he told Salon Tuesday he wanted more action, not less: "We should stop worrying about protecting our own jobs, and start worrying about protecting the jobs of the American people." (My emphasis)He's absolutely right. What happened in Massachusetts (and for that matter what happened in Virginia and New Jersey) have a lot more to do with stasis than change.
There's plenty to be said about the poor quality of the candidates involved in Democrats' recent losses, but it has now been a full year since President Obama took office. Think about what's happened since then--continued bank bailouts while homeowners lose everything, resulting in a banner year for the very fat cats who caused the crisis; impotent attempts at re-regulation on Wall Street; continued offshoring of jobs; skyrocketing unemployment and a mismanaged stimulus; and, perhaps most importantly, a pathetically inept attempt at health care reform that has now consumed more than half of President Obama's first year in office.
I don't think anybody expected the economy to turn around overnight, and I think Americans are inclined to be forgiving on the Afghanistan escalation. But when you win historic majorities on the strength of campaign promises that you don't even come close to delivering, your support will evaporate very quickly. It is now clear that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi do not have the intelligence, forcefulness or spine to lead the party's legislative branch. They should be replaced as quickly as possible, and President Obama needs to get off his duff and take ownership of his own agenda. He'd better show some passion and drive, the way he did during the campaign, or he will be a one-term president.