Forget about the NY 23rd congressional race that Sarah Palin, Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Gov. George Pataki interjected themselves in backing the Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman over their fellow Republican, Dierdre Scozzafava. The true message of tonight's Democratic Party slaughter can be found in the voice of the Nassau County, NY Democratic Party Chair, Jay Jacobs as reported by Newsday. He opined: "I just don't see Democrats coming out the way we would have liked," Jacobs said. "It doesn't mean anything terrible for the results, but it doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling right now."
Let me correct, Jacobs having worked numerous campaigns; the results are everything in the course of the body politics. Coming in second means just that. Second!
Well the results were terrible as the county legislature's control switched tonight from Democrat to Republican. That is a FAR greater number of voters over the 23rd congressional district of NY. A message was lost to the party faithful and now they (the party heads) must own this defeat. Those who came out in droves to elect President Barack Obama last year; stayed home. The question is why?
What generated the Obama win was the GOTV (Get out the vote) via the net-roots and minority vote and perhaps they were not as engaged in this election than the past year. Are some elections more important than others when it comes to the political hierarchy? Local elections are by far the most important ones that directly affect a populous and the populous spoke back tonight.
As of this writing; Newsday reports: "With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Suozzi, a Glen Cove Democrat, leads Edward Mangano, a Republican from Bethpage, by 313 votes, according to the Nassau Board of Elections." Yes, every vote does count. The Democratic incumbent, Tom Suozzi was thought to be a strong gubernatorial candidate a few years back and now he is in a horse race with his Republican challenger, Mangano? Either this does not compute or the times have significantly changed. This is surely to be a nail-biter to the very end as each vote is counted and thankfully done on lever machines.
Is this a slap-back at the Obama administration and the Democratic controlled House of Representatives and Senate? Or is the failure here in turning out the Democratic vote? Perhaps a little of both.
As progressives rail against Joe Lieberman for even daring to filibuster healthcare reform, maybe the voters spoke out tonight? It will be a long time to dissect this election.
While the Florida representative, Alan Grayson spoke of the numbers who died each year due to lack of healthcare, I do suspect that voters could not conceptualize those numbers and only looked upon the numbers of their family budgets. Or they looked upon whether or not they had a job or not.
The Republican Virginian candidate, Bob McDonnell ran on a motto "Bob's 4 Jobs" and to me that is a campaign message in a nut-shell with the national unemployment rate running at close to 10 percent. America so wants to work!
While the Democratic controlled federal government is trying to push forth healthcare reform when it needs it: My question is, if a person is without a job, how can they afford to pay any premium to an insurance company or the government for that matter? They simply can't. If they cannot afford to pay either two since they do not have a job, should they be penalized? People's first need is to eat in order to survive and they need money to pay for their groceries.
Perhaps that is exactly what the voters were playing with in their minds as they entered the voting booths today. Maybe those who refused to show up showed a weakness in the Democratic Party machine over the Republican machine. I can attest to the strength of the Republican Party here locally on Long Island as a former Republican. It used to be when you were called to show up, you did just that. That has never been the strength of the Democratic Party here on Long Island and perhaps that is the way other Democratic Parties operate nationally.
While many progressives tried to paint the 'tea baggers' as a crazy bunch, there may have been something simmering just below the surface which delivered today's off-year election results.
To close out this piece the difference between Nassau County Executive, Tom Suozzi and his Republican, Edward Mangano challenger is 237 votes. If you are a Democrat in Nassau County, this does not bode well. If you are a Republican, it gives you energy to fight another day.