When House Democrats gathered on Friday for their end-of-the week caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol, caucus chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) told the group he wanted them to hear first from Rep. Michael Capuano, who’d just returned from a primary campaign for the Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy.
Larson asked Capuano, who finished in second place, to share the wisdom he learned on the campaign trail.
Capuano took to the microphone, looked out at his colleagues and condensed what he’d learned into two words. “You’re screwed,” he told his friends in the House, according to one attendee. The room’s silence was broken only by soft, nervous laughter.
Indeed, although I suspect there’s a word that comes closer to conveying the full measure of the predicament better than “screwed.”
Over the last few years of the Bush presidency I feared that the Republicans had a strategy in place, a clever and cynical strategy to loot and pillage everything in sight, leaving a smoldering and irreparable waste to the Dems (since the strategy took a long view, the plan was to trot out the reserves and forfeit in 2008). Then, since the public is dog-butt stupid and incapable of remembering who made the mess in the first place, and since the Democrats can be counted on to fuck up even the obvious stuff, the GOP would then be positioned to march triumphantly back into DC as the responsible, competent saviors in the mid-terms and 2012. “See,” they could say, “that silly librul socialist Democrat Party doesn’t know anything about the hard word and smarts that goes into actually governing. They’re good at sitting on the sidelines and bitching, but you can’t put them in charge of anything. Now look at the mess they made. Remember this the next time things look bad and you’re thinking about ‘change,’ all right?”
So far it looks like the plan is right on schedule, huh?