It’s tempting to make a lot out of various state-level elections last night, Tuesday November 8th. After all, Ohio’s Beatles-loving (the band) Kasich suffered defeat on SB-2 and his radical war on collective bargaining decisively crushed. Mississippi similarly rejected a pro-life proposition that was so bizarrely drawn even Haley Barbour dropped his fond reminiscing of Jim Crow to muse even pro-lifers didn’t understand it. Maine rejected a Rightist rollback on voter registration access.
Would be nice to think that these small tactical defeats on Movement extremism represent its ideological and logistical over-extension. The establishment of a Non-Rightist Defensive Line, as it were. Sherrod Brown says Ohio’s action “is a decisive step towards rebuilding the middle class.” Such is the state of Opposition leadership. Still, wins are wins.
As noted by TPM and others, the message is more diluted. Ohio voters actually approved Issue 3 which called for an Ohio constitutional amendment to block implementation of Obama’s health care law.
Creating a proper political defensive line 18 months ago would have been the first priority of competent political professionals. These scatter shot successes, achieved in part by organization and mostly by Rightists’ over reaching, are but a step along that path. Halting an opponent’s Noon Tide and then switching oneself over to the offensive is an altogether trickier proposition. Given Obama’s personal inability to be authentically engaged in non-detached, non-judgmental politics, local successes such as achieved on November 8th will have to suffice: sua sponte, self-organizing (as in independent of Obama’s personal fate or trajectory). Billion dollars or no. Which means a proper defensive line, if it ever were to form, would have to hold for the next four years of Obama.