The Vindication of “No”

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The main takeaway from Scott Brown’s win in the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday has to be that Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP’s strategy of filibustering absolutely everything the Democrats proposed was incredibly effective. The Republicans managed to prevent the Democrats from passing their main agenda items, confirming 175-plus administration officials, or even confirming most of Obama’s judicial nominees. Most important, the GOP was able to stall while the national mood shifted and Democrats became increasingly associated with the poor economy and (ironically) the “gridlock” in Washington.

This is great news for Republicans in the short term. House Democrats are wilting at the prospect of passing the Senate health care reform bill unchanged, which is the measure’s best remaining chance for making it into law. The national environment is looking increasingly GOP-friendly, and the Republicans appear poised to romp in the 2010 midterms.

In the long run, however, the vindication of the “party of ‘no'” strategy will hurt conservatives just as much as it’s hurting Democrats now. When the GOP is back in power, Democrats will surely adopt the same strategy the Republicans are employing now. Major conservative agenda items—things like privatizing Social Security—will inevitably run into filibusters (remember, Republicans haven’t had over 60 percent of the votes in the Senate since the ’20s). Conservative judges and presidential appointees will be even harder to confirm than they were in the Bush years. The GOP will be left with the only thing it’s been able to pass in recent years: war resolutions and tax cuts for the rich. How’d that work out last time?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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