January 23rd, 2010
09:32 AM ET
4 years ago

Democrats' agenda hits the wall, analysts say

Democrats face a tough challenge moving forward with much of their agenda.
Democrats face a tough challenge moving forward with much of their agenda.

Washington (CNN) – Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts has forced congressional Democrats and the White House to assess their agenda going forward.

The historic win in the solidly Democratic state has put the brakes on President Obama's and congressional Democrats' key legislative initiatives: health care reform, climate change and a second stimulus.

Obama's agenda already was in trouble before the GOP victory in Massachusetts, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

"The Massachusetts special election crystallized just how much trouble Obama's legislative agenda was in," he said. "The sense I got was that members prior to Christmas didn't really think that most of Obama's agenda was going to pass anyway after health care."

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soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Batnit

    Go Brown, Go! This stupid health bill that will bankrupt us all, starting with small business. Brown's victory will force congress to focus on problems that have a decent rate of return. I work for the website Storyburn and I see the angst in people daily over things like home foreclosures and job losses.

    January 22, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Terry B., Lexington Ky

    So then the wild and wooley "independent voters" throw out the Dems and put the Repubs whom they threw out a year ago because they didn't like their economic policies in order to let them bring the same ole crap tax cuts and such back. Now in two more years the independent voters won't like the GOP economic policies and throw them out in favor of the Dems once more. It is a never ending circus of clown voters who know nothing of what they want other than to be on T.V. shouting....

    January 22, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Typical Democrat

    Hey, don't worry about that loss in Massachusetts, it's not a liberal state.

    January 22, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Rooting for Obama for the good of America

    Well, polls show that Americans trust President Obama (over 20-percentage points) more than they trust the GOP. Democrats still have the better agenda, they just need to figure out how to do a better job of implementing it. President Obama needs to do a better job of explaining what he is doing in plain language (and even if it is distasteful, the uniform soundbite type of slogans the GOP always uses to pound in messages because, unfortunately, that works). I do not think Pelosi or Reid are doing a good job and wish the Democrats had some better leaders in the Senate.

    January 22, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Orange Curtain, CA

    Larry who...does he work for Mickey Cantor? Of course the neo-nuts will jump on the bandwagon and go on Fox News and say "no" to everything the President tries to do.

    Reality check: the Democrats STILL have huge majorities in Congress and the Republicans only care about preserving the broken status quo.

    January 22, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Hawktyme

    President Obama needs to throw everyone under the bus. He needs to put this back on the shoulders of the House and Senate. Tell them what he wants, then make them get a program THEY can live with. No more paying off people for votes. Every deal is pulled off the table.

    Get ten Democrats and Republicans from the Senate. Put them in a room and let them hash it out. Put it all on C-Span, and no one is allowed to talk more than five minutes at a time. No longer, Mr Lieberman. While each of them are speaking that person's political backers names and amounts given to them is scrolled at the bottom of the screen. Then let the voters decide who's zoomin' who.

    January 22, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Slider

    History has a way of repeating itself especially if those that lived it do not learn from it the first time, or later generations are not taught about its alpha and omega.

    We are seeing history repeat itself again with regard to our political landscape.

    It took a republican congressional victory in 1994 to make Clinton palatable as a President.

    It's going to take another republican takeover to make this socialist palatable to Americans.

    As for the Republicans, let's hope they learned their lesson as well by not just putting the brakes on socialism, but this time STOPPING IT.

    Be for limited government, or get the hell out of Congress.

    January 22, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. No Incumbents 2010

    Time to reduce the size of government and reduce the deficit. Time to stop throwing money at every problem or worth cause regardless of the price. There is no free lunch. People should stop expecting the government to do everything for them.

    January 22, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Vindex

    It's a pretty sad state of affairs in the Senate when a 59-41 majority means you can't get anything done. When will the GOP decide that health care needs real reform? How high does the number of American deaths per year because of lack of insurance have to rise? It's about 45,000 deaths per year now. How about it GOP? 50,000? 75,000? Jump in any time the shame finally gets to you.

    January 22, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. Brian from NJ

    Once again Democrats found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... too funny... and these people think they should be running things.

    January 22, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Jane/Seattle

    This is pure SPIN! The Democrats (Many) are in COLLUSION with the corporations for campaign cash rewards for policy enactment.

    The "Activist" Court on High is politicized and anything but OBJECTIVE! That election FRAUD catapulted GWB to the White House is well known! These actions now required a GWB to put these Reich Wing judges in place to enact the "Shock Doctrine" (Naomi Klein) now being applied TO/ON America!

    The Dems have no REAL Agenda as they allowed and facilitated this rotten bill with the full intent to never enact it! The shouts of Incremental Change and we'll fix it later ARE just more SPIN! INCREMENTAL CHANGE in our laws is what has gotten us here with one bad co-opted Congress after another since Ronald Reagan began this process. Hey, peeps, watch the TV, See it flip the switch, flip the trip, and see large majorities miss the POINT Everytime! I am 61 and know this game well! All you sleepers who believe the liars in the winds need to find ways to think more critically and Question Authority – For Many Specialize in LIES! The Last Good Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex, but do you listen? No, Investigate because every political decision is related to all the rest! The True Agenda is FASCISM! Digg This!

    January 22, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. ric

    Great!

    January 22, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. ran

    Until we get 60 true democrats not much is going to happen because the Republicans have no intention or incentive to help this President or the Democrats or the People.

    The Republicans believe if they continue to use the filibuster they can fear/hate/obstruct their way back into power.

    It is now time for the Democrats to use reconciliation and just get things done until they can get 60 true Democrats in 2010/2012. Then they will not have to give in to the Lieberman/Nelson/blue dogs in order to get anything done; because until the Republicans stop their power games no other options are available.

    It is up to us the people to make sure we get 60 true Democrats.

    January 22, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Todd

    Once the dems communist plot was unvield, the real Americe would rise!

    January 22, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Craig

    Wanna know why?... Here it goes: The Dems caved into bank demands and bailed them out into the trillions of dollars... The Dems caved to the big health insurance companies demands and watered down a plan that nobody could support (including me, and I'm a Democrat, but read on..) This Administration continues to pour in money into Iraq and Afghanistan – both of which are truly lost causes and are costing us BILLIONS if not more. All this... and no wonder I'm not considering myself to be INDEPENDENT!.. oh... I forgot to mention, I'm also gay.

    January 22, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Michael

    Time To slow down and forget about the needs of the extreme left and start thinking about what is best for ALL Americans. Time for Big Government to back off and get out of the way.

    Yes, some regulation on Banks are needed but do not restrict the ability of the Golden Goose to do her thing. Freedom and the success of American business were a result of innovation and "may the best man win". To restrict our business to big Government will only kill the Goose that has laid the Golden egg for the past 2 Centuries.

    January 22, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Helena

    I think it's time for President Obama to stop being Mr. Nice Guy. The conservative Republicans are not playing nice so why should he? The Republicans especially John McCain said he looked forward to working with the president in a bipartisanship manner. We need health care reform in this country – it's long overdue. President Obama entered his presidency with a huge "to do" list. He cannot get it all done in 1 year!

    Keep on fighting Mr. President my family and friends support you 100%!

    January 22, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. ib

    I love it; this is the best thing that has happened to this country in a long time. The far left Obama agenda had to be stopped before it destroyed this country and all of our freedoms.

    January 22, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Chris

    The best strategy is to copy the Nixon / Kissinger doctrine which is
    to get on their knees in the oval office and pray together .

    January 22, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    This is ridiculous! The election of one Senator changes the whole political landscape? Pah-leeze! Sounds like something only the pundits would come up with.

    The Massachusetts race was NOT a referendum on President Obama's agenda; it was a local political race, nothing more and nothing less.

    The Democrats still have an 18-seat majority in the Senate, more than enough to pass health care reform and the rest of the President's agenda – through reconciliation (which only takes 51 Senators) if need be.

    January 22, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. lifelong democrat

    I don't know what to say, whatever Obama and my party tell us, I don't believe them anymore; not only they've lost my trust, I'm also very disgusted with them. What happen to $787 billion Porkulus Bill they've passed last year in a hurry threatening all of us if the bill doesn't pass our unemployment will go beyond 8%; it's over 10% now and still climbing. When Bush left office our unemployment was 4.5%; Obama more than doubled it.

    I can't wait for November 2, 2010 to be here, we the people need to do some cleanup in both houses. some of these people in Congress and Senated doesn't deserve to be there anymore.

    January 22, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Michael from Ventura

    Massachusetts, though devastating (to me because it was Teddy's) was one race. So was the 23rd in upstate NY- To buy that the majority of this country wants to go backwards is NOT something I'll buy into at all. The right is louder and much more obnoxious, but this is YEAR ONE folks- quit acting like it's 2012 and all hope is lost! We elected Barack Obama for a reason- and he is just starting an 8 year (YES-EIGHT YEAR!) term as our President.So "bag" that you right-wing-nuts.

    January 22, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Analysts, shmanalysts! Always looking for a controversy so they can justify their face time on TV.

    President Obama's agenda hasn't been fully implemented and is only in the start of its second year. It takes time to clean up the mess the size of the one he inherited, longer given the lack of cooperation and outright obstruction provided by the Republicans and their “Party First” mentality.

    After 8 full years of Bush/Cheney, we ended up with massive debt, global financial meltdown, two irresponsible, unfunded wars, loss of international leadership and cooperation and a divided populace.

    The Republicans and their policies are proven failures – and the people, as well as the pundits – know it!

    Only a fool would see Republicans as a viable alternative.

    January 22, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. j

    JOBS JOBS JOBS... that's what the new agenda should look like, work to create jobs.

    January 22, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    But Republicans remain in near lock-step against the current bill and have suggested Congress start from scratch with greater bipartisan talks.
    ______________________________________________________
    If the Democrats are serious about health care reform, they will invite the Republicans to the table to come up with a bill that makes sense for Americans. What they will find is that they don't have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for Republican support. They just need to come up with a bill that actually does lower the cost of health care without stripping down Medicare or spending another $1 trillion. Sure, that's not as much fun for the Democratic leaders, but it's about America's needs, not the Democratic leadership's!

    January 22, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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