As a sports fan, there's nothing more frustrating when your team, seeming to have all the pieces together, can't seem to do anything. What's even worse, is when the opposition utilizes this to their advantage. Very often, it takes a big play to wake things up.
What happened in Massachusetts is just that big play. I can imagine there's a lot of panic on both the progressive and Democratic side, and that panic is just what Beck, Limbaugh, FOX News(?), and the teabaggers and town hall mobs are hoping for.
But it's still early, and there's no need to panic. Instead, all that I see necessary is to regroup a bit.
To start with, Obama needs to get back to basics a bit. Even those who rely on AM-Radio and it's cable affiliate for news and opinion realize that the 2008 election was a referendum on the economy. Making job creation and economic growth key points of the agenda for 2010 could go a long way in getting a few small victories for Obama as well as showing how the GOP continues to let corporations and CEOs set their agenda.
Next, Obama needs to get his "ground game" going. Somehow, the young volunteers, who put tireless effort into getting him elected, need to be reactivated to help advance his agenda. The GOP, since they lack any new ideas, will likely make any legislation seem like a campaign. These activists could provide a strong counter to the AM-Radio and FOX News nation that works at the bidding of the GOP and their handlers.
Which brings up the need for communication. The GOP has Beck, Limbaugh and FOX News to tell their followers what and how to think. What Obama needs to do is tap into the web as a way to get the truth to his supporters and point out the lies and fear that have been the tools of the right. Also the web, much as it was during the election, can be a way to co-ordinate activism.
There also may be a need to make some changes at the party leadership. Bring people in who are closer to the model that won the Democrats Congress in 06, and the White House in 2008. Would Howard Dean accept his old job back? Would Obama be willing to look to MoveOn or United For Peace and Justice for party leaders.
Finally, sometimes you gotta take what you can get. On the Health Reform bill, as controversial and as distasteful as it may be, it may be better to reconcile the bill and sign it. As most of us remember what happened after the last attempt to reform Health Care failed.