THE BLOG
11/05/2014 02:42 pm ET Updated Jan 05, 2015

Democrats Have No One to Blame But Themselves

AP

After the midterm election results, if you were Republican it was a good night. Some undoubtedly awoke with a headache from the endless flow of Champagne and gleeful celebration -- the thrill of victory.

If, however, you were a Democrat, the night obviously did not fare as well. Like your Republican counterparts, you also may have consumed too many libations but for a different reason.

The morning, or afternoon, when you awoke, the throbbing in your head could not camouflage the pain in your soul -- the agony of defeat.

Whether it was a shellacking, landslide, decisive victory, or severe beating, call it what you will but it translates to a Republican majority in Congress.

What does that mean in January 2015?

Will Republicans waste time with meaningless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Will there be constitutional amendments to ban abortions and same-gender marriage? Or will they maintain their ongoing commitment to oppose everything supported by President Barack Obama?

The biggest impact of a Republican majority in the Senate may be on judicial appointments, where the GOP may force the president to nominate more conservative judges.

Meanwhile, Democrats will devote some of the upcoming holiday season to soul searching, second-guessing, and Monday morning quarterbacking.

Frustrated Democrats may ask: "How could Republicans be given total control of Congress, while their most notable accomplishments were being against all things Obama, and shutting down the government?"

While it is easier, but far less enlightening, to place emphasis on what Republicans did to achieve their midterm success; Democrats may be better served by examining what they failed to do.

Exit polling indicated that voters were most concerned about the economy. Did Democrats have a story to share? Absolutely! One need only engage in cursory research to see where the economy was when the president assumed office in 2009, and where it is currently.

But that needed to be buttressed by acknowledging that the economy still has a ways to go in order to ease the anxiety that too many Americans feel. That is not to suggest that some have not made such arguments, but it requires an unending commitment so that it trickles into the public discourse much like Republicans did with Benghazi.

Economics is a social science that relies heavily on how one feels. Who better to assuage some of those fears than the president who possesses the most powerful bully pulpit in the world?

It is impossible to govern some 400 million simply with legislation alone; it must be done through communication. Here is where Democrats in general, and the president in particular, failed miserably.

I have long been a critic of the president's inability to communicate, now it seems the chickens have come home to roost. If the dominant critique about your administration comes primarily from the opposition, what should the outcome of the midterm elections be?

Moreover, Democrats demonstrated more desire to respond to criticisms emanating from the president's left than taking on the ceaseless, and many times baseless, attacks from Republicans.

But I remain hopeful that the results of the midterm elections will be beneficial to the American people.

First, Mitch McConnell, the presumed Senate Majority Leader, understands that something must get done. Though he was an artisan in creating a climate in the Senate that required 60 votes to pass legislation, he can ill-afford to have nothing to show for his leadership by 2016.

Second, the Republican establishment did a better job in insuring that mainstream candidates ran in key battleground states, they may not to be as entrenched in their orthodoxy as tea party candidates and more amenable to making deals.

Third, Speaker John Boehner expanded his majority in the House, which could mean he would have more latitude to make deals with the White House and not so beholden to tea party obstruction.

Now that the midterms are in the country's rearview mirror and we look toward 2016, it is clear Republicans won and Democrats lost.

What remains unclear is whether the American people will win.