After Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) managed to squeak by challenger Bill Halter in the runoff of her Senate primary, despite voting away the support of the unions (and having them flood Halter's coffers with $10M in funding) there were a couple different lessons one could take away.
One would be that politicians need to remember that, every now and again, people actually cast their votes based on more than the letter that follows the name on the ballot. When elected to support peoples' interests, you occasionally need to give that support.
Another would be the White House's interpretation:
A senior White House official just called me (Politico's Ben Smith) with a very pointed message for the administration's sometime allies in organized labor, who invested heavily in beating Blanche Lincoln, Obama's candidate, in Arkansas.
"Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise," the official said. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."
...Another senior Democrat (who also would not be quoted by name) echoed the point in an exchange with the Huffington Post. "Labor is humiliated," the source said. "$10 million flushed down the toilet at a time when Democrats across the country are fighting for their lives, they look like absolute idiots."Setting aside the abject cowardice of the anonymity-insisting worm who floated this garbage (not to mention the pointless granting of anonymity by Smith and Huffington Post for little more than smears) is it possible for an administration/party to be more entitled?
It speaks volumes that the administration has abandoned thinking it must work to earn peoples' votes in favor of chastising supporters as "idiots" when they don't spend their own money according to DNC/DSCC priorities. With all the anti-incumbent furor sweeping the country, it's breathtaking that they think they can attack national groups of reliable allies for insufficient fealty.
There are only so many times you can take a group for granted and stiff them on the support they (thought they) bought with their votes and donations.
At this rate, who will be left in November, much less 2012?