So, Obama has lost his Senate super majority. I can't say I'm surprised. Yet, while many in the media are attributing the loss of the Massachusetts seat to popular disdain for, as the victorious Republican candidate Scott Brown puts it, "The Democratic Machine," I think that is only part of the reason for the outcome. Some voters undoubtedly voted to protest the Democrats' leftward leanings, but if the Party has become a machine, it is more akin to a rusty, sputtering pickup than some well-greased vehicle of war.

I spent Thanksgiving break in Massachusetts, and most of my time was occupied by watching far too much TV. Between horrid sitcoms and dull news programs, commercial breaks were filled with clips supporting both Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, and Brown.

Now, usually I ignore such propaganda, but Coakley's television ads were notable for one thing: the intense feelings of boredom and even stinging pain they inspired in the viewer. In order to write this article, I looked up more recent ads, and they seemed to be made using a checklist right out of "Political Advertising for Dummies."

The commercials ticked all the boxes: talking heads, vague, general populist claims with nothing to back them up ... the only thing missing was a feel-good clip of windmills, and I'm sure if I looked more I would undoubtedly find at least one video which featured them. This feeling was not just confined to her television spots, however.

Coakley's policy positions were about as boring and insulting as they come; she appeared to be vapid and devoid of a single original thought: almost everything she said was in support of extending previous policies—mainly tax credits—or demonizing whichever groups she thought were disliked by the electorate at that moment. Despite being an ardent supporter of health care reform, had I been a Massachusetts rather than a Maine voter, I would have found it very, very hard to vote for Ms. Coakley.

Her campaign's track record epitomizes the current state of the Democratic Party; as I have noted in the past, electoral incompetence seems to prevail all the way from the Senate to local branches of the party. The Coakley campaign is a perfect example of this. Ever since the public realized that "Hope" and "Change" were not exactly clear policy goals, the Democrats have been at a loss for how to sway voters. If they don't figure it out by the time campaigns for the mid-term elections get underway, they are doomed to lose far more seats than they would otherwise.

The most bizarre part of the party's plight is how it seems to stem simultaneously from a seemingly-unshakable belief in Obama's charisma and a complete rejection of the very tactics that got him elected. After dispatching with Obama's masterful political advertising, Coakley proceeded to botch the rest of her Senate bid as well. A far cry from the frenetic pace of Obama's campaign, which made even his Hawaiian holiday into an effective PR piece, Ms. Coakley elected to disappear completely on vacation during a critical part of her campaign, apparently secure in a belief that she had already won. It is hard to imagine how voters couldn't interpret such an act as rather insulting hubris on her part.

And so, after throwing everything that got Obama elected out of the window, what did Coakley do when she finally came back from holiday and realized that she was behind in the polls? Break the glass in front of a lever labeled "emergency" and call in Mr. Obama himself.

However, Ms. Coakley may have been better off smashing the glass protecting a lever at one of Brown's campaign rallies and causing the venue to be evacuated; the appearance of the head of state did little, as should have been expected. While many, including myself, do generally approve of Obama, I find it hard to believe that any of his previously slavish followers still maintain much of their fervor. The president can no longer transfer the tattered remains of his popular magic to another candidate, and the Democratic Party has to realize this.

Unfortunately, it is not just Ms. Coakley playing such a poor game. The Democrats cannot avoid people voting against them in reaction to their policies, but they can try to limit the damage by being clever campaigners and actually saying things of note. On no recent campaign trail has there been a rational discussion of the upsides and downsides of health care or the president's foreign policy. Nowhere have we seen even a hint of the brilliant PR which contributing so effectively to Obama's campaign. Democrats have to recapture their previous dynamism if they hope to have success in the future.

As it stands, I will not be in the least surprised if the Democrats lose a massive amount of seats in the autumn. Such an outcome, especially considering Mr. Obama's pitiful record so far as implementing his campaign promises go, will almost ensure that the dreams that got him elected never live to see reality. If they do lose seats, the only people Democrats will have to blame is themselves.

Benjamin Ziomek is a member of the Class of 2013.