"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
That quote is apropos in light of the victory last night for Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown. A wild populist wave descended upon the Bay State and Brown rode it to become the first Republican elected to federal office from that state since the 1970's. Ding, dong, dead Ted is indeed that. The Democrats are reeling from the shock of the election returns today. Rightly so.
Here's the thing - the election result that rocked the country came on the eve of President Obama's one year anniversary in office. Obama even went to Boston Sunday to try to inject some enthusiasm into the Coakley campaign and Martha Coakley campaigned with Vicki Kennedy last weekend but alas, the voters didn't fall for that old Obama charm. Finally. The Emperor has no clothes.
True to form, Obama gave an interview today to a national network news anchor and predictably turned the result into all about Barack. He claims the populist wave that ushered Brown into the U.S. Senate is the same one that took him to the White House. What Obama hasn't learned yet is that this populist wave was in direct response to his policies and how he is leading our country. He took the exact opposite lesson from Brown's win and sent out the flunkies to insist he intends to double down on health care and anything else that strikes his fancy. Problem is, the rest of his party in Washington didn't quite get the same message.
The rest of the elected Democrats in Washington are nervous. Many are publicly saying today that health care reform legislation must be slowed and pursued in a bi-partisan way. Surprise! The American people don't appreciate being told badly written legislation laden with pay-offs to unions, lobbyists and corrupt politicians will be rammed down their throats thanks to one party rule. The election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate seat from the bluest state in the union, a seat dominated by the selfish ego of Ted Kennedy for over 40 years even as he was too ill to represent the people of his state to do his job, is the beginning. The beginning of the correction the American voters will bring to a corrupt Democratic party gone off the cliff with power grabs while dominating as the sole ruling party began last night.
From Blue Dog Democrat Senator Evan Bayh (IN):
There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”…
“The only way we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates,” Bayh said. “Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country — that’s not going to work too well.”
From Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): "This historic win sends a clear message to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. The American people, no matter whether they come from Teas or Massachusetts, are angry with the Democrats' proposal for a government takeover of our health care system and the out of control spending we've seen in the last year. I look forward to working with Senator - elect Brown to put an end to the Democrats' push toward socialized medicine."
Scott Brown said, "I'm of the Big Tent philosophy" in reference to the kind of Republican he is and will work as in Washington. This is a solid start - he is stating clearly that he is not one who will fall victim to such nonsense as purity tests that shrink the party. He also gave a shout-out to John McCain in his victory speech because he said McCain was the first from Washington to encourage him to run for the seat. That must have been a heartburn inducing moment for all the McCain bashers out there in Republican land, especially the talk radio crowd.
The President continues to lose political capital with his willingness to jump into political races. He campaigned for the losers in the state governorships of Virginia and New Jersey. He went to Boston last weekend as a hail Mary move for the Democrats as they realized entirely too late that Coakley was likely to lose the race. Obama even taped a robocall for Coakley. And, Obama has suffered ego blows on the international stage as a last minute savior - in Copenhagen and in his bid for the Olympics to be held in Chicago. The politician with the golden touch is now 0-5.
The tide has turned, exactly at the one year mark into this presidency. Now Obama has two options - does he move back to the center of the political spectrum as Clinton did or does he push on with no regard to the response of his countrymen and become Jimmy Carter? It is his decision now. The people of Massachusetts have spoken.