January 19th, 2010, exactly one year to the day from president Barack Obama’s inauguration, John Kerry
strode, err, hobbled to the podium to welcome the first Republican Senator from Massachusetts since 1972. And, to spin Brown’s election as something other than the horrific, mind blowing, earth shattering event for Democrats that it undoubtedly is. Kerry, sporting a set of crutches, was the embodiment of the state of the Democrat Party in the wake of the election. A 59-41 majority in the Senate, a 256-178 lead in the House, the presidency and all of Washington, D.C. under their sway, and they are crippled.
By my estimate, by noon on the 20th of January, at least 5 Senators and a slew of House members had rushed to call press conferences to declare their opposition to continued debate of the health care bill, or to oppose it outright. Seems that the Democrats had been watching MSNBC instead of paying attention to reality when all those Tea Parties and townhalls were going on. Hey Pelosi, I have a question: How can astro-turf and old white men vote 52-47 to oust your nominee in Massachusetts, of all places? Overnight, of course, Democrats have become believers, and they are falling all over themselves to distance themselves, if they can, from all that drew the ire of the American electorate. This was a national election, as evidenced by the fact that nearly two-thirds of Americans were pulling for Brown in the election against Coakley. Don’t be surprised to soon see suddenly prescient Democrat Congressman who are endangered start talking about wanting to spend more time with their families.
This week saw a slew of bad news for Democrats. Today, liberal astro-turf/talk radio Air America (I know, I was just as surprised as you that it was still on air) shuttered its operations. Additionally, the Supreme Court determined that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation was unconstitutional (that took nine years?). This is particularly damaging for Democrats, as this undercuts the international and special interest money they accumulate through specious 501c3 organizations created via said law. Add to all this Senator Brown’s victory and other Democrat poll numbers, and you have a very bad week for liberals.
The Democrat agenda is severely damaged. While Democrats still hold overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress (at least till November), due to their arrogance and naivety in 2009 and in the wake of their recent electoral defeats, Democrats have seen an unprecedented collapse in political capital, wasted on a failed health care grab, and likely a failed cap and trade tax bill. Make no mistake, Democrats are still dangerous. It is said a cornered fox is sometimes the most desperate. Democrats will likely find minor legislative successes here in the remainder of 2010, but Tuesday’s election showed Republicans that they can campaign as unabashedly conservative and still win, even in Massachusetts. Likewise, moderate Democrats have been shown firmly that they cannot stay beholden to the liberal wing of their party and expect to win in places like Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, and even places like California, Illinois, Connecticut, and yes, Massachusetts. 2010 will be all about Democrats playing defense. Before it was just pollsters, protests and conjecture. Now Teddy Kennedy’s former seat has been swiped by Republicans, in the most ironic manner, and Democrats are legitimately scared. And, crippled.
As a political science graduate, I was firmly convicted (alone, with only Ann Coulter) in believing from very early on that Democrats would fail in their attempt to ram through unpopular health care ‘reform’, just as Amnesty had failed late in Bush’s second term. The adage goes something like “a minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority.” Until this week, though, it appeared as though I had made one gross miscalculation, in underestimating the willingness of liberal Democrats to ignore the will of the people in accomplishing their political objectives. Democrats were willing to cast aside the sentiments of two-thirds of American, emboldened by the fact that they could. That is, until the American people took away their ability to do so.
David Teesdale, loves being right. So Scott Brown’s victory on Tuesday saved him. Big time.