The liberals just shot their first hostage. The candidacy of Martha Coakley, a solid if nondescript Democrat, was ceremoniously marched out and executed in broad daylight by the voters of the most liberal state in the Union. Their demands had been very clear: pass a real public health care reform bill, not a sham private health insurance mandate. But the Democrats in Congress, and the fraud in the White House, refused to heed the warnings. They thought they could put lipstick on a pig, call it “health care reform”, and we’d all be duped like we were in the Spring of ‘08.
Massachusetts was a bad place to test this assumption. Bay Staters embrace their legacy of political defiance, dating back to when the original Patriot Act was enacted in 1775 on Lexington Green. Despite being predominately Democrat or democrat-leaning, half of registered voters there are independents. This is also an electorate with a habit of periodically placing conservatives in high office to course-correct its leftward drift. Mitt Romney and Bill Weld were governors, and in the 1996 senate race, Bay Staters were toying with electing the conservative Weld until Kerry, in an unforgettable debate, woke up himself and the voters, then put on the afterburners.
There’s no denying that Coakley, a backroom player who figured she’d already done all that was required by maneuvering her way into the nomination, mismanaged her campaign. Anyone who can’t identify Curt Schilling is unfit for office in Massachusetts. But as any Gloucester fisherman will tell you, red skies in morning: sailors take warning. The clouds of this brewing red storm were ominously apparent for months, yet Coakley, the state party, and the DNC all were caught asleep at the wheel.
The Dems knew — and openly proclaimed — the symbolic and tangible significance of this race, of the need to replace Teddy, the longtime public healthcare champion, with someone who would ensure passage of Obama’s bill. Did they not think the GOP was cognizant of that significance, too? Unlike Democrats, Republicans have practical experience getting things done, like earning annual bonuses, outsourcing jobs, and running effective campaigns. The RNC marshaled its forces and invested in Brown’s campaign at the critical moment. The GOP correctly judged the tide, and deftly plotted a course toward the open berth at Kennedy Bay.
In a bizarre twist, the Democrats now had to play catch-up in a race they were leading. Their response: appeal to the voters’ desire to support Obama and to pass his health bill. The Dem leadership must have been tippling off some left-over barrels of kool-aid, because all the polls showed that Brown’s surge was due solely to a backlash over Obama’s joke of a bill. Coakley’s only salvation would have been to publicly distance herself from it, to declare “when I get to the Senate, I’ll won’t vote for any health care reform bill unless it contains a public option!” But Coakley is a mundane party hack.
Massachusetts is Clinton country — Hillary won the primary by 15 points. So in desperation, the DNC dispatched Bill to point out how repulsively rightwing Brown was. But then they also sent in Obama, and made a last ditch appeal to “save health care.” And that’s what the voters of Massachusetts, in their minds at least, did. They shot a hostage to save real health care reform.
Unfortunately, once you start shooting your hostages, things can only end one of two ways: either your demands are met, or you end up dead, too. The rightwingers are crowing loud and mighty that the Brown victory proves that Americans hate “ObamaCare” for being too “socialist.” In Massachusetts, which has its own limited public health insurance program, ObamaCare was not socialist enough. As this plays out, liberals would do well to remember that the enemy of my enemy is usually still my enemy. Extreme measures may be necessary to break the obots’ hold. Electing Republicans simply to punish the Democrats might feel good in the moment, but it won’t do good in the long run.
So who’s the next hostage to go? The Dem incumbents already considered the most vulnerable were: Blanche Lincoln, AK; Michael Bennet, CO; and our dear, old Harry Reid, NV; plus Dorgan’s seat in ND. Barbara Boxer had been considered a lock. Democrats like to think of California as one big, smooth-sailing cruise ship for them. The Poseidon was a cruise ship, too. Boxer, an ardent Obama supporter who’ll likely face the dynamic political outsider Carly Fiorino, is already starting to sweat.
These senators, and a large portion of Democrats in the House, should have the image of the Massachusetts hostage shooting burned into their retinas. Instead of trying to pass Obama’s sham bill, they ought to jump ship ASAP. All politicians have a keen sense of self-preservation, but most don’t possess the brightest of minds. Nor will the obot bolsheviks who hijacked the Party relinquish power without a fight. So there’s no guarantee the Democrats will right their ship before the full storm hits. And with a capsized Democratic Party, we’re at the mercy of the GOP.
Coakley would have made a competent, liberal senator. Brown will be a horrible, extreme conservative one. Losing the sixty-vote majority, which failed to yield any real results, (and which in any case was dependent on the DINO Lieberman) is no real loss. Still, handing the enemy a solid liberal seat was an expensive way to send a message. Let’s hope our demands will now be taken seriously.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 at 12:28 am and is filed under Elections, tea party. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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I’m impressed by your intricate knowledge of what just went down. I feel compelled to always add right now, “It’s not Health Care reform, it’s Health Insurance reform.” And the tendency of the Obama administration to try to change the subject away from the public option is deeply insulting.
Most Americans want a public option, Jay. So what the hell went wrong?
I think it’s as simple as Obama dancing with the ones who brung him. His interest is not even related to the democratic ideal of helping to make sure the people are okay. It’s about paying back the insurance lobby.
I agree with Coakley being a party Hack. I was pulling for Brown, as you well know, Tamerlane. The thing is that yes, I agree Coakley would have been a solid liberal and while I agree that most times one should consider the big picture and the long term when choosing a candidate, I also think either party holding a super majority is a VERY bad thing for the country and should be squashed with any opportunity. The people have yelled, screamed, called, emailed, protested and could not get the Delusionals to listen. The Rethuglicans just shrugged their shoulders! It has become clear to me that some very disturbed people have taken over the Delusional party and it will not be easily returned to the common sense Dems. I am going to help to knock off a few more house and Senate members for the Dems in whatever way I can and no, I am not looking for a full pendulum swing right. I just want it to swing off of stuck on stupid. The centrists like myself, have a better chance of taking over the GOP than getting back the Dem party. Coakley should not have touted the party line. If she had looked like an Independent thinker who would vote the way the people she represents wanted her to, she would have stood a chance, but to point to Obama and say “what he says!” is so ridiculous, she deserved to lose! Strong, INTELLIGENT women are ones I support. I don’t just support a woman just because of gender. It really doesn’t matter since I couldn’t vote in MA anyway, but I can think of some Republicans I can support now today and the only Democrat I trust now is Clinton and even that is not so easy anymore! I think people are taking this as a sign the GOP will take back control, but honestly the Tea Party Protesters are anti-incumbant. Vote all the bums out. Unfortunately, Coakley seemed incumbant because of Kennedy. That is the sad reality.
Why not help knock off a few entrenched Gops, while you’re at it? Sadly, the anti-incumbent sentiments will probably only affect Dems, many of them decent.
There is no chance of making inroads with the GOP — its ideals and yours are incompatible. And remember, half of all Democrats voted for Hillary (and how many more now wish they had?)
I only hope that the Brown victory does help the long-term picture. As you note, nobody was listening to us before.
Brilliant Breakdown. The entire Obama experience is epic in its failure. Losing Kennedy’s seat boils this failure down to it’s essence.
I agree with TL’s response to Obamastole(etc.): the problem is that if centrists delight only in taking down Dems, we set ourselves up for a GOP beholden even more (if slightly these days) to the oligarchy. Barbara Boxer (as w/ Diane Feinstein) has indeed a luxury liner berth in California, where no Democrat in most districts ever fears defeat.
But, I’d caution against any hope that Carly Fiorino (similar maybe to Meg Whitman of E-Bay fame running for governor against perennial Jerry Brown) is a savior of my state’s common folk. Her cruelty at the helm of HP merits infamy rather than acclaim for how she treated everyday people in her Gordon Gekko role.
Yes, caution is in order. I agree that the Dems needed a wake-up call, and that in a sense, they ‘earned’ or ‘deserved’ this. But we still need to look after our own collective hide. There will be no grassroots revolution, only a GOP rebirth.
As someone who is, through old business colleagues, 2 degrees separated from Fiorino and Whitman, I can confirm Fionnchú’s assessment of their true nature.
My proglodyte friends at MoveOn just sent me these intersting stats from the exit polls:
82% of Obama supporters who voted for Brown support the public option, as do 86% of Obama voters who stayed home.
57% of Obama voters who stayed home on Tuesday support the Senate health care bill or think it doesn’t go far enough.
And of Obama voters who cast a ballot for Brown, nearly half (49%) support the Senate bill or think it does not go far enough. Just 11% think it goes too far.
Which conflicts with what my Morloch friends at Human Events say, that the Brown victory proves Americans “have had enough of Obama’s crusade to force a multi-trillion-dollar health-care “reform” on America, replacing private healthcare with a government-run system that will empower federal bureaucrats to make life-and-death decisions about your medical care.”
The health-care screw-up reminds me of the Monty Python routine where the guy comes into the pet shop and asks to buy a cat, but the shopkeeper keeps trying to sell him other stuff.
“I’ve got a lovely slug,” the shopkeeper says.
“What do you mean?” the customer says. “I asked for a cat.”
That’s our situation. We very clearly asked our leaders for a cat–and they’re offering us this lovely slug.
They even have the nerve to tell us they’re going to turn it into a cat, down the road somewhere.
Kill the Bill!
They’re also refusing to admit they sold us a dead parrot.
Anyone for “Albatross?”