Friday, January 22, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coronation...

Another special election to fill a vacant seat in Congress took place three days
ago. The contested seat was the U.S. Senate seat vacated with the passing of
Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy (D-MA) who held that seat for nearly half a
century. Massachusetts, the home state of the Kennedy family, is considered
by many to be the bluest of the blue states with its entrenched and formidable
state Democratic Party being in charge of its government for many decades,
with the Kennedys as its First Family. The Bay State Dems handpicked state
Attorney General Martha Coakley to be their candidate and heiress apparent
to what they, and the national media, haughtily proclaimed to be "The Kennedy Senate Seat".

Now, bear in mind that Massachusetts has not sent a Republican to the United
States Senate since 1972. In presidential elections since just before FDR's time,
with the exception of 1984, it has backed the Democratic candidate. Coming
into this election, the entire delegation to Congress from Massachusetts has
been midnight blue; not a single GOP member in the bunch. Also note that
Coakley is an experienced pol with strong name recognition, while Scott Brown,
the Republican candidate, was a virtual unknown even though the Tea Party
activists were behind him. So it seemed like the election would be a coronation
for Coakley. Until....

Just one week before Election Day, polls revealed Scott Brown pulling even or
ahead of Martha Coakley. The reason? Brown ran on a platform consisting of
a few key planks: 1) Ending runaway spending on stimulus packages that don't
stimulate; 2) Making government transparent and responsive to the people
(you know, the niceties that Barack Obama promised when he ran for the
presidency but once elected never delivered), and 3) casting the 41st vote
in the Senate to kill Obamacare, as Brown would give the GOP 41 senators
to the Democrats' 59, thus taking away the latter's "fillibuster-proof" majority
and their ability to keep their hopes for state-provided health care alive, if a
bit bruised and bloodied. Coakley took the opposite stands on these matters
as her platform's planks. Also, Coakley showed a distinct reluctance to meet
the electorate and "press the flesh" with the masses; not behavior one would
expect from a member of "The Party of the People", champions of Joe & Jane
Working Stiff. She showed herself throughout her campaign to be what she
is --- an elitist with a haughty disdain for everyday, workaday people whom
she is supposed to work on behalf of in elected office. Coakley didn't even make
an effort at pretense as to the contrary. And the Tea Party folks helped make
the public aware of it all.

So Scott Brown achieved one of the greatest and most shocking upsets in the
history of elections in the United States. The "Scott Heard 'Round The World"
will give a world-class headache to President Obama and the Democrats in
Washington. The cure for their pain would be to work with the Republicans
and the people on health care and the economy, rather than literally locking
them out of the deliberations; to listen to the people rather than ignore and
condescend to them, and to make everything going on in Congress open for
all to see. Until they do this, the Tea Party acivists will party on, and the people
will run the rascals out of office. And by the way, Democrats take note: the
seat in the U.S. Senate that was won contested in this election is not, and never
has been, the property of Ted Kennedy, his family, nor your party. It is The
People's seat, and as such belongs to the people. They choose who gets to
occupy it, and has the occupants remain in it at their pleasure. That's how
democracy works.


No comments:

Post a Comment