January 20, 2010
What Has Brown Done for Us?By C. Edmund Wright
What has Brown done for us? He just administered a stunning "Tea Party Republican" thrashing to the "Kennedy Liberal Democrats" in Massachusetts -- with Obamacare front and center as the core issue at hand. That's what.
Forget any other spin you hear -- that is what just happened. That Brown did not stress the party or the term "tea party" does not matter. His issues were right off of the tea parties' posters and out of the official GOP platform manual.
Sure, Martha Coakley ran a horrible campaign. But Democrats win safe seats with horrible campaigns all the time. Brown ran a great campaign, but good candidates lose uphill battles all the time in places like Massachusetts.
And no, MS-NBC, this was not a Tip O'Neil "all politics are local" referendum on potholes and such. Thanks to big government liberals, no politics are local anymore. Not even an obscure congressional district known as NY-23.
Every single seat may now hold the key to Washington's ability to reach into the homes and wallets and lives of every American for any reason they deem necessary. And that's what this was about, with health care as the key issue but only one of many concerns about intrusive government.
This was without a doubt another crest in the wave that started when Rick Santelli put CNBC and the term "tea party" on the map in February 2009 -- an anti-big government rant that went multimedia viral thanks to the Rush Limbaugh Show and red "end of the world" headlines on the Drudge Report. It built with April 15 tea parties around the country and through the town halls of August and September.
It even survived the misguided effort to dub a pro-union thug song called "Shuttin Deetroit Down" as the official anthem.
It was palpable. And this wave continued to rise in November as Republicans -- yes, Republicans -- rolled to stunning wins in New Jersey and Virginia. This wave was obvious to anyone and everyone not occupying office in Washington and certain pundit chairs in the D.C.-Manhattan corridor.
The message was consistent. Washington was trying to "fundamentally change" America, and beyond their notice, Americans were waking up to what that means and were shouting not "no" -- but "hell no."
And no bigger "hell no" can be remembered in decades than the one given in the Bay State last night. This is Masschusetts! Even McGovern won Massachusetts! Obama won Massachusetts by 26 points in '08. Last night, Coakley -- and Obama -- lost that same population by roughly 6 points. In round numbers, that's a third of the state that has shifted. Simply seismic!
Brown may have won the "people's seat," but moreover, the Democrats have just lost "the Kennedy seat." Yet it is still not clear how they would answer the question: "Can you hear us now?"
Obama's 365 days
A year ago today, Barack Obama was all too anxious to accept his victory and read deep meaning into it. Today, it appears like that is not even willing to acknowledge his incredible defeat of last night, let alone learn from this teachable moment. This is especially true as it relates to his legislative agenda.
Regarding health care, some folks have opined that Brown just slammed the brakes on it.
To hear others however, he has merely steered the "Thelma and Louise off the cliff" strategy of the Democrat party vis-à-vis Obama Care. This is a message consistent with the vibe coming from both the White House and Speaker Pelosi's offices.
Either way, Scott Brown has done a lot for us. And by "us," I mean America. Stopping health care now and making even more nakedly (or nekkidly) obvious the raw socialist power-grab of the Democrats are both tremendous gifts.
No RINO win
This was also not a win for the "reach across the aisle" RINO Republicans or the David Brooks Republicans. Not at all. Brown ran at every rally as the "41st vote to stop health care reform" and in no way was looking for an Olympia Snow-style accommodation.
He was not, in the words of Bob Dole, trying to figure out a way "to pass a bill." He is not looking to "reach across the aisle." And certainly, after being cooped up in a pickup truck for two hundred thousand miles, he does not have a "pant crease" sufficiently crisp to win over Brooks.
His final points last night were a Reaganesque litany of low taxes, national defense, and national pride. Chants of "U-S-A" broke out several times. The Kennedy name was praised, but the only Kennedy ideas that were praised were the fiscally conservative ones of JFK. There was no remorse over "unfettered capitalism" anywhere to be heard.
The only thing that might appeal to Teddy was the tongue-in-cheek implication by Brown that his two comely daughters might be available. Other than that, it was a show of belief in limited government and a hard line against terrorists. The best line was that American tax dollars "should be used for weapons to fight terrorists, not lawyers to represent terrorists." The crowd's roar at that was tremendous. This was not exactly McCain shuffling about on waterboarding.
Make no mistake about it: Last night was a fabulous victory for the ideas of the tea party movement, the core beliefs of the conservative base voter, and the GOP official platform. Those ideas thrashed the ideas of liberal Kennedy-Obama politics and policies. Period. Apply the "duck test."
It matters not for the moment that Brown did not stress those terms -- or that far too many GOP officeholders have not gotten it often enough. As Brown said late in his speech,
Scott Brown, we were listening. We saw what happened in Massachusetts. And we definitely do hear you now!