The Massachusetts Referendum

January 19th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

Tomorrow morning, health care, the Democratic party, and Obama’s agenda are going to come up for a vote.  They’re going to come up for a vote in Massachusetts, a state where Kennedy held a Senate seat for 47 years and a Republican has not been elected since 1972.  That the race is even contested is astonishing.  That it has whipped up to a dead heat is a miracle.  As for the 58% of Americans who have been polled as stating they would prefer a smaller government that offered fewer services to the people, most of them are simply stuck crossing their fingers in their home states.

Unfortunately, there is reason to believe that some of the liberal left may not be so restrained about trying to play an illegitimate role in the Massachusetts election.  Ed Schultz has gone on record stating that if he lived in Massachusetts, he’d vote 10 times if he could, and Chris Matthews was caught pining for the good old days when they could simply buy votes and not worry about any of this free election nonsense (my words, not his).  However, I personally deem actual election fraud unlikely.  What I do think is a likely possibility is that the Democrats will be able to defer Brown’s swearing-in in order to get health care passed before he is seated.  After all, they’ve already compromised and bribed through so much of this that it really doesn’t make much difference which horrible, twisted parody of legislation gets passed at this point, so long as they manage to legislate the foundations in time.  Of course, considering what it would mean for health care if Brown wins, trying it would probably send the American public up in arms in protest.  But hey, that’s nothing new; after all, 56% of Americans oppose the current legislation right now.  Dems are already going to have an impossible time getting elected in 2010 and 2012.  If you’re already going down in flames, why not add a little more fuel to the fire if it will help you accomplish your crowning achievement before you’re completely consumed?

However, I do have a couple of warnings for anyone who might be reading.  One thing I am going to caution the New Left against in advance (not that they’ll listen to me) is that even if Coakley manages to win the election, it will not necessarily mean that the country has accepted the agenda currently being rammed through Congress.  That the campaign is running so close is as much due to Coakley’s foolishness, incompetence, horrible past record, and general lack of campaign work as to any good moves on Scott Brown’s part or on the part of the Republican Party or the Tea Party movement.  While a Scott Brown win tomorrow would undoubtedly be a shattering negative verdict on America’s opinion of the direction our country is currently heading no matter how close it is, a one-point Coakley victory would hardly be evidence of the converse in bluest of the blue Massachusetts.

The other is that while Scott Brown is an infinitely better choice than Coakley and worth supporting for the sake of booting health care legislation alone, he is not exactly anybody’s model of an ideal limited-government and free-market candidate.  For that you’d want Joe Kennedy.  But although Massachusetts may be ready to give the Democratic party a serious jolt tomorrow, it’s also the state that passed Commonwealth Care.  Like I said, it’s really a small miracle that Scott Brown even managed to close with Coakley in the polls, let alone has a serious shot at winning.  I may prefer someone who didn’t support the Massachusetts state health care reform, but at least he’s proved that he’s thinking with his own head on these issues and not just voting the progressive party ticket.

Finally, I’d like to offer up just one last parting thought.  In the debate between Brown and Coakley, the moderater called the seat “Ted Kennedy’s seat,” as though it were Ted Kennedy’s private property and that even in death we must honor Kennedy’s wishes as to what should be done with it as we would honor a man’s last will.  However, Scott Brown quickly and rightly rebutted this, saying “With all due respect, it’s not Ted Kennedy’s seat, it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat.”  This proved that, whatever Scott Brown’s faults, he is at least aware of the fact that any power this appointment may give him is only his so long as it is freely granted him by the people of Massachusetts.  For that alone, if the people of Massachusetts have 1/10th the desire for independence and freedom that they had when they tossed tea into the Boston harbor and fired the “shot heard ’round the world,” I ask them to please vote for Scott Brown.

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6 Responses to “The Massachusetts Referendum”

  1. Tom |

    Great article, Brianna! Even if Brown doesn’t win, this is a wake-up call to Democrats. It amazes me that they don’t seem to care that the people don’t want this health care legislation and are much more concerned about dealing with economic problems. However, I think they’re finally going to get the message in November.

    Political Science 101 teaches that generally the first priority of politicians is to get re-elected. That makes sense because they know they can’t do anything if they don’t stay in office, and it implies that they have to satisfy their constituents in order to keep their jobs. I’m sure a lot of Democrats are thinking about this right now.

  2. Lisa |

    I’ve been watching this race for a couple of weeks and rooting for Scott Brown whose win would have an extraordinary psychological impact on national politics.

  3. larry |

    ED SCHULTZ, ‘THE ED SCHULTZ SHOW’: I tell you what, if I lived in Massachusetts I’d try to vote 10 times. I don’t know if they’d let me or not, but I’d try. Yeah, that’s right. I’d cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. ‘Cause that’s exactly what they are.
    Shame on you Ed.

  4. Tom |

    We might want to keep in mind, now the Brown has won the election, that he’s only serving out Kennedy’s term. That means he’ll have to run again in Nov 2012, if he choses to do so. The Democrats in Massachusetts will undoubtedly mount a strong campaign with a candidate far more competent that Coakley, so there should be no expectation that this Senate seat will remain Republican for the long term.

  5. Brianna |

    Agreed, but the fact that he won by 5% in a state where it would have been incredibly significant if he had only LOST by that much makes me think that unless he completely goes back on what he promised to the electorate, that he will get to keep his Senate seat in 2012.

  6. Tom |

    Could be. But to some extent at least, the Democrats in Massachusetts were caught off-guard. I don’t think that will happen again in 2012. In any case, the strength and influence of independents was obvious, and I think we’ll see much more of that throughout the 2012 congressional elections.

    The period between now and Nov is going to be a political junkie’s dream. The elections for governor in VA and NJ, then Brown’s election, should have the Democrats quaking in their boots. Health care reform, as now envisioned, is probably dead; cap-and-trade is dead; economic policy is under serious question — how are they going to respond to those facts? And how will Democrats who have reason to fear being voted out of office respond — is their loyalty to their caucus in Congress weaker or stronger than their desire to get re-elected?

    If the Republicans can get their act together (always a question), they should do well in Nov. From everything I’m reading, they could realize a net gain of 30 or more seats in the house (with 40 or so required to gain the majority) and 5 in the Senate (maybe 6 now, with Brown’s win). So, there’s at least some chance that we might have a Republican House and a Democratic Senate in the next Congress.

    They may not understand it, but what’s happening should be a lesson to doomsaying extremists who are so paranoid about Obama and what they think are his evil socialist designs on the country. When things go beyond a certain point, in terms of the how the American people think and what they want, the system corrects itself. The pendulum swings in both directions.

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