01/19/2010 (9:49 pm)
Already 85% of the vote has been tallied, and Scott Brown maintains a 5-point lead over Martha Coakley, Joe Kennedy drawing only 1% of the vote. Coakley conceded the race between 9:15 and 9:30. Massachusetts has elected a moderate Republican to replace Sen. Edward Kennedy.
How political fortunes do change… In 2002, it looked as though the Democratic party was going the way of the Whigs. By 2008, Democrats were crowing that the Republican party was vanishing. Now the Democrats are heading for the ropes again.
But it seems as though it’s taking voters less and less time to decide that electing Democrats is a mistake. After electing Carter in 1976, it took four years before the country reacted and elected Ronald Reagan. In 1992, it took only two years before the country spewed Clinton out of its mouth and handed Congress to Newt Gingrich and the Republicans. And in 2008, it has taken only one year for the country to decide that Barack Obama was not the change they were looking for. One wonders when the country will develop enough of a memory to stop electing Democrats.
Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA) opined a week ago that if Brown won this election, health care reform would be dead. I’m predicting that he said that in an attempt to sway the race, and that he’ll renege within the next week. However, I suspect he was right the first time. Expect Harry Reid to refuse to seat Brown until the race has been certified. Seating Brown will be the political story of the coming week.
The temptation for the Republicans will be to declare moderate Republicans the new champions. This will be a terrible mistake, but expect them to make it. A moderate is the only sort of Republican that could possibly have won in Massachusetts. This is not an indication of the strength of moderates, but rather of the nation’s deep dissatisfaction with the Democratic majority. Insofar as Republicans continue to fit the mold of Democrat Lite, as they did during the Bush years, they will lose, and lose big. The winning strategy for Republicans nationally is pure conservatism.
Just a note on media bias: for the first hour after Brown’s victory, I tried to find a decent photograph to headline this article. Every major report on the Mass Senate race that announced Brown’s victory headlined the column with a photograph of… Martha Coakley. I freakin’ hate the American press. I had to borrow the photo for this column from a newspaper in the UK.
2 Comments »
Comment by John Cooper
I think Reid is scared now, as well he should be. Buried in this AP story Democrats seek back footing after epic Mass. loss is this:
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pledged to seat Brown immediately, a hasty retreat from pre-election Democratic threats to delay his inauguration until after the health bill passed.”
Typical AP article where anything favorable to Republicans is buried…
Comment by suek
“I had to borrow the photo for this column from a newspaper in the UK.”
That’s funny. Sad…but funny…!