Being Right: The Irony of the People’s Seat

Andrew Spano

As I finish this piece, the state of Massachusetts heads to the polls to fill the state’s Class 1 senate seat left vacant by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Scott Brown appears to have pulled off the unthinkable according to the AP.

When Ted Kennedy died last August, Democrats said they’d honor him by finally passing the national health care he had long campaigned for. Things aren’t going according to plan.

In what has been a relatively cold winter, the seasons are a changing. No, it’s not spring yet. Instead it’s the political winds around the country. Most of the attention is being paid to the race in the Commonwealth where the prohibitive favorite, Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley, has been challenged by little-known Republican state-senator Scott Brown. However, poll numbers indicate a stark pivot away from the policies of Obama-Pelosi-Reid.

The Bay State election is a referendum on ObamaCare, even more so than when the President put his credibility on the line in New Jersey and Virginia, where the dominos fell for Republican Governors Christopher Christie and Robert F. McDonnell, respectively. Massachusetts is as blue as they come with its own massive entitlement program, MassHealth.

Although not a full-blown universal health care system akin to European or Canadian standards, MassHealth is the closest thing to what a compromise bill would look like coming out of the Democratic Congress. A Brown win might just save the nation from the headaches that have befallen Massachusetts. The results of that 2006 overhaul? For starters, residents are experiencing higher costs, significantly longer wait times and a mounting budget deficit — not to mention broken promises. But “we told ya so” just wouldn’t cut it.

Coakley linked Brown to George W. Bush. Brown, in turn, linked Coakley to Messrs. Obama and Reid. But it’s time for Democrats to take responsibility for what is theirs, a laundry list of big government legislation with ObamaCare at the forefront.

In the end there was little Martha Coakley could do. The “Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan” folly notwithstanding, Coakley was at the mercy of the policies of Obama-Pelosi-Reid, which she enthusiastically supported. To win the primary and seek the help of her Democratic allies, Coakley had to align herself with Washington. The problem for Ms. Coakley is that the policies coming out of our nation’s capital are unpopular, even in the deep blue state of Massachusetts, a state that President Obama carried by 26 points. According to various news sources, Democrats are whispering that even if Mr. Brown wins, they’ll delay his swearing in long enough to let appointed Senator Paul Kirk vote for ObamaCare. We can only hope that is not the case.

Mr. Brown will forever be known as number 41, the man who broke the filibuster-proof majority and saved almost a fifth of the U.S. economy. That the political world has been turned upside down is an understatement. The 2008 election of Barack Obama was historical. The 2010 election of Scott Brown is historical in its own right. Even more, it’s the pinnacle of political irony from the seat long held by our nation’s foremost advocate of government-run healthcare. If liberal Democrats and Blue Dogs weren’t awake before Tuesday, they are now.