Americans are grateful to the voters of Massachusetts. By electing Scott Brown to the United States Senate, they have repudiated policies pursued by the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress that threaten the forward progress of this nation. Against all odds, Bay State residents have chosen common sense over senseless “change” and have delivered an unmistakable message to the party in power. Not since the Boston Tea Party has Massachusetts so violently rejected
In his bid to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, Scott Brown ran against the Obama White House as surely as he ran against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. In his victory speech, and without naming names, he described those in charge as “aloof from the people, impatient with dissent and comfortable making backroom deals.” On the campaign trail Brown tapped into growing discontent with President Obama’s policies, and with the Democrats’ seeming indifference to the will of the people. Because Democrats in the Senate held a “supermajority”, which in effect allowed them to pass legislation without a single Republican vote, they have resorted to the kind of partisan politics that (ironically) Obama campaigned so successfully against. They have celebrated their bullet-proof dominance by tuning out the protests of the tea-partiers and others, inspiring the rebellion which has now taken place in Massachusetts – a state so solidly blue that a Republican victory seemed numerically impossible.
Though Brown targeted our growing budget deficits, Obama’s anti-business and pro-labor policies that have dampened job creation, and questioned the administration’s handling of the War on Terror, he campaigned most strenuously (and most effectively) against the health care bill, blasting its content and the sweetheart deals that have pushed it forward through Congress. For many Americans, the (possibly unconstitutional) deals made with Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson or Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu not only smacked of the darkest of back rooms, but also made them wonder just why such bribes had to be offered in the first place. What was in the bill, they wondered, that made members of Obama’s own party so reluctant to come on board? For many, last week’s deal to exempt organized labor from a 40% tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans was the last straw.
Remember that the Bay State is singularly well equipped to judge the merits of Obamacare. In 2006 Massachusetts became the first state to pass a universal health insurance bill, which to some degree has served as a template for the administration’s program. Since the bill went into effect in 2007, the state has suffered spikes in insurance premiums, hardship by small businesses forced to comply with burdensome regulations and lengthening waits for doctor visits. Massachusetts voters have seen universal coverage up close, and they have now delivered their verdict to the rest of the nation.
What happens now? If the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress continue to portray this election as simply the product of a poor campaign by Martha Coakley (and it was indeed a dreadful effort on her part), they are doomed. They have been given fair warning that the populace is unhappy – with high unemployment, with budget deficits that put our country at a disadvantage and rob from our future, with policies that would upend our struggling industries -- and with the perception that Democrats care more about protecting the rights of terrorists than protecting our citizens. Unless they reverse course, they will be solidly thrashed in the fall elections.
It is possible that even with this stunning rebuke, the Obama administration will stay its far-left course. The president was elected as a centrist but has proved himself anything but. Still, even our uber-confidant leader must have felt a chill upon hearing Brown’s assurance to his fellow countrymen on election night, “What happened here in Massachusetts can happen all over America.”
Liz Peek is a financial columnist and frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. For more visit LizPeek.com.