The L.A. Times' Nancy Cohen is convinced that the Democrats need not worry that 2010 may be a repeat of 1994, the year the Democrats lost 52 seats and I am finding myself agreeing with her, but for a different reason: It may be far worse. Scott Brown's victory is a tsunami that could portend a shakeup in November of epic proportions. Forget 52 seats, there's now a danger for the party in power that they could lose 75 or even 100 seats this fall. That may sound far-fetched, but no more far-fetched than a Republican state senator with a connection to the Tea Party movement winning Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts.
America remains a center-right country and President Obama misread the election results after 2008 as a mandate for turning the country leftward. He tried too hard, too fast to move the country where it wasn't naturally inclined to go. His election was a cry for a change from the status quo. But it was not a desire for a massive ideological shift rather it was desire for a change in leadership. The electorate hoped it would get to competent leadership from the cool and reasonable Obama.
If President Obama wanted to turn the country to the left, he should have done so in slow and measured steps, patiently leading the country in a direction that it consistently tells pollsters it isn't naturally inclined toward. He could have accomplished this through the power of his substantial personality just as as Ronald Reagan did in 1980. Instead, with passage of a massive stimulus plan and health care legislation and key appointments that earned him the ire of the right, he has super-charged his opponents and alienated independents. And not only that, he has succeeded in making Scott Brown a household name.
Now with a resounding victory by Brown, all bets are off for November and the normal historical patterns of losing 20 seats in the House and 3 to 4 seats in the Senate may give way to what may be an electoral bloodbath of a magnitude that has never been seen before in American politics.
Mark Joseph is a producer, author and editor of Bullypulpit.com. He is a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum.