Day: January 19, 2010

The Message Of The Scott Brown Senate Victory In Massachusetts

The solid victory of Scott Brown for the Senate seat held for more than half a century by the Kennedy family is a major blow to the Democratic party and President Barack Obama.

Several thoughts come to mind immediately after the announcement of the Brown victory.

For one, a politician needs to work vigorously to gain public support. When Martha Coakley went on vacation after winning the Democratic primary, she left the message that she was unwilling to put the maximum effort into the campaign, and was assuming entitlement to the Senate seat, which obviously enraged many Massachusetts citizens.

Secondly, the message is really what it was when Bill Clinton ran against George H. W. Bush in 1992–“It’s the economy, stupid!” The Democrats MUST bring about a massive economic program to create millions of jobs sooner, rather than later, or else they will lose control of the House of Representatives in 2010, and see the Senate majority, now 59, dwindle dramatically!

Third, the goal of a massive health care plan must face reality, and what is likely to happen now is accomplishment of aspects of the plan that can be agreed upon, such as protecting people who have preexisting conditions from being denied coverage, raising the age for young people to be still covered under their parents’ health care plans, and attempting to initiate health insurance exchanges to promote competition.

Fourth, the Democrats must face the fact that as the incumbent party now, they face the wrath of voters who are impatient at the slow pace of improvement of the economy and angry at the assistance given to banks, auto companies, insurance companies, and Wall Street, instead of large scale emphasis on saving people’s homes from mortgage foreclosures. In other words, a populist rebellion has emerged, and if the Democrats do not tune in to it, the Republicans may be the beneficiaries of this anger and rebellion.

Fifth, it seems obvious that despite President Obama’s personal popularity remaining high, that his attempt to bring about major environmental and energy reforms, as well as immigration reforms, and many social initiatives including gay rights, will have to be at the least delayed for now, subject to the election results this fall and in the presidential election of 2012.

Finally, it guarantees a very busy, fascinating election year of 2010, as the Democrats attempt to keep most of their seats, and the GOP dreams of another 1994. It is too early, however, to say that one race is a projection of the nation at large.

What it ultimately comes down to is that Scott Brown ran an excellent race, a model for what all politicians have to do to expect to gain the people’s vote. So anyone in politics who thinks he or she will sail into office, take warning: It is not going to happen!