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Republican Scott Brown's improbable Senate victory in the bluest of all blue states, Massachusetts, has sent the Democrats reeling. Their reflective navel-gazing has begun. I look at this as a wakeup call for the Democratic party. Will they now "get" it, or will they remain in denial ? Will they continue pushing policies the American people do not want ? If so, they will continue to isolate themselves, and they will continue to lose, as they have in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia this year.
It's too soon to make that call, but early indications are not promising. This morning I heard Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary, say the Dems just need to "retool their message." Wrong. That's not it. The people understand the message of the Democrats all too well. That's not the problem. The problem is, the people don't agree with the Democrats message. I heard MS-NBC's Norah O'Donnell blame the loss on Coakley not taking the campaign seriously enough. That's waaay wrong. Nobody takes a Senate seat lightly, and Martha Coakley certainly didn't. O'Donnell then said Coakley lost due to anti-incumbent sentiment. That's a pretty bizarre statement, considering Coakley wasn't the incumbent.
The excuses will continue, but Coakley lost because the American people are turning against all the divisiveness, the catering to special interests, the corruption, the partisan business as usual, and the wasteful big government arrogance of Washington D.C. Scott Brown tapped into America's dissatisfaction, and the silent majority (independents) went with him, overcoming the Democrats 3-1 voter advantage over Republicans in Massachusetts. Nowhere is the dissatisfaction of the American people more evident than in the Tea Party protest movement (which the Democratic party has arrogantly denigrated to the nth degree), and Scott Brown got that support, by saying things like this, from his victory speech:
Most of all, I will remember that while the honor is mine, this Senate seat belongs to no one person and no political party - and as I have said before, and you said loud and clear today, it is the people’s seat...When I first started running, I asked for a lot of help, because I knew it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong, it was all of us against the machine... I go to Washington as the representative of no faction or interest, answering only to my conscience and to the people.
I certainly hope Scott Brown means it when he says he will represent no faction or interest, but rather the American people. We shall see. He's certainly right that it is all of us against the machine. This government is, after all, supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's not supposed to be for Goldman Sachs, the health insurance companies, the lawyers, the unions, or any other particular special interest. We are all in this together. We should pursue policies that are responsible for the nation as a whole. That means, first - national security. Second - fiscal responsibility.
Brown also tapped into the disagreement the American people have with some of the policies of the Democrats, and to this, the Democrats SHOULD take heed (and the Republicans too, for that matter):
In every corner of our state, I met with people, looked them in the eye, shook their hand, and asked them for their vote. I didn’t worry about their party affiliation, and they didn’t worry about mine. It was simply shared conviction that brought us all together.
One thing is clear, voters do not want the trillion-dollar health care bill that is being forced on the American people.
This bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, hurt Medicare, destroy jobs, and run our nation deeper into debt. It is not in the interest of our state or country - we can do better.
When in Washington, I will work in the Senate with Democrats and Republicans to reform health care in an open and honest way. No more closed-door meetings or back room deals by an out of touch party leadership. No more hiding costs, concealing taxes, collaborating with special interests, and leaving more trillions in debt for our children to pay.
In health care, we need to start fresh, work together, and do the job right. Once again, we can do better.
I will work in the Senate to put government back on the side of people who create jobs, and the millions of people who need jobs - and as President John F. Kennedy taught us, that starts with an across the board tax cut for individuals and businesses that will create jobs and stimulate the economy. It's that simple!
I will work in the Senate to defend our nation’s interests and to keep our military second to none. As a lieutenant colonel and 30-year member of the Army National Guard, I will keep faith with all who serve, and get our veterans all the benefits they deserve.
And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation - they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.
Raising taxes, taking over our health care, and giving new rights to terrorists is the wrong agenda for our country. What I've heard again and again on the campaign trail, is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people, impatient with dissent, and comfortable in the back room making deals. And we can do better.
They thought you were on board with all of their ambitions. They thought they owned your vote. They thought they couldn’t lose. But tonight, you and you and you have set them straight.
Dissent is the lifeblood of any democracy, which the Democrats should pause to consider before they viciously and falsely attack the Tea Party movement, and last night in Massachusetts, dissent won. Big time.
This morning on the Blog Of Mass Destruction, my friend the Reverend, a liberal by anyone's standard, reminded me that Thomas Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic party........as if the current Democratic party bears any resemblance whatsoever to the one Jefferson represented. It certainly does not, and I'll leave you with the following Jefferson quote to explain exactly why not:
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson
Does that sound like any current Democrat you know ? Not by a country mile. The current Democrats see almost no bounds for the government (except maybe in granting terrorists the full civil rights of American citizenship). They want the government to intrude on everything and everyone. THAT is the problem, and that is the Massachusetts and Tea Party message.
We hope the Democrats are listening.