A great deal has been made of the Massachusetts Senate race that will, sometime tonight, fill the seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy. Prevailing wisdom suggests that a Scott Brown win could spell the end of the Democrat’s health care reform, just as a Martha Coakley victory might guarantee their passage. As a result, the race has been launched into the national spotlight and has become one of the highest-stakes Senate races in history. While the nation waits to learn the verdict in the Coakley-Brown battle, it’s worth mentioning the one inevitable outcome of the race. Regardless of who emerges as the winner, the Massachusetts election will kick Democrat hubris into overdrive.
Coakley is facing a lot of left-wing heat for not running a serious campaign in the early days, allowing Brown to build momentum while she wasted time. Largely, her inaction stems from the fact that Democrats never expected to be here in the first place. The idea that a seat owned, for 40 years, by the almighty Ted Kennedy could be taken by a Republican was utterly inconceivable. The Democratic National Committee, 100% positive that the great unwashed would never dare to change course, put little emphasis on the race. Their victory was a given.
Nationally, the Democrats still maintain the popularity of their president and his agenda. They’ve chosen, despite all the polling to the contrary, to deny the reality of their situation. In this warped view, the American people are still enthralled with Obama and are still desperately desirous of his agenda. Those who have deviated from the adulation are a deeply disturbed minority, unworthy of attention. The very notion that the Democrats should entertain questions regarding the assuredness of their victory was beneath them.
How utterly devastated they must be, now that the people of Massachusetts have refused to play along.
Massachusetts is now a toss-up and some suggest that even if Coakley wins, the Obama agenda has been dealt a severe blow. They argue that by coming so close in a deep blue state, Brown has shown the unpopularity of the Democrats’ policies and the realization has finally managed to scare them. As a result, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and even the president will be forced to slow down or face decimation in November. It’s a nice thought. Unfortunately, it’s also a naïve pipe dream.
Never in the history of this nation have we been faced with a group of politicians so willing to ignore, and berate, their constituents. Remember, these people have specifically said that the more people protest health care, the more they want to pass it. To them, the will of the people is an obstacle, not a mandate. Their policy was perfectly articulated by Jim Messina. “If you get hit,” he said, “we will punch back twice as hard.”
The Massachusetts Senate race will in no way alter this strategy, it will only reinforce it.
If Coakley wins, they will ignore the evidence to the contrary and cite her victory as a mandate. The people will have carefully weighed the administration’s policies and, intelligent, well-informed folks that they are, will have come to a wise conclusion. In the days that follow, they’ll be everywhere, informing us of the fact that clearly, the Coakley vote was a demonstration of America’s desire to support its president and his health care plans. The national importance of a Democrat winning in Massachusetts will be presented as a clear indication that the nation is on the DNC bandwagon for good. They will press ahead at lightning speed, ramming the measure through along party lines.
On the other hand, if Brown wins, it will be the fault of Martha Coakley. Her poorly run campaign will be blamed for churning up dissent among an electorate that didn’t view the race as a referendum on anything more important than Curt Schilling’s status as a Red Sox fan. Make no mistake; this was a local race, with no national bearing. Those who voted for Brown solely to stop health care will, as always, be presented as the uneducated dullards that they are–a group of fringe radicals who just don’t know what’s best for themselves. Coakley will have “failed to get her message out there,” leading to confusion among voters. For the good of the American people Congressional Democrats will be forced to press ahead with reconciliation.
Either way, Massachusetts will only serve to fan the flames of Democratic hubris. That the foolish masses dared to make this election as close as it is will lead Democrats only to the idea that the people of this country need to be taught a lesson. On Sunday, President Obama again said he wanted to “rebuild America from its foundation.” Those are the stakes. Democrats are more than willing to sacrifice a few seats in their ongoing effort to dismantle this country. So, regardless of who wins or loses tonight, they will only redouble their efforts and “punch back twice as hard.”
Robert Laurie writes a daily political commentary blog, The Robalution. Robert holds a degree in English from Wayne State University, and has worked in advertising as a graphic designer and copy writer.