Tonight in a special election, Republican Scott Brown, beat Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in her bid for the late Ted Kennedy’s vacated Senate seat. At just after 9:00 p.m. Eastern, the Associated Press had declared Brown the winner, and as the announcement was made, Brown was maintaining a steady lead of five percentage points or more as the results from the precincts trickled in.
Republicans are calling this victory a mandate against health care reform, and in some respects, they may be right. Americans, not only in Massachusetts, but all around the nation, are fed up with politics, but even more so with politicians. This amount of displeasure with the politics of politicians is non-partisan, and bodes badly for incumbents in any party seeking reelection.
In 2008, Barak Obama and his policy platform of change won almost 10 million more popular votes than John McCain, the Republican candidate. That’s more than 7 percent of the popular vote nationwide. The Republicans and the Conservative Right immediately tried to denigrate the victory and minimalize the mandate of the Obama victory, until they eventually adopted the obstructionist strategy to make a concerted effort to strangle the possibility of any accomplishment by this president, even if his accomplishments could help Americans during one of the most serious recessions of our lifetime.
Oftentimes motivated by what has seemed to be pure spite over their loss of the White House, in a campaign of obstructionism, totally devoid of any ideas or contribution, these same obstructionist Republicans now want to call the 120,000 voter margin of victory in Massachusetts, a national mandate against health care reform and the President. While their is no doubt that this can be seen as a sampling of voter angst, it is far from the national referendum on President Obama that his detractors would like to portray, and this election could be considered more of a Tea Party victory than a true GOP victory, aside from the fact that Scott Brown votes more than 90 percent of the time with Republicans. If nothing else for the GOP, Brown can be considered one more opposing vote, one more cynical soldier in the name of divine obstructionism.
But buyer beware! Change for the sake of change is not always the change you bargained for. Just ask the Democrats who along with procuring a majority in the House, and an albeit paper-tiger supermajority in the Senate, they elected a strong young presidential candidate against all odds, against all history, and watched him waste enormous amounts of his political strength and spend costly sums of his political capital on dead-end concessions made in the name of impossible bipartisanship.
The politics of democratic freedom are simple and can be summed up in two sets of three words, “the truth wins,” and “the people win.”
Oh, sure money wins, sexy wins, and name wins, but in the end, the only reason for the existence of government is to serve the people, and people aren’t stupid. That’s the challenge for Scott Brown, Junior U.S. Senator-elect from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, serve the people and not yourself, for that is what the voters have called you to do. If you fail to do so in this angry political climate, you will not serve for long.
Photo credit: Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, holds up a copy of the Boston Herald as celebrates in Boston, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, after winning a special election held to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. At left is his daughter Ayla. Brown defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, and Joseph L. Kennedy, a Libertarian running as an independent and not related to the late Sen. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Sources: Boston.com, Mahalo.com, Wikipedia,