Brown’s momentum not limited to Massachusetts

Yes, Scott Brown’s stunning victory in Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts ought to stop the Democrats’ health agenda in its tracks. Yes, his 5-percentage-point win in that bluest of states sends a clear message about voter dissatisfaction with Washington.

All of that is important. Very important.

But that’s not where the meaning of Tuesday’s election ends. There is also this message: Every elected office, everywhere, is up for grabs now.

A Republican state senator in Massachusetts of all places just made up almost 20 points in 20 days against a Democratic attorney general who, for all the talk about her inadequacy, won 73 percent of the statewide vote in 2006.

Two months ago in New Jersey, another state long hostile to GOP candidates, sitting Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine spent more than $25 million of his own money on his campaign, doubling his Republican opponent’s entire war chest. He lost. Virginia, which swung dramatically to Barack Obama and the Democrats in 2008, swung just as dramatically back to the GOP in November.

All of this, within 364 days of Obama’s inauguration.

This is the change that the president has brought about. For the foreseeable future, there are no more gimmes.

68 comments Add your comment

Steve

January 20th, 2010
8:27 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 20th, 2010
8:35 am

Dear Mr. Wingfield, you raise the $64,000 question. Are we governed by a Bill Clinton, smart enough to correct his course and broadly divert his government away from leftism, or are we governed by a Jimmy Carter, so confident in his own genius that he will attempt to impose his vision on those of us otherwise too stupid to appreciate him?

neo-Carlinist

January 20th, 2010
8:41 am

I am far to cynical to think last night’s results are anything more than the pendulum doing what pendulums do, but for a moment I recalled how I felt Obama was elected in November ‘08 (and I didn’t even vote for him). there was a feeling that for all the belly-aching and frustration of the “one person – one vote” myth, the system works. there was a feeling that race and wealth do not matter, performance matters. kudos to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for using the system to beat the system. perhaps last night’s election was the “Bunker Hill” of the second American revolution.

StJ

January 20th, 2010
8:46 am

Yes, it would appear that the bullet train to socialism has hit a speed bump or three. The Dems got their majority by bashing Bush, but that only gets you so far. Now the sleeping giant is wide awake. This was formerly TED KENNEDY’S seat, the “champion of health care reform”.

How ironic.

JF McNamara

January 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Good for the Republicans I guess. Since I care more about my future and the future of America than taking a side, I’m not really sure if this is good or not.

It probably means that we’ll just have status quo, and neither side will attempt to make any meaningful change because they’ll be afraid to lose votes. Is that good for the majority of Americans? Is that good for our future?

Maybe. We keep talking about these problems every election cycle and doing nothing. Now we’ll just do nothing longer.

AlphaDawg

January 20th, 2010
8:57 am

WOW!!! Ragnar, thats the best comparison of the 3 i’ve heard yet.

I love your comment “Handle”. I wonder how many on these boards even know its origin?

Joel Edge

January 20th, 2010
9:09 am

A lot of congratulating going on for Republicans. The GOP needs to tread carefully here. What Mass. shows is that the game has changed. The Tea Party movement (I believe ) helped elect a Republican in spite of the Republican Party in a blue state. Both parties need to be paying attention.

Joan

January 20th, 2010
9:13 am

The people are merely in search of what they have a right to: a representative government. It is only fitting that the revolution begin again in Boston. I don’t think there is any Republican who doesn’t think health care reform is called for, but it is the kind of reform that must be addressed. Gouging for medical appliances, deals brokered between providers and governmental officials, and the like. There is a lot of corruption to clean up as it sits now. Clean up the corruption first, then maybe healthcare will be a lot more affordable. Scott Brown won because he seems like a genuinely reasonable man who has his ear to the ground. That is refreshing. Most of our politicians have their hands out for bribes.

Churchill's MOM

January 20th, 2010
9:27 am

I would be happier about this if it means that the Republican party was going back to a small government, balanced budget party but it looks like they only want to waste money on different things. Don’t forget that both of our RINO Senators voted for TARP and both earmark like Democrats. The Republican party needs to change not simply be Democrat Lite.

Rag man, well written.

Davo

January 20th, 2010
9:43 am

While I am pleased with the outcome of this election, I feel a bit of trepidation also. I’m sure before the week is out the GOP will throw out a whole new talking point campaign trying to convince us that they are the party with our best interests in mind. I hope that people will see this win for what it really is…a break from the status quo (crossed fingers) and not a win for the GOP.

Joel Edge

January 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Irishmafia

January 20th, 2010
10:02 am

All the “experts” and talking heads will read something into this, hopefully the message sent was to tell Congress to get of their lazy “keep me in office” butts, and start working together to fix the numerous problems facing our country. Only a complete house cleaning in November will insure they received the message. Why not? all of Congress up there now -yes including your own favorites-worked hard to get us in the mess we are in now. Clean house!

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 20th, 2010
10:08 am

I hope Teddy’s looking up on this wishing he had a nice strong drink. He earned it.

The American People

January 20th, 2010
11:10 am

You did a heck of a job Brownie!!! Harry Reid, Blance Lincoln, Michael Bennet – You Are Next. Down With Dems In 2K10

Intown Lib

January 20th, 2010
11:18 am

It was a strategic blunder of the highest order for Obama to gamble his administration on health care reform. On inauguration day, I thought he had 2 years to get anything done on any priority. Turns out he had one year to get anything done. With 41 Republicans in lockstep willing to filibuster anything, it’s going to be stagnation nation until either midterm elections or more likely, 2012. So much for progress. And America’s economic might compared to another developed and fast developing nations in this world will suffer.

Chris Broe

January 20th, 2010
11:47 am

Brown would not have won if the Democrats had offered 10 plastic surgeries per day per beeyatch in the hairpie section of their healthcare reform act. Of course, it’s easy 4 me to criticize with 20/20 hindsight, after the fact, post-poll and all.

They’re selling Pat Roberston voodoo dolls on Ebay like hotcakes. I guess we’re going to find out if voodoo works or not. For someone in the public eye not to know how big a pile he was stepping in by going where he went in the midst of that suffering mitigates any sympathy Americans might have for Pat.

The only teflon wingnut is Rush Limbaugh. He could call for the assassination of our president and our speaker and get away with it. He could say he was on drugs. He could say he was fat. he could say he was stupid. He could say he was an obnoxious jackass who cant control his emotional ups and downs.

but he’d get away with it. Oh yes he would.

Wakeup Time

January 20th, 2010
11:51 am

Kill healthcare, or ram it through? The Dems are screwed either way.

Stuck between a Barack and a hard place.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 20th, 2010
12:01 pm

The truth of the matter is that, if you adjust for inflation, the average income of American males has not grown in real terms since the 1970s. Most families have compensated for that by sending mom to work outside the home. (The simultaneous push for equality by the women’s movement masked the fact that significant numbers of women now in the workforce were drafted by economic necessity.)

That excerpt from Joel Edge’s link is the crux of the matter. As I’ve been saying recently, the common thread among everybody I know, regardless of their political stripe, is anger. Most everybody things the Federal Government is broken and doesn’t work. The Republicans were wrong in 2000 thinking it was a great sea change, as were the Democrats in 2008, and as the Republicans are now, if they see this election as a sea change. People are getting more and more frustrated and the pendulum swings are going to come sooner and get more pronounced as we go along. Where the real sea change would come is if “none of the above” was on the ballot. “None of the above” would win in a landslide in most races.

Better hang on because the ride is just going to get more bumpy as we go.

citizen

January 20th, 2010
12:06 pm

I didn’t vote for President Obama, but I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for all the people that did vote for him because they were completely taken in with his sweet words of change and hope. There was an enlightened spirit in this country that his candidacy brought forth.
And then, he turns every thing over to Congress, and now, a lot of his supporters are having buyers remorse.
By and large, the majority of Americans are centrist in our politics.

Horrible Horrace

January 20th, 2010
2:12 pm

“There was an enlightened spirit in this country that his candidacy brought forth.”

You mean a naive spirt?!

Allen

January 20th, 2010
2:13 pm

I wonder if people think that Ted Kennedy would have lost this seat if he was running, or that Coakley would have lost if unemployment was 3%. Just saying, be careful about assuming that this was exclusively a referendum on health care (though it undoubtedly was to some uncertain extent).

Accordingly, it’s probably not fair to say that passing reform now would be an egregious subversion of the people’s will. The Democrats have a 59-41 majority in the Senate and a strong majority in the House. They should, however, wait until Brown is seated to proceed.

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2010
3:43 pm

Allen: Brown made the race a referendum on the entire Democratic agenda, with health care at the center. I’d be hard-pressed to name a bigger factor in the election.

The rest of the Democrats in Congress push forward with health reform at their peril, because what they’ve been pushing isn’t the people’s will. And they know it.

AUBURNTIGERS

January 20th, 2010
4:09 pm

The dems lost because of Obama. Period.

c-man

January 20th, 2010
4:16 pm

KW
What is the ‘people’s will’ on healthcare? Is it making sure insurance company’s can increase premiums at 10x inflation at a time when most incomes are stagnant or negative? I am disappointed that the Dems and the President didn’t push hard enough for a single-payer. Let’s be honest: republicans governed poorly with the WH and COngress and a right-leaning Court. What makes any of the good people of Mass. or any other state believe that a reprise of the same agenda is going to work?

Bone

January 20th, 2010
4:17 pm

This latest election should go further than just which party is going in next. The American people need to look at everyone and decide if either party person elected today is there for the right reason. If they aren’t, then that person needs to be voted out, regardless of their party.

The fact of the matter is all of these elected officials have more or less been in office for way too long. This is their career, and they’re not doing a good job. Between 2000-2008, it was spend, spend, spend…regardless of the party. However, the Dems got in for 2009 and now we already spent for my great-great grandkids.

Look over your elected official’s records and see what they are doing, and vote them out in the primary or general election, if they are not doing the job right. It’s your money they are spending, not the government’s.

Jon

January 20th, 2010
4:19 pm

The problem here is that politicians don’t even have to run on their own merits anymore. I don’t have a damn clue what Brown or Coakley stood for or what they’ve done and I doubt the people of MA did either. The entire race was centered on something that neither individual has had anything to do with…

AUBURNTIGERS

January 20th, 2010
4:21 pm

c-man: here’s the ‘People’s will’ on health care reform according to the Rasmussen Poll:

January 18, 2010

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 38% of voters nationwide favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That matches the lowest level of support yet. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters oppose the plan.

@@

January 20th, 2010
4:23 pm

I don’t know how many times the progressives have criticized conservatives for not wanting to pay out for the benefit of others. It was nice to see that liberal Massachusetts is feeling the same way. They’ve got theirs (state-run healthcare) why should they have to pay for everybody elses?

Good question.

And the people in Nebraska and Louisiana who received a sweetheart bribe, compliments of their reps’ backroom deals. They’re embarrassed as they should be.

I’m likin’ what I’m seein’, Kyle.

AUBURNTIGERS

January 20th, 2010
4:24 pm

@@

January 20th, 2010
4:34 pm

Who is Ragnar? She (@@) shrugged when she said….that’s easy!

Ragnar Danneskjöld was a pirate who sought to return money taken by confiscatory tax policy to those who would prove to be more creative in growing an economy.

That’s my Ragnar!

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

January 20th, 2010
4:37 pm

Well, back to a senate that will do nothing but talk, posture, and enjoy the extracurricular perks of power. I don’t care what party wins or has the majority; I just want some action to fix our real problems…and it’s not steroids in baseball.

JM

January 20th, 2010
4:44 pm

Amen, JF McNamara @ 8:48 am. Amen.

@@

January 20th, 2010
4:56 pm

And while the congress critters are mulling over what to do with their time, let them focus their attention on the people’s message….hands-off mine. Get your own wasteful house in order before you come DEMANDING more from THE PEOPLE.

YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT US!

JD

January 20th, 2010
5:01 pm

We should only hope the Mass. election result indicates a “sea change” as one poster wrote.

We should hope this represents a change from the “politics as usual” both parties have brought to the table. Give us a rational, people first, and Constitutional government.

Eliminate the arrogance of huge Congressional pay raises while raising Medicare costs to our seniors.

Eliminate the arrogance of proudly proclaiming you have ripped off the taxpayers for $300 million to support a poorly drafted health care bill.

Eliminate earmarks, lobbyists, federal welfare, and all of the federal departments (example: Education) not explicitly provided for in the Constitution.

Provide actual health care reform by eliminating the waste, passing tort reform, creating a true free-market for the services and drugs in the system. If necessary, provide subsidized insurance for those who are truly in need – not pay-offs to union members and special interests.

Imprison the next Member of Congress who geometrically increases their net worth in office.

Reduce Congressional pay and the overall size of the federal government, thus putting more money in the hands of the people to create businesses that create jobs that create self-esteem rather than doling out money to third generation (or more) welfare recipients.

Eliminate the Federal Reserve Bank.

Eliminate the income tax, the Fair Tax is the best current alternative, but a consumption tax will make the US the most productive and vibrant economy in the world.

Force the sale of the government and union interests in the car companies, insurance companies, banks and Wall Street. If there are no buyers – shut them down.

Investigate and prosecute those in government who worked for, and those outside of government who still work for – Goldman Sachs, possibly the “Root of All Evil”.

That will do for a start.

jc

January 20th, 2010
5:07 pm

Couldn’t agree with “middler and so tired” more. it seems as if all of this partisan bs is just that partisan bs to keep us at each others throats, throwing in elements of race and social economic status when possible making us go more toward a us vs. them mentality now more so that we’ve experienced in the last 16 years and at the end of the day our economy is still suffering, we lost tons of jobs way b4 the recession when we allowed us companies to send our jobs overseas without the risk of suffering any kind of penalty, the wars have taken their toll on economy and wall street and the lack of true regulation and accountability was the nail in the coffin. I voted for Obama bc of choices that I had before me McCain and Palin would have been Bush part 3 and the crazy old coot would have bombed Iran, while Sarah could barely spell Iran if you spotted her the I and the R. Health care is a concern but JOBS – JOBS and our economy should have been first on anyone’s agenda.

@@

January 20th, 2010
5:14 pm

I, for one, will never trust Obama again. I didn’t vote for him, but I did have hopes that he was not as progressive in his domestic policies as I suspected.

It’s only when his progressive policies are in jeopardy that he looks for redemption.

Exclusive: President Obama: We Lost Touch with American People Last Year

You are simply too slow on the uptake for me, Mr. President. Any leader who cared about the American people would have put us in his forethoughts rather than his afterthoughts.

You can’t sell me with your empty words. There is no truth to your power.

samuel

January 20th, 2010
5:21 pm

People are simply too impatient. No one can realistically expect Obama to undo the damage -in 1 year- that Bush did to the country in 8. The mismanagement- the budget deficits, the exploding national debt ( an 120% increase, from $5.7 trillion to $12.4 trillion during Bush Jr.s presidency), the huge increases in spending under the last 3 Republican presidents- have largely been ignored by conservatives who constantly talk about a ‘return’ to small government and balanced budgets when, in fact, no Republican president has balanced a budget since Eisenhower-50 years ago.

@@

January 20th, 2010
5:25 pm

The only thing shoring up Obama in his job approval ratings are his foreign policies. With the exception of civil rights for self-admitted terrorists, he’s mirrored George Bush’s policy to a “T”.

Reality sucks but pretty words cajole.

Get those terrorists out of our courtrooms. They’re a legal technicality waiting to happen.

Big Mike

January 20th, 2010
5:26 pm

I really think that it was a railroad job done by Coakley. She did not put any effort into the race. She took a two week vacation after she got the nomination, she only had 19 public appearances and Brown had 66. Brown road around the state in his truck, Coakley said that she was not about to get out in the cold to shake hands. This Spells RAILROAD JOB .

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 20th, 2010
5:29 pm

This one, single special election is too small a sample to draw any educated conclusions about what the electorate think, want, and expect.

But it sure does inspire a free-for-all for everyone itching to spin their favorite yarns about their own personal political agendas.

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2010
5:36 pm

samuel: The impatience is because we’re continuing to head in the wrong direction.

Big Mike: Are you suggesting Coakley lost on purpose? Why would she have done that — do you think she’s some sort of closet tea partier??

@@

January 20th, 2010
5:41 pm

I would also like to point out that the unions were happy to get theirs too. At whose expense?

The expense would fall on the backs of America’s OTHER working stiffs.

None too flattering to the champions of workers rights, eh, America?

Special interests for WE, THE UNIONS but not for THEE who work outside our halls.

Thbppppttt.

David Axelfraud

January 20th, 2010
6:04 pm

Enter your comments here

David Axelfraud

January 20th, 2010
6:05 pm

Bye bye Democrat Party.

America hates you.

BPJ

January 20th, 2010
6:05 pm

Republicans have told a lot of lies about the healthcare bill, and Faux News & Co. have helped. House Democrats should pass the Senate version. (And then propose a number of amendments, starting with repeal of the “Nebraska exemption”.) Do you really believe Joe Lieberman voted for a “socialist takeover of health care”?!? What a bunch of nonsense! The bill is endorsed by the AMA and the AARP; does any sober person think the AMA is going to vote to wreck health care, or that the AARP would fail to oppose anything that diminished benefits to seniors?

The current bill is very similar to Mitt Romney’s law in Mass., which Brown voted for..including the mandate for everyone to have health insurance! (That’s necessary because if you forbid the insurance cos. to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, then everyone must have health insurance. Otherwise it’s like requiring car insurance cos. to insure any auto, regardless of condition, without requiring auto insurance.

Fla. Senator Bill Nelson has it right (from today’s Times):

Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, said Wednesday that the Senate health care bill still looked good to him. And he said President Obama should press the House to adopt it.
Far from abandoning his yearlong effort to overhaul the health care system, Mr. Nelson said, “the president should persuade the House to pass the Senate bill as it is and send it to him for his signature.”
Then, Mr. Nelson said, Congress could “take a breath and make adjustments over time, to fix anything that needs correction.” While some provisions of the bill would take effect immediately, others would not kick in for several years, he noted.
“If the House would pass the Senate bill,” Mr. Nelson said, “a lot of misinformation about the Senate bill would be exposed, as people look at the new law.”

sneezy

January 20th, 2010
6:30 pm

Is anyone going to admit they voted for Obama? I have never spoken to anyone who did. I do think one thing good has come out of the Obama presidency, people are more aware of the gov’t and how it operates. Most of them now know that change can go another way. Not the change you wanted. Our country and our way of life can fade very fast at the hands of people who only want their name in the history books as doing something, whether it is good or bad.

RGB

January 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

When the statist acolytes say “Republicans have told a lot of lies about the healthcare bill, and Faux News & Co. have helped”, they discredit themselves by suggesting that the populace simply cannot understand the bill and have not read it on their own.

The Democrats have had to meet in secrecy, buy senators’ votes, buy the pharmaceutical companies’ support, AARP’s support, and buy the goonions’ support. And with all this, they haven’t passed their bad bill.

Taking this “teachable moment”, the reader should note that the AMA doesn’t represent most physicians in the USA. Further, physician-legislators such as Dr. Tom Price and Dr. Tom Coburn have been systematically excluded from providing their considerable expertise to the cowardly Democrat legislators who crafted this bad bill.

If you view Cuba as a role model for the United States health care system, then the Democrats have a plan for you.

If you’re willing to pay $3,000 more per year for a cap-and-tax agreement, the Democrat party is your party.

If you are a thinking person, can read and decide for yourself, and refuse to surrender your freedom to Democrat politicians in Washington, D.C., then we know there are alternatives.

Yesterday we learned that even the people of Massachusetts understand this.

[...] I wrote earlier, Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts means there are no more gimmes in politics [...]

samuel

January 20th, 2010
7:33 pm

sneezy @ 6:30, you must not spend much time outside Georgia or the South. I voted for Obama, as did about 67 million others. Sneezy, you are the defintion of the word ‘provincial’. I would call you a yokel, but that would be stereotyping.

Hoax and chains

January 20th, 2010
8:50 pm

First–a big thank you to the voters of Massachusetts

I saw a clip today where obama said “we lost touch, we didn’t speak to the American People”

Wrong bozo–the problem is you haven’t LISTENED to the American people. When you speak, you tell us what you, harry greed, and natzy pelosi are going to forcefeed us.

November won’t arrive too soon.