On Nov. 4, 2008, America bought into a grand vision. That vision promised a unified America, brought together by racial content, defined by renewed optimism and hewn together by pragmatic policymaking.
On Jan. 19, 2010, America started looking for the receipt. Turns out that the grand vision was a lemon, and we want a refund.
Democrats considered Ted Kennedy's old seat their seat by right. Republican Scott Brown rightfully declared it the "people's seat." The people have spoken, and to paraphrase President Obama, make no mistake: the election of Brown in Massachusetts was a complete and utter rejection of the Obama mystique.
Was Martha Coakley an awful candidate? Absolutely. Was Scott Brown a great candidate? To be sure. But if the 2008 election was about rejection of disunity under George W. Bush, the 2010 election of Scott Brown was about rejection of false unity under Obama.
Brown's election represented a sudden recognition of reality for the first time in well over a year: Massachusetts voters realized that our president is not who he said he was. Even traditionally liberal-leaning voters in Massachusetts saw through Obama. They saw that he is a race-baiter, not a racial unifier; that he is a socialist bent on total overhaul of the American way of life, not a simple administrative pragmatist; that he is a egotist and a neophyte, and a man who generally dislikes America's founding principles and prominent place in the world. And Massachusetts voters rejected the real Obama wholesale.
Let's start with the grand vision of racial unity. On Nov. 6, 2008, I wrote that Obama's main appeal was in his racial identity; as a black man who did not attack white folks on a regular basis, he was perceived by most Americans as a moderate who could offer racial reunification simply by his election. That appeal turned out to be a chimera -- Obama is as racially radical as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The revelation of that fact started in Massachusetts when Obama stated that the racist police in Cambridge, Mass., were victimizing black citizens. As Obama put it, "The Cambridge police acted stupidly … there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by police disproportionately." So much for bringing us together to move beyond race.