In his first comment following Scott Brown's stunning victory in the Massachusetts special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, President Obama told the losing candidate, Martha Coakley, "you can't win them all." No, but President Obama hasn't won any since his own election more than 15 months ago (not counting the Nobel Peace Prize, which was an unearned gift). Three candidates he campaigned for in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts lost, and his personal appeal for Chicago to host the Olympics in 2016 was rejected. That's 0-4. If he were a quarterback, the coach would be eyeing the backup right about now.
Many lessons were taught, but how many will be learned from Brown's victory? Chief among them is that the public doesn't like arrogance, whether it comes with a "D" or an "R" after the name. Democrats were taught that lesson in 1994 when voters gave Republicans a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in more than 40 years. Republicans ran against arrogance and the tyranny of the majority. But they quickly became what they replaced, believing that voters had given them a license to do whatever they wished.
It seems President Obama and the congressional leadership both need to be taught the same lesson. Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't getting the message. She is promising to push through health care "reform" no matter what. Her San Francisco seat is safe, but the seats of many other Democrats -- especially those Blue Dogs and Democrats who won in traditionally Republican districts -- are not. Will those Democrats be willing to play "Thelma and Louise" and drive off a cliff just so the Obama-Pelosi-Reid wing of their party can claim victory?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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