"Let me be as clear as I can. There is no way in hell we're going to elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy's seat. Period."
So said the man who finished second in the Democratic Massachusetts primary held to fill the seat occupied for 47 years by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. State Attorney General Martha Coakley won the primary. Republican state Sen. Scott Brown once trailed her by 30 points in the polls.
On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, Brown defeated Coakley by 5 points. This astonishing Republican win in Massachusetts is a flat-out repudiation of President Barack Obama.
This is now strike five. In 2008, Obama carried New Jersey and Virginia. Last year, he unsuccessfully stumped in both states for Democrats in gubernatorial races. Democrats previously held those seats. He twice flew to Copenhagen, once to lobby for the Chicago Olympics and later to get a meaningful international deal on "climate change." Both times, he came home empty-handed. Now comes Massachusetts. Try to explain that one away.
Massachusetts had not elected a Republican senator since 1972. Its 10-seat House delegation is wall-to-wall Democrats. Obama, in 2008, carried the state by 26 points. Registered Democrats in Massachusetts outnumber registered Republicans by more than 3 to 1.
What happened? One, Obama. Two, the Democratic filibuster-proof Senate supermajority. Three, a party led by like-minded lefties.
But ObamaCare is ground zero. Brown campaigned against it and promised he'd try to stop it. The unpopular legislation would mandate that everyone carry health insurance. It would force insurance companies to accept those with pre-existing illnesses. It would tax -- or, if you prefer, fine -- employers for not providing health insurance and individuals for not having it. It would exempt union members from a tax on their employer-provided plans but force nonunion members with similar plans to pay it. Nebraska would get its new Medicaid costs exempted in perpetuity. Louisiana would receive $300 million in goodies.
ObamaCare, according to Obama, promises both deficit neutrality and eventual cost savings. Right. And the legislation ignores the fact that most Americans have and like their current health insurance.