"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.
The Democrats misread the country's mood. They misunderstood why they won in '08. They thought that Obama's election and their gains in Congress meant not just receptiveness, but an eagerness to embrace a New Enlightenment. They believed that people really want to tax "the rich," to redistribute wealth, to punish success.
So Obama set sail to grow government -- to use tax dollars to create "green jobs," to tackle "climate change" with onerous regulations on businesses. He showed the world his un-Bushness by apologizing for America's alleged past arrogance and by employing a kinder, gentler approach to what we once called the War on Terror.
He called the passage of the partisan "stimulus" bill necessary to prevent unemployment from reaching 8 percent. It is now 10 percent. The bill promised to "create or save" millions of jobs. Instead, it created embarrassing headlines about money going to nonexistent ZIP codes and about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per "created or saved" job. Brown called for tax cuts and criticized Obama's stimulus plan.
The Obamacrats bailed out insurance companies, car companies and banks. Bank bailout recipients rang up huge profits, repaid the government ahead of schedule and then dealt themselves big bonuses. People looked at all the Wall Streeters in and/or advising the administration and wondered, "Why did they need our money in the first place?"
The Boston Massacre dooms ObamaCare -- at the very least its current incarnation. It pulls the country back from the brink of this costly, irreversible leap into collectivism. Oh, sure, Democrats have procedural maneuvers to pull it off. But after this wake-up call, let them try. Gone are "cap and trade" and a second spendthrift ''stimulus package," as well as an attempt at "immigration reform" -- even as our borders remain scarily porous. With Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the federal debt on automatic pilot, ObamaCare was a pillow pressed over the face of the country.
Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, representing the left-left wing of the left-wing party, says Massachusetts means that Democrats should turn further left. Does he know that only 26 percent of Massachusetts voters think RomneyCare, their own version of ObamaCare, is effective?
Dean thinks Democrats wussed out on providing a health insurance "public option" and calls the bill a sop to greedy "special interests." Dean is obtuse. Other Democrats will trade ideology for self-preservation. They will reflect and redirect or suffer the consequences.
As for the late Sen. Kennedy, his death opened a seat that guarantees the defeat of ObamaCare 1.0. Kennedy's death, therefore, stopped this wide-ranging health care "reform."
And America now has a new lease on life.