The Massachusetts "Miracle on Ice" hit Democrats like an avalanche crashing in on a downhill skier. Gone is their 60-vote, filibuster-proof Senate supermajority. Likely dead is the Senate version of health care "reform," if not ObamaCare altogether. Stunned and confused, Democrats now scramble around trying to decipher "what it means."
President Barack Obama's hard-left base calls the loss of Teddy Kennedy's seat a wake-up call -- for bigger spending. They see the defeat as a referendum for broader and bolder "health care reform" that includes a so-called public option, higher taxes and an expansion of the number of insured through Medicare. Their argument goes like this: People are unhappy, not about reckless spending, but because Obama has governed like a "centrist." He's "caved in to special interests," hasn't gone far enough and hasn't increased government fast enough. He abandoned his "progressive agenda," and voters punished him. Voters, wanting more government, elected a guy who promised less.
A Hofstra University professor represents this view in his analysis of "what it means": "The obvious solution, of course, would be a sharp turn to the left. Go where the real solutions are. Fight the good fight. Call liars 'liars' and thieves 'thieves'. Do the people's business. Become their advocate against the monsters bleeding them dry. Create jobs. Build infrastructure. Do real national health care. End the wars. Dramatically slash military spending. Produce actual educational reform. Launch a massive green energy/jobs program. Get serious about global warming. Kick ass on campaign finance reform. Fight for gay rights. Restore the New Deal-era regulatory framework and expand it. Restore a fair taxation structure. Rewrite trade agreements that undermine American jobs. Rebuild unions. Fill the spate of vacancies in the federal judiciary, and load those seats up with progressives. Rally the public to demand that Congress act on your agenda. Humiliate the regressives in and out of the GOP for their abysmal sell-out policies." Good grief! So much for voters telling Obama to slow down and move toward the center.