On Tuesday, the voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sent an incredibly powerful message to the Democrats in Washington that their out-of-control spending and efforts to rush through healthcare legislation will not be tolerated by the electorate. In a stunning upset, Republican Scott Brown defeated his Democratic opponent in the bluest of blue states to capture the United States Senate position left vacant by the passing of the late Ted Kennedy.
Only a year ago pundits across the nation were proclaiming the Republican Party dead in the water -- causing many Democrats to feel they had free rein. However, things are about to change in a different direction than anticipated by the president just one year ago.
There's just no way to oversell this victory. Massachusetts hasn't fielded a Republican Senator for 31 years. Senator-elect Brown will be the only Republican in the entire state delegation to Congress. Less than a year and a half ago, Barack Obama took Massachusetts by 26 points, which makes Scott Brown's triumph a 31-point reversal.
Today, many Democrats are rushing in to do damage control -- claiming that this was a case of a bad candidate in a challenging local environment, as was also claimed after Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this year. However, coming into this race, Martha Coakley was not an unknown commodity who was quickly cast on the most public of stages. Rather, she came into this general election only after having earned her party's nomination due, in part, to her position as a popular statewide figure who had previously received over 78 percent of the statewide vote earning her the commonwealth's attorney general position. And she also had one of the strongest political machines in the country at her disposal. No, this was not a case of a bad candidate struggling in a tough local environment. (How anyone could call Massachusetts a tough local environment for a Democrat while maintaining a straight face is beyond me.) This was clearly a rebuke of the Democrats' national agenda.
And not only did Scott Brown win a political race -- he may have helped delay or defeat one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation to sniff passage in decades. And for Democrats who may hold on to the hope that the Massachusetts results were not about the Democrats' national agenda -- they only need to be reminded the Republican candidate Brown was victorious in Ted Kennedy's own precinct.