By early afternoon on Tuesday, several hours before the polls closed on the special Senate election in Massachusetts, the Democrats had already thrown in the towel and started throwing punches. At each other. There was more finger-pointing among Bay State and Beltway Democrats than in a “Three Stooges” marathon. More backstabbing than all of the “Real Housewives” combined.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confessed that President Obama was “frustrated” and “not pleased” by the closeness of the race after his salvation mission to Boston over the weekend. Operatives lashed out at Democratic candidate Martha Coakley’s listless, gaffetastic campaign. Capitol Hill buzzed with rumors that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was blaming the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and liberal pollster Celinda Lake for ignoring electoral alarm bells.
In response, Coakley’s team leaked a memo blasting national Democratic brethren for failing to aid them “until too late.” Another Democratic Party official counter-jabbed to Politico that Coakley had “been involved in the worst case of political malpractice in memory.”
On the sidelines, Democratic Rep. Barney Frank took to the airwaves to call for sabotaging Senate rules and ending the filibuster in anticipation of losing the magic 60th vote for the government health care takeover plan. Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer trotted out the old blame-the-GOP card -- incoherently arguing that GOP candidate Scott Brown’s surge among conservatives, independents and once-reliable rank-and-file Democratic voters in the deep-blue state of Massachusetts was a backlash against Republican obstructionism.
"I think what the public is angry about is they see, first of all, an opposition for opposition's sake," Hoyer told reporters in D.C. If Democrats continue to cling to that outer-space nonsense, the shock they will suffer in the November 2010 elections will make January 19 look like a spa day.
As I write, the polls are still open. But win, lose or draw, Brown’s surge is an unmistakable victory for Tea Party activism. Online fundraising over the past few weeks buoyed the campaign and put Brown in the national spotlight. Buzz over a possible “Massachusetts Miracle” persuaded national Republican organizations to belatedly transfer funds for phone and mail get-out-the-vote operations targeted at independent voters.
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