Now that the big drama is over, and Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown has taken what was for four decades Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat, Americans can sit back and watch more high drama.
As the election results sunk in, there was Democratic strategist Paul Begala on CNN trying to find a silver lining, and eventually pulling out this thread: Obama can look strong in defeat, show that he’s heard the American people, and still ram the health care bill down our throats!
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, visibly depressed, entreated liberal leaders to stop whining, get off their duffs and press on, press on.
Tikkun magazine’s hard left rabbi Michael Lerner actually blamed Obama for the debacle, saying he had moved too far to the right. Tikkun’s Website accuses Obama of morphing into an “inside the Beltway pragmatist.” Apparently, Obama should have skipped socialism altogether and raised the red flag with a star on it.
At the Washington Post, whose cultural tastes range from merely trendy to decadently perverse, the Style section devoted a half page review today to “I Am My Own Wife,” a play about an East German cross-dresser.
It’s a nice, if unintentional reminder that liberals are going to have to do a lot of cross-dressing themselves to convince an ornery electorate that they are not, in fact, liberals.
The message Tuesday out of the Bay State was clear: Don’t mess with our health care. Stop spending trillions of dollars. Stop trying to turn the United States into … East Germany.
But brave, liberal pundits are not easily deterred, and offer many reasons for the Massachusetts Meltdown. When they are not beating up Martha Coakley for running a lousy campaign (which she did), they are blaming everything else. The Post’s Steven Pearlstein tut-tutted the idea that Obamacare was the signature issue, and instead offered a potpourri of explanations from the federal deficit (bingo!) to state “big budget shortfalls” to, yes, even the earthquake in Haiti. Pearlstein concluded that “Americans are in a grumpy mood and might want to take it out on the politicians and parties in power.”
Later in the column, he comes right out and says, “the Massachusetts contest was not a referendum on health-care reform, despite the best efforts of the national media and the national parties to make it so.” Huh? Both candidates had emphasized repeatedly that health care was at the core of the race. In his victory speech Tuesday night, Sen.-elect Brown said over and over that he and the American people were fed up with the attempted federal takeover of health care and that he was going to Washington to stop it.