Who could have imagined a month ago, when polls had Martha Coakley leading Scott Brown by more than 20 points, that a massive earthquake was in store not only in Haiti -- but also in Massachusetts?
Haiti's was a staggering blow to a country that has suffered vastly too much. Tuesday's Massachusetts quake caused no loss of life but it devastated the nation's ideological landscape.
One of just five Republicans in a 39-member state senate, Brown and his Republican colleagues could caucus in an elevator. Massachusetts voters break down as 51 percent independent, 37 percent Democrat, and a paltry 11 percent Republican. The state has not elected a Republican to the Senate for 31 years, nor a Republican to the House for 16. Fourteen months ago, Barack Obama carried the state by 26 points.
Now this -- a five-point Brown victory.
Bill Clinton campaigned for Coakley. So did Congress' full leftist monty -- with New York's Democratic Senator Charles Schumer dismissing Brown as a "far-right teabagger." Obama swooped in on Air Force One. He also inked a sweetheart health-care deal with the AFL-CIO, wherein the nation's 12 million unionists get a five-year bye on new taxes on expensive ("Cadillac") health insurance plans. The deal came just in time for the unions to flood Massachusetts with their phone-banks and swarms of organizers to save the Senate Democrats' 60-vote super-majority and, of course, ObamaCare.
The Democrats did a number of idiot things. Coakley said, "We need to get taxes up," favored a "war tax," backed repeal of the Bush tax cuts, signified for civil rights for terrorists, and in a state 50 percent Catholic said -- incredibly -- that because of the church's position on abortion, "Catholics probably shouldn't work in emergency rooms." She routinely linked Brown to -- of course -- "the failed policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney" and termed Brown an "enemy of rape victims."
But more than that, it was (1) health care -- with pre-election polls finding Massachusetts voters opposing Obama's and Pelosi's new health-care entitlement plan 48-40. (The same polls had only 30 percent giving a favorable rating to the Democratic Congress, and 55 percent rating it negatively.) ObamaCare has become a stew of payoffs and secret deals (e.g., the "Louisiana Purchase" of Sen. Mary Landrieu and the "Cornhusker Kickback" for Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson).
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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