Once again, the people have spoken, and this time they quoted what Dick Cheney said to Pat Leahy.
Less than two weeks ago, The New York Times said that so much as a "tighter-than-expected" victory for Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley would incite "soul-searching among Democrats nationally," which sent Times readers scurrying to their dictionaries to look up this strange new word, "soul."
A close win for Coakley, the Times said, would constitute "the first real barometer of whether problems facing the party" will affect the 2010 elections.
Democratic candidate Martha Coakley may be a moral monster, but it's ridiculous to blame her for losing the election. She lost because of the Democrats' obsession with forcing national health care down the nation's throat.
Coakley campaigned exactly the way she should have.
As a Democrat running in a special election for a seat that had been held by a Democratic icon (and another moral monster) for the past 46 years in a state with only 12 percent registered Republicans, Coakley's objective was to have voters reading the paper on Friday, saying: "Hey, honey, did you know there was a special election four days ago? Yeah, apparently Coakley won, though it was a pretty low turnout."
Ideally, no one except members of government unions and Coakley's immediate family would have even been aware of the election.
And until Matt Drudge began covering it like a presidential election a week ago, it might have turned out that way.
Coakley had already won two statewide elections, while her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, had only won elections in his district. She had endorsements from the Kennedy family and the current appointed Democratic senator, Paul Kirk -- as well as endless glowing profiles in The Boston Globe.
And by the way, as of Jan. 1, Brown had spent $642,000 on the race, while Coakley had spent $2 million.
On Jan. 8, just 11 days before the election, The New York Times reported: "A Brown win remains improbable, given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1 in the state and that Ms. Coakley, the state's attorney general, has far more name recognition, money and organizational support."
It was in that article that the Times said a narrow Coakley win would be an augury for the entire Democratic Party. But now she's being hung out to dry so that Democrats don't have to face the possibility that Obama's left-wing policies are to blame.
Alternatively, Democrats are trying to write off Brown's colossal victory as the standard seesawing of public sentiment that hits both Republicans and Democrats from time to time. As MSNBC's Chris Matthews explained, it was just the voters saying "no" generally, but not to anything in particular.
Except when Republicans win political power, they hold onto it long enough to govern. The Democrats keep being smacked down by the voters immediately after being elected and revealing their heinous agenda.
As a result, for the past four decades, American politics has consisted of Republicans controlling Washington for eight to 14 years -- either from the White House or Capitol Hill -- thus allowing Americans to forget what it was they didn't like about Democrats, whom they then carelessly vote back in. The Democrats immediately remind Americans what they didn't like about Democrats, and their power is revoked at the voters' first possible opportunity.
Obama has cut the remembering-what-we-don't-like-about-Democrats stage of this process down from two to four years to about 10 months. Folks, I'm convinced that if we all work really hard, we can get it down to three months.
Four years of Jimmy Carter gave us two titanic Reagan landslides, peace and prosperity for eight blessed years -- and even a third term for his feckless vice president, George H.W. Bush.
Two years of Bill Clinton gave us a historic Republican sweep of Congress, which killed the entire Clinton agenda (with the exception of partial-birth abortion and felony obstruction of justice) -- and also gave us two terms for George W. Bush.
And now, merely one year of Obama and a Democratic Congress has given us the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 31 years.
In other recent news, last November, New Jersey voters, who haven't voted for a Republican for president since 1988, threw out their incumbent Democratic governor, Jon Corzine. In Virginia, which Obama carried by 6 points a year earlier, a religious-right Republican won the governor's office by 17 points.
Sen. Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, won his last election in 2006 by 28 points -- the largest margin for a Democratic Senate candidate in that state in a quarter-century.
Since voting for the Senate health care bill last Christmas, the once-bulletproof Sen. Nelson not only gets booed out of Omaha pizzerias, but he has also seen his job approval rating fall to 42 percent and his disapproval rating soar to 48 percent. (Meanwhile, the junior senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns, who voted against the bill, has a job approval rating of 63 percent.)
The Democrats have no natural majority because they have no fundamental principles -- at least none that they are willing to state out loud. They are like a drunken vagrant who emerges from the alley to cause havoc every few years. They are the perpetual toothache of American politics.
To be sure, the fact that 52 percent of Massachusetts voters are racist, sexist tea-baggers -- i.e., voted for a Republican -- means only that the Democrats just went from having the largest congressional majority in a generation to the second largest. But this was "Teddy Kennedy's seat." And it was in Massachusetts.
Now, no Democrat is safe.
But the country just got a lot safer.