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Massachusetts is the canary in the Democrats' coal mine

"Is this the beginning of the end????" That was the e-mail I just received from Giuseppe, a die-hard supporter of President Obama's since 2007 who also happens to be my ex. His question isn't unreasonable. State Sen.-turned-U.S.-Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has snatched the seat the late Sen. Ted Kennedy held for the Democrats for 46 years. He strips the Democrats of the crucial 60th vote they need to get anything done.

In short, President Obama's legislative agenda is now on life-support. But it's not necessarily dead. As I pointed out to Giuseppe, President Clinton saw his legislative agenda upended by the 1994 midterm elections, when the House turned Republican for the first time in 40 years. But there's a difference between tonight's stunning Democratic defeat and the one Clinton witnessed 16 years ago. The loss in Massachusetts comes 10 months before the now-crucial 2010 midterm elections.

Tonight was an electoral canary in the coal mine for Obama and the political teams in the White House and on Capitol Hill. If they're smart, they'll use that time to correct missteps made over the last year and reorder their priorities to address the concerns of the American people. Not just rhetorically, but substantively.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 19, 2010; 10:16 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Every incumbent on both sides of the isle needs to heed this election. We may see 50% or more of incumbents tossed this year.

Posted by: dcperspective | January 19, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown may save Obama's presidency. OB should now realize he must wrest control of the agenda from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He needs to move his policies back from leftish to left of center

Posted by: jasonfelton1 | January 19, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown may save Obama's presidency. OB should now realize he must wrest control of the agenda from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He needs to move his policies back from leftish to left of center

Posted by: jasonfelton1 | January 19, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

The political arena is absolutely insane tonight.

Obama's health care agenda derailed??? If Brown is the slightest bit honest, he should now be Obama's POINT MAN for reform. Except, he would actually be a bit too progressive for Obama's agenda.

Brown was elected largely on a promise to vote down health care reform because it would "interfere" with Massachusetts' socialized medicine. Presumably, Brown should now be pushing for the rest of the country to enjoy the system that Massachusetts was trying to PROTECT by sending Brown to the Senate.

Or is state-facilitated health care okay for Bay Staters, but not for the rest of America? Which is it, Senator-elect Brown? Perhaps one of you intrepid media people would be good enough to ask Sen. Centerfold about this little detail.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 19, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Your "ex" Giuseppe.....ewwwwwwww!

Posted by: DaMan2 | January 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Tonight the man in the Pickup truck trumped the man in the Presidential Limousine. Scott Brown is a true American.
Tonight Scott Brown proved to the nation that the Obama, Pelosi, Reid extortion, bribery and arrogance will not be tolerated, even in Massachusetts. When we can beat Obama and his machine there we can do it anywhere. Scott Brown needed no teleprompter tonight. He laid out his agenda and it was a beautiful sight to behold.
The time has come to clean out those who would force faux reform down our throats. The People have decided that Obama and company have taken this country the wrong way. That secret back room deals and one party government cannot stand.
Isa. 13: 11
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Obama is the most arrogant man on the planet. His hubris will be his undoing. If Obama continues on his reckless path of ignoring the people of the United States they in their justifiable wrath will remove all those who follow him in the 2010 elections and he will be a one term President.

If the Democrats try to ram this through by delaying the certification of Scott Brown as Senator, all hell will rain down on them.

Posted by: mharwick | January 19, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

We elected Obama and his large Democratic majority in Congress in 2008 to get things done. Instead, they wasted time in 2009 trying to appeal to Republicans. There's no reasoning with them so that was a foolish move.

Lesson to be learned: do what we elected you to do. Don't try to appeal to Republicans--they're not going to vote for you anyway.

Posted by: chi-town | January 19, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

chi-town.....your screw-the-Republicans attitude is EXACTLY the fuel that resulted in Brown's victory tonight. Keep up that kind of talk, and your Democratic heroes will all be out on the street come November.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 20, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

It's not healthcare that lost this election. It's Freedom that the people fear we are losing from this socialist group we have in washington.Hugo Chavas has got to be upset, he has to play catch up to come close to our governments agenda.We the people need to take our country back from the likes we have here.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

It's just the beginning of a peaceful revolution.nothing short of indpendence,it appears to me,can possibly do.A peace on other terms would ,if I may be allowed the expression, be a peace of war.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Scott Brown will live in memory and gratitude of the wise and good, as a luminary of freedom,as a votary of liberty, as a model of patriotism,and as a benefactor of human kind.God bless Scott Brown he is the light that proves. Yes we can.Because now we really need change.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 4:44 AM | Report abuse

You're absolutely correct that this, with Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections, is the canary in the coal mine. And to quote another commentator, if they don't fix things, the mid-terms will be the unkindness of ravens landing dead on the front lawn. (for you Libs, "unkindness" is how you refer to a group of ravens, like "flock" for other birds or "murder" for crows".)

Posted by: traderdad37 | January 20, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Capehart, how exactly does injecting the fact that you and Giuseppe were gay lovers add anything of import to your post?

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

my ex Giuseppe???

Thats a personal foul, overshare, 15 yard penalty, first down.

Posted by: sold2u | January 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

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