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Not a time for gloating

This is not a time for gloating, but for regrouping. The voters of Massachusetts have made clear their preference for a more tempered approach to health-care reform, as well as government in general. Scott Brown's rather amazing ascent to the U.S. Senate is a message to Washington: Tone it down; dial it back. It is also an opportunity for President Obama, not to regret a party loss, but to return to his unifying message that America is neither red nor blue, but something in between and acknowledge that an imperfect system, though it may need some repair, doesn't necessarily require an overhaul. My guess is that he will see his popularity return to its previous high levels if he will but step up, take the bullhorn and say, "I can hear you."

By Kathleen Parker  | January 19, 2010; 10:25 PM ET
Categories:  Parker  | Tags:  Kathleen Parker  
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Comments

"...take the bullhorn and say, "'I can hear you.'"

Ah yes, it always comes back to 9/11 for the right-wing.

By the way, what ever happened to Osama bin Laden?

Oh that's right: YOU failed to kill or capture him.

Perhaps Pres. Obama should just continue to lead instead of listening to your advice.

Posted by: Manhattanite | January 19, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could agree with this optimistic viewpoint. But the fundamental problem the Massachusetts election shows is that Americans have become shallow and virtually nihilstic.

There were deadly serious issues at play here. Yet listen to the voters -- it's all tea party nonsense about taking back the country and sticking it to liberals and stuff. Listen to the pundits explaining the election's impact -- it's all about which candidate was more likeable or produced better attack ads.

Nobody's talking intelligently about issues. Nobody's making thoughtful comments about what we as a country need to do to keep things working. People voted for the guy they want to have a beer with so they could piss off some other guy, seemingly oblivious to the real consequences of their actions. And I'm sorry to end on a partisan note, but if you think giving more power to the deadender Republicans in Congress is a good idea, you're part of the problem.

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 19, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Healthcare is "an imperfect system, though it may need some repair, doesn't necessarily require an overhaul."

Are you kidding, lady?

Your HMO is obviously not Aetna!

Posted by: Manhattanite | January 19, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Massachusetts has spoken loudly and they have spoken clearly: They want leaders who recognize the names of their local World Series heroes, and look good with a staple through their bare abdomen. All this health care reform, Wall Street regulation and climate change stuff is just very confusing and they wish you'd not hurt their heads by talking about it.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 19, 2010 11:13 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

B2O2 and simpleton1 you hit the nail on the head. We're going to have republinuts blocking everything and blaming Obama for inaction. Hopefully our senate and house Democrats will all take the time to grow a pair and enough Democrats will wake up before the mid-terms to roll back the clock on the party of no.

Posted by: streff | January 19, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

When Kathleen Parker speaks of a "more tempered health-care reform", she means don't do anything about the uninsured and underinsured.

Posted by: HuckFinn | January 19, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Manhattanite, simpleton, B202-so bitter. How easy for you to blame the voters rather than the leaders, and how typical.
Take advil for any headaches. Midol for any cramps. Pepcid for any tummy aches. But whatever you do, never, ever face up to the real issue-instead, always make fun of the voters (dummies!) and bring up topics that are irrelevant to the subject (bin Laden!).

Posted by: garrettlowell222 | January 19, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it means tone it down/dial it back. Toning it down and dialing it back, in order to appeal to more moderates and Republicans, is what got the Dems into this mess.

We on the left don't like what they've done with the mandate we gave them.

The better suggestion for Dems is turn it up and do what we elected you to do: get things done.

Posted by: chi-town | January 19, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Score one for Our side!

Who says all Americans need - or should have health care?

That nonsense about a nation being only as healthy as it's sickest citizens is baloney.

So what if 50 million people here get sick and cannot afford to get treated for their illness!

So what if those who are sick have to work and play right alongside those of us who are well, and the illness spreads from the poor to the middle class to the rich.

In this country, it's every man for himself. It's always been like that and it always will be!

That nonsense about free or low cost health care for "them" is socialism.

That "free" Flu vaccine crap is socialist too! Only those who can afford to pay the pharmaceutical companies for the vaccine should get it! Anything els is socialism!

We Republicans know that the poor are poor only because they have no morals and made all the wrong choices.

And we are tired of the big behemoth government intruding into our lives. First thing tomorrow, this Republican is heading down to the FDIC and demand that they stop that "socialist" crap of insuring my bank deposits up to 250 grand. Because in an "every man for himself" nation, when our (average citizens) bank fails, it's just too friggin bad. Most of us average citizen's don't have 250 grand in the bank anyway!

Besides, the men who run the banks are as honest as the day is long, and they wouldn't steal our money any more than the men who run the Savings and Loans or the men who run Wall Street would steal it.

The thought of them running off with our pensions and savings at the first sign of insolvency or failure is absurd! How dare the government step in to protect our savings accounts. If they are lost, too bad!
We need to learn to be tough!

And Public schools? More socialist bullcrap. We Republicans want it to be like it was in the colonies. Only wealthy landowners got an education. We don't need no literate population! Only rich folks should have access to books and knowledge. That'sthe way our wise old men in the colonies wanted it.
Public schools? That's socialism.

If you want an education, "hard work" will get you the money to get one! They must go.

mAnd public libraries? Just more of that darn socialism!

I mean, is it fair to the free market capitalists like Barnes & Noble, BooksAmillion, and Borders for the goverment to offer books to be read for FREE?

Of course not! That's socialism!
So score one for us Republicans in Massachussetts!

We, the "real Americans" will wipe out that evil socialism one state at a time!

Those who are with me, meet me tomorrow morning in front of the FDIC with your picket signs!

Get off metro at Virginia Square or Clarendon.

See you there, my Republican faithful!

8:00 AM

To heck with Health care - and to heckwit the FDIC!

ROTFL

Posted by: dredscott1 | January 20, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Any excuse to gloat, you know that. Scorn and gloating are 2 of the things people like about politics. It's why so many people don't vote at all.

Posted by: Nymous | January 20, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

chi-town, you just don't get it. Brown won tonight, NOT because Democrats "toned it down" but because of their enormous excesses this past year. If they keep on this course, they can probably kiss both Houses of Congress good-bye come November.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 20, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

If Democrats tone it down now, they will further alienate their already alienated base. If they don't tone it down, they will lose the center. Democrats aren't to blame.

The problem is that the vast majority of Americans really have no idea what is going on socially, economically, or politically. They don't understand health care, why costs are rising and how much better public systems score on just about every count in other nations. They don't understand why the bail out was necessary to keep the economy from collapsing nor that a rapidly thrown together stimulus bill was necessary to keep us from slipping into a vicious circle of spiraling deflation and declining demand, but would be seriously flawed under the best of circumstances. Nor do they understand much of anything about climate change.

Because American voters don't understand politics, politicians must manipulate imagery and focus on sideshows to get re-elected. Then they have to fulfill senseless commitments once in office. And they must never point to the real problem: Americans are willfully idiotic when it comes to politics. As another commenter wrote, Americans have become virtually nihilistic when it comes to politics.

So, as long as there is finger pointing going around, let's blame the uneducated, willfully ignorant, emotionally volatile, and irresponsible American voters.

Posted by: ReframeAmerica | January 20, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

We can do better is what Scott said.I can not agree more.Washington still won't get it, so we need to get rid of the likes who are taking our freedoms away.This nation is based on capitalism not socialism.As justice is a preserver, so it is a better procurer of peace than war.Lets vote them all out and start anew.Note :it's not just the healthcare ,wake up washington.We want our country free.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

As for the Kennedys,all hereditary government is in its nature tyranny.We loved them but feared them as well.Such is the same for movie stars just the name does not make them so.Heres to a free government. God bless our nation.God bless Scott Brown.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

The reframe America comments is just the reason we find ourselves where we are now. That attitude is why the people feel the way we do.You see the ignorance here is some can not see past there noses.We know more than you feel we do.We know that freedom is first not your ideals of what this country needs.Cause without freedom we can not survive as a nation.So you see you are just going to have to squeeze that little clause/Freedom in there.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | January 20, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Once, when Scott Brown was a boy, he chopped down his dad's apple tree. But he didn't hide the fact. No, he's too honest for that.

He told his father, "Father, I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down the apple tree. I am prepared to take my punishment, whatever it shall be."

Scott Brown: Good for America.

(unlike that Kenyan-unborn-socialist-muslim-fancy pants!)

Posted by: Thinker_ | January 20, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

It's my right to go bankrupt from medical bills after I get in a car accident.

Protection from financial devastation is unAmerican, along with paved roads, the interstate highway system, a government-run military, as well as BMWs, Jaguars, Toyotas, Volvos, Nissans, VWs, and now Hummers.

You just made the list, Hummer! I'm watching you!

Posted by: Thinker_ | January 20, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Too bad, Kathleen. I'm gloating, at least for a day. What makes you think that the people of Massachusetts want a more "tempered" approach to healthcare, and why did it take this Dem debacle for you to even admit that much? They, and we, want COST control and debt REDUCTION.

CAN YOU HEAR US NOW? If not, you will be permanently deafened in November.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | January 20, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama's biggest problem at this point is not the Republicans, but Pelosi. She's been abusing Obama like he was a rented mule

Posted by: grunk | January 20, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

As usual, you nailed it. When big change occurs, people get scared and this country has had a lot of shocks to deal with in the past two years. Our president is always the target - it's the American way.

Bill Clinton said months ago when the polls began to show frustrations rising that all that would change when health care passed and people began to understand how it is helping the economy as well as individual needs.

Posted by: bnsam1 | January 20, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen you give Obama more credit than I do. He lacks leadership , is timid, has bad advisors and no experience to get himself and his party beyond this election which is a repudiation of his policies. His nagging to pass a lousy, complicated healthcare bill is alarming to many. We do not want a mediocre healthcare bill. Better go back and do it right. We have had enough mediocrity in Congress and the White House that the American people are totally sickened. It is not likely that Obama will be re-elected unless Palin is chosen to be the Republican nominee.

Posted by: elsasands1 | January 20, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Short memories.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 20, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

dredscott1: Your an idiot.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 20, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Sory, dredscott: that should be you're, as in you are an idiot.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 20, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

How long will Massachusetts voters settle for no ideas, no solutions - style and no substance?

Brown is just another choir boy for non-action. He couldn't even keep his positions on the issues consistent. Buyers remorse will follow soon.

Posted by: NotFooledTX | January 20, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Reading many of the above comments makes me feel very grateful that I live in the 'socialist' country of Switzerland which provides basic health insurance for everybody, maintains an amazing rail and road system throughout the country and offers relatively free education for students through graduate school (I did pay $1500. tuition a year for my daughter's university education).

The funny thing is that this country doesn't feel 'socialist'. The banks, the pharmaceutical companies, the watch and fine tool industries all seem to be functioning independently, ie pretty much according to the rules of a free market system. Maybe what we have here is something close to the best of both worlds.

I just wish all the 'tea party people' out there would realize that a system like this can work; as far as I am concerned it is the only way to insure that people will be able to live in a safe, responsible society where everybody has a chance and the bridges don't crumble beneath you!

Posted by: bgerson | January 20, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Moving smartly along, it seems to me that in people terms the two big winners (other than Brown) last were Messrs. Lieberman and Nelson, the insurance industry's lackeys. The big loser, assuming that Brown can walk and chew gum, is Ms. Palin.

Posted by: pineknoll | January 20, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, O will take his queue from Alinsky and not the people. Therefore, he will ram this HC bill down the people's throat if it kills the D(th)ems (i.e., vs us). So people will see that O doesn't care what people want, O cares for what he wants as the petulant pedant elitist he is.

Posted by: alecsandertheg8 | January 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

free at last, free at last. thank God almighty, free at last. The corrupt kennedy machine is dead - long live the new regime.

Posted by: alecsandertheg8 | January 20, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"This is not a time for gloating..."

Oh come on! Just for a day!

For a whole year the left has been gloating and telling us that conservitism is DEAD and left-wing politics is our nations future.

Just a day to remember that Democracy WORKS! The people just spoke.

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

No time to gloat. We have a liberal agenda to crush, a Congress to take back and an America to repair.

Posted by: Straightline | January 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A little gloating is in order; the freeway to SOCIALISM just became a dirt road. Yeah! Thank God for the sensible people of MA.

Posted by: iphony | January 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

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