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Why Massachusetts' Senate race matters

So, a Republican has convincingly won Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat. After opposing health reform. And supporting the waterboarding of terrorists. And appearing as a nude centerfold. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by three to one. And where Republicans haven’t won a Senate election since 1972. After a high-profile visit by President Obama. Who won the state by 26 points last year. But who now carries no political weight in the bluest state in the country. With vicious, public recriminations starting among Democrats even before election day. Following major losses in Virginia and New Jersey.

All of which led one popular Democratic blog to argue: “Why Massachusetts doesn’t matter.”

Well, it does matter. It means a president who no longer inspires political fear. It means moderate Senate Democrats -- such as Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln -- who now feel nothing but fear from angry voters. It means that cap-and-trade legislation and immigration reform are on life support. It means that Rahm Emanuel’s “big bang” theory of legislative liberalism is the most foolish political strategy in recent memory. It means that spending political capital on health reform instead of economic recovery and growth was a dreadful error. It means that a crisis that Obama didn’t want to waste has largely been wasted.

The response of prominent Democratic thinkers? "Since Americans think we are arrogant, let’s cram health reform down their throats, employing legislative trickery."
There is only one explanation for this remarkable turn of events. Americans thought Obama was a moderate. He certainly sounded like one. But now he is attempting to remake one seventh of the economy in a quick march of party-line votes. In the process, he has alienated independents in large numbers -- even in Massachusetts.

Obama now has the highest disapproval rating in the history of Gallup polling for a president entering his second year in office. He has been handed a series of political humiliations. If he takes all of this as motivation to “stay the course,” the humiliations have only begun.

By Michael Gerson  | January 19, 2010; 10:54 PM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Next: How Massachusetts was won


Scott Brown advocates torture? Seriously? How can Michael Gerson, as a self-proclaimed man of faith, abide that?

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 19, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I believe in giving the people what they want, but I don't think they really know what their going to get after all this.

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

The message from Massachusetts was clear: The public doesn't like the health care bill in its current form or the process by which it has evolved. Dems need to step back and reassess this bill. Forcing it through now would be damaging. Reading any more into tonight's events is wishful thinking by the GOP.

Posted by: easygoer88 | January 19, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

You are right. I voted for Obama thinking he sounded like a moderate. Boy was I wrong! How can anyone be too liberal for even the voters of Massachusetts?

Posted by: InTheMiddle | January 19, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

One more reason why Massachusetts matters. Sen. Centerfold won largely on a promise to vote down Washington's brand of health care reform because it would "interfere" with Massachusetts' already-existing system of socialized medicine!

Now the unlikely new Republican hero is in the impossible position of explaining to the country why socialized medicine works for Massachusetts, but even a watered-down shadow of it is "too much government involvement" for the rest of the country to merit.

Even the FoxNews viewers are not stupid enough to buy this tortured contradiction. Even as much as they approve of torture.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 19, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

InTheMiddle actually wrote:

"I voted for Obama thinking he sounded like a moderate. Boy was I wrong! How can anyone be too liberal for even the voters of Massachusetts?"

Obama is a liberal? He isn't even pushing for a public option. The guy Massachusetts just elected is PROTECTING their brand of socialized medicine! Do you even know what any of these words mean???

Posted by: B2O2 | January 19, 2010 11:30 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 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Forcing the current senate health insurance reform bill will only generate more voter revolt. Voters, when angry, will not care about super majority. They simply want sweet revenge for being sidelined and rendred unimportant when it comes to jobs, healthcare and the state of the economic propsperity.

Gerson and his ilk should not gloat in victory. This is not a victory for America. It is a punishment to the Democrats for being complacent and going to bed with money. No politician is safe now. They all need to think this deeply. Without us there is no reelection. There is no amount of campaign contribution by AHIp, PhRMA, or Goldman Sachs that can force a win when voters are pissed off at the current incumbent party.

Posted by: Single_Payer | January 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Gerson's statement about Obama's approval rating is disingenuous at best. Obama's current approval rating is 50% according to Gallup. Gallup also reports that Ronald Reagan's approval rating at the same point in his presidency was 48%.

Posted by: twm1 | January 19, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

B202 wrote:
"Now the unlikely new Republican hero is in the impossible position of explaining to the country why socialized medicine works for Massachusetts, but even a watered-down shadow of it is "too much government involvement" for the rest of the country to merit."

He did explain it, and his explanation is the very definition of federalism. Leave healthcare legislation to the states. The states who want socialized medicine can have it, but creating a federal Leviathan of government controlled healthcare forced on all states regardless of the will of the voters of those states is an entirely different matter.

Posted by: tjc3 | January 19, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I am a Democrat who voted for Obama but I did not vote for massive debt, a health care reform bill that is anything but reform, backroom deals to buy the votes of senators, treating our allies Israel, England, Germany, and France as though they were the enemy, refusal to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism is a threat to our country and does exist, a carbon tax energy policy that will cost the middle class billions of dollars in new taxes, and the arrogance, hubris, and attitude of Obama and his diehard supporters that are harming America.

I am glad Scott Brown won and if the liberal Democrats don't get the message that this country did not want a far left turn when Obama won the election this life long Democrat will never vote for a Democrat again.

Posted by: mjkoch* | January 19, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord folks, if you think the win for Brown is a mandate for the GOP platform everyone needs to take a "blow" on the oxygen! You're hyperventilating!

This was a call against politics as usual; this was a call against back door deals; this was a call against making promises to the electorate with one side of the mouth and making deals with the corporate lobbyists on the other.

And if you think the GOP will deliver on the promises of the electorate and deny those to corporate lobbyists, then the US really needs to just pack it in. It's all over!

If there was a true moderate running in this election, they would have won in a landslide. There wasn't!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | January 20, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"How can anyone be too liberal for even the voters of Massachusetts?"

1. The health reform putsch is in the hands of the health industry, the current proposal does nothing to control costs, and voters realize this;

2. Obama has given the banks the keys to the Treasury, and Congress shows no spine for re-regulation of the financial sector, and voters realize this;

3. The party hierarchy chose a candidate who was unelectable, thus asking for a vote on party lines when the party has a lot of explaining to do;

4. Democrats have accomplished jack in terms of fighting the recession.

In short, the Democratic party deserted the voters in Massachusetts, and the voters in Massachusetts have now deserted the party.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 20, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

What mjkoch said, except replace democrat with independent.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | January 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Brown won because he opposed Obama.

The country is beginning to understand that Obama isn't a hard-line liberal. He's a narcissist intent on making his mark in history. If he were a true liberal he would have spent his political capital attempting to rein in the financial industry's loose cannons with hard-line anti-capitalist regulation. With that victory behind him he could have pushed through a socialist-style health care program and made his mark.

Instead, he surrounded himself with the same people that caused the financial crisis who in turn bailed out their partners in crime who then set out to block any meaningful reform. Now he's lost the confidence of and alienated the same people that elected him. He's also lost the momentum needed to buck the finance industry behemoth.

Too bad... he's not as smart as I thought he was.

Posted by: AKFlyer | January 20, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I think the DNC learned about legislative trickery from the RNC in the past 8 years, it's not like they invented the idea.

Not all democrats are liberal, just like Mr. Gerson is not always a complete nitwit. Painting everyone that way as an insult is pretty childish. I'd love to hear a discussion on the nature of evil between the author and Part Robertson, I'm sure there wouldn't be much disagreement there.

Continue slandering Democrats Mr. Gerson, and it would be fair to start slandering you wouldn't it? I can think of just reams & reams of all types of bad argument & bad logic to throw your way. Would it be fair to conflate your party choice with the most extreme members of your party? I'm pretty sure that the guys running the 'Nazi Meth Labs' out west are not very liberal themselves politically. Yet they share your affiliation for concocting 'mandates' out of whole cloth.

Posted by: Nymous | January 20, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are only a loose confederation of special interest groups - and some of those groups are truly OUT THERE. Obama foolishly gave some of those radicals a prominent place in his Government, which also shows his views.

Americans DO NOT like it.

Posted by: pgr88 | January 20, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Nice article, Gerson.....and the truth. You need to talk to your friends Robinson and Dionne down the hall.....those two write like they have their heads where the sun don't shine.

Oh, and simpleton1, Brown supports waterboarding, which is NOT torture. It's not real torture in any sense of the word.

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

Obama lies and deceives. $90B deficit spent last month alone. His ideas are absolute garbage. They will bury this country financially and morally. I could list all the foolish things he has proposed and done but if you don't see them by now you are either not paying attention or are incapable seeing simple truth.

Posted by: rfpzzzzz | January 20, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I had to double-check who wrote this article.. it was pure Rush Limbaugh and dead accurate.

The health care monstrosity is dead. Its over boys and girls.

Did you not hear Dems Barney Franks and Senator Webb tonight ? They have heard the people of Mass, Virginia, and New Jersey. For this health care monstrosity it is \"Time to die\".

Too many Dems and Obama have been tone-deaf to raising voter anger.

The American people are still mostly conservative... as difficult as that is for a New York audience. They actually WANT smaller government, lower taxes. fewer abortions, more focus on jobs and improving education (think charter schools).

The Democratic party has to pivot away from special interests (labor, lobbyists, leftists), terrorist-friendly policies, from job-hurting cap & trade, from BIG gov health care, from Wall Street billionaires !

Obama has to move to the middle where he campaigned ! .. He promised bipartisanship, transparency, balanced budgets, low-cost imported drugs from Canada, to clean-up Washington insider corruption.

He can get some modest health care reform. He could attack medicare costs, implement drug import, tort reform, cross-state competition, and than redirect savings into expanded medicare coverage for millions ! All good stuff many moderate Republicans would support !!

Yes its a half-loaf maybe even a quarter -loaf but better than the current burnt loaf.

Obama can still save his party and his presidency, IF he acts like Candidate Obama.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 20, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

As an MA voter, this was a vote on national issues. The Brown callers asked if we thought the economy, healthcare, illegal immigration or national security was important. For everyone I know, it's all of the above.

If Democrats are going to stay in power, they'll need to learn that Obamacare needs to be replaced with a bill that actually cuts costs by abolishing fee-for-service, allowing insurers to compete across state lines, encouraging HSAs and catastrophic insurance, and mandating price transparency.

With cap'n'trade, we don't budge till alternative energy is cheap ... and China is willing to budge so we don't leak jobs to them in energy-price arbitrage.

With immigration, let's actually enforce the law for once by jailing the people who hire illegals, then allow their jobs to be filled via a large-scale lottery that awards, over a few years, the 10 million best qualified educated, ambitious, English-speaking foreigners. What a wonder replacing people with a 4th-grade education with doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs -- job creators, not takers -- would do. Otherwise, we'll descend into the United States of Mexico; change, yes, but nothing I'll believe in (unless I've emigrated safely away to Australia). Unless we implement a points system -- and quick -- to allow the world's educated to immigrate here openly and without hassle while enforcing the law without exception, this country's downward track will only continue: falling education standards, productivity and skills, wages, social tension, growing income gap ... Thanks, Luis Gutierrez and the Democrats.

The Democrats need to understand what actual Americans, and not interest groups, want. We want a prosperous, free, lawful country of educated, integrated citizens. They are promising to deprive us of all of that. It's a small wonder we in MA turned on them.

Posted by: bstanman83 | January 20, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Since Gerson has had a long career as a professional liar, it's not surprising to see that he has no grasp on the difference between truth and falsehood. Thus he repeats the Republican myth that this insurance reform bill is a government takeover of one-seventh of the economy. The truth is that under this bill the government takes over no part of the economy. Nada. Nothing. But the big lie tradition is Gerson's tradition.

Posted by: turningfool | January 20, 2010 3:34 AM | Report abuse

>Tonight the man in the Pickup truck trumped the man in the Presidential Limousine.
The limousine liberal has great health care. The guy in the pickup truck doesn't. The limousine liberal wanted to help out of a sense of responsibility to fellow citizens. However limousine liberals can only help those who help themselves and no good deed ever goes unpunished. If the guy in the pickup truck wants to vote against his own self-interest, why should the limousine liberal care?

Is there anyone (other than the guy in teh pickup truck) out there who thinks Ted Kennedy died because he didn't have health care insurance?

Posted by: lohengrin | January 20, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

He did explain it, and his explanation is the very definition of federalism. Leave healthcare legislation to the states. The states who want socialized medicine can have it, but creating a federal Leviathan of government controlled healthcare forced on all states regardless of the will of the voters of those states is an entirely different matter.
I support Obamacare, but I think I can also appreciate this position.

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

Republican Won because Democrats acted exactly as if they are a Republican Administration and that is the only reason Dem. Lost. Too bad for Obama, I told him NOT to give all that Billions to the Wall St.
I tell You what he should have done.
*Let all the banks go Bankruptcy reorganization, and come back as smaller and leaner.
* Bankruptcy court should have force them Banks to Sell their assets (Homes) at the .20 to .40 cents to the $ per court order to the homeowner as the 1st option.
* Fed (through fredi and Megi) would give the homeowners the new mortgage.
* The result would have been less money spent by Fed, people would keep their houses for the fair Market value Price, The banks would have been less incline to do what they are doing now (pay bouness on the back of American Tax payer.)
And most importantly Obama's rating would have been up high now.

Posted by: thebullss | January 20, 2010 5:09 AM | Report abuse

I support the torture of Democrats. Oh, wait, it has started already.

Posted by: NEWSOUTH1 | January 20, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Screw the embarrassments.. bring on the impeachments and indictments

Posted by: vincep1974 | January 20, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

As someone who lives in the UK and is extremely proud of the NHS, the more I see of the American political system the more I'm begining to believe that Americans have exactly the healthcare system they deserve.

I just hope one day the US will become tired of spending *double* what other western countries spend on healthcare.

Ask yourself this - how is it Japan or France or the UK can spend approximately *half* of what the US does, and consistently outperform the US in most (not all) health indicators, whilst *at the same time* providing healthcare to *everyone*.

When you also bear in mind that in the UK in particular, no one is terrorised by insurers or the thought of hospitals bankrupting you and you begin to realise just how utterly absurd the American system is.

I'm no bleeding heart liberal, but on healthcare even the most elementary understanding of maths proves that "socialised" medicine is undisputably cheaper and more effective than the American model. The thing that both terrifies and depresses is how easily these basic facts are obscured by the insurance industry and the hacks at Fox News and the like who are more interested in dogmatic ideology than basic facts.

The sooner corporate lobyists and soft money are eliminated entirely from the legislative process, the sooner America will be able to grow up and have a debate on healthcare based on *facts* rather than who has the most money and can therefore shout the loudest.

Posted by: sh856531 | January 20, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

When you have a sitting Democrat president that hates America, hates whites, uses a dead person social security number and has never shown a certified copy of his birth certificate, then hides behind the media what do Democrats expect. DNC and the media caused this and now most of America dislike Democrats.

Posted by: magnoliabel | January 20, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse


Some of the comments hit home concerning the Health Care Bill being shoved down American throats, and the 'bribery' used to secure votes.

Taking 500 Billion dollars from Medicare to finance this bill is begging a severe political reaction.

Nuff Said...Dennis

Posted by: dgiansante | January 20, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I think you hit the nail on the head with "There is only one explanation for this remarkable turn of events. Americans thought Obama was a moderate. He certainly sounded like one. " While I did not vote for the President, I had hoped that he really meant it when he talked about ending partisan bickering. Regrettably, Washington remains a place where a reasoned discussion of important issues is all but impossible. I hope that people on all sides will cease demonizing those with whom the disagree.

Posted by: BigGeorge2 | January 20, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

sh856531 - Your claims about Americans and our lack of understanding our Healthcare bill are baseless. This was an open debate on healthcare, and the voters and population dont seem to like it.

Also, let's face it, while NHS is something you are proud, it's not quite an overwhelming majority over there now is it?The quality of education for the majority of your practioners does not meet the standards or requirements of the healthcare field in the United States. In other words, the majority of those in your country would not be fit to practice in this country. Please note, the practice of healthcare extends far beyond having an M.D. at the end of your name. The industry also includes countless therapists, nurses and dentists (you've heard of those right?), who would have also been adversely affected by this particular bill.

In other words, please kindly excuse yourself from our debate. We are aware of the English system, but there are far more intricacies involved then you have cared to educate yourself about before speaking.

Posted by: shalendra_s | January 20, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Almost daily you can view on TV real emergency rooms and labor/delivery rooms where people who appear to be extremely poor receive superb, extensive treatment for their medical problems. The pending health care bill wouldn't provide that level of care to any additional patients, as far as I know. It isn't about health care, else it wouldn't leave millions with NO health care. It's about power & control.

Posted by: OldNavyMan | January 20, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

A lot of Bay Staters found a vote against Coakley to be a vote against arrogrant politicians who think they deserve a seat in the Senate. The Democratic Party made things far worse for Coakley by saying before the election that they plan to pass health care -- regardless of the outcome -- by employing legislative trickery.

If this health care bill is passed, a lot of politicians are going to be packing their bags for home come November.

Posted by: diehardlib | January 20, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: tjhall1 | January 20, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS NOTHING TO FEAR THE LAST THREE ELECTION PROVED THAT.oh and by the way he is not a liberal he is a michael moore progressive. and now we are seeing proof he is a loser. just like moore.

Posted by: bittingtomcat2001 | January 20, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

So Barack Obama should change his course because of low poll approval ratings? It wasn't long ago that the previous administration equated poll responsive governance with unmanliness. After all, did John Wayne poll his fellow cowboys before giving chase to the bad guys. Maybe we should run government like American Idol with audience participation and snickering, belittling commentators. Oh, too late.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | January 20, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Great comment, sh856531. I think the comment posted immediately after yours more or less answers your question.

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 20, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The truth of the matter is that Americans as a whole are short sighted. We have short term memories and are spoiled. Our current generation wants everything now, fixed now and handed to us on a silver platter. We grow discontent very quickly if things are not fixed right away. So, we deserve what we get. We are no longer the great nation we think we are. We are a nation of idiots who watch TV and believe most of what we see. Dem and Rep politicians dont give a crap about any of you. You stupid sheep. Corporations and money run this country. Unless you are willing to throw all these bums out and start again, ridding the country of lobbist and influence. Then shut up all of you. I hope you all need healthcare in your old age and cant afford it...LOL

Posted by: rjb121891 | January 20, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

To any reader from Massachusetts: Thank you. You may have just saved our country.

Posted by: traderdad37 | January 20, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"Gerson's statement about Obama's approval rating is disingenuous at best. Obama's current approval rating is 50% according to Gallup. Gallup also reports that Ronald Reagan's approval rating at the same point in his presidency was 48%."

This is the way commentators operate. They say something questionable so often that they start to think it's true. Then other people start to think it's true. Then people start to ACT like it's true and, as a result, it then BECOMES true.

Then, the right-wing pundits keep whining about some fantasy-land liberal bias in the media, to distract attention away from the bait-and-switch.

Remember how the press basically killed Gore's candidacy in 2000?

Posted by: jamshark70 | January 20, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

For Neocons like Gerson, it has nothing to do with health care. Health care is a proxy for their real issue -- the war on Islam. They want to return to power so that they might continue to maneuever and manipulate the enemies of Israel into American gun sites. The cost of their war?
The destruction of the dollar, the enslavement of the United States to China,
and the loss of America's future.

Humiliation? When Mandarin replaces Spanish as America's Second Language, we will indeed know hunmilation.

What a neocon con job.

Posted by: RadicalGlove | January 20, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr Gerson gets it--does this far left Administration?

Posted by: rpg629 | January 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"Since Americans think we are arrogant, let’s cram health reform down their throats, employing legislative trickery."

I'm guessing speech writers get by with making up nonsense like "axis of evil", but FYI... when "journalists" put something in quotes, it is supposed to be something someone said. Not something one simply made up from thin air. Like "axis of evil". See... quotation marks!

Repeat... can't the Washington Post do better than this?

Posted by: CardFan | January 20, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

All of you Republicans who are gloating over our crushing defeat in Massachusetts should keep in mind that the only reason you won is because the people turned out to vote in such huge numbers!

Posted by: thinking2 | January 20, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Also, is this just as simple as a referendum on Obama?

Obama got into office because Bush made the economy suck. In 2008, people voted their hunger.

Today, with early signs of recovery, people are starting to vote their racism. Republicans should not be proud of this... but many (not all) of them are.

Posted by: jamshark70 | January 20, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

From reading the comments hear it appears that none of the liberals have learned their lesson. If Obama thinks like any of you then the schlocking he will face in the polls will continue. I don't know what more is needed to shake you guys of your delusional fantasies about the world and this country. Perhaps all is just lost on you at which point the rest of America should treat you exactly how you want to be treated - as irrelevant to any matter that is situated before us.

Posted by: cmb551 | January 20, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For the disillusioned independent voter, Scott Brown could be convicted child molester and it wouldn't have mattered. If you believe Congress is paralyzed and can't do anything the Scott brown is irrelevant. Sending him to Washington changes nothing. Reid had a year to get something to Obama, and he didn't. How does this change anything. No bill before. No bill after. Second - if the Dems have a 60-vote majority, dropping them to 58 doesn't really change anything. The Republicans are no more powerful and no less powerful than they were before. What does it matter. Oh - people will say "but the Republicans filibuster!" But Reid had 60 votes - it's phenomenally rare to ever have that kind of power, and STILL he couldn't get anything done. Use it or lose it Harry - and he's definitely lost it.

Posted by: mwcob | January 20, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

You nailed it Gerson.

Posted by: thorhero | January 20, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Gerson is a putz and still believes G. W. Bush was a great President. So forgive me while I laugh at his analysis for what progressives are feeling at the moment.

This was a special election and a direct shot from the base and independents at the party. Get your head out of your butts and stop patting yourself on the back for 2008. Winning elections was not the end game for your voters......they expect some governing to be done after you win your seats by our votes. The big three items that brought a super majority and Obama into office were health care, the 2 wars, and the broken economy in case you all have forgotten.

We would've voted for Republicans in 2006/2008 if we had wanted you to ignore the problems of the nation. Hopefully this will shelve any attempts at "immigration reform" as the Democrats envision it. That would be a travesty for us all.

Posted by: theobserver4 | January 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The real winners in the Massachusetts race celebrated yesterday when the health insurance companies' stock soared on the news that Brown was going to win. Brown was a better, more likeable candidate than Martha and Martha has the charisma of a dead fish. I think that if the Democrats had put a better candidate in place, the results would have been different.

As a Mass resident and left-leaning independent voter, I am not sad that Brown won, but I think his true measure of success is going to be determined by whether he fullfills his promise to get a good healthcare bill passed. If he does what was done between 1994 and 2009 where healthcare was ignored, he will become known for becoming one of the Repbulican voices whose only vocabulary word since Obama's election has been, "NO."

Live up to your word, Scott, and your popularity will grow. Reneg on your word and you will become a footnote in history.

Posted by: Runner2 | January 20, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Comments like this are just stupid:

"Today, with early signs of recovery, people are starting to vote their racism. Republicans should not be proud of this... but many (not all) of them are."

Yes, because Obama is bringing prosperity (your claim) the racists want to punish him and vote for a white man who beat a white woman over a dead white man's seat which actually belonged to a state of mostly white people. Can you people be any more stupid? Why is the Left so dominated with conspiracy?

By the way, I'm black and completely hope that Obama will learn from this. I highly doubt that he will.

Posted by: cmb551 | January 20, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the American body politic, including the voters of the Bay State, are political masochists. They will give control of the Senate back to the party that is most in line with the big business interests that caused the housing bubble and the financial meltdown of 2008. I guess Pericles was right. The people get the government they deserve.

Posted by: captn_ahab | January 20, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The comment on Federalism is making me having serious second thought on Obamacare. I supported it before, but now I am not sure.

Brown has a point: Let people in each state choose whether to have universal health care in their state and how to pay for it. After all, different country in Europe has different health care systems. I say let each state decide for itself.

Posted by: lohengrin | January 20, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I get a real kick out of all those people out there who keep saying that they voted for Obama and gave the keys to the whole government to the Democrats in 2008, thought he and they were moderates. Please. You people obviously listen to CNN and MSNBC too much and don't have a mind of your own. All you had to do was do a little research on Obama and his past positions on the issues and you'd have found him to be an extreme left winger. All that BS about being bipartisan was just that BS. Now people, unfortunately after the fact, have discovered that Obama is not a moderate and neither are the Democratic majorities in Congress, despite all the media hype about blue dogs. The sense of betrayal, inevitable as it was, is fantastic to see and will hopefully sweep all those left wing nut jobs out of Congress this coming fall.

Posted by: RobT1 | January 20, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This is nobody's victory. All it shows is a dysfunctional government. Everytime congress does something things seem to get worse. To think change is what got Obama in office. But in reality it was dollars for banks and the purchase of General Motors. And now the democrats are running out of gas. Is it the next chapter 11 in 2010?

Posted by: artg | January 20, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Brown does not fit the stereotype of the national republican party. He is a pro-choice Mass. politician who would be considered "liberal" by the religious-right and tea party activists who dominate the national party. Healthcare may be a lost opportunity but I would not consider the Obama administration a failure.

Posted by: steelers1 | January 20, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Gerson FOX OFF

Posted by: Fei_Hu | January 20, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The only good news for the Democrats today is that the Republican brand is still crap.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 20, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Is it any wonder a state where 90% of the citizens already have health care wouldn't want to finance care for others? The Democrats should have forseen this and counter countered long ago. They were smart enough to get a black man elected to the Presidency, but not smart enough to help him afterward. What a shame.

Posted by: DIANER2 | January 20, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

cmb551- You said: "Why is the Left so dominated with conspiracy?"

That's hardly exclusive to the left. Republicans hopped all over the Boston Globe's premature declaration of Coakley winning the race as evidence of a fix being in and a conspiracy. Yet, here we have a Brown victory. They have attributed Obama's victory to ACORN led voter fraud, yet the left is dominated by conspiracy?
So to sum up: if you win, the election is legit, if not, then there is a conspiracy of fraud involved.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thinking2
All of you Republicans who are gloating over our crushing defeat in Massachusetts should keep in mind that the only reason you won is because the people turned out to vote in such huge numbers!

Isn't the point of democracy to give everybody the right to vote. So since people came out in droves to practice their right, are you pissed that the result is Coakley losing?

Posted by: gr8t | January 20, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Brown didn't win because of turnout. When your party outnumbers the other part 3:1, turnout is ALWAYS in your favor. Over 20% of the democrats voted against their party. Over 75% of independents sided with Brown. If not for the turnout, the margin of victory would have been bigger.

It was a repudiation of the cram down policies that the majority does not want. The question now is will Obama decide to listen.

Posted by: dhull1 | January 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Senator Brown Meets Senator Murray

Senator Brown: "So Senator Murray I just won in Massachusetts with a slogan about my pick-up truck. Some think that is really sorta stupid you know. So how did you win your seat from Washington State?"

Senator Murray: "It's a no brainer. It worked for both terms. I'm just a soccer mom in tennis shoes."

So let the mud slinging about qualifications begin.

Posted by: mirgel | January 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

ou don't lose Massachusetts by being too liberal. You can lose any state in the union by going behind closed doors creating programs "for the people" that merely enrich unions, bureaucrats and special interests. That's not liberal, that's resembling communism. I hope, for the sake of the party, that Democrats realize the difference.

Americans want a free, open, and transparent government that serves their interests of the people, not a government that is only interested in its own growth and power.

Posted by: cprferry | January 20, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Giant wake-up call, yes sir. Now we know Obama from Harvard will be a one term president. Hillary and Pelosi, yes both, can win the next Democratic nomination. For Obama to obtain this 2012 nomination, he will need to deliver, after Health Reform disaster, a third war anywhere and a second Nobel and a big loan on trust from China and a good popular-priced electric car, or lots of protectionist measures after taxing the rich and others too. So, in 2012, Michèle for President?

Posted by: domagaya | January 20, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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