If the Republican party’s reaction is any indicator then what has happened in Massachusetts is equal to the dead rising; it’s the first sign of the apocalypse. Yesterday the state that stood as the house that Kennedy built decided to experiment and elected a GOP Senator for the first time in what might as well be forever. If you believe the headlines and the pundits then this stands as the death nell of both the health care bill and the beginning of the end for the democratic party in 2012.
Everywhere you look the democrats are ‘reeling’ and ‘regrouping’ while the republicans are ‘striking a blow’, ‘retaking Washington’, doing everything shy of actually masturbating in the sreets. Yes, thanks to a change in the state legislature the democrats made, this special election had an adverse effect after the death of the “lion of the senate” and they got Scott Brown elected over Coakley, a bump on a log sort of woman who took a Howard Dean-esque dip in the polls and lost support in the weeks leading up to the election.
I, on the other hand, think this is nothing more than one incident where a state, left without its perennial powerhouse candidate, was a bit lost and disenfranchised with the regular party and decided to go with someone new and mostly untested…sounds familiar. Also with the likes of FOX News just shy of sponsoring Brown and outlandishly exaggerating the scope of this abnormal political event. You can’t blame them though, this is a classic stage of grief in the political world, “party promiscuity”. The widowed Massachusetts is just letting its hair down after a long marriage and doing some experimenting like “Cougartown”, sans Courtney Cox.
Why was the state democrat for so long with Kennedy around and then just up and switches parties? The mass of Massachusetts simply didn’t want to be blamed for him losing the seat. Just like Ghandi’s hunger-strikes that stopped fighting, it’s not that his fasting actually changed their minds or mended bridges, they stopped fighting because no group wanted to be responsible for his death, so they went along with periods of peace. Guilt can be an amazing factor in decision making if you don’t want a mired conscience, so they just kept voting him in because they didn’t want to be the group that didn’t vote for Kennedy.
I think this situation goes to prove a long-standing theory that I have written about before. I think many voters simply size up a candidate and decide whether or not they will win. My theory states that when left with a toss up choice, a voter will vote for the person they think will win, not necessarily who they want to win. Getting caught up in hype and conjecture, they can be swayed by newspaper headlines and polls, or even people hypothesizing on the outcome, and if a candidate is not favored to win, they hedge their bets and vote for the other person, so their vote is not wasted. Also, a part of their voting checklist is whether or not they think their candidate is a pussy. People like someone who not only looks strong and virile, but might be able to kick ass in a bar fight, i.e., Kennedy.
However, I am not totally convinced that this is an isolated incident, which makes me nervous. With the GOP toting ‘purity tests’ and Obama losing numbers like a cigar-fondling Clinton, I can see that the right is galvanized (behind FOX News) and realizes they are going to have to act like democrats with their rallies, protests, and ‘grass roots’ campaigns. The republicans are fighting mad and they are going to get this country back one seat at a time if we stick with the current status quo in the major areas of employment, security, and the ever present ‘socialist/gay agenda’. (I am not likening gays to socialists, or vice versa)
This might be a sign of things to come in 2012. Palin and FOX News will try their damndest to derail a democratic landslide like in 2008, and it won’t be hard because even I’m ready to vote Nader before I get my morning coffee. Everything Obama is doing today, and the state of the union, is playing right in to republican hands. The republicans took 2008 as a slap in the face and now they have been energized behind their most conservative leaders and blowhards.
But I do not want this taken out of context; this was a special election on short notice to fill the throne left by Kennedy upon his death in a state that is hardly a fair litmus test for America as a whole. Jesus, this is Massachusetts, we’re talking baked beans and Red Sox, it’s the 50th most populous state for God’s sake.
Whatever this might indicate for the future, we need to also realize that we put a woman up against a man who’s biggest slogan was, “Hi, I’m Scott Brown, and this is my truck.” That is like catnip to republicans and I hate to sound sexist, but Kennedy was a bear of a MAN, and I think gender might have played a role in that Coakley was a fairly dainty woman. I mean, I once heard that Kennedy castrated a bull just by staring in to its eyes; that’s a tough act for ol’ Martha Coakley to follow.
Well, whatever the case, it seems that every news outlet is getting its press releases from the GOP and announcing the fall of Obama, democrats, and the health care bill, all because of a man and his pickup. Is this party just a house of cards? Are we this fragile that a single seat in the Senate could be our downfall? I think not, we’re proud, progressive, and civic minded…we’ll knock ourselves off the pedestal thank you very much, no help needed. Fuckin’ pick-up truck.
I fear that this candidate has somehow captured the minds of republicans like some savior. The win of Brown has spurred great chastising of the democratic party, and even Obama is trying to make strategic party changes to avoid further losses in 2010 elections.It seems the republicans have become enamored with a charismatic, young, and untested politician so as to bring about change in the status quo, something the democratic party fell under heavy fire for. I think it can be disturbingly summed up in a statement made by a man I was talking to Saturday night; with a wild-eyed smile and a chuckle he simply said, “Scott Brown 2012” and paused, as if waiting for me to offer a high five. Indeed.