What’s the Matter with Massachusetts?

Liberals across the country are stung by the loss of one of the most secure Democratic Senate seats to former underwear model Scott Brown.

The sudden victory by a conservative politician, backed by the Tea Partiers and conservative talk show hosts, in Massachusetts of all places, is a liberal nightmare.  How could this happen?

Voters in 2008 were souring on Republican policies and furious about the disaster that overtook the economy.   Now, it seems, they’re almost as angry about the solutions — even though economists like Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman think Obama isn’t doing enough.

We imagine that voters are saying, in part — if a liberal is someone who doles out billions to banks, insurance companies, and failing manufacturers, then give me a conservative any day.

We’ll leave the last word to the Brits — this from the Economist blog:

If Ms Coakley loses to Scott Brown in Tuesday’s election, though, it will be because the working-class voters who have suffered most in this recession voted against her. Ms Coakley has run a bad campaign. The gaffes on which her opponents have seized have been classic working-class cultural politics: Ms Coakley did not want to stand outside Fenway Park in the cold if it would not generate many votes; she did not know who Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was. It is, of course, a fact that one needs to love professional sports, or profess to do so, if one wishes to be elected to higher office in America, whether or not this requirement makes any sense. In a deeper sense, Ms Coakley has come to be seen as an aloof patrician, “anointed” by the late Ted Kennedy and unwilling to engage in mere politics. Somehow this resonates with echoes of Caroline Kennedy’s abortive bid for a Senate seat from New York, and with conservative complaints that Barack Obama is treated as “the anointed one”. The real issue that hangs in the balance in the Massachusetts election is national universal health insurance modelled on the Massachusetts plan. That plan would make health insurance dramatically cheaper for the bottom half of the income distribution. But that’s obviously not going to win you an election if you insult baseball.


  1. Brian D'Aoust
    January 20, 2010

    Right ON!

  2. Joe
    January 20, 2010

    Our president is not leading as he campaigned. People heard his promises about airing the healthcare debate on C-SPAN, his new-transparency/no-lobbyist vows, and his monotonous boasts to close down Guantanamo within a year. All that is now “inoperative.” The problem was not just that Obama made promises that he broke, but that he made them so frequently and so vehemently — and so cavalierly broke them. He’s no change and a state with 11% registered Republicans went against the Democrats.

    This is a wake up call DNC. The people are coming for you if you continue to let the Progressives run your party.

  3. Willy Nazario
    January 20, 2010

    I seems Progressives is the new “L” word. Fox News uses it in combination with socialist and communist all the time. Wasn’t the Progressive Movement in US history the ones that fought for everything from abolition to women’s suffrage to improving the conditions of the working class.

    Progressivism was also imbued with strong political overtones and rejected the church as the driving force for change. Specific goals included:
    The desire to remove corruption and undue influence from government through the taming of bosses and political machines;
    the effort to include more people more directly in the political process;
    the conviction that government must play a role to solve social problems and establish fairness in economic matters. (From US History (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1061.html))

    We can come up this a new word, a new term to support these ideas and it will soon be labeled to radical while the Right moves further right. And the Right never lets facts or national interest get in the way of their political ambitiousness.


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