MASS X Velocity = Momentum!
February 1, 2010
By Doug Edelman
The Massachusetts Miracle, they're calling it.
Scott Brown's Senate victory has shaken the very foundations of "conventional wisdom" political punditry on a scale comparable to the Haitian earthquake.
One day short of the first anniversary of President Obama's inauguration, the Democrats are unable to hold a Senate seat in a state bluer than an asphyxiated smurf… a seat held by Teddy Kennedy since 1962! And the seat went to a political newcomer, unheard of 6 months ago.
Scott Brown did not campaign against Coakley… he campaigned against the Obama Agenda, and won by 5 points in Massachusetts! (It was quite amusing to observe Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann melting down as they covered the event!) In so doing, he became the 41st vote in the Senate – ending the 60 vote filibuster-proof supermajority enjoyed by Harry Reid's Democratic Senate. Single-handedly, Scott Brown is more worthy of the title "Game Changer" than all those individuals discussed in the Halperin book. His election fundamentally transforms Obama's fundamental transformation.
Putting on their best Game Face, the left will spin the Brown victory as a local race against a bad candidate, and not reflective of the fundamental shift of the American voting populace toward the right… but privately they must be knocked back on their heels. Will this obvious repudiation of the Progressive Agenda cause some to rethink and moderate their playing along with the steamroller tactics of Obama/Pelosi/Reid for the sake of their own political lives? It remains to be seen – but it is hard to imagine that there aren't some who will be able to read the tea leaves (pun intended) and at least make a feeble attempt to distance themselves from the March to Marxism.
The Left did their best to dismiss election results in Virginia and New Jersey. They cannot ignore Massachusetts. It's their base. Boston is the virtual capital of the Liberal Northeast. Can you say momentum?
If I may, for a moment, digress and pay homage to the prophet of the 60s, Bob Dylan:
Come senators, congressmen, Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside, And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
An interesting side note to the Brown race, however, was not found in the panic on the left – but in a rift on the right. A small but vocal and vociferous enclave of conservatives who are single-minded on the Pro-Life issue actually opposed Scott Brown – believing him to fall short of their purist idealism on that issue.
These single-issue purists are unwilling to accept incremental victories, and cannot moderate this issue for the sake of advancing fiscal responsibility, promotion of personal liberty and personal responsibility, and other clearly conservative issues.
This mindset is similar to that of the Conservatives who, once faced with the choice between McCain (bad) and Obama (worse), chose to sit out rather than oppose Obama. So now they are suffering the ravages of an Obama Administration.
Scott Brown is not a Pro-Choicer. He has stated he is not making a priority of overturning Roe v Wade. Instead, for the time being, he is pragmatically supporting efforts to reduce the number of and demand for abortions by promoting adoption, and assisting mothers in keeping their babies; opposing tax funding of abortion, and supporting parental notification laws etc. So what's wrong with that?
Roe v Wade, for all the arguments against it as bad law and for all the moral outrage against it, is the law of the land until and unless it is overturned. The only way to overturn it is to have a sympathetic majority of Supreme Court Justices, and a case before them to test the law. We do not have that majority and as long as Obama is President, no sympathetic judges will be nominated.
In the meantime, is it not a better use of resources and political capital to work within the framework of the existing law to restrict funding for abortion, to promote abortion alternatives, to support parental notification, to educate the public on the realities of fetal development etc? Scott Brown supports these.
It would serve the pro-life movement well if they were to understand that small victories are victories, and that an overnight elimination of abortion is just not going to happen. There is much wisdom in the application of the Serenity Prayer: Change what you can. Accept what you can't. Understand what you can and can't change.