(And it really is amazing how much Jon Hamm looks like Brown in this sketch.)
What little we’ve seen of Scott Brown so far we like. Joshuapundit adds two more things to the equation: he’s no RINO and he’s a friend of Israel.
Also, if you go here, you get a great video about the Brown win, plus a comprehensive round-up of posts about the election’s impact (and, since praise from Caesar is praise indeed, I’m delighted that the Anchoress has my post leading the list). Also, the Anchoress hasn’t forgotten that, even as we celebrate at home, Haiti continues to be pounded with aftershocks. The need there is still so great.
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Thinking about it, Scott Brown’s election as the Senator for Massachusetts may be more significant than any election in my lifetime, including the Reagan Revolution and the 1994 Congressional takeover. I know this sounds silly. In 1980, the political shift involved a President, not a mere Senator; in 1994, it was an entire Congress, not just a single Senator. The thing with the previous elections, though, was that they represented the usual pendulum of politics. Of course, that pendulum shift is going on here too, although it’s significant how quickly the pendulum swung. This unusually swift voter backlash — in Massachusetts yet! — has to do with the fact that (a) voters have come to realize that Obama lied to them consistently about his political beliefs, going far beyond the puffery that is normative for political campaigns and (b) voters are seeing that unlimited one party rule is precisely as dangerous as the Founders feared it would be. Still, the back and forth of political winds is nothing new.
What is new is that Scott Brown represents the first populist candidate in my lifetime. As you recall, the Republican machine tried to ignore him. It was the people, galvanized by the internet, who elevated this campaign from a simple regional special election to a national referendum on the White House and Congress.
Nor can the power of people on the internet be discounted by saying “Well, it was Obama who first ran the perfect internet campaign.” While it’s true that he used the internet as a good fundraiser (although I believe I read that most of his money ultimately came from big bundlers), the campaign simply used the internet as another means of disseminating information from the top down and raising money from the bottom up. It was all very centralized.
The difference with Scott Brown’s campaign is that the internet did not function from the top down. Instead — and here’s the staggering thing — it functioned from the bottom up. This was the first big win of the Army of Pajama-clad Davids. The internet finally fulfilled the grassroots political promise all of us were expecting to see.
Think about it: Brown leaped to national prominence because his “It’s the people’s seat” went viral on the internet. He stayed in the public eye because bloggers and emailers everywhere spread the news. It was the internet functioning from the bottom up that enabled him to raise more than $1,000,000 in a single day, in donations averaging $77 each. In other words, not only did Scott Brown win “the people’s seat,” as opposed to the Kennedy Seat, for the first time in my lifetime, we also had the people’s candidate. This should shake them up, not only at the DNC, but at the RNC too.
All of this, of course, was helped by Scott Brown himself. The increasing unpopularity of health care and the Democrats’ other big-government initiatives, combined with an appallingly bad candidate, might have been enough for a squeaker, with Brown sneaking into the Senate seat under a cloud of recounts and recriminations. Brown, however, put the thing over the top. He proved to be an unusually deft and sophisticated candidate, who handled his sudden appearance on the national scene with great aplomb. He managed to maintain an intelligent focus on the issues, all the while projecting a warm, folksy populism. It didn’t hurt that he’s physically attractive. In a media age, people would rather look at Brown than at Reid. The question now, of course, is whether he’s a perpetual candidate, a la the increasingly weary and wearisome Obama, or if there’s substance behind the image. I would like to think we’re seeing a new Republican star being born here.
I also hope that Brown manages to remain grounded. The sudden wave of adulation can be very heady stuff. Someone who is weak could easily start discounting both the public mood and the horrible Coakley as factors in the election, and begin to think “it’s all about me.” My friends and I don’t think Brown shows any signs of narcissism, but I’m still nervous. Fame is dangerous.
UPDATE: More details about the true grassroots nature of Brown’s victory.
UPDATE II: More evidence (do we still need it?) that Brown’s victory came from below, not above. Wheeee!!! The people!
I keep compulsively flipping between Drudge, which is updating about every ten minutes with numbers, and Hot Air, which is giving trends. The numbers are great, the trends are disturbing. The tension between the two is killing me. I can’t even imagine how Brown feels (and I don’t care how Coakley feels). I would characterize myself right now as cautiously optimistic and highly neurotic.
No matter what the outcome, though, I think a new political star is in the process of being born. Brown has handled with aplomb the fact that he was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. He’s gone to the right places, said the right things (often memorably or wittily), looks good, and seems to keep his focus. I don’t know where he’ll go from here, but if he wants to stay in politics, he’ll definitely go somewhere.
Anyway, consider this an open thread. I’m going to my book club tonight, which is a collection of six lively conservatives, so I’m sure we’ll keep our eyes on the numbers. This will be more exciting than sitting at home with my husband the liberal, who hasn’t said a word about this entire election cycle. Indeed, to my surprise, he never says a thing at all about what’s going on in Washington. During the Bush era, he constantly erupted with “Bush is stupid,” “Republicans are idiots,” etc. This past year, he’s either been silent because he’s being gracious in victory or silent because he has nothing good to say about his own party. I haven’t asked. It’s more fun to speculate.
UPDATE: Okay, Hot Air is now reporting positive trends. I’m breathing better now. Tension is still killing me though. It’s tough not having a sanguine personality.
UPDATE II: By the way, if Brown wins, as he appears to be doing as I write this, I will have accurately predicted that Obama’s appearance in Mass to beg for Coakley votes was a kiss of death for Coakley. He’s now gone begging both at home and abroad, and been rebuffed every time. The Obama magic isn’t just gone, it’s dead and rotting in the sun.
UPDATE III: My traffic is down, and I know why. Everyone is going to Drudge and Hot Air, both of which are periodically unavailable. The New York Times has good data coming in, though, as does The Corner.
UPDATE IV: The place to go: News Fifty, which has current data and is loading quickly. You can go to the home page, or to the dedicated Massachusetts page. The former has the numbers, the latter has some news analysis.
. . . as he’s heckled (h/t Sadie):
I don’t think that’s ever happened to him before.
What must also have bewildered him was the skimpy turnout, a stark contrast to Scott Brown’s rally today.
The Dems have launched a new attack against Brown, in order to cause voters to react in Pavlovian revulsion when they hear his name: They’re now contending that (a) Brown thinks Sarah Palin is a decent human being and (b) Brown indicated skepticism about the fact that Barack Obama’s mother was married to his father, back in 1961. Both charges, of course, are enough, in Democratic eyes, to make one a candidate for a deadly lightening bolt from God:
Insofar as Scott Brown committed the grave sin of defending Sarah Palin, Greyhawk has it nailed:
I see Brown defending those who accept responsibility here. I have no idea how he completed the sentence (re: Obama’s mother) “But more importantly, the fact that she had him when she was 18 years old…” but obviously it would reveal whatever Brown thought was more important. Based on context (and the fact that a Coakley support site cut the video off right there) I’d have to suspect it might be something Coakley supporters don’t want to hear.
The second point, of course, re Palin, is that the gross sexism leveled at her was entirely unrelated to her myriad virtues as a business woman, politician and mother, who teamed with her whole family to make things happen.
As for the “unconscionable” slur of bastardy against Obama, a couple of things. First of all, nowadays, out-of-wedlock births are practically normative, so it’s no insult. Second, Scott Brown was merely agreeing with . . . Michelle Obama who was speaking back in mid-2008 (emphasis mine):
Obama used the roundtable audience, as she did yesterday, to describe her husband’s understanding of women’s issues through the prism of the strong — but sometimes struggling — women in his life.
His own mother, she said at the beginning of her remarks, was “very young and very single when she had him.” And, Obama added, he has observed his wife’s attempts to reconcile motherhood with her career aspirations.
(Hat tip: Kim Priestap)
Every first year law student knows, truth is the best defense to a libel charge.
As for me, I don’t care whether Obama was born in or out of wedlock about 50 years ago. I do care very much about his current political ideology. I also care a great deal that a politician who spoke the truth is not slandered with the accusation that he voiced a lie.
A little over the top (especially music-wise), but still worth watching, if only as a reminder the a small pebble can divert a flood:
Hat tip: Lulu
It’s only because it’s just a wee bit more over the top than the real things that you can tell it’s satire:
Big hat tip to The New Editor
UPDATE: The above video represents fake Democrats (read: “Republican satirists”) in action. Nothing, of course, can compare to the real deal, who are so over-the-top that Scott Brown has been forced to file criminal charges against them (presumably for election fraud).
UPDATE II: And in the media, real Democrats actively encourage voter fraud.
Let’s get this out of the way. You might not want to vote for Martha Coakley. You might think she deserves what’s she’s getting after an absentee, self-satisfied campaign (why should I bail her out?). You likely want to send a message to everyone from the attorney general all the way to every Democratic official in Washington, DC. Odds are you didn’t vote for her in the primary. And, you might be wondering if it’ll make a difference who wins this Tuesday.
You got every reason to be pissed, but it needs to be clear: not voting for Coakley is the same as voting for Brown. And voting for Brown is a very, very bad thing.
Does this argument sound familiar to you? It should. This is precisely the same argument conservatives making in 2008 when they thought about voting for McCain. They really didn’t like him, but they were going to hold their collective noses and vote for McCain, because voting for Obama would be “a very, very bad thing.” Sadly, for many the McCain stench was too great, and Obama won (a pattern that may repeat itself in Massachusetts, with Coakley and Brown as the stinky players).
As you know, I’ve been trying to convince myself for a while that, in a peculiar way, Obama is a good thing. Until Obama, people could convince themselves that liberals should be viewed by what they said, not by what they did, primarily because semi-functioning Republicans were there to put the brakes on the worst liberal excess. With Obama and the Democrats having power fettered only by voter dismay, not by effective Republican opposition, the country is having to face — for the first time — the reality and not the rhetoric. I think they’re finding the chasm between the two unnerving. And I think Massachusetts is the first place in which we’re seeing voters figure out, finally, that this is not John F. Kennedy’s Democratic party any more.
The last and best word on the subject is that Obama is going to Massachusetts to bring his prestige to bear on the upcoming Massachusetts Senatorial election. You can hear Coakley confirm this, even as she makes the stunning statement — stunning considering that she’s hoping to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate — that Curt Schilling, a former, and incredibly successful, Red Sox’s pitcher, is a Yankees fan:
I’ve decided that it’s a great thing that Obama is going to Massachusetts, because his track record is a good sign that his presence will be the kiss of death for the Coakley campaign. After all, when you think about it, since his election, nothing Obama has touched has succeeded. He did get his stimulus package, which seems to have trashed the economy. His next pet project, Cap and Trade, is dead-ended in the Senate. And while it’s still possible that Congress will burden us with ObamaCare, to date it does not go on the “accomplished” side of the Obama ledger.
More than that, whenever Obama has gone somewhere with his cap in hand, he’s been rebuffed. Remember the fanfare surrounding his trip to Copenhagen so that his prestige would sway the International Olympic Committee to award to 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago? Obama may have gone there with his cap in hand, but he returned here with his tail between his legs, after the IOC gave him a humiliating rebuff by eliminating Chicago in the first round.
Undaunted, Obama returned to Copenhagen to spearhead an incredibly wonderful Climate Change summit that, his acolytes assured us, would see America carry the day on turning the clock back on Man-made Global Warming (ah, sorry, “Man-made Climate Change“). Again, Obama was rebuffed. Indeed, he was so soundly rebuffed that the Chinese premier canceled a meeting with him and Obama, unable to handle that with grace, tried to bully his way in to see the premier (a pathetic move his aides unconvincingly denied).
Here at home, Obama tried to lend his prestige to John Corzine’s campaign in New Jersey. Obama was also kind enough to try to give Craig Deeds a helping hand in Virginia. We know how those elections ended up — and that was when Obama was still slightly more ascendant in the polls than he is now.
When Obama goes begging, he comes up losing. His track record, therefore indicates that his presence at Coakley’s side will not help her. Instead, it may well mark her with a great big “L” in the middle of her forehead:
(By the way, although it’s completely irrelevant to this post, I want to address here David Frum’s smug argument that Scott Brown, the man conservatives across America are backing, is liberal in his politics. Frum has therefore concluded that only RINOs can run and win in national elections. With all due respect, Mr. Frum, that is a silly argument. Conservatives fully understand that Brown is fairly liberal, at least when it comes to some government programs. This liberality, while it may not be the average conservative’s cup of tea, means that Brown is electable in ultra-liberal Massachusetts. What matters to conservatives is that Brown is still infinitely more conservative than Coakley, not to mention being a more appealing human being. Even more importantly, if elected, he will do something true conservatives deeply desire: stop ObamaCare.)
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
You’ve already seen this video at a million internet sites, but I want it on mine too. I think Scott Brown made a statement that transcends Massachusett’s politics and should remind each and every American that we are a government “by the People,” not by the politicians:
As you’ve read, Scott Brown is raking in the money, but don’t use that as an excuse not to donate to his campaign. Not only as Coakley gone horribly negative (although in an illiterate way) but (a) she’s still in the lead in most polls and (b) the unions are playing dirty. So, if you haven’t already, please consider donating here.
First, here is Scott Brown’s latest ad:
Second, not only should conservatives and independents in Massachusetts vote for him, but so should progressives. After all, the latter hate the proposed health care bill as much as the former do. Conservatives and independents hate the bill because it vests power in the government; progressives hate it because it channels money to insurance companies and pharmacies. It’s a bad bill no matter your political viewpoint, but the Senate Democrats are bound and determined to pass it. At this point, a Scott Brown victory might be the only thing that stops a universally despised piece of legislation from going forward.
If you would like to donate to Scott Brown’s campaign, you can do so here.
I’ve got a matched set of posts for you today. The first is an American Thinker article by John Gaski, in which he advances the argument that the Democrats are tuning out the American voters, not because they are blinded by ideology, but because they have a well-advanced system in place for permanent one party rule:
Apart from the troubling question of intent, or whether Obama-Pelosi-Reid just have a novel view of the public interest, the national Democrats are unnaturally and mysteriously sanguine despite growing backlash by the American people. Why? One reason: The Dems don’t believe they will ever have to face a real election again.
Dictatorship in a one-party state indeed seems to loom for us. As one prominent commentator has pointed out, the normal order of the human condition is tyranny, subjugation, and dictatorship, with only a couple of respite periods throughout history, including our time in the West over the past two centuries or so. It just took that long for the totalitarian types to gain near-total power in our country, which they are now consolidating over the coming year. What are the betting odds that they will ever let it go voluntarily?
I was inclined to give Gaski’s article a pass on the ground that it was just a bit too paranoid to be true. I mean, it’s well written, and he advances a lot of facts (ACORN, SEIU, registering illegal aliens to vote, universal registration, corrupt Democratic Secretary’s of State, etc.), but I still didn’t seem them coming together in one coherent conspiracy whole. My skepticism, however, took a big hit when I read that, even if Scott Brown somehow manages to pull a victory out of the special Senate vote in Massachusetts (which is unlikely given ACORN’s and SEIU’s contributions to the process before and during the vote), the Democrats will still act to block the will of the people:
It looks like the fix is in on national health-care reform – and it all may unfold on Beacon Hill.
At a business forum in Boston Friday, interim Sen. Paul Kirk predicted that Congress would pass a health-care reform bill this month.
“We want to get this resolved before President Obama’s State of the Union address in early to mid-February,” Kirk told reporters at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.
“Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”
Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.
Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.
In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Gaski may well be right — the fix is in, and we’re all well on our way to being broken.
Massachusetts has drowned itself in the Kool-Aid since 1972, but maybe a strong Republican candidate, a strong message, and an insane Democratic party can make the difference.
UPDATE: If you’d like to contribute to Brown’s campaign, here’s his website. As Kate said in the comments when she provided the link, the Dems are pouring money into his opponent, while the GOP has abandoned Brown. Once again, it’s up to “we, the people” to rescue the government.