Monday, January 18, 2010

Independents: "On the Move"

“The sweeping countrywide victories of 2006 and 2008 that gave Democrats their congressional majorities were built largely on new-found support among independents, the fastest-growing segment of the electorate.

“No matter who wins Tuesday, the Coakley-Brown race suggests independents are on the move again, this time toward the GOP. In the process, they’ve transformed what should have been a purely local election into a national test.”

So wrote long-time political observer John Farmer of the NJ Star-Ledger (Massachusetts Senate race scares the Democrats, win or lose). Remember that the Tea Party Movement is driven by and for Independents and independent-minded Republicans and even Democrats. The traditional Republican sector, including its leadership, is largely behind the historical curve here – seeming utterly clueless as to the meaning of the Tea Party phenomenon or how to exploit it. Tellingly, “Brown has tried to distance himself from the national GOP on issues…” reports Mr. Farmer.

Meanwhile, President Obama has exposed the desperation of the Democrats by travelling to Massachusetts at the eleventh hour to pull Coakley across a finish line thought to be out of reach of any Republican just a few weeks ago. Charles Hurt, writing in the NY Post, said:

“They just don't get that inside is out here. President Obama's emergency rescue mission to save Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley could prove to be the final nail in her already-closing political coffin as this race -- Coakley's ongoing circus of gaffes aside -- is shaping up to be a bitter fight between the blessed insiders and scorned outsiders.

“[The outsider tag] worked for [Obama] two years ago, but not today. Not now that he and his fellow Democrats control every conceivable lever of power in Washington.

And certainly not for Coakley, who has built her entire campaign around being the chosen successor to the ‘Kennedy seat.’ ”

“Be careful what you wish for” etc., goes the old saying. On 10/31/08, the eve of the presidential election, I wrote:

“Obama is an unabashed socialist. He is a clear target.

“With Obama in the White House and a Democratic congress, the Left’s agenda will take explicit center stage. This will open the door to a full exposure of the true authoritarian nature of their designs on America. Rather than sneaking their freedom-eroding agenda into law piecemeal under stealth cover of a Republican administration, the Dems will have nowhere to hide.”

Nowhere to hide, indeed! They swept to a dominant majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof 60-40 super-majority in the Senate. But far from riding a popular mandate to easy enactment of their openly statist agenda, the authoritarian fishbowl they now find themselves in has them trapped with nowhere to hide. Americans, the Dems are finding out, elected the empty suit, Barack Obama. They did not elect Left Wing statism.

Now, as Michael Barone argues in another NY Post column, that lopsided congressional power has become a curse as the Democrats attempt to ram their healthcare bills through. The old Obama magic is working in reverse as his popularity shrivels. Mr. Barone writes:

“Obama was supposed to be a great persuader. It turns out that's only half true. He did persuade most of us that he should be president. But in Year One, he has failed to get most of us to support his major proposals. He's even moved us in the other direction. That's clear, whatever happens in Massachusetts.”

By some accounts, the national Democrats are already writing off the senate seat, and turning their focus to trickery to sneak their healthcare bill across. Michael Barone writes:

“But their bill isn't going to pass if Brown is elected. Some Democrats are talking about delaying his swearing in and passing a bill in the meantime. Doing that in open defiance of the clearly expressed views of (Massachusetts!) voters would touch off a political firestorm unlike any we've seen since Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox.”

Meanwhile, on the ground as we head into tomorrow’s election, Brown’s momentum still seems intact. The latest poll (and final by this organization) has Brown up 51-46%, and Fox News reported tonight that Brown continues to pull huge, enthusiastic crowds compared to Coakley’s anemic gatherings – a good harbinger.

Get ready for an interesting Tuesday night.

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