Leaders or Lemmings?
If you think that the happiest people in America last Tuesday night, on the occasion of Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, were the Tea Partiers, think again. Scott Brown represents liberation to a select group of moderate Democrat senators, who until this time had been marching in lockstep with President Obama along his path to electoral ignominy.
Who knew that the political backbone which elected Brown could so quickly gird Senate moderates, like Jim Webb of Virginia? No sooner had Scott Brown eaten his post-victory bowl of Wheaties then did Senator Webb leap at the opportunity to declare that all health care debate should stop until Senator-elect Brown was seated. Indeed, gleeful at the prospect of the 41st vote which would practically prevent each of them from being on record as having helped pass a tragic government takeover of 1/6 of the American economy and potentially destroy health care as we know it, Democrat moderates suddenly realized they’re vertabrates, after all.
With this 11th hour re-discovery hold? Only time will tell.
Far be it from me to give a Democrat advice, moderate though they might claim to be, but the electoral safety of senators like Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh can only be procured by a sustained reversion to representing their largely conservative constituency. They must abandon the whimsical folly of a lost president, who is quickly cementing a reputation in Washington and even among the Democrat Senate caucus as “all fluff, no stuff.”
They must understand the critical lesson of Massachusetts – a lesson not lost on conservatives. Scott Brown’s election was not merely about a run of the mill populist uprising – it was a patriotic statement of seismic proportion on both the substance and process of President Obama’s first year leadership.
Substantively, against the backdrop of a new administration’s lurch to the political left, Massachusetts voters found in Scott Brown an opportunity to return to certain core American truths – an adherence to the American values of strong national defense against the purveyors of terror and the long standing principles of personal and economic freedom and liberty.
Procedurally, against the backdrop of a new administration’s and congressional leadership’s side-stepping a transparent and open legislative process in which representation in Washington should reflect the will of the voter, Massachusetts voters found in Scott Brown an opportunity to rebuff far-left shenanigans and reinforce constitutional primacy.
These were the central lessons of Massachusetts. President Obama has not “gotten it.” The question is, will others?
Assuredly, President Obama will strike a conservative chord in his State of the Union speech this evening, but moderate Democrats would be wise to separate fact from fiction, substantive policy from gimmickry. To sign back on to Obama’s political train of disaster would be to close the door on the second chance which Senator-elect Brown gave each such moderate last week. For the good of all America, until next November, such moderates have an opportunity to learn the lessons of Massachusetts – an opportunity to be leaders, not lemmings.