It was a big laugh line for you in your Massachusetts rally for Martha Coakley. Poke fun at the Republican candidate driving a pick-up truck in political ads. "Anybody can buy a truck!"
Well, no, Mr. President. Everybody can not buy a truck.
Not in your America they can't.
U.S. auto sales had their sharpest decline in 2009 since World War II. That was the first year of your presidency, and the year when your party, the Democrats, had a controlling majority in the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate. It was supposed to be the year of Hope and Change. Instead, it is the year of broken promises, failures and secret, back-room deals
It happened on your watch. The buck stops with you. And you seem to know as little about the state of truck, and car, sales in America as Martha Coakley knows about the Boston Red Sox.
Two of the Big Three automakers went bankrupt on your watch, Mr. President. The biggest of the big--GM--was for all practical purposes nationalized by your administration. After nationalization, GM saw a sharp drop in their sales and Ford Motor Company moved into the number one automaker spot.
Ford Motor Company, by the way, was the only U.S. automaker that did not accept a bail-out from the government and is still in complete charge of their own business.
Pundits and your government economists had been predicting a sharp rebound for auto sales all last year since your administration kept telling all of us how much the economy was improving. But there was no rebound. Even a 33% increase in Ford's sales from their 2008 couldn't drag the rest of the U.S. auto industry up to economic health. And the reason Ford's sales could not do that is because "anybody" simply does not have enough money to buy a truck. Or a car.
A lot of people don't even have enough money to buy a bicycle.
Unemployment is at record highs across America--high levels of unemployment that this country hasn't seen since the Great Depression. I'm not talking about that 10.0% figure your administration and the mainstream media likes to keep tossing around, although heaven knows that's high enough. But when you go back to measuring unemployment the old-fashioned way--the way it was measured before the Clinton administration changed the way the numbers were reported--the Jobless Rate is actually 17.3% right now in Barack Obama's America.
But let's face it, the actual number doesn't really matter. Call it 10% and ignore the long-term unemployed, or call it 17.3% and admit those extra millions of jobless Americans are there, the result is the same. People who are out of work do not buy new trucks, or cars, or homes, or televisions, or...much of anything. And as long as you fail to correct the problems of unemployment in America, the economy will not improve.
The casual way you tossed off that laugh-line about "anybody can buy a truck" in your Massachusetts speech shows how completely out of touch with the average person you really are.
Martha Coakley isn't in danger of losing the Senate race in Massachusetts because she is a poor candidate with an elitist, entitlement attitude (although she certainly is all that). Martha Coakley is in danger of losing the Senate race to Scott Brown because people everywhere, all across America, are fed up with a government that is out of touch with their problems. A government that isn't doing anything to help the economy grow and create real jobs for real people. A government that continues to rack up trillion-dollar spending bills that we cannot possibly afford on a laundry-list of liberal pet projects that will raise taxes, deliver nothing but more red tape and more government bureaucratic jobs, and bankrupt the whole country.
To put it even more clearly, the whole country is fed up with out of touch elitists who believe that "anybody can buy a truck," in an eerie echo of Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" if they can't afford bread remark. Even in true-blue Massachusetts, people have had enough.
I don't know if Scott Brown is actually going to beat the odds and the Democrat Machine to pull off a a win in Massachusetts this Tuesday. But I do know that even if he does not, he has already come a lot closer to winning than you or any of your cronies ever believed possible. Massachusetts was a "safe" state for you. They were predictably Blue, no matter what. They were a place where you didn't have to worry, no matter what.
Well, Mr. President, you were wrong. You do have to worry...even in Massachusetts. And the fact that you are in Massachusetts today desperately trying to prop up Martha Coakley and boost her to a come-from-behind win against Scott Brown proves just how wrong you were.
And if it can happen in Massachusetts, then imagine what things are going to be like for Democrats running in this Fall's elections in Red and Purple states all across this nation.
No, Mr. President, anybody can not buy a truck. Not in Massachusetts. Not in California. Not in Ohio, and certainly not in Michigan. Anybody cannot buy a truck or a car in any state in the country, and the number of people who can buy trucks and cars is shrinking each and every month while you do absolutely nothing about it.
And the fact that you do not know that simple, obvious fact is one of the main reasons that no state in this country is reliably and safely Blue in 2010.
Update Monday night: Swamp Yankee has written a very helpful Massachusetts Election Primer that has information on which cities and counties to watch, how to tell if Coakley is in trouble, how to tell if Coakley is in REAL trouble, etc. If you haven't checked it out, you might find it both interesting and useful while watching returns come in. I know I've printed it out and am going to have a copy with me while watching.
The fact that Nate Silver, political statistician at fivethirtyeight.com, is giving Brown a 74% probability of winning the election has been talked about both here and elsewhere. What isn't being quoted as much on lib, moderate and mainstream news sites is that Silver also said that his mathematical model "may be too slow to incorporate new information and may understate the magnitude of the trend toward Brown."
“Coakley’s odds are substantially worse than they appeared to be 24 hours ago," wrote Silver, "when there were fewer credible polls to evaluate and there appeared to be some chance that her numbers were bottoming out and perhaps reversing."
Translation: She's toast, barring some sort of miracle even beyond the usual Democrat dirty election tricks.
This is beginning to look like a victory margin shaping up for Brown far beyond any possibility of spin based on simply "another weak Democrat candidate" and a "fluke." If Brown's victory is anywhere near double-digits over Coakley, it will send shockwaves through the House. If it is in the double-digits--especially the mid-double-digits suggested by the Suffolk University bellweather counties polls today, expect the shock waves to cause major realignments and retirements in DC.
Don't let up. Keep up the effort. Become part of the effort and help make it happen.
Updated Monday afternoon: New Boston Massacre? The latest reports from Massachusetts are that 25% of registered Democrats now say that they will vote for Scott Brown. It is beginning to look like this should be called the New Boston Massacre instead of the "Massachusetts Miracle."
Update 2: After President Obama visited Massachusetts and campaigned on behalf of Martha Coakley, her poll numbers are in freefall! Scott Brown's lead has widened in all but one poll (the lone outlier is a poll commissioned by DailyKos) from a 4-5 point lead up to a 7-10 point lead.
And Suffolk University's bellweather poll of key Massachusetts counties is showing a mid double-digit lead of about 15 points for Brown over Coakley. Her support seems to have completely collapsed, even among Democrats.
Update 1: While Obama was talking about how "anybody can buy a truck" on the stump with Marcia...ah...Martha Coakley, the dean of political handicappers, Charlie Cook, sent out an unusual, special weekend update to his subscribers in which he said, "This past Thursday, Jan. 14, The Cook Political Report moved the open Massachusetts Senate seat rating from lean Democrat to toss-up, having moved it from solid Democrat to lean Democratic on Jan. 7...Given the vagaries of voter turnout, particularly in lower participation level special elections, this race could still go either way, but we put a finger on the scale for Brown."
To put that in clearer words, Cook doesn't want to say that he is moving the race from "toss up" to "leans Republican," but he also doesn't want to look like he misread the race, and it has now moved to "leans Republican." Also, it quite obviously now looks likely enough that Brown will win that Cook had to send out a special announcement today.
The DOOMwatch continues.