History is littered with populist movements from both the left as well as the right, I will not delve into these as I do not have the time. I would venture to say however, that generally these movements start from the left. How then can we explain the events that transpired last night (01/19/2010) in Massachusetts? Those on the left want to say that this was all about state and local issues while those on the right want to say that this was a referendum on healthcare.
What the Political Left Says
Some on the left have stated that the people of Massachusetts opposed the current healthcare reform legislation because it would have amounted to a “double-tax” on their state. This would have been due to the fact that the people of Massachusetts are already being taxed for their state’s public healthcare system and would have had to pay double under a federally mandated system. This does not hold water due to the state exemption clause in the current Senate version of the bill.
What the Political Right Says
And while I do find it a bit ironic that the late Ted Kennedy was replaced by the people of his Commonwealth with someone who diametrically opposes the legislation which would have / could still be named after the late Senator, I do not believe that opposition to healthcare reform as “red state” people know and oppose it was necessarily the focus in Massachusetts.
The Truth Lies Somewhere In The Center
The people of the blue state of Massachusetts did not necessarily oppose this legislation, but rather opposed the way in which the latest healthcare reform bill was being drafted. That is to say that the people were disgusted with the process more than the legislation itself. The Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, and the closed door UAW bribe, along with the locking out of C-Span from the congressional hearings just several weeks before this special election ALL contributed to the American (and Massachusetts) people’s disgust with how the Democrats are running Washington. I am not hear to argue whether or not these things amount to bribes, nor am I hear to argue that they were illegal / un-ethical. What I think these matters to be is irrelevant, the PEOPLE have spoken and it is what THEY believe these things to be that truly matter. And keep in mind that we’re not really talking about a bunch of “gun-totin”, “red-state-ers” up in Boston, MA; these folks are true-blue state-ers. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Massachusetts 3.5 to 1.
There could not have been a more clear signal sent to Washington short of the coming results of the 2010 mid-term elections. The results of this election were not about any one specific issue, but were rather about the more general tendency that the American people have to refuse ANYTHING that the powers that be try to SHOVE down our throats. Those who SERVE US in Washington have forgotten who their boss is, Scott Brown just reminded them. It appears that Boston has had its second “Tea Party”. A penny for your thoughts?
This concludes Anti-Federalist No. 4