The Scott Heard 'Round the World...
By Tony Perkins
Family Research Council
Massachusetts was the sight of the first American Revolution, and after Scott Brown's victory, it might be the start of the next. Last night, the popular fury of the United States was on full display as voters literally pulled the seat out from under Senate Democrats and elected Republican Scott Brown, ending a 38-year drought for the GOP in a seemingly untouchable blue state. The last time Massachusetts sent a Republican to the Senate, Barack Obama was 11 years old. Now, exactly one year after his inauguration, Americans finally understand the President's vision for "change" -- and want no part of it.
Few say it better than liberal columnist Lynn Forester de Rothschild. "In 2008, voters believed that they were electing a person who would focus on the economy with laser intensity and lead in a bipartisan and principled matter. What they have gotten is a deeply divisive President committed to transforming America into a European-style social democracy... [H]e outsourced [health care reform] to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid behind closed doors as he focused only on taking the victory lap for pathetic, piecemeal legislation that does not deal with our exorbitant health care costs.. He has broken the trust of the people, and voters are taking the only action available to them: Electing a candidate who can stop the Obama agenda."
She's right. This election had nothing to do with Scott Brown or Martha Coakley. It was about our President, who stepped into the Oval Office 365 days ago and made a hard-Left turn so fast that it gave Americans whiplash. Were it not for his wildly unpopular health care plan, Martha Coakley would probably be packing her bags for Washington. Instead, the administration jilted voters for a "better than nothing" bill that undermines our freedom, destroys innocent human lives, and sticks taxpayers with the tab.
Scott Brown's upset was the culmination of thousands of townhalls, tea parties, and angry voters who, when push comes to Senate shove, can be just as passionate about preserving our values as the Democratic leadership is in destroying them. Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views -- and, in some cases, openly supported him -- because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill. Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010.
Yesterday's exit polls suggest otherwise. After surveying 1,000 voters, Rasmussen was clear: this was a referendum on ObamaCare. Fifty-six percent in Massachusetts said health care was their number one issue, more than lapping the economy at 25%. If the issue is this radioactive, the natural question for Congress is -- what next? The plan to sneak in a vote before Brown is officially seated seems doomed, since even Democratic Senator Jim Webb (Va.) is calling on the leadership to "suspend further votes on health care legislation" until Brown can fully participate. The House could fast-track the legislation by accepting the Senate version -- including taxpayer-funded abortion -- "as is." Others have tossed around the Senate's controversial "nuclear option," a type of reconciliation th at would expedite the process and require a simple 51-vote majority. But considering last night's wake-up call, I wouldn't suggest either. If they're smart, the only reconciliation this leadership will pursue is with voters.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council.