Eight months ago, when the smarmiest of RINOs announced he was going Benedict Arnold and joined the Democratic Party, Washington insiders and pundits alike began writing the obituaries for the GOP. They said Republicans were a dying breed, the party of southern white men, totally out-of-touch with the mainstream. They said unless the party became more moderate (i.e. progressive), the GOP was destined to become a regional party that faded into obscurity.
What a difference a special election makes. Turns out such talk was not only premature, it was dead wrong. Sadly, this was the same type of conventional thinking that kept John McCain from running an effective campaign against Barack Obama in the first place. Scott Brown proved last night with a Republican victory in Massachusetts that Democrats are the ones who are out of touch with the American people. Even in the bluest of blue states when replacing a liberal icon like Ted Kennedy. This leaves just one question. When will Arlen Specter be announcing his party switch again?
On Monday night, MSNDNC ran a special two hour program called Obama's America: 2010 and Beyond. By Tuesday at midnight, it became apparent that Obama's America may not last beyond 2010. Most of us don't want to live in Obama's America or even Bush's America. We just want to live in the United States of America. We want to pass down the freedom and liberty that so many take for granted to our children and grandchildren. Every day it seems like that freedom is at stake. Scott Brown tapped into that and ran a mostly conservative campaign. Of course, it didn't hurt that his opponent stumbled down the stretch in what most years would have been a coronation.
As a result, the Democrats chance to pass their progressive agenda is slipping away faster than Tiger Woods' chance of celebrating his twentieth wedding anniversary. From state-run health care to cap-and-trade to amnesty, it's all an uphill battle now. This is what happens when you try to marginalize the opposition and paint everyday Americans as extremists. You ignore their concerns at your own peril. It's hard to keep calling them astroturfers when they're voting you out of office.
If Obama is the true pragmatist that the mainstream media tries to claim he is, then this election is a wake-up call. Fire Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod and start reaching across party lines for bipartisan solutions. Scrap the current health care bill and start over without any closed door deals or back room meetings. Of course, I won't hold my breath. It takes a certain kind of arrogance to promise a new era of change and transparency only to hope the people are too stupid and/or overwhelmed to actually hold you accountable. So far, Barack Obama has allowed that arrogance to define his presidency.
Today, a nation woke up with hope. Not the kind promised by campaign slogans and demagoguery, but real hope. That hope is for the president to start listening to the concerns of all Americans, not just progressive Americans or union leaders or New England elites. That hope is for the president to stop shifting the blame and start being accountable for the struggles of this economy. That hope if for common solutions, not class divisions. That hope is for America to continue to stand strong against terrorism and to stop apologizing to the world for daring to stand against tyranny. We'll stand by your side, Mr. President, if you'll just stand by ours.
Scott Brown isn't going to Washington to write his own legacy. He's going to write the people's legacy, to be a voice for those hardworking Americans that this administration has failed to hear or flat out ridiculed. The people of Massachusetts have spoken. Let's hope this time it's loud enough to be heard in Barack Obama's insolated world.