Why, one might even call Scotty B a candidate of hope and change, no? Here’s The One’s surreal attempt to coopt Brown’s victory as being not a repudiation of his agenda but as some sort of oblique affirmation of it. Ed says he’s gotten the message now about ObamaCare after spending six months trying to beg, bribe, and bully the bill through Congress, but has he? If he’s telling himself that this election was about nothing more than free-floating “anger” at D.C. business as usual?
Let’s see if the new senator from Massachusetts can help us zero in on the causes of the “anger.”
To think that a majority party would use the ability to have the super-majority to kind of push things through is leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths, especially as you noted the fact that President Obama made [changing the way business gets done in Washington] one of his campaign themes. You know he was going to be transparent, he would post all these bills on the Internet, and you’d have three days to comment on them. None of that’s happened. So people are disappointed in that regard…
[Question:] But ultimately you say that the primary objection people have here is not so much the substance of the bill; it’s the process as much as anything else.
No. The primary [concern] for the average voter — and I’ve met hundreds of thousands of people since I’ve been running — the biggest problem that I have heard is that, number one, we can’t afford it, and, number two, they don’t like how its been done behind closed doors. They don’t like the political maneuvering now.
It’s not even a conference committee. They are bouncing it back and forth pursuant to a special maneuver. That just says to people, it’s automatically “ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.” It’s raising red flags and people don’t trust it. We can bring it back to the drawing board and do it again.
A Republican pollster found last night that fully 48 percent of Massachusetts voters said health care was the single biggest factor in their vote, with 39 percent claiming they voted for Brown specifically because of his opposition to it. Axelrod lied his ass off on one of the morning shows today when he alleged that Brown never ran an ad against ObamaCare; go watch the clip at Ben Smith’s site for proof to the contrary. In fact, see if you can guess which pundit laid out this useful thought experiment on how crucial health care was to the vote:
Let’s say we had a year-long debate in the run-up to the Iraq war. Let’s say at the end of that debate, 33 percent of Americans thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq, 46 percent thought it was a bad idea and the rest weren’t sure. Then let’s say that there were a bunch of elections in places like New Jersey and Virginia in the middle of this debate and George Bush’s party lost them all badly. Let’s say at the end of this debate there was a senate race in Wyoming in which a Democratic candidate made preventing the war a central plank in his campaign. Let’s say Bush went out to Wyoming and told voters they had to support the Republican to save the Iraq invasion. And let’s say the Democrat still went on to win that Wyoming Senate seat by more than 5 percentage points.
Would you have advised George Bush under these circumstances to go ahead and invade Iraq? Would you have advised him to call a special lame duck session of Congress to push through a war resolution before the new senator could be seated? Would you have advised him to invent some legislative trick so he could still have his invasion? Or would you have said, George, I know you really want to invade Iraq. I know you think an invasion will do a lot of good for the world. But the American people are pretty clear about this issue. Maybe you should show a little doubt. Maybe you ought to listen and give this whole thing a second look.
Surprising answer here. If the big lesson gleaned by The One yesterday was that voters are just unhappy in general, then I guess he’ll need more than one lesson. And he’ll get one. Click the image to watch.