Left-wing commentators and Democratic Party officials are making quite a spectacle of themselves in the wake of Scott Brown's victory in the race for Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat. They are offering sarcastic insults to Brown and self-righteous insults to the woman he defeated, Martha Coakley, for her inept campaign.
Only Fox carried the whole of Brown's victory speech. The left-leaning news organizations apparently just don't want to know what defeated them, what they're up against. (The ever-smug Keith Olberman announced MSNBC's termination of its coverage of the speech by saying, “We're going to cut away before he gets down to offering his family chowder recipe”, utterly tone-deaf to the down-home appeal of Brown and his family — it was the “chowder recipes” which got him elected.)
I watched the whole speech, even though I had to switch reluctantly to Faux News to do it, and I can tell you this — Scott Brown is a star.
His populist rhetoric, his attacks on the special interests, made me, a progressive, feel good — just as Obama's populist rhetoric and attacks on special interests made me feel good.
Feel is the operative word here. I don't trust Scott Brown further than I could throw him to fight the special interests in Washington, to work for the people — like all Republicans he will serve the corporations. But I did trust Obama, with all my heart, to fight the special interests in Washington, to work for me, and it all turned out to be a fraud.
The first thing Obama did when he got to the White House was pull his pants down, bend over and beg the big corporations to be gentle with him. He begged the heath care industry and its shills in the Congress to let him pass something that looked vaguely like a heath care reform bill — he's still down on his knees to the large financial institutions begging them to behave morally and responsibly.
Faced with that, it doesn't matter that Brown and many of his supporters are hairpins, mad as hatters — all they have to do is cry, “The emperor has no clothes!” to gain credibility, because everyone, of every political stripe, can see that's it's true. Even if they won't admit it, they feel it in their gut, the place where most votes by most people originate.
People don't vote for policies, they vote for stories. Brown can tell the story people most want to hear now — that we can fight the systemic corruption in Washington, that we can take the country back from the special interests. He can tell it and Obama can't, because Obama has proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he doesn't believe in it anymore, if he ever did.
You can draw your own conclusions about what this is going to mean next November, and in 2012. I'll say this, though — expect Brown to be a player in the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, and if he gets it, expect him to beat Obama.
The Democrats won't even see it coming, just as they had no desire to watch Brown's victory speech last night. They're far more interested in explaining why he shouldn't have won than in understanding why he did.