What happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone because elections are no longer about Democrats and Republicans. They’re about which party is in power and whether a majority of us are happy.
In case you didn't know, Democrats are in power and not many of us are happy.
In Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. Brown’s election – a repudiation of Democrat policies, according to Newt “Contract-With-America” Gingrich -- means that the Democrats are no longer filibuster-proof and can’t guarantee that the party will push through its debated-to-death (literally) health care reform bill.
If it were smart, the Democratic Party would now shelve the health care issue and get to work figuring out how to get Americans back to work. This will probably not be done.
In the old days, Democrats aligned themselves with the working man, his union and blue collar, guaranteeing that government would be there for him if something bad happened.
Republicans were a thrifty bunch and believed that what was good for America was a lot less government. Republicans somehow were credited for being on the side of a strong defense – you know, carry the big stick.
So, we all got along because one party kept the other party straight, so to speak. And in the process, we prospered.
What’s the difference today? Democrats are MSNBC, junk science lovers and environmental nut cases; Republicans are Fox News, war mongers and homophobic.
And both parties spend in every direction like there’s no tomorrow.
I don’t pay too much attention to gung-ho Democrats or their Republican counterparts. I do pay attention to the independents because they actually call the shots.
They don’t give a damn about what party has power as long as their lives are better and their dollar goes further.
And a health care solution?
Who can figure that out? Not doctors. I’ve asked them. Not the average guy on the street. I’ve asked him.
And members of that most important demographic – the independents – can’t decipher it either.
This all begs the question, are the Democrats running for Congress this year in trouble?
Yep. Sure are.
And it doesn’t help that two of the most unlikeable people in Congress – Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid – are leading them.
None of this means I want to see President Obama fail. I don’t. But I also don’t want to see a health care bill that ends up costing all of us a lot of money.
You know, unintended consequences.
American Samoa was featured on “60 Minutes” last Sunday because it is a hotbed of high school football and contributes many players to the NFL.
Eighty percent of its economy is based on tuna fishing and canning.
But since the American government mandated minimum wage requirements on the island territory, one company – Chicken of The Sea – pulled out. Others are threatening.
Now, the livelihood of many islanders is in jeopardy.
Unintended consequence? You bet.
And a good reason to doubt that any good ultimately will come from passage of whatever is the current state of health care reform.
Want to get re-elected, Mr. President? Do the mea culpa on health care. And then focus on getting Americans back to work and out of places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
And if you still have some time on your hands, spend some of it saying goodbye to a whole host of Democrats in Congress. Many won’t be back for the 2011 session.
The independents are unhappy.
See you next time.