Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Scott Brown's Election Means...and Doesn't

There's a lot of hoopla out there today about what the Massachusetts miracle means.

Amanda Marcotte is crying, crying, crying deliciously tasty tears of bitter, stubborn stupidity, unwilling to honestly look at why so many liberals would vote for a Republican rather than the Democrat. Of course, she complains that Democrats won't do anything when they have this big majority, and is weirdly confused that Barack Obama and his Democrat-led Congress are so ineffectual in the face of a tiny Republican minority.

I wish Amanda would put asidde her liberal-colored glasses long enough to honestly think about why Republicans were more effective with smaller majorities and why Democrats just look like creepy clowns. To start with, when liberals want to point out how "Republicans got things done with smaller majorities," they never examine the legislation that those majorities passed. That legislation included security issues (such as FISA), tax cuts (which helped everyone), Medicare Part D (which Democrats support), and other moderate legislation. Moderate being the operative word.

Liberal Democrats misread the elections of 2006 and 2008 as being a mandate for their most radical agenda items, including socializing medicine. At a time when Americans are far more concerned about unemployment, Barack Obama and the Democrats frittered away their (and our) time on issues Americans don't care about. The truth is that Americans were simply tired of George W. Bush and the tone-deaf Republicans running Congress. That doesn't mean they suddenly wanted government seizing control of 1/6 of the economy, wrecking people's healthcare, livelihoods and choices.

If Democrats get anything from the Massachusetts miracle, one would hope it would be to temper their liberal excesses and aim for more centrist policies, the sort of thing Obama fooled voters into believing he supported. And Scott Brown may be just the Senator to do that.

Brown isn't a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. He's pro-choice. He's an environmental activist. He says he would have voted for Sonia Sotomayor. But he supports the military and lower taxes. He's against the culture of corruption fostered by the Democrats. And, more importantly to me, he brings some ideological diversity to the GOP, which is likely to make it more appealing to independent voters.

I fully expect Brown to vote with Democrats on some issues and with Republicans on others. He won't be a reliable vote for either party.