Don’t Cry for Me, Massachusetts

January 19, 2010
By John

Whatever the outcome of today’s Senatorial election in Massachusetts, of one thing we can be certain.  Crocodile tears and delusions will surely follow.

On the left, a loss of ‘Teddy’s Seat’ will be seen as an outrageous usurpation of power by an obstructionist right.  They will blame Coakley for having failed to make clear the virtues of their nanny-state utopian visions.  She will dutifully ‘take the blame’ for her defeat and quietly shuffle to the back of the bus.  They will soon pretend she doesn’t exist (although they will buy her silence with a lifetime sinecure), and they will assure us that this was really about local issues and a flawed candidate.  They will also assert, as Nancy Pelosi already has (see Salon.com:  http://tinyurl.com/yzs6saj ), that the goals for their health care train wreck will remain the same, but their methods may need some adjustment.   (Translation: we will change the rules to do whatever we want… to heck with process, tradition or integrity).

And the White House will continue to demonstrate a stunningly tin ear to the cries of a public that only a year ago seemed so attuned to its message of openness and change.  The back-room deals with Senators, Committee Chairs, pharmaceuticals, unions, insurance companies and others will become ever more outrageous as they struggle to buy off  interest groups in hopes of driving their agenda home.  They will play Chicago politics to the end – reward your friends and destroy your enemies – no matter the cost to the nation or to themselves.  They are intent on empowering a politicized bureaucracy to direct our health decisions, and see this as a ‘starter home’ on the path to taking over the most personal aspects of our lives (http://tinyurl.com/yetysds).

On the right, a Brown victory will yield gleeful proclamations of a Republican resurgence.  They will claim that a Republican victory in the dark heart of American liberalism signals a sharp turn to the right for the nation.  At least until they figure out Brown is pro-choice and is to likely seek opportunities to cooperate with Democrats on other issues, a la John McCain and Olympia Snowe.  Soon they’ll be calling him a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and demand that Massachusetts send us a real “Reagan Conservative”.  How easily they forget Mr. Reagan’s ‘11th Commandment, “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican”.  Eating your own never tasted so good as it does today.

Both sides refuse to get it.  The Rough Truth is that America is already a center-right country, but it is not a radical one.  We haven’t shifted our views – we just can’t seem to get politicians to play their proper roles in our system government.    The fact is that our Federal System of checks and balances between the branches and the States is  natural to us , so much so that most of us simply take it for granted as ‘normal’.  The Bush Republicans were fired in 2006 and 2008 because they started to act like (progressive) liberals – with reckless spending, rapid expansion of federal authority, and unending wars dooming them to the dustbin of history.  The Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats are going to be fired in 2010 because they’re acting like, well, they’re acting like progressive liberals.  We had hoped they wouldn’t, and we were terribly wrong.  So we’re going to clean house.  Again.

The Rough Truth is we want the fruits of a Federal System.  We want the national government to deal with issues of war and peace, offer some modicum of income and health security for seniors, and ensure that the states ‘play fair’ on issues like environment, civil rights and commerce.  But we don’t want faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats intervening in what are obviously local and personal issues.  We like to be able to talk to our mayors and our county supervisors about issues in our neighborhood.  We like it because they’re our neighbors, and we have an interest in getting along.  We like it because local folks really do know what is best for our schools, parks, roads and businesses.

The voters are telling the national parties to back off, and allow us to run our own lives.  In political science parlance, the public is telling the feds to leave Police Powers to the States – where the Founders put them and where we want them.  We are telling them stop sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

Why is that so hard for our politicians to understand?   Because there’s no money or power in that for the Dark Princes of Power in DC.  So will Massachusetts once again fire the ’shot heard ’round the world’?   Let us hope so, that we may make the world new again.

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One Response to “ Don’t Cry for Me, Massachusetts ”

  1. Elliott on January 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Right on! What was even more telling for me this morning is that the SF Chronicle, that bastion of liberal documentation and thought, published an article stating that is time for the Democratic Party to wake up. They then pose the question I never thought I would see in that liberal rag, “Is Nancy Pelosi finished?” Unbelievable but Oh so satisfying to see.

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