The Democratic Party lost the election in Massachusetts last night. When Barack Obama promised us he would be all things progressive, he and his team really had no idea how they to actually put into motion any of that change they kept talking about. So here we are exactly one year after his inauguration, and what has happened? A seat held by the “Liberal Lion” Ted Kennedy for 47 years, has gone to an unknown young Republican State Senator. But why?
There are plenty of theories floating around, as you know, and plenty of fingers being pointed. Those of us who did not support Obama in the primaries know that it is of little help now to say “I told you so,” so we bite our tongues and try to analyze the situation with detachment. But in the end, what we have in our Democratic President is the leader of the party who: (1) tossed aside the public option in health care that the majority of Americans have said they want because he is more concerned about bipartisanship appearance than about actual substantive change, and (2) has been soft on the Wall Street fat cats who led us into the financial nightmare of lost jobs, lost homes and ruined lives.
And that, Charlie Brown, is why Martha Coakley lost the election.
Coakley won among voters who rated health care reform a “10” on an importance scale (Coakley 53% to 47% for Brown), Brown won among voters who said the same for jobs and the economy (Brown 55% to 44% for Coakley) and won bigger among voters who highlighted taxes and spending (Brown 70% to Coakley 29%).