Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Interpreting the Massachusetts Senate Vote
Why did Massachusetts turn from its Democratic party candidate and elect a Republican? The standard interpretations of this are:
- a Republican resurgence. I don't think so--not in way-out whacko Mass.
- a conservative resurgence. Again, in Massachusetts? Maybe a little, or rather what the electorate voted on this time was more in line with stock conservative policies, thereby appearing to be a conservative resurgence.
- anti-government health care. No, Massachusetts already have that; its electorate wouldn't mind a Federal takeover of a less-than-perfect State-run system.
- anti-Obama. I doubt it, not while his popularity far out runs the popularity of the health care reform bill itself.
- anti-Democratic. No, not in Massachusetts.
So what else could it be? A few things come to mind, all of which probably contribute to what my conclusion is.
- anti-Federalist (i.e. anti-statist). This seems more likely. Even in Massachusetts, the state that stood alone, or nearly so, in support of George McGovern and Walter Mondale, the state that never saw a Federal law it didn't like. Yet, the rhetoric of the campaign and what coverage I saw in fly-over country suggests people getting tired of the Feds always butting in, grabbing more power, usurping more of our God-given liberties.
- anti-deficit. This is likely, I think. People saw the accumulation of deficits beginning in the later Bush admin years and accelerating under Obama and his Congress. I think in part the Mass voters saw this accumulation and decided they had had enough.
- anti-Washington DC. This is a strong component, I believe. Once a person gets elected to an office centered in Washington, it's hard to get them out. Those occasionally voted out just stay there and become lobbyists, waiting till their own party returns to administrative power when they can get a fat Cabinet post, all while not paying the taxes they voted on the American populace (can anyone say Tom Dashcle?). By the way, I believe the Democrats are mis-interpreting this as an anti-incumbent vote. Perhaps it's difficult to separate anti-DC from anti-incumbent, but I see a shade of difference.
All of these add up to one thing: People have HAD ENOUGH. I wrote once before, I think on this blog, about the HAD ENOUGH Generation needing to rise up and fix all the mess that the late-WW2 generation and the Baby Boomers were leaving behind. I didn't know when the HAD ENOUGH Generation would show itself. Would it be our children, Gen X? Or their children, Gen Y? I personally thought it would be the latter, believing that our children would be too much like us to perceive that the government had failed. But they seem to be rising up, if I'm interpreting the Mass senate vote correctly.
It remains to be seen if this first breath of the HAD ENOUGH Generation will be followed through in the next couple of rounds. I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if there had been an election to replace Murtha. If that one went Republican, I think it would have been a good indication. We now have to wait till November, and then till 2012, excepting any intermediate elections that would come along.
Keep going, HAD ENOUGHers. You have my best wishes as well as my support.
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