Brown's Win and Obama's Iraq

Keep on Truckin’

Just two quick thoughts on the fascinating and stunning victory of Republican Scott Brown over the Democrat, Martha Coakley, and both of them respond to remarks heard on television after Coakley’s concession:

1) Juan Williams and Sean Hannity discussing what this means for Obamacare. In response to the notion that this unprecedented upset might inspire Barack Obama to -like Bill Clinton in 1994 – adjust and step center to meet the mood of the country, Williams says, “it’s Vegas, baby, and Obama is going to go all-in,” Williams pooh-poohs the notion that Obama would say, “we tried too much, went too far and hey, we’ll go back to the drawing board.”

Hannity says, “why not, a little humility might be a good thing.”

I think Williams is right, and Obama will double down
, because he’s too stubborn not to. But I think Hannity is right, too; many Americans would like to see the drawing board re-emerge, and a healthcare bill written with the co-operation of both parties, and as transparently argued as Obama promised it would be, in the 2008 campaign. People want what they voted for; they don’t like the bait-and-switch.

It’s all very ironic, though; Williams seems to admire Obama for precisely the same thing he disliked in George W. Bush: the stubborn tenacity that will go “all-in” rather than admit to an error as the public perceives it. And Hannity, in suggesting that Obama admit a mistake on healthcare, is echoing Williams’ sentiments of about four years ago, that “Bush should just admit he made a mistake in Iraq; the American public will prefer that to continuing.”

In which case, we can say that Barack Obama’s healthcare plan is George W. Bush’s pre-surge Iraq war. Take that any way you want. Democrats seem like they’ve understood the message more than the president has.

Second thought: I so rarely watch televised news that I forget how insulated these people are, who talk amongst themselves all day. Chris Matthews – after admitting to Marxist analysis then to his credit, reverted to his sentimental-Irish mode tonight, wondering at the thing that makes America great – her electoral process. Rachel Maddow, in response, said, “[Brown] ran a coherent campaign, but one totally divorced from reality.”

Divorced from reality?

Oh. Okay, honey. Keep blaming Bush, too, while Obama and the Democrats (who have controlled the economy since 2006) continue to tax and spend, with no discernible benefit to anyone’s interest but their own.

Will the Dems delay seating Brown? They’d be very foolish to try. After all…the whole world is watching, and the people shouting “Seat him now” and screaming against Obamacare in Massachusetts sound almost cathartic.

“Our political leadership is uncomfortable with dissent…” – big roar from the crowd.

“Yes we can!” Uh-oh. What does it mean when Brown’s crowd appropriate’s Obama’s tag for themselves?

Major Garret notes on Twitter: “I’m nobody’s senator, but yours.” Brown’s coda. I still don’t think I heard word “Republican.” Right. Just as Obama did not mention Obamacare while he was in MA, Brown is keeping his distance from the GOP -although he did give a shout out to McCain- this was not really a GOP victory.

Brown addresses “the people who wish to harm us…we do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. Our tax dollars should go for weapons to defeat them, and not lawyers to defend them!” Is he signaling a future WH run?

When Brown said, “I’m nobody’s senator but yours,” I thought: he is a very clever guy – he is alluding to an Irish song, “Nobody’s Darling but Mine…” and his Boston audience would have recognized that; you could tell by the roar that they appreciated it. Brown knows who he is talking to. Coakley never did.

Starting tomorrow, you’re going to hear Democrats talking less about healthcare and more about “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Rasmussen: Brown wins independents 73% to 25%

Wolf Blitzer wonders: What does it all mean? And The Focus Group Explains

Eugene Robinson writes: Obama has some lessons to learn -stat!

Instalanche! Thanks Glenn!. Insty is, as ever, always the first place to go, for the best links, all edited with Glenn’s gift for the pithy, clever aside.

Pigs Flyin’ All Over the Place!: Have Americans Betrayed George W. Bush? A fellow who worked for Kerry in ’04 says yes, America did. I said that quite a while ago.

Big Government: Also taking a moment to praise Bush

Mark Steyn: Suitably snarky
This is a very good idea
Jay Nordlinger: Pigs have flown!
Instapundit: Wear Brown Tomorrow
Ace: John Kerry is next!
Even Barney Frank seems to Get it
American Digest: 3 Burning Skulls A Massachusetts Tsunami
Althouse: First Thoughts
Gateway Pundit: Has the numbers
Gay Patriot: Obamacare is done
NRO’s The Corner: Has Gone Brown for the Evening. And perhaps for longer.
Tom Blumer: Liberty 1, Tyranny O
Jim Geraghty: Just Keep Scrolling
Moe Lane: Next! We don’t mind doing it the hard way!
Brutally Honest: Repudiation: we are all Massachusetts!
Peter Wehner: Myths Unmasked!
Bainbridge: They can’t cheat if it’s not close
Surber: The Winner and the Loser
Slublog: Says what I wanted to
Mika: Time for reporters to admit they’re biased
Red State: Shot Across the Bow
Ed Driscoll: Epic Upset
RCP: House is very much in play
Peter Suderman: Everyone Hates Obamacare
Bill Quick: GOP should contest EVERY race and stop hanging back. Need good candidates, though.
Schadenfreude: Oh, my
Okie on the Lam has a great roundup
Powerline: Thank you, President Bush

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender


    Hope and Change, Baby!!

  • Mutnodjmet

    A tsunami? No. More like a…


  • Bender

    Except that George W. (both the first and the latest) was stubbornly tenacious in defense of the country, while Obama is obstinately and autocratically seeking to destroy it.

    One is a great virtue, much to be admired. The other is a great evil, to be reviled and fought against. And the people — even those who opposed Bush on Iraq — know the difference.

    [I agree with you. But point wasn't the right or wrong of anything; my point was the Democrats now seem to admire the behavior they formerly denounced. -admin]

  • js

    I too watched things I seldom see, and learned something. This country could use some more health care.

    For instance, we should increase the mental health treatment budget and we should see that Keith Olbermann gets the help he needs.

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  • HatlessHessian

    A failure not to be overlooked is that of inconsistent pollster Zogby. His prediction was beyond incompetent and rational persons should shy away from his practice and unsound methods.

    The moment this election encountered the clinamen of the Reid/Ben Nelson health care bribery, the super-normal growth surge of the campaign was expected. Zogby’s methods are apparently linear and non-dynamic. He might be useful for predicting a stock’s rise when we’re in the midst of a 10-year movement, but is utterly incapable of offering useful insight during periods of uncertainty and chaos.

    It’s time to set aside the Zogby poll as nothing more than error.

  • Jackie Baker

    Did we just hear the new slogan for the Republican Party in Scott Brown’s acceptance speech? “We Can Do Better!”

    Hmm, sounds good,

  • ic

    “Bush should just admit he made a mistake in Iraq…

    The only problem is Bush was right, the country was wrong. Bush should not admit mistake when a mistake was not made. Bush was sure it wasn’t a mistake because he knew a loss in Iraq was not an option. A withdraw would set the US back to the 60′s, would plunge Iraq into a civil war.

    But Obama’s stubborness was to show the American people who was calling the shot. The people wanted a reform they could understand, they could support. The people wanted the process to slow down, the people wanted a fair deal, not a sweet deal to certain people from certain states, or to workers who belong to a union, but not workers who do not belong to a union. The American people want equality under the law. Obamacare codifies inequality into law.

    His stubborness was different from Bush’s because the ramifications were different.

    [Hence my using the word "perceived" -admin]

  • exhelodrvr

    Never thought I’d be saying “Thank you, God, and thank you, Massachusetts.”

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  • David J

    JS commented that “we should see that Keith Olbermann gets the help he needs”……

    I think it rather more appropriate to apply the phrase used by Ron White in his comedy routine to Mr. Olbermann “You can’t fix stupid.”

  • TeaPot562

    Brown’s victory was certainly not a “pro GOP vote”; it was a vote against how things are perceived as going in Washington D.C., in particular the very complex, bordering on corrupt negotiations on the Health reform legislation, and the total ignoring of the worsening of the jobs for Americans in the last couple of years.
    Note that the “Stimulus” plan passed in the first months of Obama’s reign was limited to stimulating state and local governments. It really did not do much good for the private sector. The Bank bail-out helped a few banks, the big ones. More than 200 smaller banks have gone or are going down in the last two years. General Motors and Chrysler have been converted into Govt-run subsidiaries; and the number of jobs each generates will decline.
    What is needed is some combination of actions that will open opportunity for private companies, small and large. The present admin. has not found it, and G.W. Bush may not have thought about it either. Maybe prayer and/or a new vision would help.

  • ic

    Brown’s victory was certainly not a “pro GOP vote”;

    Definitely not. Clean them all out, regardless of party affiliations.

    Don’t forget whom the Republican big wigs, including has been Gingrich, supported in New York. They haven’t helped finance Brown’s run. Brown’s money came from the internet, not from the Republican party. We need people like him in both parties who are not beholden to the party leaders.

  • Kelly

    He didn’t mention “Republican” and he didn’t mention “God.” Unusual, in his line of work.

    I’m exhilarated by the elction and the outcome – finally, my vote meant something!! I savored my moments in the polling booth! Many people back here in MA are ecstatic to be post-Camelot, let me tell you.

    His statement that “our constitution and laws exist to protect this nation,”….”not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime” was superb. Powerful.

    The state GOP (to my knowledge) did almost nothing to help him. Many local Republican town committees provided hundreds of volunteers to the campaign. The national GOP kept a low profile but supported him with great computers and phone-banking systems. It was a well-timed, smart, agile campaign. Scott Brown is a superb, genuine, hard-working candidate and now he’s our senator! Many good things ahead for MA and the country.

  • Bender

    What is needed is some combination of actions that will open opportunity for private companies, small and large.

    There is only one action that is needed to open opportunity for private companies — and only one action that can open opportunity — government needs to get the hell out of the way.

    Meanwhile, I’ve just gone back and read posts and comments from a few months ago, from last summer. And what happened tonight was actually predicted back then.

    Notwithstanding all the teeth-grinding and concern that the country had committed national suicide (all legitimate concerns), there were also predictions that all of these far-left initiatives by Obama could blow up in their faces like a nuclear bomb. That it was possible that they might have taken a couple steps too many, and it could all come crashing down. That maybe, just maybe, the American people had not totally lost their senses.

    Indeed, some predictions were that we could be looking at an earth-shaking, transformative period against the Democratic Party, FDR in reverse. It is still too early to be vindicated in that view, but there was a bit of verification tonight.

  • Msgr Pope

    John Bachelor on radio said that Brown in pro-abortion, and pro-gay marriage. Is that true?

    [I know that he is pro-choice but against late term abortions. I don't know what his position is on gay marriage -admin]

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  • thomass

    Also, a lot of the early Iraq criticism was BS. It was going pretty well until the bombing of the golden dome mosque (but the left was proclaiming it a quagmire before this… when it was going well).. and then it took awhile to realize it was no longer going well… and then there was the surge.

    Just saying, I remember being a dinner parties with the lefties declaring it failure before this bombing and our casualties were low, there was not an organized resistance (just some Saddam thugs holding out), and their criticisms did not make sense at the time.


  • Terrye

    I don’t agree with the Obama/Bush comparison re Iraq. Iraq was life and death, this is not. This is just the Democrats wanting to take over health care for their political purposes. I think the comparison could be better made if you cited social security reform. Bush tried to do that after his reelection to the White House and he failed, or maybe even immigration reform.

    Juan Williams is just delusional. He seems to think that the American people are just going to love this thing once the Democrats shove it down their throats.

  • Terrye


    Yes, the GOP did help finance Brown, they have been sending him money for the last two weeks. I read an article about it a couple of days ago. And yes it is proGOP, Brown is a Republican, not an Independent.

  • dry valleys

    If you’re disillusioned with Obama, you don’t understand how he won

    But I do. Which is why you will not see me joining the chorus of attacks on him.

    It remains to be seen which way Brown will sway in the years to come. But it seems to me, in my humble way, that if he wants to last long with the support of the people who voted for him he will have to be a RINO.

  • J

    While the “arrogant” Pres. Bush acknowledged the opposition’s arguments and explained what he had in mind, and frequently incorporated the oppositions’ ideas into bills, the dems, and largely obama, have said outright to the voters/taxpayers of this country….we don’t care what you want, what you say, just shut up and do what you are told, morons. Now THAT is what I call arrogance!

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  • dry valleys
  • crazylikeknoxes

    Doesn’t Brown support abortion rights (albeit with restrictions)?

  • Kris, in New England

    I am from MA – born and raised. And while I’ve lived in CT for more than half my life – I feel a sense of personal pride in my home-state this morning that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Perhaps even more than when I was still living there.

    The people have spoken – and told the rest of the country that the status quo is no longer acceptable. That they will be listened to or heads will roll.

    2010 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Especially since Mr. Brown’s win overshadows the first anniversary of Obama’s presidency.

    I love the juxtaposition and irony.

  • dry valleys

    Yes, apparently he is pro-choice, but is getting support due to his opposition to those Obama policies that involve extending the state’s reach.

    He is not particularly red meat from what I’ve heard. But it seems as though no one is particularly bothered. I’d rather have him than a more conservative Republican- but that is why I’m supposed to say, eh? If there is going to be opposition to Obama I’d sooner it came from people like him.

    Larison deals with the mkatter.

  • http://disquis freelancer

    David Gergen’s referance to the Mass senate seat as belonging to the Kennedy’s and Brown’s reply that it belonged to the people was a huge bump for Brown. Then the bonus came with Obama flying in to save the day for Coakley. His zings at Brown about his high milage truck were downright stupid. Half of America, including my family members, have pickup trucks and use their milage as bragging rights and conversation such as one might have about their children. He might as well have dised Nascar folks. Big mistake. In both cases, we have seen elitists who do not connect with the workaday world whose citizens are heavily taxed to support a govt which is increasingly out of their control. I might add that the GOP did support Brown. With structure for campaigning and money. Brown singled out McCain and Romney, as part of the heavy lifters that sustained his campaign from beginning to end. Both are Republicans.

  • Mutnodjmet

    Anchoress: You note above — my point was the Democrats now seem to admire the behavior they formerly denounced. I, too, noticed this when Sally Quinn derisively discussed Brown’s hunkiness — remember how the elite media was awed by Obama’s manly manliness on the beaches of Hawaii? A full analysis is here:

    Scott Brown’s “Stimulus Package” vs Obama’s!

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  • Andrew

    Just from a historical perspective I find it amazing that the new American Revolution against the over-reach of government has shown itself in three former colonies who played significant roles in the first one. Mass- the Tea Party (I guess the ‘tea’ went into the harbor last night), Bunker (Breed’s) Hill, Lexington and Concord; New Jersey – without the crossing of the Delaware and subsequent victories in NJ the revolution would have died, and VA – birthplace of the great leaders – Washington and Jefferson – finally Yorktown. Will King BO get it – how much more of a Declaration of Independence does he need to know that we are serious.

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  • cheeflo

    Actually, the NRSC and the RNC did pump money into Brown’s campaign in the last 2 weeks, but they did it discreetly. They did something right for a change.


  • tim maguire

    Great piece. I take exception only to one of your parting thoughts. America did not betray George Bush, it is simply that liberals have no class.

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  • Miriam

    Perhaps you have all seen this.

    I have not read all the comments here. My bad.

    This is wonderful. Watch and enjoy.