Friday, January 22, 2010

Earthquake in Massachusetts.


by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger


Scott Brown's victory constitutes an unprecedented earthquake in US politics.


If a Massachusetts Senate seat is not safe, then no House, Senate or White House seat is safe anymore!


Scott Brown's victory dealt a severe blow to the Democratic Party in its own Flag Ship, Massachusetts, the state of the Kennedy family and Tip O'Neil, the state which introduced the health care reform, the only state which voted for McGovern in 1972, the state which had not elected a Republican Senator since Ed Brooke in 1972, the state which accorded President Obama a 26% margin in 2008, a state where only 12% of the registered voters are Republicans.


Brown's election highlights a victory of the unique US democracy, which evolves around constituents and not around the President, Congress or political partiesMassachusetts voters supported Brown in defiance of the Republican machine, which did not consider him a worthy candidate at the beginning of the race, and in defiance of the Democratic machine, which attempted to discredit him.


Brown's victory is an indicator of Obama's desertion by Independents, who represent 51% of the Massachusetts electorate and 33% of US voters. From a 31% deficit 45 days ago, Brown surged ahead by 4% due to the Independent bloc, which voted Obama in 2008, was frustrated by Obama's performance in 2009 and considers Scott Brown an effective venue to send a loud warning to the White House.


Brown's victory will cause after-shocks throughout the USA in general and in the White House, 100 Senate offices and 435 House offices in particular.  The victory has adrenalized Republicans, ahead of the spring 2010 primaries and the November 2010 congressional and gubernatorial election.  It entices better candidates to enter the Republican primaries and generates more campaign contributions to Republican war chests.  On the other hand, it is already causing sleepless nights for Democratic incumbents and increases the potential for retirement and possible switchovers among moderate and conservative Democrats. The closer they get to November, the closer they get to their constituents, and therefore the farther away they may want to get from the President.


Brown's victory – on the day of Obama's first Presidential anniversary – confirms that the November 2009 election was indeed a validation of Obama's collapse in public opinion, of the growing public disappointment in Obama's character and capabilities and of Obama's increasing vulnerability at home and abroad.  Brown targeted for criticism Obama's domestic and international policies.  The Senator-elect represents the majority of the US public, which suspects – rightly or wrongly - that Obama is about to defy an American ethos by increasing taxes, exacerbating the budget deficit and expanding government involvement in the economy.  Brown has also criticized the White House soft position on Islamic terrorism and harsh attitude toward the CIA: "The President should bolster the armed forces and not bolster legal defense of terrorists." 


Brown's victory was achieved in spite of – and due to – the intense involvement of White House Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel, in Obama's policy-making and in the Massachusetts election.  Once again, it was evident that – in the US political arena - arrogance, rudeness, scorn and aggression drive voters away from elected officials.  It constitutes a lethal boomerang.


Brown's election represents the victory of mainstream America's worldview over the worldview of President Obama. Brown represents non-apologetic patriotism, belief in liberty for the people and checks and balances for the government, Judeo-Christian values, pride in the moral, military, technological and economic US exceptionalism, reservations about the UN and the European state-of-mind, determination to defeat – and not to engage – rogue regimes, supporting mutually-beneficial cooperation with allies, which are bonded by shared values, mutual threats and joint interests.



Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

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