Panic is an ugly thing…especially when it rises out of a sense of political desperation. Right now, the political Left is coming unhinged at precisely the moment a very real sense of cohesion is beginning to build on the political Right. At this writing, political independents and conservatives are celebrating the Left-wing meltdown in Massachusetts that has given Republican Scott Brown a solid 5 point victory over Democrat Martha Coakley.
A race that was supposed to be over before it began for Democrats could signal the beginning of the end of the Obama Administration. Even if Coakley had somehow managed to squeak out a win in a last minute come-from-behind thriller her victory would have done little to assuage the panic that is building on the Left. Democrat gubernatorial losses in New Jersey and Virginia pale in comparison to the fact the race for a seat Ted Kennedy held for forty years has now been lost. In an unprecedented display of political panic, left wing pundits prepared in advance to shield President Obama and offer cover to embattled Senate Democrats by throwing Martha Coakley under the bus before the first Election Day vote was cast.
Writing for Boston.com, Globe columnist Brian McGrory says, "She (Coakley) strolled into the general election with high name recognition, strong favorability ratings, and as the Democratic candidate in a state that hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. It looked as if it would be impossible to lose. So what did she do? Apparently, she's tried to accomplish the impossible." Well, so much for hanging in with the team. Referring to Coakley's sudden shyness for public appearances McGrory wrote, "She may have gone the first month of the campaign without ever meeting an honest-to-goodness rank-and-file undecided resident." Only panic could cause a Democrat supporting columnist to write something like that BEFORE the election.
There are plenty of other signs of panic on the Left. Last week, MSNBC's Ed Schultz stated on his radio show that if he lived in Massachusetts he would commit voter fraud. Schultz even gave tips on how he would carry out the stealing of the election. He said he would stuff the ballot box and vote as many as ten times.
In similar fashion Hardball host Chris Matthews waxed nostalgic when talking about the days when machine bosses in Massachusetts to motivate Democrat voters distributed "street money". It's one thing when left leaning commentators talk about the glory days of "street money" behind closed doors. It's a sign of panic when those discussions flow freely over the airwaves. It makes you want to ask Chris if he realized he was talking about loud. As the election results poured in from Massachusetts and the unbelievable fact of a Brown victory became a reality, MSNBC hosts Rachael Maddow and Chris Matthews created a fantasy world for themselves in their reactions to the Brown win. They actually said they believed Coakley's loss happened because President Obama hasn't been liberal enough!
More evidence of panic…according to AP reporter Charles Babington, the White House and their Democratic allies are scrambling to come up with a way to convince the House to simply adopt the Senate version of the healthcare reform bill. This would avoid the reconciliation process that would bypass a Senate vote now that Brown has defeated Coakley.
Other options being discussed include pushing the reconciliation process and forcing a Senate vote before Brown could be seated. This option would lead to a firestorm of criticism against the Democrat majority but many Democrats would rather feel the heat of Republicans than face the wrath of their Left-wing base. Or, Democrats could simply start over with a scaled back version of the bill and resort to budget reconciliation that would require only fifty-one votes to pass.
The fact any of these measures are being seriously discussed are signs of panic in the Democrat Party. They began 2009 with a super majority in both the House and the Senate. They should be able to pass any legislation they want without so much as a whimper from Republicans. But the President's plummeting poll numbers and an electorate who now oppose any healthcare reform by a whopping 14% margin (57 percent are opposed with just 43% in favor) have caused Democrats to head for the nearest political exit ramp. When you add in the high-profile deal making by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and special deals for union members, you have an angry, fed up public and a panicked, backpedaling bunch of Democrats.
December 2009 and January 2010 will go down in history as very bad months for Democrats. The failed but too-close-for-comfort terrorist attack on Christmas day followed by confusion from both the White House and Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano left Americans nervous about our security. Closed door healthcare negotiations coupled with Vice-President Biden meeting behind closed doors with the Administration's transparency chief has left Americans suspicious and Democrats sweating. I have often said when the Left gets under pressure they begin to slip up and allow some of the tinted windows of their true thinking to be forced open giving the electorate a quick glance at who they really are. Once enough people take time to look at what Left-wing governance really looks like the panic on the Left will be justified.