BOSTON - The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat signaled big political problems for the president's party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.
"I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts," said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee. "There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient."
Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president's health care legislation and the rest of his agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.
One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama's swearing-in, the election played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.
I get that Brown's far from perfect, of course. But consider for a moment that in one of the most liberal states in America, a state that was the first to legalize gay marriage and which then ran the Catholic Church out of the adoption business rather than permit a religious exemption to the law, a state that went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, a Republican has just been elected to hold the office formerly hold by a Democratic party icon, the late Senator Kennedy.
However the Democrats try to spin this victory, Scott Brown's Senate win has to be sending shockwaves through the party. If they could lose a "legacy" seat in one of the bluest of the blue states on the eve of a crucial health care vote even after President Obama himself campaigned on Martha Coakley's behalf, then nothing's a sure thing as we head into this year's elections.
There will be spin, of course. Coakley herself will be blamed for running a lackluster campaign--a truth, but not the whole truth. The soft economy will be blamed, too, and the election spun not as a referendum on health care, but on, as Senator Menendez is quoted as saying above, the fact that Americans are "impatient" for the change Obama promised. But I'm also fairly certain that some in the Democratic party will be insisting that the Brown victory means nothing in terms of the rest of the nation--this was an isolated incident, Americans are anxious for the health care reform bill to be passed, and this year's elections will prove that Coakley's loss is Coakley's fault, and hers alone.
As we approach the Congressional elections this coming November, we'll know for sure whether the "isolated incident" theory holds water. In the meantime, this single election may end up meaning that unborn Americans may not end up having their deaths by living dismemberment, poison, and other grisly methods paid for by United States taxpayers after all.
To that end, I'd like to suggest that all of my pro-life readers add to their prayer intentions the intention that God will strengthen the conviction of all of the pro-life members of the House and Senate, so that any health care reform bill which might be passed would not contain the grave evil of abortion funding, but would instead provide adequate and compassionate care for pregnant women in need and their unborn children. The election of Scott Brown to the Senate might give unborn Americans the chance they need to be remembered as human beings deserving of respect, not dismissed as disposable human waste and preyed upon by the powers of darkness.