Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of caution

Scott Brown's win last night in the special election for the Massachusetts senate seat made vacant by Ted Kennedy's death was a game-changing event and warmed the cockles of my heart. If a Republican even came close in deep-blue Massachusetts, that would be a shot across the bow of the far-left Obama agenda. But let's be realistic on a couple of points:
  1. A stronger candidate than Martha Coakley, running a better campaign, could have won
  2. Many Baystaters are opposed to the current health care reform bill because they've already got a version of that plan statewide in Massachusetts and don't want to pay taxes for a federal one
Just the same, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message that party and incumbency matter less than the issues. The absolute worst thing Obama and the Democratic leadership can do now is stick to their guns and keep pushing their agenda. Clinton got the message loud and clear in 1994 and tacked right, ensuring his reelection in 1996. I'm not sure Obama has the humility to do the same.

Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has his own cautionary notes.