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    Default Why Scott Brown won - Eric Janszen

    Why Scott Brown won

    Here in Massachusetts, a state with three times as many registered Democrats as Republicans and half of voters are independent, the senate seat previously held by the nation’s most famous Liberal Democrat, Ted Kennedy, was tonight lost to a relatively unknown Republican, Scott Brown. He beat the supposed Democratic shoo-in Martha Coakley by a narrow margin.


    Political analysis will chalk the loss up to Coackley's lack of charisma and her endorsement of the Obama health care plan. But Massachusetts has a long history of electing less than electrifying candidates to office, and it's not the health care plan itself but what it represents that puts voters off. There was more to this election than meets the eye.

    What did Coakley do wrong and what did Brown do right, and what does it mean for the 2010 Congressional elections in November?

    What Martha Coakley did wrong

    1. Didn’t campaign hard from day one. Voters don’t want an entitled public servant to replace one of the nation’s most famously hard working, Ted Kennedy. Unemployment may be at 10%, but the other 90% still have jobs and are paddling hard just to stay in place, and many are drifting backwards no matter how hard they try. They want their representatives to work as hard as they do and show them how they can start to move forward again.
    2. Over-used an association between Brown to Bush. Scott Brown is not GW Bush. Anyone who listened to him for one minute knew it, and the flimsy guilt-by-association tactic insulted every voter’s intelligence and reeked of small-minded party politics.
    3. Vilified bankers and capitalists. Americans are capitalists. They don’t hate the rich, they hate those who gain by unfair advantage. They don't hate bankers for banking, they hate bankers of buying influence that produced great wealth at taxpayer expense, and excessive risk taking that resulted in an financial crisis that wrecked the economy. But they blame the bankers less for buying the favors than they do the politicians for selling them. As many Democrats and Republicans swam in that sewer. Red or blue, they came out smelling is just as bad. Making it a party issue was a mistake.
    4. Over-played the role of government in solving economic problems. Americans fear excessive interference by the state in the one part of the economy that they know really can create jobs. No, not the government, the private sector. Coakley said she’d crack down on abuses by Wall Street and protect Main Street. She thought she was tapping into voter anger at the abuse of power by a financial elite but instead voters heard a promise cut off the lifeblood of the economy, the businesses that create jobs, with more taxes and regulation.
    5. Over-played the traditional role of the Democratic Party as better representing the interests of the middle class than the Republican Party. If that is true, then why did Obama administration hire Goldman Sachs executives to rescue Wall Street and run the economy? The hypocrisy is not lost on voters.

    In short, Coakley’s campaign treated Massachusetts voters as stupid and illiterate. Voters saw through the Coakley campaign’s lame and cynical attempts to exploit their anger and frustration over the mess that both the Republican and Democratic administrations created over decades. They do want heath care reform, but reform that helps them not the elected campaign contributors of their elected officials.

    But it took more than blunders by the Coakley campaign to lose a race that was once considered over before it even started.

    What Scott Brown did right

    1. Confronted the worries that keep voters awake at night. How are we going to get the economy growing again without expanding the enormous government debt that threatens our and our children's future?
    2. Addressed problems with basic, common sense solutions that cut across party lines.
    3. Claimed independence from special interests. Obama ran on the same platform. Time will tell if Brown keeps the promise.

    The Brown won because of his mostly non-ideological, practical, market-based solutions to our nation’s economic and social problems. He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He is by any other name a Libertarian but without the baggage that the Libertarian Party has collected over the years.

    Lesson for Congress

    The operative word for Brown is “independent.” Voters believe that both parties have been for sale for more than 30 years. Regardless of party, independence expressed as a clear and simple practical set of solutions that directly confront the greatest anxieties of voters is the key to winning in the 2010 Congressional elections.

    Members of Congress with a strong, ideological party identity, and a voting record that can be clearly traced to campaign contributors through sites such as OpenSecrets.com, who understand what this election means may now commence shitting bricks.

    What I want you to do

    If you are currently registered as either Republican or Democrat, re-register as an Independent. Why? This keeps the political machines on both parties guessing and forces the debate away from party lines and onto the issues that matter to you. It worked here in Massachusetts by accident. Maybe it can be made to work on purpose on a national scale.

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    Last edited by FRED; 01-21-10 at 06:24 AM.

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