It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: Teddy Kennedy will be replaced in the U.S. Senate by a Republican. The political giant who made universal health care his life’s work will be replaced by a political midget who vows to vote against it.
How could this happen in Massachusetts, the bluest of all the blue states? What went wrong?
One thing for sure, no matter what right-wingers claim: This election was NOT a referendum on health care. Massachusetts has, in fact, the only statewide universal health care program in the country.
Nor was it a referendum on President Obama. He won Massachusetts by 26 points and still has a 70 percent favorable rating in the state.
No, Martha Coakley lost the Massachusetts race for two reasons.
First, because she believed that, having won the Democratic primary, her success in the general election was automatic. Therefore, she disappeared from view, failed to campaign aggressively, and let Scott Brown take over. She simply took the voters of Massachusetts for granted.
Second, because, in these tough economic times, people are angry, people are frustrated, people are impatient. And whenever that happens, they take out their anger on the party in power. Which now just happens to be the Democrats.
It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. A Republican was elected in Massachusetts.
But, fear not, the Republic will survive.
That’s my parting shot for today.