Boston Tea Party 2.0

As the sun rises this morning and bathes in pinks and reds and yellows the frost-covered expanses of the fruited plain, Americans everywhere are stirring.  America’s true awakening, however,  came last night in the form of victory at the polls for Scott Brown, an unknown state senator from Wrentham, Massachusetts only a few months ago, now thrust onto the national stage as the unlikely successor to Ted Kennedy and the U.S. Senate seat Kennedy held for 46 years.

And this morning, left-leaning politicians, pundits and media types are scrambling to come together and unify behind a makeshift, threadbare explanation of just what happened in the Bay State yesterday.  Inevitably, the Democratic Party establishment will blame Martha Coakley, Martha Coakley will blame Barack Obama, and Barack Obama will blame George W. Bush.  Well, perhaps the last part was a stretch.  But lessons certainly did abound.   Lessons for Democrats, lessons for Republicans, and lessons for all of us.

Lessons For Democrats

First and foremost, above and beyond everything else, the result of last night’s special election in Massachusetts is a lesson for Democrats everywhere.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. No, not a Republican victory in the Bay State, though that wasn’t supposed to happen, either.  What really wasn’t supposed to happen, the larger story among large stories, is that a Tea Party candidate won in Massachusetts — the bluest of the blue states, the hob-knobbing ground for Harvard types and generations of Kennedys.  This isn’t 1773 anymore — tea parties just don’t happen in Massachusetts, unless tennis and yachts and trips to Martha’s Vineyard are also involved.

Now that the progressives have turned the mainstream media into an official propaganda orifice, however, we all should have to wonder aloud: where are they going to get their news? Sure, having a gaggle of pin-striped, capped-teeth sycophants running around trumpeting your causes and covering your gaffes may be a convenient way to broadcast your message and gloss over indiscretions, but it ultimately results in a not-so-free press which turns into a one-way street. The liberals in America can send, but they can’t receive.

And that’s why they didn’t see this one coming until it was right smack on top of them.

Over the past year, ever since CNBC’s Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade in February and, in the face of the Democratic Party’s subsidization of failure and War on Success and Prosperity, proposed a “Chicago Tea Party in July,” the liberal reaction to the Tea Party movement has been consistent and simple –  marginalize them.  Real people don’t join Tea Party protests, they said.  Your family and your neighbors don’t join Tea Party protests.  Your coworkers don’t join Tea Party protests.  No one you know or associate with joins Tea Party protests, because the Tea Party movement is for fringe radicals and racists, for reactionaries and bigots, for isolated right-wing nutjobs who emerged from their dark, dank cellars to brandish guns and wave homemade signs. It’s an irrelevant idiocracy. That was the signal being uttered by a frightened American political left and faithfully repeated by a subservient mainstream press, and it looks like Democrats made the fatal mistake of drinking their own Kool-Aid. They wrote off the Tea Party movement as inconsequential.  They told the lie, spread the lie, and then believed it.

And that was a mistake.

According to polling by Rasmussen Reports, Massachusetts voters are roughly split when it comes to the Tea Party movement with 40 percent of today’s voters viewing the movement favorably and 41 percent viewing it unfavorably. That’s right. In Massachusetts–one of the greatest repositories of liberalism in the entire nation–the Tea Party movement is polling about as well as Barack Obama does nationally.

A little more than a month ago, a contributor to The Next Right named Ironman–likely either a very fit person, a comic book buff or a fan of Vince Flynn novels–called for the Republican Party to back Brown in Massachusetts. He likened it to the Doolittle Raid in 1942: striking into the heart of enemy territory. The message to the Democrats, Ironman insisted, would be the same as it was to the Japanese in World War II — if we can strike your heartland, we can hurt you anywhere.

And although the Tea Party is polling much, much stronger in Massachusetts than they should be (by liberal standards, at least), the issues and principles which run to the core of the Tea Party movement are polling even more strongly, with 51 percent of voters frowning on the bank bailouts and 56 percent disliking the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. And yet, eclipsing all these issues, Massachusetts voters don’t like the health care reform.  That’s significant in itself, considering that Massachusetts–along with Maine’s failed Dirigo Health System–has been a real-life testing ground for many of the policies sought on a national level by Democrats advocating drastic health care reform.

Democrats were worried before. They have got to be panicking now. More than a dozen Democratic Party lawmakers have either announced their retirement or switched parties.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might as well pack his historic office, the very same office in which Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as an undoubtedly discouraged Aaron Burr looked on. Blue Dog Democrats everywhere should be spellchecking their resumes.

Already, they’re circling the wagons and trying to insulate themselves from the basic attitude toward governance which largely brought about the Brown victory in Massachusetts.  Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, for example, scrambled to get ahead of the curve in a press release within hours of the Coakley concession:

In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.

When Virginia went for Barack Obama in 2008, many inside and outside the beltway, Democrats and Republicans alike, believed that a historic shift had occurred.  Webb, however, sees what Gilmore’s victory has already made obvious — the vote for a Democrat was an anomaly, not the norm. Webb knows that, in order to survive, he must throw caution to the wind, abandon party loyalty, and demonstrate without question that he hears the Tea Partiers.

And he most certainly will not be alone.  Expect more Democrats, any responsible or even relatively alert left-leaning lawmakers with a modicum of common sense or just basic political self-preservation to do the same and jump ship like Webb has, but don’t expect a wholesale conversion. Some–like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid–are simply in too deep and far too beholden to the furthest reaches of the radical left to give up now. Others–especially people like Alan Grayson and the radical progressive wing of the Democratic Party–will never give up. If democracy fails them, they will find other options. Consider, for example, this quote from a commenter at The Daily Kos:

What we’re witnessing is the product of a corrupt media and a dumb, distractable electorate. I’m not sure that anything can be done at this point, but one thing I am sure of is that continuing to operate on the premise that the majority of Americans are reasonable, intelligent people who will do the right thing if the facts are presented to them objectively is not going to work. I know that it’s not what most people who come to this site want to hear, but most Americans need to be manipulated into doing the right thing. Reasoning with them might be the morally correct thing to do, but is simply not going to get the job done.

As of this midnight, the comment had a +7 rating from the DailyKos community, meaning that it rated far more favorably than unfavorably among that particular segment of the population. In the most highly-rated comment we could find (+73 as of midnight), a similar sentiment was expressed:

Hey, at least we can kick Lieberman out now. It’s time for his ass to get out of the caucus and for the rest of the party to grow some balls. Needing “60 votes” to do anything is a lame-ass, piss-poor excuse. It’s time to ram some shit through the Senate. If the GOP whines, fucking tough.

As we all know and as the Crocodile Hunter and Roy the Gay Magician will tell you, animals are most dangerous when they feel cornered or threatened, or both. Right now, Democrats have their backs up against a wall. The very position of power which put them into a situation from which nothing stood between them and the implementation of the agenda carefully shaped for decades has turned into the party’s own undoing — because even with control of the House, Senate and White House they have failed to heed the voices of the American people, failed to address the concerns currently facing a beleagured nation, failed to live up to their own pledges and faux principles, and failed to accomplish just about anything at all.

They pushed and pushed and pushed.  They threatened to abandon all checks and balances and force civilization-shaping legislation through the halls, offices, corridors and chambers of Washington, D.C. in the dead of night.  And like a battered wife who finally reaches deep down inside of herself for the inner strength necessary to stand up for herself and terminate the harmful relationship, the people of Massachusetts stood up on behalf of the American people, reached down within themselves, and pronounced with confidence and force of their own that they want a divorce.  Enough is enough, they said.  It’s time for the Democrats to pack their bags and go home.  It’s time for the adults to once again be in charge.

Lessons For Republicans

The Democrats weren’t the only ones who received a lesson tonight. The Republican Party absolutely must stand up and take notice as well.  In 2008, the GOP took the advice of The New York Times and ran a moderate Republican at best as its nominee for the presidential election, and we know how that turned out. And last year, when the party once again took the advice of The New York Times and ran a liberal in the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District,  it was disastrous as well.  Defiant conservatives, weary of the GOP’s history of promoting candidates who ignored or overtly ran afoul of conservative principles, ran an independent instead who–despite serious handicaps–managed to force the machine candidate out of the race and put up a real fight against the Democrat.

That was the stick.

In Massachusetts, however, the Republican Party ran a real conservative. Actually, in Scott Brown, a man who is personally not pro-life but feels that the federal government has no business in the business of abortion, the party ran someone who by some conventional standards could be considered more libertarian than conservative.  But they did so at a time when, because of the rising tide of governmental expansion, libertarianism has become the driving force behind the Tea Party movement and the resurgent GOP.  As it turns out, there’s room for social liberals and conservatives in a movement that is centered on cutting the size of government above all else. Other essential issues–from national security to transparency and reform–either take a back seat to preserving the fiscal survival of this nation or are inherently incorporated in the debate over the proper size and role of government. And, when the GOP decided to work with rather than against the Tea Party, both sides won.

That was the carrot.

Over the next ten-plus months, as we move closer and closer to the mid-term elections in November, the mainstream media will inevitably attempt to fracture the American political right by playing to the budding egos of a long-marginalized, fledgling movement by talking up the prospects of the Tea Party as a viable third party.  Last night showed us all that we don’t need a third party. We need the GOP to wake up, get back to its roots, and become the political vehicle of choice for those who align with a Jeffersonian and Madisonian perspective on government.  We need a union of GOP and Tea Party, of libertarian and conservative, as we stand united to take back our country.

On December 16, 1773, The first Boston Tea Party put big government on notice that, in this nation, individual liberty and responsibility reign supreme. Yesterday, on January 19, 2010, Tea Party 2.0 is sending the exact same message. The American people are getting back to their roots, and it’s time for the parties–both parties, ideally–to get in line or get the Hell out of the way.

Lessons For Us All

Just as yesterday’s special election in Massachusetts taught a lesson to Democrats and Republicans, it offered a lesson for all of us as well.  The lesson for each and every one of us is that, for too long, we’ve been turning our focus and focusing our attention on the wrong argument.  We’ve become too caught up in labels.  The dichotomy of Democrat vs. Republican and liberal vs. conservative simply doesn’t apply any more, at least not in the sense that so many people still believe it to.  For every Democrat like Chuck Schumer, there’s a Zell Miller; for every Republican like Jim DeMint, there’s a Lindsay Graham.

Instead, the dichotomy to which we should all be paying closer attention is that of tyranny vs. anarchy.  Obviously, like our nation’s founders we want neither, but also like those imperfect men we need to err on the side of limited federal government, of individual freedom, of an uninhibited free market.

That’s what the special election in Massachusetts, the very cradle of American liberty, was all about.  It wasn’t about Scott Brown or Martha Coakley, about who could spell the state correctly or whether or not the candidates read the boxscores in the Boston Globe each morning.  And given the design and plight of Massachusetts’ own attempt at universal healthcare, nor was yesterday’s election a referendum on the Democratic Party’s plans for health care reform alone.  It wasn’t about any of those things — it was a referendum on the expanding size, scope, reach and role of the American federal government, a natural course correction like that described by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 28.

In Federalist No. 28, Hamilton wrote that the federal government may, from time to time, wield excessive power at the expense of the state governments and of the people, just as at other times the state governments may wield excessive power at the expense of the federal government and of the people. Hamilton proposed that either way, drought or deluge, feast or famine, the very nature of this great nation and its people will right a government listing in one direction or another.

If, as Hamilton suggested, the balance of power between the government and the people swings like a giant pendulum between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy, then the growing momentum toward the former was slowed and stopped by the twin Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia last November — and Scott Brown’s unlikely victory over Martha Coakley yesterday evening was most certainly the very first, essential push in the opposite direction, the right direction toward limited government, toward the growth, prosperity, safety and security which can never be provided by government alone.

The dwindling hours of January 19, 2010 proved to be a historic night for the United States of America.  A little more than a year ago, an American president found his way into the Oval Office on nebulous promises of “hope” and “change.” Last night, in the very same state in which the first shots of the American Revolution were fired, America began to see a glimpse of freedom . . . for a change.

—————
Both Jeff Schreiber and Robert Wallace, editors at America’s Right, contributed to this commentary.

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Comments

  1. 2010, 2012 says:

    hanging out with barry is bad for your health
    and definitely a career-ender.

    we warned but you had to get in in writing…er, voting.

    2010 – the first month, and looking great!
    Thank you Scott Brown & family, Thank you MA, Thank all you democrats who are finally seeing the light.

  2. 2010, 2012 says:

    obama has served his purpose – - to open the eyes of anyone who treated their last presidential vote carelessly. and now its time to reign him in by means of bolstering the strength of the Republican Party.

  3. 2010, 2012 says:

    from this story we see how this brand of democrats align so perfectly with Alinsky. these people are so hellbent of re-shaping this country to something the majority of americans do not want that they are willing to risk support of the ones that put them there. they intend to cheat and do whatever THEY[the few in office] want. their intentions is to ram it down our throats and force us into it until we break and accept it as “that’s just the way it is.”

    to which is say, NEVER! WE WILL NOT BE MOLDED INTO GOOD LITTLE COMMUNISTS, SOCIALISTS, LENINISTS, MARXISTS, to please obama and his bosses.

    Brown turned the corner and we are all right behind him.

  4. 2010, 2012 says:

    did i write all of that? okay, i’m outta here. have a great day all.

  5. Boston Blackie says:

    Can I get a whoop, whoop!!
    THANK YOU TO ALL, to everyone across this great nation that helped make this morning the first day of the Second American Revolution. Thanks to AR for shining a light on this election, letting everyone know we are coming out of the dark. It was the “Scott” heard round the world.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “spellcheck their resumes”

    Who in their right mind would hire these Marxists?
    Let em live on unemployment awhile, like the rest of the country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tea Party 2.0, or Obama impeachment 1.0………..
    either way it sounds realllll nice

  8. Amy says:

    Excellent article. I hope everyone actually learns and pays attention to the lessons that have been articulated here.

    I heard some disturbing remarks by Howard Dean. His reaction to Brown’s win was to say that Democrats need to be tougher and stronger. He said Bush would have gotten the health care bill passed by now. He said Democrats need to stop pandering to special interest groups. Unfortunately, he also said that Republicans have become a special interest group! That’s right, Republicans and those who represent us in Congress are nothing more than a special interest group.

    It sounds to me like the Democrats will not have learned their lessons at all. Hopefully, Republicans, who are usually more logical and pragmatic, will see the results for what they are. We are a nation that leans more toward individual freedoms and away from a controlling central gov’t. Massachussetts proved that yesterday.

  9. John Feeny says:

    Thank God…the first baby step in the right direction. I kid you not…when it was announced on Hannity’s show last night that Coakley was about to concede, I felt the first springs of emotion…of course, as a big tough man, I’d never cry…perish the thought. But for the first time I began to sense that all of the efforts we’ve been making might actually make a difference. What we must remember is that the radical left will NEVER let up, so rather than relaxing, we must now turn up the pressure even more. One thing to bear in mind, something that many of the writers on this site have pointed out, is that ultimately, those on the radical left have the mindsets of spoiled children, and just as when you’re dealing with a petulant adolescent, once you get in his face, the cowardice is suddenly on full display. We can not let up.

  10. T.I.M. says:

    On a cold day in Mass, hell actually did freeze over. You’ve got to love the irony that Ted Kennedy’s death helped to kill his pet health care reform, and put a Republican in his place.

    The Daily KOS quote above is so telling — “What we’re witnessing is the product of a corrupt media and a dumb, distractable electorate” would have been the media’s description of Obama’s election — if they hadn’t been so far in the tank for “The One”. And admitting that the libs’ message won’t work based on reasoning and facts, that the only way to win is by manipulating the American people says pretty much all we need to know about the left.

    And then there’s the most highly rated comment on KOS, proving what I told my brother recently in a long email debate on politics — when the left run out of reasoning, the quickly turn to obscenities as their main tool. Proving that these days in political intelligence, conservatives aren’t merely the head of the class, too often they are the ONLY class.

  11. Ronald Reagan says:

    “If you’re afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again.”

  12. KJ says:

    The new mantra is do away with cloture because needing 60 votes in the Senate is destructive and required all of the special dealing on the health care bill.

    The total elimination of cloture would only be pushed by a party that believes it will never be in the minority or that by a group of people that plan to hold power forever in some way.

    There have been rumors about a federal bill to be introduced in January requiring States to automatically register as voters anyone on any government list. There would be, of course, duplicate registrations and illegal aliens would be included as voters on such an automatically generated list.

    I doubt that this bill will be introduced now, but it might be interesting to watch for it.

  13. cher-pa says:

    THANK YOU PATRIOTS OF MASSACHUSETTS.I promise to do everything in my power to rid Pennsylvania of all it’s tratiors.

  14. Boston Blackie says:

    “I kid you not…when it was announced on Hannity’s show last night that Coakley was about to concede, I felt the first springs of emotion.”
    John, my feelings exactly. Though even early on it looked good for Senator-elect Brown,(I love saying that)I just couldn’t exhale until it was announced that Martha was conceding. I only wish now that I had turned on MSNBC to watch the reactions of Olbermann, Matthews and Maddog Maddow. That would have been priceless.
    The Palinizing of Brown has started already – he’s an empty suit, he’s a dimwit(I guess not everyone can have their own personal telepromter). Check out this article on the Boston Globe website. It is sick when you think that it was written by a male.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/20/swept_off_our_feet/
    On the first anniversary of this seamingly endless nightmare, let me paraphrase Michelle Obama by saying “For the first time in my adult life, I proud to say I am a lifelong resident of Massachusetts”. We are no longer the laughing stock of America.

  15. clay barham says:

    The battle in America between the Old and New World traditions are seen in our two main political parties. The Republican Party is the older of the two if we take it back to Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Nelson Rockefeller and John McCain. Republicans are elite meddlers believing the national government should manage the industry and affairs of the American People. They stumbled in the 1960’s with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. They left the party with people who do not accept original GOP policies.

    The Democrat Party was the libertarian, state’s rights, individual freedom and local government party, following Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe to Jackson and Cleveland. They made the biggest swing from their policies at the turn of the century, adopting the Old World policies of Rousseau and Marx. The GOP, except for the Goldwater-Reagan moments, held fast to their better-than-thou beliefs from its origin. In the life of our Republic, the only political party that held fast to the ideals of America, which made her free and prosperous, was the 19th century Democrat Party. I’m afraid it will take reorienting the GOP to take our country back. claysamerica.com

  16. Linda B. says:

    Thank you for the article! Thank you Scott Brown for the courage to run and the intelligence to wage an excellent campaign. Thank you Massachusetts for this gift to our nation.

    Since I live in Virginia I am very familiar with Senator Webb. I have been in constant “touch” with him telling him how this Virginian feels and trying to advise him to drop the support of health care Obama style. I got some great e-mails back on how the country needs health care and why and that it will all be O.K. I kindly wrote back and told him he did not have a future political career. Now, with Brown’s election, I really think the message has hit home and is sinking in. However, for Mr. Webb, as for most of the Democ-rats, it is too late. Webb has shown us he is more interested in saving himself politically than in party loyalty, character, honor. He is another typical Washington politician and I think it is time we rid Washington of all of the politicians who pay lip service to the public and then exercise their own will.

    Loved the snippets from “The Daily Kos” – the language they use tells you what level they are on. I guess the old saying is true like attracts like and the Democ-rats have truly sunk to a new low by aligning themselves with these people and the likes of ACORN, SEIU and others.

  17. Dee says:

    Thank you for a great article. I was so excited last night when I saw Coakley giving her concession speech. It’s a good way to start the year. I only hope that Scott Brown does what he says he will and, not like so many politicians do, including BO, go to Washington and do a complete turn around. Thank you people of Massachusetts!

  18. Gail B. says:

    My son told me that the election was “The Scott heard around the world!”

    His father-in-law calls Ted Kennedy “the Hero of Chappaquiddick.”

    Someone should write a book — “The Miracle of 41st Seat” about all this!

    For Boston Blackie: WHOOP! WHOOP!

    And, last but not in the least: THANK YOU, JESUS!

  19. laura says:

    WHOOP! WHOOP!!

    Been grinning all day long!

  20. WHAT AM I? says:

    A great quiz to see where you rate, ‘party’ wise.
    Fun to also enter parameters you think for others (Obama) and see what they truly are.

    http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html

  21. Steve says:

    What was telling to me was a voting map which showed the two communities that comprise the Hyannisport area, aka Camelot, had a 60% plurality for Scott Brown.

    The areas where Coakley won most handily were the elitist college towns and the areas of high welfare recipients. It seems she was supported most by people with their heads in the clouds (or a more malodorous area) and their hands in our pockets.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Tea Party 2.0 eliminating the need for Whiskey Rebellion 2.0, though that right is reserved.

  23. Devon says:

    It’s the one year anniversary of Obama’s inauguration and he finally accomplished something. Something so grande that no other Democratic President was able to accomplish. Turning Massachusetts red.

  24. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel. I was so happy last night I almost cried. I don’t think the hard-core Dems will get the memo, which is fine….because we’ll just show them the door come 2010 and 2012.

    I think Obama has lost his Midas touch: How many times have his quick visits to rally support turned into complete failures?!

  25. Leah says:

    Linda B. said exactly what I wanted to say. Here in VA the Tea Party has been warning Webb to start listening to us. He refused to hold a town hall meeting this summer, instead flying off to Burma for 3 weeks. He then sent out an email saying how he met with Virginians over the summer. Baloney! I was in his Richmond office right before the health care vote. They were running a survey. 3 (yes, the number three) people were in favor. There were over 15 lines with about 25-30 checks on each line for the “against” health care reform. He voted for it anyway. As I wrote on Webb’s wall on FB, too little too late. Bye bye Webb, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. (BTW, it is too funny to see all the libs writing on Webbs how disappointed they are in him and the way he isn’t ramming the health care through. So looks like he just created a lose-lose situation for himself. Oh well.)

  26. 2010, 2012 says:

    “Sun up in the sky… you know how if feel
    Well, its a new day, and i’m feeling gooooooodddd.”

  27. The artificial pedestal “the One” was trust upon by the uninformed voter`s and the far left leaning Dem`s is crumbling and I am elated. Scott Brown`s Election to finish Ted Kennedy`s term was a clear Message to the Dem`s from Mass.I love the way Scott Brown put it , he was honored to have been elected to fill this Senate seat, but it is not his seat, it is the Seat of the people he represents.Most all of the Politicians we have sent to Washington have forgotten this simple fact. Banking on this Senate Seat being Ted Kennedy`s Seat and believing therefore it would easily remain in the hands of the Dem`s, that sure fire belief also crumbled, ending the filibuster super majority.My prayer`s were answered checks and balances are returning.The Arrogance of Pelosi, Reid and the like will be dampend by this electoral defeat out of one of the strongholds of the Dem. Party.

  28. Gail B. says:

    Monday, Feb. 8 1:27 a.m.–

    Have you noticed that Sarah Palin’s speech is the top video at numerous sites? And have you noticed that Obama’s mess is further down? And did you see where Al Franken jumped into Axelrod’s face at the Democrats’ meeting?

    Man! This has been a great weekend!

  29. Gail B. says:

    Oh! And I saw reports that there were angry Democrats in that meeting, too!

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