"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" is a famous quote from a 20 or 30 year old movie which the American people have been repeating for almost that long. On Tuesday evening, Jan. 19, the voters of Massachusetts translated that quote into action and elected a dark horse, Scott Brown, to office selecting him over the bay state favorite. By Wednesday morning Republican pundits and conservative talking heads were claiming this as a rebuke of the Democratic party and Democrats, left-wing pundits, and Mr. Obama were branding it as a (misplaced) reaction to Bush administration policies and shortcomings . . . they (the business as usual politicians) still don't get it.
The stunning defeat of the Democratic candidate in the bluest of blue states by an underdog Republican was not a rejection of the Democrats, that simply doesn't make sense in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3.5 to 1 nor was it a response to the failures of George Bush (come on, it's been a year and "that dog don't hunt no more"); what it was, was the rejection of the arrogant, radical, left-wing, anti-Americanism that has high-jacked the American legislative process and the American government and a response to the incompetence, greed, dishonesty, and elitism that has become the hallmark of American legislators, both Democrat and Republican. It was, in short, a good start and, as in the 18th century, our Yankee cousins in New England have pointed the way. It's time for the rest of us to pick up the banner of American exceptionalism from the dust and run with it.
Each election has at least one sound-bite that resonates with the voters. In this election, I believe it was ". . . With all due respect sir, it is the People's seat". This admonition was to the reference of the Congressional seat in play as "Ted Kennedy's seat" and was a needed reminder that public offices are not Democrat nor Republican nor do those offices become the property of long seated politicians but are the sole property of the people who elected the occupants. Every American should adopt and adapt this tag line into "With all due respect, it is the People's government" and emblazon it upon that banner as they confront "business as usual" incumbents this election year. We, as voters, need to make it clear that we will no longer return incumbents to office based on party loyalties nor on the empty promise of "We get it and we'll change"; we've fallen for that line too many times in the past only to wake up the morning after an election to discover that nothing has changed. We need to emphatically state to incumbents beginning today that they have from today to the November elections to demonstrate that they ". . . get it" and have implemented change and that change is the change that we wanted; they had better not guess what that change is but rather get it directly from us because if they get it wrong this time they'll be needing to find a new job come the morning after these elections.