I watched the results of the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy's seat last night.
The hysteria on both sides of the fence declaring blame and/or triumph is basically the same song with slight variations of the lyrics that has dominated the political spectrum this past year.
Do I believe that Browns' victory was a slap about health care reform? In a word NO. This is a state that has socialized medicine and yes Scott Brown voted for it. This is a state that elected Mitt Romney an outsider from Utah based on his Olympic work. This is a state that kept Ted Kennedy in office for close to 50 years. This is a state that really only has 1/3 of the population registered as Democrats. This is a state that ironically has not suffered as much pain through the economic meltdown and possesses some of the best Universities and Education in the country. So what does it say? That people are screaming for Change. Remember that mantra CHANGE?
Well I was in Massachusetts in December. I make it a point when I visit somewhere to talk to the locals and wow what I thought I would find and what I found was quite a disparate view.
I found mostly working class people who were very white. They were not intelligent and almost reminded me of the towny vs elite in the old movie Breaking Away. You know outside looking in at all the smart people resentful of their education but dependent on it for its prestige and finances it brought to the town.
I met a very conservative group of people all very fearful of Obama and his "health care plan" not seeing the connection to their own. When pressed about it it always fell to the argument that they didn't think those who "did not deserve it" would get it. I hear this all the time from both black and white people who think somehow the newest minority will somehow get something free that they worked for.
This is the big issue once again FEAR. Americans are really afraid. They fear tax increases, they fear losing their jobs, they fear mostly change but they also need it.
Scott Brown is a classic politician and candidate. Handsome, drives a Jeep Cherokee (how real!!), his daughters are cute and one was on AMERICAN IDOL!!!, his wife is a newscaster. He has posed for a Cosmo centerfold and is not cheating on his wife or is a closet gay. He seems like the Robert Redford in Candidate. He says all the right words in the right tones.. NO NEW TAXES!!! Man we really hate taxes in this country... well you would when you make less than you did 20 years ago which has NOTHING to do with taxes.
He also is a nutjob. He inferred that Obama is illegitimate. He is an asshole who supports torture. When called out on his inconsistency by Coakley he used his own 21 year old daughter to fight back.. as a kind of human shield. How can anyone respond to her or that? Of course last night he attempted to pimp her during his acceptance speech. There are other incidents of displayed Homophobia and Sexism. But my favorite was when he went on verbal profanity laced diatribe in a public high school (King Phillip) calling out the students by name who derided him on Facebook claiming he was only repeating the language used. It was so alarming and odd that the Principal tried to stop him, unsuccessfully, as he continued on that also included misrepresentations and bizarre accusations about the school curriculum. In other words a perfect partner for the GOP fantasy ticket Palin/Brown 2012.
So it says more about the kind of people I met in Massachusetts. Underemployed, lowly educated, exhausted and confused. I was not really impressed about the people I met... while I thought they were friendly they were also some very odd moments that concerned me enough. I came home saying "wow that was like going to Seattle only with accents."
This election is more about what America really is... DUMB and DESPERATE. And the GOP has this weeks "new AMERICAN IDOL" whose entire family embrace the mantle of Famewhores quite nicely. Of course like many of the GOP stars they melt under the glare of the spotlight... Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele, Sarah Palin and now Scott Brown. This is CHANGE you can believe in.