I have been preoccupied with putting embellishing touches to my memoirs and with the race for Ted Kennedy’s old senatorial seat. A personable, articulate, male Republican won with a comfortable margin in a state with almost no Republicans. I have no doubt this election constitutes a formidable expression of disapproval for the Obama policies in general and for the health care bill in particular. But I don’t think it’s dead at all although the Democrat majority is not filibuster- proof anymore. Two reasons. First, there remain many parliamentary maneuvers to pass a bill similar to the present ones with simple majorities. In this connection, the Mass. election’s main merit may turn out to be that it gives cover to the many Democratic congressmen who were going to vote for with their stomachs in their throats. They now have a perfect excuse to bolt: the voice of the people spoke in the traditionally Democrat Bay State.
My second reason for skepticism has to do with the nature of the Obama administration. As I have said before, although he is not himself an aspiring Mussolini, his entourage includes people with fascist temperaments. The assumption that the President will act with normal full sensitivity to our constitutional traditions is ill-founded. Some of his advisers will tell him to seize the time precisely because his time may be waning.
Several other political assumptions may also be suspended. This president cares less than others whether he is re-elected or not. He wants to reform American society according to his half-baked ideas of American-style socialism. If succeeding must cost him re-election, he might well say, “It’s worth it.”
Another unwritten assumption based on our political history, is that a president does not want to cause irreparable damage to his own party. But President Obama does not care about the Democratic Party. It’s not his party but the horse he rides. His party has no public existence. If it did, it would be called the “progressive party.” (Not my insight, Glen Beck’s.) It includes many labor unions but not all, some Wall Street types, a large number of intellectuals with totalitarian tendencies, in the universities and elsewhere, and the SCORE lumpenproletariat. (That was German; look it up.)