January election Special

Anthony Guerrero
The Paw Print

                On Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 a special election was held in the state of Massachusetts to replace the Senate seat vacated by the late Senator Kennedy.  This should have been an easy win for the Democratic Party.  Ted Kennedy held this seat for close to forty-seven years, and a Republican had not won a significant seat in the state since 1972.  Many individuals blame the Democratic candidate Martha Coakely for not running a decent campaign and basically handing the election over to Senator-Elect Scott Brown.  Of course, the Republican Party wants to shape this victory as something deeper taking place in the country and are predicting incredible success in the upcoming 2010 Mid-Term elections. 

                It comes as no surprise to anyone involved in politics that the minority party might possibly make significant gains during the first part of a new president’s administration.  However, the Republican Party is gearing up for “change.”  They have completely hijacked the campaign slogans and promise of the Obama-Biden 2008 campaign, and on Tuesday night during Brown’s victory speech, one could hear a chant of “Yes We Can” which one can only assume was in mockery of Obama and his party.  However, Massachusetts, of al l the states in the union, should have been a sure-fire victory for the Democratic Party.  Why did this not happen?  Why such a sudden shift in the political spectrum from only one year ago?  There are perhaps many legitimate reasons and concerns, but the real reason centers on Health Care Reform. 

                The Democrats proposal to bring reform to our Health Care system is not opposed by most reasonable Americans.  They do not want to be discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions, they do not want to file bankruptcy if they or a member of the family becomes ill, and, naturally, they would welcome insurance that is affordable for all of their fellow citizens.  The problem is there are some provisions not everyone agrees upon, but more importantly, the Republican Party has once again proved how it excels at the politics of fear.  Sarah Palin is on record claiming there would be “death panels” which has been completely debunked by every credible analyst and media network.  The Republican Party has continually spread a message of our impending doom at the hands of what they claim is socialism, and every piece of legislation that our President or a Democratic member of Congress proposes almost certainly, according to conservative political ideology, means higher taxes on ordinary hard-working Americans.  Any of these claims could not be further from the truth.  The Democratic Party has failed to maintain the effective grassroots movement it had during the Obama campaign, giving extremist Republicans the power to create a “Tea Party” movement.  Yes, I do say extremist.  Any Republican who believes the Tea Party philosophy will help their party gain back power is delusional.  Scott Brown won based on a populist message, as have other credible Republicans.  If one looks at the results in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, where the real Republican was booted out by this “Tea Party” movement and a “Conservative” candidate – the Democrat – easily won, the Republican Party and its supporters should think twice about adopting these so-called protestors.  The American people gave a clear message to Washington Republicans in 2006 and 2008 that our country was ready for change.  Not the change the Republican Party is offering though, and not even the change the Democratic Party is currently legislating.  Barack Obama won the election based on promoting a politics of hope and unity, of ending some of the constitutional violations set forth by the Bush Administration, and of caring for everyday, hard-working Americans.  He is not letting this light shine through, as many Bush policies remain in place, and as the Republican Party is being allowed to seize his original message.  If the Republican Party is allowed to continue making these gains, it will not be for the change the American people originally were looking for, but will be out of frustration for slow-moving progress, not too much change as the fear mongers would like to have us believe. 

                The Democratic Party has absolutely no choice but to finish the job of Health Care Reform.  The Republican Party is going to continue opposing it and any future new piece of health care legislation, regardless of what their current talking points may be.  If they cave, they will give Republicans an advantage, as they will continue to call their policies socialism. As an example of what happens when too much power is given to one party, even  if they do gain back all power, the Republicans will, of course, do a 360 hypocritical turn and then our nation will really understand the concept of big government.  The Democrats must prove that the scare tactics that the Republican Party is notorious for using are baseless and groundless.  Many positive outcomes will occur this year for citizens once this health care bill is passed, and it will become clear to our citizens what the motives of the GOP really were.  It is definitely in the interest of all American citizens that the Democratic Party continues on this path until the job is finished.  These same talking points were used by Republicans to oppose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and much other progressive legislation, and these points have always been proved groundless, and they need to be once again.  One can only wonder where the party who at first opposed Medicare gets off now, trying to defend a pointless and ineffective piece of it.  This is hypocrisy at its best.

                Also, it is imperative that there be significant and quick job creation and that our economy moves forward and looks up.  There must be more jobs created so that people will be able to find work and families can be financially stable if they put in the effort.  If the Obama Administration and the Democratic caucus cannot make this happen, then it is reasonable to assume it is over for President Obama, and in 2012 the party of fear will once again violate our constitutional rights.  It is okay for the Democratic Party to point out that under George W. Bush we gained a trillion dollar deficit, after he inherited a billion dollar surplus from Bill Clinton.  Nothing angers Republicans more, as they try to make it a small issue and not seem as negative for our nation as it really was.  However, the Democrats must begin to take responsibility for their current administration, and illustrate through valid statistics and facts that they have succeeded in mending the mess we were in in the year 2008, and showing how the failure of Republicans to take responsibility for the Bush Administration will not lead us forward, but backwards.  As Ronald Reagan once put it to the country and his party, “Stay the course!”

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