I will begin by saying that I miss President Bush. That being said, I was not a koolaid drinker and will not fit in the category of those who will list George W. Bush as one of the best Presidents in the history of the republic. During his Presidency, even in those instances when I disagreed with the policies he was proposing or pursuing, I found that he believed in what he was doing and I thank God that he was President on that horrible day in September, 2001 when our country’s vulnerability was exposed so tragically.
But what endeared this President to me was his lack of command of the English language. Even though SNL probably coined more “Bush-isms” than anyone else…my favorite is one that President Bush used to describe himself…”misunderestimated”.
The impact of the election of a Republican, Scott Brown in the People’s Commonwealth of Massachusetts is prime example of “misunderestimation”. All you had to do was see the looks of disbelief, horror, and disgust on the faces of the MSM media at the major networks and their cousins at MSNBC and CNN. Then on Wednesday, the spinning by Democrats was enough to give the wind turbine industry a run for its money.
My favorite Twitter foil, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri immediately said that any vote for Health Care Reform had to be “slowed down”. Claire is great at stating the obvious, but only after it has been pointed out to her in such a fashion. And you will only find Claire voting against the Democratic leadership or the White House when there is enough cover for her vote in the Senate. I particularly point out Sen. McCaskill because she still doesn’t get it. I am beginning to wonder if any of our leaders really do.
The choice in Massachusetts on Tuesday while providing the 41st vote to keep the Health Care Reform bill from being passed in the Senate, more importantly showed what so many of us have known since last spring. Americans do not like what they are seeing in their government–at all levels. City, county, state, and national incumbents need to heed the results of Massachusetts. Scott Brown was an attractive candidate, but he had the message to go along with it. This was a national referendum as contributions came in from across the nation. Volunteers from outside of Massachusetts made phone calls on their home phones to voters in the Bay State to encourage them to vote for Brown. As voters in Hyannis Port, home to the Kennedy compound gave their support to pick a non-Kennedy for this seat for the first time since 1946 the rest of the nation cheered as the Senator-elect from Massachusetts was now the United States’ Senator!
Yet the most significant outcome of the special election in Massachusetts was that the Tea Partiers, the “mobsters”, the 10,000 or so people who showed up for 9/12 (media estimate, not mine) and all of those rowdy Town Hall attendees who were ‘just showing up to get their faces on local TV’….well, they made good on their promise to not vote for those candidates who were not on board with them. It was not going to be politics as usual, and to the chagrin of those who did not take the American people seriously when they said that they did not like cap-and-trade, health care reform or the Copenhagen climate change conference, they have now learned that the American electorate is not to be “misunderestimated”. The elections last November of Republican governors in New Jersey and Virginia were not flukes and could no longer be blamed on poor campaigns or inept candidates. This is for real.
November elections loom ominously for incumbents. I do not believe that only Democrats will be on the hot seat. Accountability will be very important to the voters. Doing what you say, and saying what you mean. Working on reducing the federal debt to not devalue the dollar and leave the bill for our grandchildren to pay. Cutting the pork out of the budget and getting rid of those earmarks that are nothing more than payoffs for the folks back home…no more $50 million rain forests in Iowa, Sen. Grassley! (how happy are you that one fell through, huh, Chuck?) I do not see anyone at any level of government cruising to an election win in November. For the first time in a long time it will be retail politics in America. You want my vote? Then you are going to have to ask for it and prove that you are worthy of it.
But the American electorate has a great responsibility now as well. We have asked to be heard, and it seems that we have been. Now we need to walk the walk. Research the candidates, show up at their meet and greets, ask questions, and do not be afraid to express your views on issues–no matter how insignificant you think it may be. Then….VOTE…if you are not registered do it. Vote, and make sure your family, neighbors, and co-workers vote as well.
Was the election on Tuesday the second ‘shot heard round the world’ ? A Lexington and Concord redux if you will, without the violence of course? I can not help but thinking that our Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Adams were smiling somewhere on Tuesday evening. They can take particular pride in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that they created some 240 years ago are still living and very practical documents. But more importantly, they did not “misunderestimate” the generations of Americans to follow to maintain the republic that these Patriots devoted their lives to establish. I do not intend to let them down.