In the wake of what some of my friends are calling the "Massachusetts Miracle," the Democrats are now acknowledging the widespread voter anger that has been at their very doorstep for a year now but which they've chosen to either ignore, dismiss or criticize as the ravings of a racist, zenophobic fringe group. Lest you think, however, the results and analysis of the special election have resulted in a little humility and self-examination on the part of the Democrats and their leaders, think again. The stream of words coming out of Washington to explain the Brown win runs fast and deep, but the central theme is unmistakable.
They think we're stupid.
As a public service, allow me to translate for you what their statements really mean so you'll get my point.
Obama: "People are angry and they are frustrated...Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
Translation: "I'll blame George Bush. That always works!"
Us: Blaming Bush is getting really old, really fast. We didn't get "angry" and "frustrated" until you started spending our tax dollars like a teenager with Daddy's credit card. You're the one who ran up the largest one-year deficit in history. You're the one who promised us jobs with all this spending, only to see unemployment rise to 10 percent. You're the one who wants to spend even more on this huge health bill. We keep saying, "Stop spending!" and you're not listening to us.
How about this one?
Obama: “If there’s one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.”
Translation: "They obviously haven't been listening to my awesome speaking voice telling them what to believe because, if they had, they'd fall for me just like they did in 2004 and 2008."
Us: Are you kidding? You've given 411 speeches or remarks, including two prime time speeches before joint sessions of Congress, 42 news conferences, 158 interviews and held 23 Town Hall meetings. Can you say "overexposure"? You're like the American tourist overseas who thinks the natives will understand you if you just speak louder and slower. We hear you, Mr. President - we just don't like what you're saying.
Scott Brown campaigned on a promise to stop the health bill - remember, I don't use the words "care" or "reform" because it's neither. He was clear and unequivocal on that point, and every voter in Massachusetts understood his intentions. Exit polls revealed that opposition to the Democrats' health bill was key to his victory. How does Obama respond to the clear rejection of his health agenda from a state that clearly understands the issue, thanks to their own floundering experiment with universal health coverage?
Obama: "Well, here's what I know is that when they actually find out what's in the proposals for insurance reform, for making sure that we're making health care more affordable, those specific provisions are actually very popular."
Translation: "I'm going to pass something - I don't care what these idiots think. I'm smarter than they are. Besides, I'll go down in history as the one who finally got health care done. I can rub it in Bill and Hillary's face that I did it when they couldn't."
Us: Hello, McFly? You're either arrogant or delusional. We already know what's in the bill. We've probably read it more than you or your cronies in Congress. We've had months to analyze this thing from every conceivable angle, and guess what? WE DON'T WANT IT!
What did we say when we kicked Martha Coakley, the Kennedy heir apparent, to the curb? WE DON'T WANT IT!
What was our message in Virginia and New Jersey when we threw out Democratic governors and replaced them with Republicans? WE DON'T WANT IT!
Now you know what they're really thinking when they try to inundate you with words.
The truth is the health bill is an essential step toward the liberal Holy Grail of single-payer health care, and they're afraid if they can't get it done with a Democratic President, and both houses of Congress under Democratic control, they'll never get it done. That's a bitter pill for them to swallow.
Don't expect them, then, to change course unless enough of them value their coveted positions in Washington more than being enshrined in the Liberal Hall of Fame.
We don't need a translator for our message to Washington, a message we need to repeat over and over again for the next several months so they can't say they didn’t hear it:
"If you pass this garbage heap of a health bill, instead of starting over and letting free people and free markets achieve real health care reform, we will send you home in November - bank on it."