Imagine for a moment you walk into a bank and standing there are two tellers. One is a very plain bookish looking woman with a tan business suit on who doesn’t smile much, and somewhat resembles Kathy Bates. The other teller is a tall, extremely handsome gentleman, with a winning smile, blue eyes, and looks like this is his side job, when he’s not working as a Chippendale dancer in the evenings. No one is in line at either teller and you have your pick. Who do you choose? If you said the one that looks like Kathy Bates, male or female, you would be in the minority. Most people would choose the Chippendale. This is essentially what happened in Massachusetts this past week when Scott Brown, or as I will continue to refer to him, McSteamy, won the Senate seat that Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy held since 1972. Quite simply, the nation was rocked! The Republicans celebrated! The Democrats did shots of Jagermeister to numb the pain! FOX news held a giant tea party while Glenn Beck tea bagged Bill O’Reilly! It was absolute mayhem! It seemed that with this one election, President Obama’s entire agenda would be in jeopardy! How could this happen? Well, we will get to that in a minute. First let’s ask ourselves, who really is Scott Brown, I mean McSteamy?
McSteamy, born September 12, 1959, was a practicing attorney before winning the senate race in Massachusetts. Before that, McSteamy, at the ripe age of twenty two, won Cosmopolitan magazine's "America's Sexiest Man" contest and appeared nude in the June 1982 issue. Cosmo described him as "strong but huggable." I’m sure Harry Reid has never been described as “strong but huggable,” at least not by anyone except Mrs. Reid. Indecently, doesn’t Harry Reid sound like one of those fake names they give porn stars? (along with John Boehner, John Dingall.) Little known fact, Joe Lieberman was 1982’s sexiest man according to the Boca Raton News. McSteamy, a triathlete, enjoys bicycling, running, swimming, long walks on the beach, sunsets, nice people, and looking in the mirror. He is pro-choice, against gay marriage but favors civil unions. He was initially in favor of the health care bill, but says he now opposes it because most people in Massachusetts have health insurance, and Massachusetts would be subsidizing the rest of the country. Incidentally that seems like a pretty pathetic reason to be against the health care bill. Maybe we shouldn’t help the people in Haiti, after all we didn’t have an earth quake here, and everything is fine. Maybe we shouldn’t give help to the homeless. After all I have a house, don’t you? Actually there are about 64,000 people in Massachusetts with no health insurance. I guess McSteamy does not have a problem with that.
But let’s get back to what this article is really about. How could this happen? How could Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat be ripped away from the Democrats so easily? After all the Democrats held this seat for 48 years! This was a shoe-in! It’s a Democratic state! How could the Democrats loose there super majority in the Senate and put in jeopardy every initiative that the Obama administration wants to achieve over the next three years? Who is to blame for this? Well, before I tell you that, let’s understand that if the only issue here was that the Democrats lost Massachusetts this would not be much of an issue. The real issue here is what this loss was a symptom of. This loss was a symptom of the failure of President Obama to effectively communicate to the American people why he has pushed through the agenda that he has and how it will benefit this country. The Republicans, on the other hand, did a masterful job of communicating a message of fear to the American people. The have the Washington experience and know how to combat any positive initiative that the President has tried to push through. The Republicans have successfully made intelligent rational Americans believe that not being denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition is a bad thing, that removing a lifetime cap on your insurance is a bad thing, that reducing the cost of health insurance is a bad thing, that getting 45 million more Americans who don’t have insurance, coverage for themselves and there families, is a bad thing, and some how they made people believe that giving Americans more choices in health insurance is the same thing as the government is going to control your health care, limit your coverage, and put grandma before a socialist death panel. The President has admitted on television that this year was definitely a learning experience for him on how to play the game in Washington. This is where he failed. In a recent interview after Scott Brown won the election he said that it was much easier to get his message out when he was on the campaign trail but as President it is much more of a challenge. On the campaign trail he communicated with the American people every day because there was always something to combat from the other side. As President he became much more relaxed in his efforts to communicate. He pushed through his agenda but did not communicate why. He pushed through health care but did a terrible job of communicating how it would benefit everyone. He left too many questions unanswered and left the door wide open for the Republicans to fill the void. And fill it they did. The Republicans and the conservative media did a masterful job of communicating why everything that the President was pushing through was, according to them, harmful to our country, even if what they were communicating was not true. The truth did not matter. What mattered was that the only message getting out was the Anti-Obama message and any information that supported what the President was doing was not being communicated. In August, after the Republicans spent a month throwing tea parties and having town hall meetings that resembled WWE wrestling matches that did nothing but spread fear about the Presidents, the President made a speech before a joint session of congress to answer his critics and put health care reform back on track. He said that he would no longer stand for the lies being told and if he hears these untruths being spread any further, those spreading these lies will be dealt with. It was tough talk and sounded like he would finally put those who were spreading fear about health care reform in there place. He sounded like the man we saw on the campaign trail, not the President who had not been communicating to the American people. Then the speech ended, and the tough talk turned into no talk. The Republicans continued to spread there fear, to reinforce there agenda that had nothing to do with benefiting the American people and only had everything to do with returning the Republicans to power at what ever the cost was to the American people, and the end result was Scott Brown stole the seat in Massachusetts away from the Democrats. How did this happen? I’ll tell you how. The President and the Democrats delivered it to the Republicans gift wrapped with a big shiny bow on top. It wasn’t Scott Browns smile, or his truck, or his centerfold, or even the seemingly dissatisfaction of the people of Massachusetts. It was the utter failure of the President and the Democrats to effectively communicate to the American people why health care reform is so important, why we aren’t out of Gitmo today, why we have spent billions of dollars on bank bailouts and how this will benefit all of us. People have a natural fear of the unknown and the Republicans took full advantage of that fear, and they did it like a party fighting for its life, and they were virtually un-answered by the Democrats. The President and the Democrats had all the power, and had absolutely no idea what to do with it. If the President wants the next three years to be successful and hopes to see a second term he needs to re-evaluate how he is conducting his presidency. He needs to be the man that we saw on the campaign trail. He needs to be the man who promised all of us change, who gave us hope, who said yes we can, who promised transparency in government, who made us feel that this presidency will be different from all the others, because if he does not there may not be any health care reform, there may not be any second term, and I may be writing an article about President Palin! Imagine that for a moment.