It's a good time for me to think about the potential "Brownout" in Massachusetts tomorrow, since my electricity keeps going out under the brunt of the storm blowing in this morning out here on the Left Coast. If the polls are right, Scott Brown is headed for an upset of historic proportions tomorrow in Massachusetts. Someone has rightly said that a Brown victory--especially if by a large margin--would deal a psychological blow to Democrats as large as the Gingrich victory of 1994. But I fear it may also have some unwelcome effects on Republicans.
I have marveled for months now about the political ineptitude of Obama and the Democrats, allowing Republicans up off the mat much faster that anyone might have expected, and faster than the GOP deserved. Reagan essentially threw Democrats off balance for a decade; they really didn't get their mojo back until Clinton in 1992, though they did regain the Senate (very narrowly) in 1986. Obama could have replicated Reagan's performance had he and his party's leadership been more clever about it. Instead their lurch to the left has simply shocked and outraged many independent voters. (Lefty Robert Kuttner takes Obama and his team to the woodshed
for their ineptitude in the Huffington Pos
The hazard for Republicans, though, is that a Brown triumph and the backlash it heralds will make them intellectually lazy, and lead to breaking off the hard work of revitalizing the party's leadership and ideas. If Republicans think they can just coast back into power by sitting back and exploiting Democratic mistakes, they will do themselves, and the country, no favors.
Now, where did I put my candles?