Scott Brown`s Massachusetts Massacre: The Unspoken Race Dimension



See also

Today`s Letter: MIT
Graduate Reader Says Race (Etc.), Not Income, Determined
MA Vote


Scott Brown`s stunning victory
over

Martha Coakley
is filled with national implications.
Of course, what makes his win so dramatic is that
Massachusetts is one of the
bluest
states
in the country. Brown underlined this in his
victory speech when he said
"When there`s trouble in Massachusetts, rest assured, there`s trouble
everywhere, and they know it."

Democrats control Massachusetts`
entire Congressional delegation and Obama won the state
with a 26% margin in 2008. That a Republican can now win
a statewide election by over five points is truly
remarkable.

But if the GOP is to learn any
lessons about this election, they need to look at what
really makes Massachusetts different.

Massachusetts is blue—but it is also
still White. According to Census

estimates
, 79.2% of the population is White, 8.6% is
Hispanic, 7% is Black, and 5% are Asian. In

2008 exit polls
, Blacks made up 9% of the electorate
(probably disproportionately high because of the Obama
effect), whites made up 82% and Hispanics and Asians
both made up 3%.

While no one took exit polls on
Tuesday night, it is a very safe bet to assume that
Whites made up an even greater percentage of the
electorate this election than they did in 2008. Brown
won by getting huge numbers of white independents and
white Democrats to shift the GOP.


Whites
are the
only


swing voters
in America. There is not, in fact,
"trouble
everywhere."
Democrats do not need to worry about
losing in

Detroit
,
DC,
or

Atlanta
.


William F. Buckley
famously

quipped
that he would rather be governed by the
first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the
2000 members of the faculty of

Harvard University.
But even the random white names
in the Boston phone book would normally have voted
Democratic. In 2008, Barack Obama won 59% of the white
vote in Massachusetts and John Kerry won 64% to retain
his senate seat. In contrast, only 43% of whites
nationwide voted for Obama.

However, aside from the Harvard
professors, most of the white Democrats in Massachusetts
are not liberals who are tied to the party out of
ideology. Rather, they are

Irish ethnics
and

union members
wedded to the Democratic machine for
cultural reasons. These people were

rioting
when blacks were bussed into their

schools
, but they

still voted
for Ted Kennedy.

Republicans will never win the Harvard
professors over. But they can win over the white ethnics
and Union members, as Reagan and Nixon did in their
landslide reelections. Scott Brown did an outstanding
job appealing to this demographic. His campaign became
synonymous with his GMC Canyon pickup with 200,000 miles
on the odometer. As Peggy Noonan

noted
, "He is
a regular guy, looks like an American."

Coakley made it clear she was with the
Harvard professors, not the phone book, when she
insulted Brown for shaking hands outside Fenway Park,
called Red Sox hero and Brown supporter

Curt Schilling a
"Yankee Fan,"
and said that the American people
were wrong on Health Care.

But as much as the national
Democrats want to put all the blame on Coakley, Brown
would not have been able to win were it not for the
enormous unpopularity among Barack Obama among whites.
And we cannot forget that Obama`s fall from grace among
whites
began
when he sided with black Harvard Professor
Henry Gates against

Irish-American Cambridge Cop James Crowley.

On July 22, when Barack Obama`s
approval ratings among whites was still well above 50%,
he said Crowley "acted
stupidly
"
in arresting black Harvard Professor

Henry Louis Gates
for disorderly conduct and
suggested that

racial profiling
was involved.

Only 20% of whites believed Obama`s
comments on the incident were appropriate and his
approval ratings immediately plummeted among them.

Obama has not held a press
conference since.

Brown made absolutely no comments on
Gatesgate or any other racial issues. But MSNBC
mudslinger

Keith Olbermann
still

called him
a
"racist"
and
"reactionary"
because he accepted support from the
Tea Party movement, which Olbermann is
"the saddest
collection of people who don`t want to admit why they
really hate since the racists of the South in the
sixties insisted they were really just concerned about
states`
rights
."
[Olbermann:
Scott Brown`s A `Homophobic, Racist, Teabagging
Supporter of Violence Against Women`
,

NewBusters.com, January 18, 2010]

Olbermann`s comments actually have an
indirect relationship with the truth. With the
Democratic nomination in 2008 between a

black man and a white female
and then Barack Obama

appointing that woman
as Secretary of State, an

African American as Attorney General
, and a

Hispanic Woman
as his first Supreme Court Justice,
white men are legitimately concerned.

As
Donny Deutsch
said, appearing on the same TV show as Peggy Noonan:

"[Brown] is a traditional looking middle-aged white male. We`re going back to
basics. You know, we obviously have our first
African-American president, we`ve had the female
candidates and what not. You look at him, he looks like
the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate."

No doubt some voters were indeed happy
to go "back to
basics"
with Brown.

Furthermore, there is an unspoken but
obvious racial dimension aspect to Obamacare: it is not
just an increase of government power and spending—it is
also a transfer of that spending from whites (who are
the main benefactors of Medicare benefits that will be
cut; and of course the bulk of taxpayers) to minorities
(who make up over half of the uninsured.)

As the white share of the
population of the country continues to decline, there is
only one way for the Republicans to get back into to
power: to win the James Crowley vote in Massachusetts.

And while voters may have told
pollsters that health care was the number one issue in
this campaign, Republicans should not think that
parroting the

Club for Growth talking points
is going to be a
consistent winner among this demographic. While these
people opposed Obamacare, they also oppose free trade
and support tougher regulations on Wall Street.

There are two issues that James
Crowley voters are most at odds with the Democratic
Party:
immigration
and

affirmative action
. Scott Brown did not mention
affirmative action. He took a pretty strong position
against illegal immigration in his platform, but did not
make it a campaign issue (although he seems to have used
it in his

push-polling
).

Martha Coakley`s weakness and public
opposition to Obama made it possible for Brown to win by
making populist appeals with free market economics. But
this will not work in every election.

If Republicans

want
to make Brown`s takeover of the James Crowley
vote permanent, they need to make opposition to
mass
immigration and affirmative action
the centerpiece
of their agenda.

"Washington Watcher" [email
him
] is an anonymous source Inside The
Beltway.