He's No Ted Kennedy
Political Advocacy Tracker is a roundup of what Christian activist organizations have been talking about over the last week.
Massachusetts' Right Turn
Political advocacy groups stayed up late Tuesday night to see that the unbelievable had actually occurred—a Republican had filled the Senate vacancy left by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.
The replacement was painfully ironic for Democrats. Kennedy was a long-time advocate for universal health care, and the election of Scott Brown gives Republicans the one additional vote needed to block Democrat health care legislation.
As the dust settled, Christian advocacy groups interpreted the results.
"This election had nothing to do with Scott Brown or Martha Coakley," said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council (FRC). "It was about our President, who stepped into the Oval Office 365 days ago and made a hard-Left turn so fast that it gave Americans whiplash."
Traditional Values Coalition executive director Andrea Lafferty turned the rhetoric against Obama even higher, saying the campaign "was about Obama's nationalized health care plan, his dishonesty, and all of the liberal shenanigans going on in the House and Senate."
The Liberty Counsel said in a statement that it was not Obama's election that was the revolution; it was this win in Massachusetts that was the real "shot heard round the world."
"The tax and spend, big government, anti-life agenda has been pushed back. ObamaCare has been derailed," said the Liberty Counsel statement. The group predicted that if liberals in Congress don't heed this revolution, they will lose badly in the 2010 general elections.
Chuck Colson of BreakPoint said the key issue was "a paramount moral issue" of over-spending and out of control debt.
"The huge turnout yesterday in Massachusetts expressed citizen alarm that Congress is spending us deeper and deeper into debt, and there's no end in sight," he said. "The Senate race in liberal Massachusetts has citizens saying, 'Enough! We're tired of the government trying to cram its radical—and expensive—plans down our throats.'"
Colson recommends the proposal by Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, in which a blue-ribbon panel would propose changes to Congress, which would then get a straight up-or-down vote on the proposals.
Ashley Home, a policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, gave one of the more colorful analogies to explain the election. "It's like that guy who keeps asking you for a date," she said of the Democratic party's persistent push to pass its agenda. "You keep turning him down politely, until you finally have to just play your mean card and slap him so he'll stop asking. The Massachusetts election result was that slap."
Though conservative groups consistently described Brown as a conservative, he is not a poster boy for the Christian Right. Pro-choice on most abortion questions, Brown was a pragmatic choice for conservatives.
Tom Minnery, senior vice president Focus on the Family Action, said that Brown received support from pro-life groups who were "very astute, very political" because they recognized that even though he was not on their side on all issues, his victory would mean no federal funding of abortions.
FRC's Perkins agreed. "Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views—and, in some cases, openly supported him—because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill," he said. "Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010."