“The upset of the century,” claims George Stephanopoulos of the loss of the Kennedy ancestral seat of Massachusetts in the US Senate. As I write, it is almost certainly lost. With it goes the Democrats filibuster-proof control of the Senate and, despite protestations, health-care reform. The market is already viewing Big Pharma and managed care as winners, while health-care stocks that have risen in expectation of reform look shaky. Wait until the deluge.

But again the great divide is evident. While the mainstream media is busy inventing all manner of reasons for this unthinkable defeat — I expect the poor weather will soon join the list — the net-roots sees this as a simple rejection of the political class that rules the US. Which is why the mainstream media can’t see what’s happening as it, of course, is the ruling political class.

The Kennedy heir Martha Coakley is already ducking bricks, including abuse for forcing President Obama from his desk to pound the Boston flesh when he should be saving Haiti and seeing the health-care package through. But, on the later count, there can be no package without that Senate seat. And the criticism of Coakley is thin. She is but an Attorney-General who was seemingly the right woman for the Kennedy mantle — cut from the cloth of the established establishment — the perfect loser in the current environment of a pox on all your parties. I suspect Kennedy himself might have had trouble holding his seat.

Luckily for the Republicans, who doubted they had a chance at taking a seat Ted Kennedy had held for 47 years, they nominated a nobody called Scott Brown who drove a truck — a fact the Democrats somehow allowed to become an issue. Naturally Brown, equipped with political advisers as the Republicans smelled not blood but a bloodbath, drove at their behest to Wall Street, where he somehow managed to park.

It wasn’t a huge issue but it played well — the message presumably was that sophisticated people from places such as  Boston were not represented by folks who drove trucks. Kennedy sure didn’t drive a truck.

The shell-shocked mainstream media  better get used to it, for there are many shocks to come. That the Republicans had the sense to see “truck” and “Wall Street” and bring the two to one was clever indeed. But I suspect the election was long lost. The scattered polls —  the ones with the little dots that seem the best gauges — already had Brown well ahead. Ten percent and climbing.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican of the grand old party tradition, explained what was happening in a speech he gave this week outlining what he thought of the current political and economic system. I saw no mention of it in the US MSM but it sure made the internet rounds.

“A grand absurdity; a great deception, a delusion of momentous proportions,” said Paul. “Based on preposterous notions; and on ideas whose time should never have come; simplicity grossly distorted and complicated; insanity passed off as logic; grandiose schemes built on falsehoods with the morality of Ponzi and Madoff; evil described as virtue; ignorance pawned off as wisdom; destruction and impoverishment in the name of humanitarianism; violence, the tool of change; preventive wars used as the road to peace; tolerance delivered by government guns; reactionary views in the guise of progress; an empire replacing the Republic; slavery sold as liberty; excellence and virtue traded for mediocrity …

“A central bank that deliberately destroys the value of the currency in secrecy, without restraint, without nary a whimper. Yet, cheered on by the pseudo-capitalists of Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and Detroit.

“We police our world empire with troops on 700 bases and in 130 countries around the world. A dangerous war now spreads throughout the Middle East and central Asia. Thousands of innocent people being killed, as we become known as the torturers of the 21st century.

“We assume that by keeping the already-known torture pictures from the public’s eye, we will be remembered only as a generous and good people. If our enemies want to attack us only because we are free and rich, proof of torture would be irrelevant.”

Scott Brown, the apparent Senator-in-waiting, did not wax with such lyricism.

Indeed he seems as startled by these events as any of the mainstream media. Somewhere between the doe caught in the headlights and Sarah “can this be happening to me” Palin.

And it is happening to people such as Brown and Palin simply because they reflect the nation’s bewilderment at being delivered up to bankers they don’t trust by politicians who have been so shamelessly bought.

In a few hours the Democratic Party will begin its post-mortems and blame will be parcelled out beginning with poor Coakley, whose campaign is already being picked apart by experts in the party that are paid huge sums to do just that. They won’t go near finding the cause for this catastrophe to their party and progressives across America.

This is Ted Kennedy’s seat, for goodness’ sake.

Scanning the Democrat sites, one small thing stood out. As the day wore on and the outcome grew more ominous, the party was desperately appealing for drivers to get voters and take them to the polls. Lotta old folk and the weather was poor. The sites stressed “we have cars” and that all that was needed were drivers. The cars are plentiful but the drivers missing in action.

Tomorrow, as Obama considers his first year in office and surveys the shattered party he led to historic and magnificent victory, he might contemplate that there were drivers and voters a plenty just over a year ago and the Democratic vote smashed the Republicans. Today, cars sit idle while drivers and voters stay home. For some reason those empty cars haunt me.

The message of the Republicans will now be all-out attack on everything Obama and his party are supposed to stand for. Now the Republicans will not be emboldened but pathological in their attacks. But apart from the must-haves, such as  abortion and gay rights, with health care now in grave doubt, what does the party stand for?

The banks?

Last week Obama, or his aides, saw through the glass darkly and called for a tax on Troubled Assets Relief Program monies. For the first time, the party identified the economic problems the nation is facing and the anguish caused by the pillaging of America.

It was not convincing, but it was a start.

The party — both parties are rotten from the head down due to their acceptance of slush from the financial industry — but the Democrats are the ones who will feel the wrath come the mid-term elections, when it seems all the great victories of 2008 will be reversed.

It is obvious to anyone in the net-roots of the party why the battle is being lost. People who once followed Howard Dean but found their home with Obama are again looking for salvation — through Dean. But Dean’s day has gone and he is best suited as an organiser — a vital task.

Someone has to drive those cars.

But someone has to want to get out in the snow and do the job — and they will not fill those cars with voters for banksters.

Perhaps they should have borrowed Scott Brown’s truck.

Peter Fray

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