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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wave of the future?

There's one clear lesson to be drawn from Democrats winning an open House seat in traditionally Republican district: don't pose on shirtless on Craig's List.

Many trees will be lost and the airwaves jammed with declarations about Democrat Kathy Hochul beating Republican Jane Corwin and a Tea Party candidate in the Buffalo district once represented by Chris Lee.

On the surface, it does appear to be a major blow to the GOP in a district where Carl Palladino beat Andrew Cuomo last year. According to one voter:
“I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.”
And it certainly is a setback to Newt Gingrich's prediction of a GOP wave next year.

But let's not get carried away 18 months before the next election.

It's clear the Paul Ryan Medicare proposal is about as popular as the Hindenburg in a match factory. Witness all of Scott Brown's flip-flops before walking away as a case in point of Republicans cutting their losses.

But never forget that while the GOP may not have much taste for governing, they are campaign whizzes, particularly at making people forget things like the fact they are responsible for a vast percentage of the deficit they now decry.

And treachery is also a favorite campaign tool. After all, they ran last year as the party defending Medicare before Ryan proposed to defund it instead.

So Democrats should raise a glass to Chris Lee and savor this one victory. But they should also be on guard against Republicans slipping things into voters' collective drink next year and pretending Ryan's proposal was a Democratic idea.

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