For anyone interested in fiscal responsibility, limited government and a marketplace economy, the Massachusetts election results of Jan. 19 were nothing short of epic. That's when a little-known, pickup-driving Massachusetts state senator named Scott Brown rode a wellspring of populist anger to a stunning upset in winning the late Ted Kennedy's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
Democratic operatives immediately blamed the defeat of the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley on her lackluster campaign, but Massachusetts is a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1. It's a state where every statewide office is held by a Democrat, and a state Barack Obama carried in November 2008 by a 26-point margin.
Despite all the attempts by the Washington spin machine to distance the White House from the stunning election result, it's crystal clear that Brown's victory was in large part a referendum on Obama, his Democratic majority in Washington and their over-reaching plans to regulate and legislate the U.S. economy into the ground.
Just one month ahead of the election, Coakley, an extremely popular in-state candidate, was polling 20 points ahead of Brown. But voters had watched as the legislative majority had consistently dismissed clear popular opinion against climate-change legislation, unchecked spending, health care reform and national security concerns. The final straw came when Obama and the Congress — after having promised voters transparency — instead retired behind closed doors to scheme backroom deals to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in payoffs for legislator votes and the support of special interest groups.
The public had had enough.
There is no bluer state in the U.S. than Massachusetts. The election's message is that, come November, no politician will be safe — anywhere in the nation — if he or she continues to disregard the will of the people.
Thank you, Massachusetts!
A new team member
It's my pleasure to introduce Scott Laudert, PhD, as a new BEEF magazine columnist. Laudert, a native of Fargo, ND, where he was raised on a small grain and livestock farm, served as a Kansas State University Extension livestock specialist from 1981-1988 conducting numerous field research projects in feedlot cattle nutrition and management.
He then served 20 years with Elanco Animal Health as a beef cattle technical consultant before retiring on Dec. 31, 2009 to hang his shingle as a beef cattle technical consultant based in Woodland Park, CO.
For BEEF, he'll be producing a monthly column on cattle industry research that you won't want to miss. His first column appears on page 17 of this issue.