Much could be said about the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, and, of course, much is being said. Will Democrats see it as a wake up call to slow their health care reform rush or as an indicator to accelerate to ramming speed? Is a solid Republican win in Massachusetts — a Blue State of Blue States — simply a matter of local politics or a true indication of national public mood?
Well, let the political news mags and blogs hammer all of that out. For now, I think I’ll pass along a note from the WSJ’s James Taranto that, I think, highlights just how unstable popular election-based governments can be:
One obvious lesson of yesterday’s result is that there is no such thing as a permanent majority in American politics. Democrats should have learned this lesson in 1994; if they did, they had forgotten it by 2008. Republicans surely learned it recently enough to remember.
Consider how quickly things turned bad for the Republicans, and how bad they turned. In 2004, the GOP picked up six Senate seats, knocking off Tom Daschle in South Dakota and winning five open seats, all in the South, where Democrats were retiring. (The net gain was four seats, since Democrats picked up open seats in Colorado and Illinois.) The GOP had a 55-seat majority in the 109th Congress.
Imagine if we had told you on Nov. 3, 2004, that the Republicans would not pick up another Senate seat until 2010. It would have been hard to believe, right? Now imagine if we had added that the seat that finally ended their slump would be the one held by Ted Kennedy. The only crazier thing we can think of is if we’d predicted on Thanksgiving 2009 that the New York Jets would make it to the conference championship.
I don’t have time to discuss here the many government-related issues this topic really does touch (and I mean that in the broadest terms, not just concerning civil government but church government, as well, and other similar structures). But I thought (as I frequently do) that Mr. Taranto’s observations were worth sharing.
I’m just thankful that a time is coming when the burden of government will rest on one perfect set of shoulders (Isaiah 9:6) and the flip-flops of a fickle humanity will be a thing of the past.