Monday, January 25, 2010

Voting on the Rebound

Playing the Field or Playing for Keeps?

© 2010 Leighann Lord

The voters of Massachusetts have spoken, tossing aside stand-in Democrat Martha Coakley for Republican hottie, Scott Brown. It is nothing less than a Twilight Zonian moment to picture a Republican sitting in the seat that Senator Ted Kennedy held for 46 years. Many are painting this as a referendum on "Obamacare," anger over the economy, and a general anti-incumbent consciousness, but it may not be that deep. Maybe Massachusetts just wanted to get out of the house and play the field.

For better or for worse, what the Democratic Party and the People of Massachusetts had, could be considered a marriage. At the very least it was a long-term, committed relationship, maybe too long. No matter how good a relationship is, it's natural to wonder what else is out there that you might be missing. Even if Marsha – I mean, Martha – hadn't run the worst campaign in Christendom, the citizens of Massachusetts were ready to put on their party shoes and hit the dance floor with just about anyone other than a Democrat. They voted on the rebound and Scott Brown just happened to be there.

Massachusetts was adventurous and vulnerable. Brown was young, sexy and said all the right things. It was pretty much a wrap when he uttered the now infamous, "It's not the Kennedy's seat, it's the People's seat." Hearts and minds were a flutter with all the excitement that new love always promises. And none of the Cyrano de Bergerac's that came to speak on Marsha/Martha's behalf could say anything equally as endearing.

And somehow it all feels vaguely familiar. Is Massachusetts but a microcosmic replay of the 2008 presidential election? Weren't we all (at least 52.9% of us) trolling around with our hearts on national sleeve wanting something, anything different? As Dr. Phil would say: "How's that working for you?"

Fresh and new always feels so much more fun than been there done that, but there are no short cuts to building a good relationship. You can put the work in either on the front end, with a long courtship and vetting process, or on the back end with lawyers and lobbyists. Either way, you will work.

The courtship is over and we are getting to know our President. It's been rocky, but we're working on it. Massachusetts will soon have to do the same with their Senator. The Republicans are probably hoping they can turn this one night stand into something real. Hopefully, The People of Massachusetts won't roll over in the morning and panic; belatedly wondering if anyone thought to wear protection.

Leighann Lord is a standup comedian. January 31 - February 9 she'll be performin for the troops in the Middle East. Check out her other upcoming shows @ Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

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