Hulse Looks on the Democratic Bright Side: Mass. Loss May Be 'A Blessing In Disguise'

Congressional reporter Carl Hulse can be counted on to find the Democratic spin on news, and he reached for reasons for Democratic optimism after the G.O.P.'s stunning victory in Massachusetts in his Thursday "news analysis," "Both Parties Seek Ways to Channel Populist Ire."

The remarkable Republican victory in Massachusetts demonstrated convincingly that the deep populist anger fueling the Tea Party movement has migrated from the political fringe to the mainstream, forcing both parties to confront how to channel a growing mood of public resentment to their own ends.

But just who put the movement on the "fringe" in the first place? Dismissive coverage in the New York Times, for one.

Scott Brown's improbable win was a vivid example of how a candidate with traditional Republican backing - coupled with a strong appeal to activists in the trenches of a grass-roots rebellion - can win even in territory that had been considered out of reach.

Then came the caveats. Here are some excerpts of Hulse's spin:

But it was impossible to judge whether the manner of Mr. Brown's win would become the rule or an exception. National Republicans and the grass roots could easily find themselves in clashes over conservative dogma that ultimately weaken general election candidates.


Amid the day's gloom, Democrats saw opportunity as well. They view the financial regulatory overhaul taking shape in Congress as a way to appeal to Americans angry about their own economic struggles at a time when bankers - widely viewed as the culprits in the financial meltdown - are again reaping huge bonuses. Many Republicans have been resistant to tighter oversight of Wall Street and big banks, setting up a clear contrast between the parties.


Other centrist Democrats said the results in Massachusetts could become a blessing in disguise by forcing Democrats to rein in their legislative agenda and focus on less expansive policies than the health care overhaul now teetering with the loss of the Democratic majority's crucial 60th vote.


Even Republicans privately acknowledged that the redrawn Congressional landscape could hold benefits for the most vulnerable Democrats in November by easing pressure on them to vote as part of a united 60-member Democratic bloc and sparing them from providing decisive votes on contentious issues.

Democrats no doubt will appreciate such breathing room as they try to regain their footing.

The Democrats also no doubt appreciate such supportive coverage from Hulse.