The unexpected victory by Scott Brown in last week’s Massachusetts special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy last year has cast a pall for the Democrats over tonight’s State of the Union address.

Just a few weeks ago the White House was preparing for what they thought was the guaranteed passage of the president’s health care reform package and the retention of a Senate seat that has been in Democrat hands since 1952.

Well what a difference a few weeks make.

The Democrats not only lost the Kennedy seat but in doing so they may have lost the health care battle.  Scott Brown campaigned on the fact he would be the 41st vote against health care and there is no doubt that he will keep his promise.  In the meantime the Democrats who have been trying to work some back room deals in order to get a bill to the president have been bickering over what to do leaving the president little choice but to go ahead with his first State of the Union speech without the benefit of his key prop.

Now the president is left with trying t convince the American public that we are on the right track despite an unemployment rate that has risen to a twenty-six year high throwing another four million people out of work that has contributed to a rising tide of home foreclosures despite the administration having thrown billions of dollars at the industry in an effort to stem the flow.

Obama will also have to defend his $787 billion stimulus program which has failed to create the jobs or stimulate the economy as promised while running up a deficit that topped $1 trillion last year and will do so again in the current fiscal year.

So what is Obama’s answer to the deficit?  It is to freeze spending except for certain areas that are deemed essential.  This is from a man who previously said that spending freeze’s don’t work.  That’s one thing he has right.  With all the exceptions to the freeze and working from inflated baseline figures the budget will grow while tax revenues continue to lag.

We don’t need a spending freeze, we need spending cuts combined with tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

The Democrats who just a year ago were brimming with confidence and optimism that the 2008 election results would cement their power for decades to come thanks to Obama’s promises of bipartisanship and transparency are now fighting amongst themselves as they watch their health care bill die an ignominious death and face the prospect that they will lose control of the House in November.

For Barack Obama a night that was supposed to be a celebration of his first year in office has turned into a fight to regain the public’s confidence in him and his party.