Massachusetts has traditionally been a very blue state. Just five of its 40 state senators hail from the GOP. Republican governors have supported abortion and gay rights, and no Republican has been elected to the Senate since 1979. But Scott Brown—currently closing the gap in his race against Attorney General Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat—is a real red-meat conservative. He supports waterboarding, is a climate-change skeptic, opposes gay marriage, and favors trying terrorists in military courts. Why isn’t he being trounced? Massachusetts voters are becoming more independent, and independents—nervous about health care and bailouts—are getting more conservative. But whether Brown triumphs or not, the GOP wins. If Republicans can come this close in “The People’s Republic of Massachusetts,” just imagine what they can do in real swing states like Colorado and Nevada.