Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The lights all went out in Massachusetts...

Scott Brown has been elected to the Senate:

Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts on Tuesday in what is being called an epic upset for the Democratic Party.

Brown led by 52 per cent to 47 percent with all but 3 percent of precincts counted.

Democrat Edward Kennedy held the seat for almost 47 years before dying of brain cancer in August. Before that, his brother John held it for a decade.

Not only has Brown broken the Democrats' stranglehold, but his win also puts at risk the cause to which Ted Kennedy devoted his life.

Brown has vowed to kill the very thing Ted Kennedy lived for and President Barack Obama dearly covets — a form of universal health care.

Source. This is not good news for the Obama administration, for sure. How dramatic the effects of this are still remain to be seen, but it could get ugly. Of course, Brown won't have a long career, as kos points out:

Either Scott Brown alienates ideologically rigid Teabaggers by casting votes with Democrats in order to shore up his standing at home; or

He votes in lockstep with the rest of his party and becomes the nation's most unpopular senator.

One or the other is inevitable. Maybe both.

Which way this goes probably makes little difference to Brown's chances of getting reelected (slim), but it makes a big difference how damaging this is. If Brown votes against a filibuster, this minimalist health care package might actually be passed before the midterm elections. Unfortunately, I think the other outcome is more likely, and that the package will be delayed until fall, then die entirely when the Democrats lose their majority, as I expect they will.

No comments: