Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hope and Change comes to Massachusetts

Oh, oh. Massachusetts, that bluest of blue states, has elected its first Republican senator since 1972:
In a victory few thought possible just a month ago, Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley Tuesday in the race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy -- a win that could grind President Obama's agenda to a halt and portend huge losses for Democrats in the November midterms.

(Photo: Fox News)

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, returns show Brown leading Coakley 52-47 percent, by a margin of 120,000 votes. Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy was pulling 1 percent.

The victory marks a stunning upset in a race thought to be safe for Democrats until Brown's campaign began to surge just weeks ago. And it has powerful ramifications for Obama's agenda.

The GOP state senator, once sworn in, will break the Democrats' 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in Washington. This creates problems for proposed legislation ranging from financial regulatory reform to cap-and-trade, but most immediately Brown's win sends Democrats into a scramble to pass health care reform before he arrives in Washington. Democrats were already weighing options for how to fast-track the bill before polls closed Tuesday. ...

Read it here. We'll see what games the Dems play to delay seating Mr. Brown, and whether they’ll try to push through their increasingly unpopular healthcare bill currently pending in Congress anyway. The Dems are already weighing options:
A top Senate Democrat for the first time Tuesday acknowledged that the party is prepared to deal with health care reform by using a controversial legislative tactic known as the "nuclear option."

With Republican Scott Brown seizing victory in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate, Democrats are under pressure to quickly pass health care reform before he arrives -- since Brown will break the party's 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority.

Even before polls closed, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said "there are options to still pursue health care."

Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, outlined a combination of tactics to get what his party wants out of health care reform. ...

During Mr. Brown's victory speech, the crowd started spontaneously chanting "Yes we can! Yes we can!" at one point. Ouch -- I'm sure that smarts to all the committed lefties in the White House. Looks like a small spark of Hope and Change comes to the Bay State. Of course, a Republican from Massachusetts would probably be considered a bleeding-heart liberal Democrat in say, rural Georgia or Texas, or most other parts of the country outside the Northeast or West coast, for that matter.

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