Jan 202010

Scott Brown, the Republican candidate, appears to have won the special Senate election in Massachusetts.

Predictably, there is over-hype from the right (‘Healthcare reform is dead! Yay, woo, a victory against creeping socialism!’) and under-hype from the left (‘These things are vastly complicated, the rest of American still wants healthcare reform, this election is not indicative of the true feeling of blah blah blibbity blee.’)

When Scott Brown is seated, the Senate Democrats will no longer have their 60-member supermajority, which as far as I’m aware was what they were counting on to pass their obese and unwieldy healthcare bill. So yeah – maybe that bill is dead.

Unless they decide to hold their vote before Scott Brown is seated. And Harry Reid won’t agree to seat him until the Mass. Secretary of State has certified Brown as the winner. And as we all remember from Election 2000, certifying a winner can be a long and thorny process fraught with much concession and recantation and fro-ing and to-ing and suing and accusations of fraud and faulty paper ballots (paper ballots? really?) and HEY LOOK, it’s the Supreme Court, and Katherine Harris’s political career is over forever, poor woman, through no fault of her own.

So maybe that bill isn’t dead.

The only genuine effect Scott Brown’s victory has had, as far as I can tell, is that it’s been great for morale on the right, and pretty bad for morale on the left (however much they downplay it).

But it’s one Senate seat in a special election won against a dreadfully unpleasant Democrat candidate in a state where they’d had the same self-important blowhard in charge for almost 40 years. While that’s Change the people of Massachusetts Can Believe In, I’m sceptical of claims that it’s a reely reely big deel y’all, TEA PARTY REVOLUTION!

But I’ll happily eat my words if I’m wrong.

P.S. It’s getting harder and harder for me to comment on American politics without descending into silliness.


H/T Hillbuzz.

  One Response to “Hmm”

  1. The election of Scott Brown, while a great embarrasment to Obama and the Democrat majority in Congress, ultimately will turn out not to be the sea change that Republicans are gleefully predicting. The people in Massachusetts didn’t like the healthcare bill because the state already has a healthcare system, and the cost of the proposed national plan would result in state residents paying for the state plan as well as the national plan. Like for other Americans, premium cost reduction is the top healthcare priority, not expanded coverage. Obama and Congress put disasterously expsensive expanded coverage as the top priority. Most of those who voted for Brown cited government spending as the big bugaboo, and of that, healthcare is only one element. Most of the voters in Massachusetts still are liberal, but concerned with government debt, as they were during the Clinton administration. By November, most Americans–the collective attention span of whom is about 2 days–will have long forgotten Scott Brown. If the Republicans in November still are counting on the impact of the Massachusetts senate election to throw the Democrats out of Congress, they could be greatly surprised. Not that it matters, because the self-serving Republicans are no better than the self-serving Democrats. It’s time for a revolution.

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