Yesterday Democrats suffered a mortifying trouncing in Massachusetts’ special Senate election, in which Republican Scott Brown zoomed from 17 points behind Democrat Martha Coakley in the polls less than two weeks ago to winning by a handy 5%.
As AP reported, “Brown’s victory was so sweeping, he even won in the Cape Cod community where Kennedy, the longtime liberal icon, died of brain cancer last August.”
To be fair, Coakley did manage to capture 84% of Cambridge, Amherst, and Provincetown, which tend to serve as bellwethers for—well, themselves.
Coakley’s complaint that her poll numbers started to drop right after the Senate passed its version of the health care bill on Christmas rang a bit hollow, given that she campaigned vociferously to vote for that very health care bill if elected to Congress.
In the wake of the clear message sent to them by the people of Massachusetts, Democrats are slowly backing away from their suicidal insistence on passing a bill only 33% of Americans favor and that even they don’t like, considering more bipartisan/free-market solutions, and resolving to address healthcare reform in a more piecemeal fashion.
Gotcha! Actually, Democrats are considering a number of insane, Mission Impossible-style workaround strategies to thwart the will of the people and pass their health care bill without a filibuster-proof Senate. These include:
• Forcing the House to pass the Senate bill, word-for-word, with nary a change in punctuation. This option would throw out all of the heatedly negotiated agreements between the two chambers conducted in the past few weeks, including the major union employee exemption to the excise tax on “Cadillac plans.” It would also ignore many of the other differences between the bills for which Democrats in the House say they cannot accept the House version as is, such as language on abortion funding. House Democrat Bart Stupak, author of the Stupak Amendment, reported on Monday that “House members will not vote for the Senate bill. There’s no interest in that.” He added that when the notion was proposed at a caucus meeting among Democrats, “It went over like a lead balloon.” read more »