Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After Massachusetts

Well as feared, Coakley got Coakleyed.

There will be another Republican in the Senate to oppose health care reform and any other major progressive legislation. There will no longer be the magical "filibuster-proof" 60 Democrats in the Senate.

The thing is, I don't think it will matter all that much. Any bill the Democrats pass is still going to be as bad as the 41st most conservative (or 60th most progressive) Senator on any given issue. The difference is that that Senator will now be an actual Republican instead of a Republican dressed up like a Democrat.

Others have guessed, and I'm hopeful, that there could be a significant silver lining to this loss. The Democratic leadership in the Senate might just wake up and realize they need to play some hardball, use reconciliation, and pass health care reform and other important legislation with 51 votes. This could lead to a much better health care bill than we would have gotten otherwise. Think of it, the bill would only have to be as bad as the 49th most conservative Senator instead of the 41st most conservative Senator. That removes Lieberman, Nelson, Lincoln, Bayh, Pryor--all the so-called Democrats who helped water down health care reform--from the equation.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a 59-member Democratic caucus with aggressive leadership than a 60-member caucus waiting around for perfect consensus on every issue while Republicans and lobbyists pick away at them.


Marie said...

You called that one. Good post. I especially liked the last paragraph.

Veronica said...

I like it! Thanks for this post; it makes me feel more optimistic!

Becky said...

I wish I wish I wish you're right. But I fear that your silver lining is not going to happen. I admit, dude, I'm kind of despairing right now.

Dave said...

Yeah... The counter-argument to the silver lining idea is that the Senate Dems will NOT be more aggressive but will actually be more cautious and conservative now. They might make the same old mistake of thinking that a loss means they moved "too far to the left" and it's time to go back to some imagined "middle." There are obviously people trying to pull them that way. Lieberman is saying that Massachusetts means the whole caucus should be "more moderate."

I'm like, Thanks Joe, you've contributed so much. We'd really to like to hear more of your input.

delaine said...

I am so sick and tired of the GOP and their eternal obstructionism ! Can you tell me one substantial thing that the Party of Lincoln has done that showed bipartisanship since Obama was elected? They have no ideas, no constructive suggestions, no moves to compromise. Nada. It's just "No!" all the time.And the Dems do not escape my wrath either! They are in the majority for heaven's sake! Man up and pass important legislation that will address real Americans' lives and problems! Forget that crap about seeking bipartisanship. Don't they get it- Repubs are sitting in the weeds sabotaging their efforts at bipartisanship. Stop the eternal dithering and hand-wringing and get it done! AND for goodness sakes, the election of Scott Brown does not mean all that much. You would think that that one man is singlehandedly going to bring peace to the Middle East, destroy the terrorists,and stop vinyl siding from fading !Get on with the People's Business, all of you! Okay, now I feel better.

Elizabeth said...

I have to say, I'm with Becky here. And I really, really don't think that Majority Leader Reid has the cajones to do anything.

In better news, Glenn Beck is already attacking Scott Brown. What fun!