Yesterday, Scott Brown (a Republican) defeated a Martha Coakley (a Democrat) for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. The Senate seat was generally known as Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat because Kennedy was the Massachusetts Senator since 1962. I have a number of thoughts on the election. Here they are, in somewhat random order.
- The election of Scott Brown will kill the health reform bill because it will give Republicans 41 Senate seats, enough to filibuster any bill. Most Americans will be grateful, with notable exceptions including those who can’t afford health insurance, those with preexisting medical conditions, and those who are very sick and are being dropped from their coverage by private insurers.
- The election confirmed the adage that Republicans are much better at getting elected than they are at governing. My suspicion is that Republicans are so good at campaigning because they are largely unencumbered by shame (think of Mitt Romney), whereas no matter how hard the Democrats in Congress try, they still let shame get in the way of unadulterated hypocrisy.
- Coakley was up in the polls by 20% a month before the election. It’s pretty clear that Coakley lost in large part because her campaign was “asleep at the switch,” especially since there were no external events in the last month that made much of a difference. It didn’t help that Coakley came across as arrogant and unwilling to do what it took to get elected.
- Scott Brown is a bad choice for Massachusetts. While I disagree with many of his positions, the most important aspect is the fact that he will support the Republicans in the Senate, who are filibustering almost all Democratic initiatives. Brown claims to be his own person, and he will vote against the Republican Senate leadership if he disagrees. Perhaps he is much more independent than all the other Republicans in the Senate, but I doubt it. I dare him to prove me wrong. (OK. If I am wrong, I won’t claim that he accepted my dare.)