Politics doesn’t normally infiltrate these pages, but sometimes the news is too potent to ignore. The upset election last night of Scott Brown as the Bay State’s U.S. Senator certainly fits the bill. Indeed, Republicans are a rare bird in Massachusetts, but they’re slightly less unusual today. Meanwhile, the ramifications for economic policy, healthcare and some other issues swirling about in Washington are suddenly ripe for rethinking.
One election can sometimes mean a lot, although it remains to be seen if the hype surrounding last night’s upset lives up to the reality of life in Washington. In any case, rest assured that the fourth estate, the politicians, economists and the blogosphere will be spilling copious amounts of digital ink over the implications for weeks to come. Meanwhile, a few of the early speculations on what it all means…
“This is a giant wake-up call,” said Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in Virginia last year. “We have to keep our focus on job creation. Everything we have to do is related to job creation. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”–The New York Times
Most immediately, Brown’s win Tuesday over Martha Coakley to replace the late Edward M. Kennedy will deprive Democrats of a filibuster-proof Senate majority. That could kill the Democrats’ effort to revamp health care unless House Democrats reluctantly embrace a previously passed Senate version that many of them dislike.
–The Washington Post
Republican Scott Brown’s startling victory is a “catastrophe” for President Obama’s agenda and a wake-up call to pols from Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill that the political landscape is shifting under their feet, experts said.
The most immediate challenge facing Democrats after Republican Scott Brown’s victory is how to salvage healthcare legislation now that they no longer have the 60 votes needed to break GOP filibusters.
Republican candidate Scott Brown has won the race to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts and, as I wrote earlier today, this does not bode well for the clean energy and climate change legislation currently being considered in the Senate.
Finally, here’s what Scott Brown says on some key issues, via his web site…
I believe that all Americans deserve health care coverage, but I am opposed to the health care legislation that is under consideration in Congress and will vote against it. It will raise taxes, increase government spending and lower the quality of care, especially for elders on Medicare…
I am a free enterprise advocate who believes that lower taxes can encourage economic growth. Raising taxes stifles growth, weakens the economy and puts more people out of work. Our economy works best when individuals have more of their income to spend, and businesses have money to invest and add jobs. I have been a fiscal watchdog in the state legislature fighting bigger government, higher taxes and wasteful spending….
I support common-sense environment policy that will help to reduce pollution and preserve our precious open spaces. I realize that without action now, future generations will be left to clean up the mess we leave. In order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, I support reasonable and appropriate development of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and improved hydroelectric facilities. I oppose a national cap and trade program because of the higher costs that families and businesses would incur.