Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BTPC's take on Massachusett's newest senator

Here you go, a little candy for the ladies...Massachusetts's newest Senator, Scott Brown. We readily admit, we stopped paying attention to this race a while ago, when it seemed obvious that Brown would win. Once Democratic nominee Martha Coakley's campaign started sniping at the national party, whining about a lack of help and internal memos started being leaked to place blame, it was apparent the die was cast.

As a friend pointed out, watching Coakley's campaign was like watching Inez Tenenbaum's campaign against Jim DeMint(ed). We agree, except there was no red suit and a lot of the folks talked like Mayor Quimby from the Simpsons.

So what does Brown's election mean? As a technical matter, Brown represents the 41st Republican Senator, so if voting goes strictly by partisan lines, the Democrats have lost holding the filibuster-proof majority. The talk is how this shoots down healthcare. I am sure Jim DeMint(ed) is somewhere crowing and singing the lyrics to his favorite Abba tune. That's not altogether a given. A bill has come out of the Senate and it's the House's turn right now. Shit does not have to go back to the Senate, so it could be immaterial that Brown was elected.

As a practical matter, we don't know if it makes much difference. Over the past year, we have seen more than our fair share of chickenshit (opps...we mean Blue Dog) democrats that have been slitting their political wrists to pander to conservatives in their district. As if their asses will not be cooked if the Democrats don't deliver one of the major issues of our time, an issue that was central to their taking control of the White House and Congress. We have said it before and we'll say it again, you can't win as a Democrat trying to be Republican light. Why? Because they can always run someone who is a tea-party supportin', intelligent-design believin', Sarah Palin lovin', and Glenn Beck watchin' true believer to take your ass out. In other words, if healthcare had to go back to the Senate, we believe some of these chickenshits would try their hardest to appeal to the right and it would be the same difference.

And let's not forget, as Ezra Kelin pointed out, all it means is that the Democrats went from having the largest majority of the 70s to having the second largest majority of the 70s.

So if we don't think it matters that much practically, what is it's meaning? For starters, it's created quite the giddiness in the Republican party. I haven't seen this much hyperbole coming from the right in a long time. It's fun, almost quaint. Takes me back to the heady salad days for the Republican party's implosion during the McCain-Palin campaign.

Let's see, since the race was called last night, we've seen some of our Republican friends and neighbors signing up on "Brown for President" Facebook pages (about as telling an indictment of the state of the GOP as you can get), call last night's win "historic" (in what way? Is this another attempt to steal an Obama idea? How'd that work out last time?), heard a lady scream in her best Nascar twang "Yeah...Scott Brown!" at Redbone (as I am sure she was personally very vested in the race), think the best line of his victory speech was "we should be spending money of killing terrorists, not on lawyers here to defend them" (a ridiculous Glenn Beckian-line meant as red meat for the mob, which ignores the reality of what the current administration has done in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention ignoring famous words from the mob's hero, W, that the terrorists "hate us for our freedom" -- which is of course borne from one thing: our laws), read a statement from the man who inherited Senator Thurmond's senate seat crowing how it's an indictment of "backroom, sleazy political deals which amount to bribery" (oh...the irony. And when did SC Republicans start letting Sen. Graham speak again? I thought he was an automatic censure? The elephant people must have been too busy getting their drink on, celebrating the new world order...), and it goes on and on.
We could waste our time pointing out to these folks that the economic problems in this country were created under the Republican's watch, or that the same Republican party held total control of the government recently and didn't even attempt to tackle the biggest domestic issue of the past 50 years in healthcare. We could point out that they are fawning all over a man who actually thinks a line like "In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them," sums up the problems with our country ( is a damn shame a man with this kind of bubble-gum philosophy now holds the seat occupied by JFK, Ted Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge and John Quincy Adams) and is such a simpleton he thinks "check out my daughters, they're available" is a) funny and would be a good line for his acceptance speech into the US Senate or b) not absolutely mortifying for the daughters, but why bother.
Instead, we choose to encourage them to enjoy their victory and partake of the finest meets and cheeses. And while they do that, we can only hope the White House does what Benen reports:

"This is not a moment that causes the president or anybody who works for him to
express any doubt," a senior administration official said. "It more reinforces
the conviction to fight hard." [...]

There won't be any grand proclamation that "the era of Big Government is over" -- the words President Bill Clinton uttered after Republicans won the Congress in the 1990s and he was forced to trim a once-ambitious agenda.

"The response will not be to do incremental things and try to salvage a few seats in the fall," a presidential adviser said.

"The best political route also happens to be the boldest rhetorical route, which
is to go out and fight and let the chips fall where they may. We can say, 'At
least we fought for these things, and the Republicans said no.'"

and that Congressional Democrats follow that lead.

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