Massachusetts voters have decided, Democrats are losing their filibuster proof majority, Republican Scott Brown will be filling Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat:
Republican Scott Brown won a major upset victory in Tuesday’s special election for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy.
With 89 percent of the results counted, Brown had 52 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, according to the the National Election Pool, a consortium of media organizations including CNN. Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy, a libertarian who is not related to the Kennedy political family of Massachusetts, had 1 percent.
Brown’s victory made real the once unthinkable prospect of a Republican filling the seat held by Kennedy, known as the liberal lion, for almost 47 years until his death from brain cancer in August.
Voters across Massachusetts braved winter cold and snow for an election with high stakes — the domestic agenda of President Obama, including his priority of health care reform.
Brown’s victory strips Democrats of the 60-seat Senate supermajority needed to overcome GOP filibusters against future Senate action on a broad range of White House priorities. Senate Democrats needed all 60 votes in their caucus to pass the health care bill, and the loss of one seat imperils generating that support again for a compromise measure worked out with the House.
In a subdued concession speech, Coakley said she expected a tough assessment of her loss and lots of “Wednesday-morning quarterbacking” after losing a seat held by Democrats for more than 50 years
Democrats are going to scramble now to push through the current health care bill before the new Senate seat will be filled. It will be interesting to watch.
Barack Obama apparently expressed frustration about the results:
Obama has been both “surprised and frustrated” by the race, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
Obama and former President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail over the past three days in an attempt to save Coakley’s campaign, which observers say was hampered by complacency and missteps.
Obama crushed Sen. John McCain in Massachusetts in 2008, beating the GOP presidential nominee by 26 points.
“If you were fired up in the last election, I need you more fired up in this election,” Obama urged a crowd at a Coakley campaign rally on Sunday.
Vicki Kennedy, the late senator’s widow, called on state Democrats to turn out to save her husband’s legacy.
“We need your help. We need your support. We need you to get out there and vote on Tuesday,” Kennedy said. “We need you to bring your neighbors. We need you to bring your friends.”
I usually don’t really care all that much one way or another. I am not a Republocrat. I am happy that the government’s ability to act has been curbed a little more through the Dem’s loss of a filibuster proof majority.
The fact that a major blow to the Kennedy dynasty and its followers has been struck, too, gives me a tiny little boost … because I don’t care much for dynasties.
And I can appreciate the fact that there are some things that I can agree on with Brown:
- Brown’s views are in the libertarian mold, which he describes as “fiscally conservative and socially conscious.”
- Brown opposes a proposed multi-billion dollar tax on banks and prescribing bank executive compensation. Brown, discussing the proposal through a spokesperson, said that “he is opposed to higher taxes, especially in the midst of a severe recession”. He also opposes it on the grounds that the tax would likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher service and ATM fees.
- He opposes the [health] bills approved in late 2009 by the Democratic-lead House and Senate as fiscally unsound. He has remarked, “Our taxes are going to go up dramatically… It’s not good for Massachusetts individuals and businesses.”
Whether all this is true or not, whether he is really going to act upon his supposed “ideas of libertarian mold”, I rather doubt it.
The fact that Obama expresses frustration about this result is rather amusing. For what does he expect to happen after all we have seen over the past year? In fact, he can brace for much worse from his party’s point of view. I pointed out the obvious almost a year ago …
[Obama’]s fundamental misunderstanding on this matter is that he believes these disagreements are nothing but political games. They are not. They reflect sincere and deep-rooted concerns of the direction where this country has headed. They represent the voices of millions of frustrated workers, businessmen, housewives, students, and retirees calling their representatives, jammed fax machines, letters, town hall meetings, and the like. The movement for liberty is not one of political expediency. Its members are not in it for personal, monetary, or political gain. They are in it for true conviction and with all their heart. But on top of that, it is a movement of substance, reason, logic, and sound understanding of historical and economic facts. There is nothing in the world that could change some one’s mind, once one has understood the true blessings of Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness. It is a patient movement. It is not in a rush. It isn’t going away. It will grow stronger year by year. To ignore it would be the biggest mistake Obama could make now.
If he continues doing it, the political retaliation will ensue sooner or later in the next Congressional elections and maybe in the next presidential elections. This is an unnecessary, harmful, and avoidable political gamble.
Whether or not this and other current elections are really being affected in a major way by the freedom movement as opposed to just clueless disgruntled voters, I don’t know at this point. But nonetheless, there are certainly at least a few among them who are beginning to tend toward libertarianism. Every single person we bring over to the pro freedom camp, away from the tyranny camp, is a permanent gain for our movement, for it is impossible to leave truth once you have found it.