Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Upset in Massachusetts?

I now think that GOP insurgent Scott Brown will upset Democrat Martha Coakley in this Tuesday's primary. What was unthinkable a month ago, a Republican winning the late Senator Kennedy's seat, has now become a real posibility. Why? Aside from Coakley running a very poor campaign as evidenced by her calling Red Sox pitching star Curt Schilling a Yankee fan, it has become apparent that President Obama's health-care plan has lost its popularity in bluest Massachusetts. After all Massachusetts voters have been living with an earlier version of Obamacare for the past few years and are not all that happy with it. Further exacerbating the situation was the backroom deal with organized labor exempting labor union members and government employees ( a redundancy) from the tax on Cadillac health plans through 2018. For all of the talk of CSPAN visibility during the 2008 campaign, Obama has lost his good government gloss by getting to caught up in the dealmaking ways of the Capitol.

However there is a more subtle reason why Scott Brown will likely win. Just as in New York City, where the electorate showed their resentment to Mayor Bloomberg changing the rules to allow him to run for a third term by reelecting him by the slimmest majority, Massachusetts voters will rebel against the party sachems for changing the rules to allow Paul Kirk to temporarily take Senator Kennedy's seat by appointment rather than election. The Senate Democrats needed a 60th vote quickly. They got it, but they will now pay for it by losing it in an election.

To be sure Brown is running in the bluest of blue states, but I remind you that in another blue state, goodie two-shoes Minnesota, wrestler Jesse Ventura surprised all of the pundits and was elected governor. That's why it is not a stretch to visualize the former Cosmo nude model to be sitting in the U.S. Senate.

On the talk shows today all of the pundits were focusing on the implication for Obamacare in the Senate should Brown win. They are all myopic as usual. Should Brown win, Obamacare will lose its majority in the House! A Senate loss in Massachussetts means that House Democrats have very few safe seats in 2010.

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