Now it’s people who are afraid of majority rule and want to avoid it.
|By: letsgetitdone Wednesday January 20, 2010 12:19 am|
Well, it’s official, or pretty official anyway. Scott Brown has been elected to Teddy Kennedy’s old seat and Martha Coakley has conceded. Some Democrats are blaming Coakley for running an inept campaign, and this may well have accounted for Brown’s margin of victory. But the real question is what allowed him to get close at all. The theory I subscribe to says that the Massachusetts special election for the Senate became nationalized around the pending health care reform bill. Brown dubbed himself the 41st vote against it, and Coakley obliged by calling herself the 60th vote for it, and also, in doing that, reneged on her strong pro-choice position taken in the primary, and then reinforced the narrative that she was part of the industry bailout team by interrupting her campaign to go to a fund raiser in which health care and Pharma industry lobbyists and contributors were prominent. Coakley was clueless about the strength of the anti-Wall Street feeling out there, just as her leader Barack Obama has been. Hopefully, the White House bubble has now been pierced and the President recognizes that an electoral disaster is pending unless the Administration can align against Wall Street and for Main Street. But whether he has or not recognized this, he now surely knows that the 60 votes in the Senate to pass critical legislation he favors, including health care reform, are not likely to be there on Party line votes. So, either he must work on a bi-partisan basis, not a good prospect with this band of Republicans, or he, along with the Senate leadership, must find a way around the 60 vote requirement in the Senate.
|By: letsgetitdone Wednesday September 2, 2009 10:54 pm|
This past Sunday, the New York Times ran an editorial supporting the plan of some Democrats to use the reconciliation procedure to by-pass a filibuster of health insurance reform in the Senate by Republicans. Reconciliation requires only 50 votes from Senators plus an additional tie-breaking vote from the Vice-President to pass in the Senate. To have the Times taking this position was not, in itself, surprising. But the editorial agonized an awful lot over the contemplated move by the Democrats, and it is worth commenting on various aspects of this agonizing over the Democrats using reconciliation.