Today is the special election to fill the Senate seat left open by the death of Edward Kennedy. This has turned into a barnburner of a race between Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Republican candidate Senator Scott Brown. According to Bloomberg.com, a Boston Suffolk University poll is giving Senator Brown a 4-point lead, which is making for some sleepless nights in the Democratic camp.
The issue at hand is that should Brown win, he has the power to stop, among other things, President Obama’s health care plan legislation. And, in fact, Brown has said that he will vote against the plan should he be elected. The 60-vote Democratic majority is the only thing keeping the Republicans from having some success in scuttling the bill and if Kennedy’s seat goes to a Republican (which it hasn’t in over 50 years), the bill is in significant danger.
Bloomberg.com said, “The Associated Press reported yesterday that the White House and Democrats were discussing a fallback plan in which House Democrats would approve the Senate’s version of the health-care overhaul, in case a Coakley loss gives Republicans enough votes to block consideration of a House-Senate compromise.
“We are not having any discussions like that,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod said in an e-mail message. “We believe she is going to win.”
I’m not accusing the White House of spinning here, but c’mon. You know you’re having talks – millions of dollars and an entire nation’s health care plan is at stake – you’re absolutely thinking about Plan B.
The crux of this entire race, however, is the fact that one Senate seat – one man or one woman – holds this much power over legislation that will affect everyone in the country. I know America is a democracy and the majority rules but it seems like something of this magnitude should not be based on who gets elected in a special Senate race in a rather small state of a vast territory.
Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder . . .