What now on health care? | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What now on health care?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 6:37 AM

The victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts complicates matters, naturally. This says chances of a push for House passage of the Senate bill are diminished.

To surrender after all that's happened seems a mistake to me.

The news emphasis on the notion that Brown's victory meant the end of a Democratic super majority in the Senate seems a little overstated to me. Joe Lieberman is no Democrat and has rarely voted like one. If the Democrats had truly held a super majority in deed, the Senate wouldn't have been paralyzed by Republicans and fellow travelers the last year.

At some point, the question this election raises most pressingly is whether the Constitution has effectively been rewritten to require 60 votes to do anything in the U.S. Senate. For now, this de facto requirement works in the Republicans' favor. But the shoe has been and will be on other feet.

Here's one of many efforts at writing about the message sent by yesteday's vote. My analysis: It wasn't one message, but several. It is a mistake to see any one -- as diehards of whatever that one issue might be -- as decisive. You can't dismiss, either, the importance of the oldest factor of them all -- that one candidate just seemed more likable to the majority of voters than the other.

 


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