Vacation, but still paying some attention
As we’re attempting to relax in Mexico, trying to get maximum value from our hotel’s “kid’s club", I had the good fortune to watch Scott Brown’s acceptance speech last night. I was impressed with his intelligence, his sense of humor, his apparent independence. He struck me as a man who intends to run for President in the not-too-distant future, like a smarter, more experienced, conservative version of Barack Obama.
Since I’m on vacation, I’m going to keep this short.
The big short-term questions are: How soon with Massachusetts sent the “appropriate paperwork” to DC so that Brown can be seated? And will the Democrats try to pass some sort of health care bill requiring both a House and Senate vote before then?
If the latter seems likely, what procedural moves can Senate Republicans use to delay the process until Brown is seated? That said, I think it’s extremely unlikely that the Senate would be able to vote prior to Brown’s being seated, especially with Senator Webb (D-VA) and Senator Durbin (D-IL) saying the Senate should not vote until after Brown is seated.
And if it seems that a Senate vote prior to Brown’s being seated is not possible, will Pelosi try to get the House to just pass the Senate bill? House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is already saying the Senate bill is better than nothing. He knows it isn’t in terms of health care and economics, but the political truth is unusually coming from the forked tongue of Obama’s political advisor David Axelrod. From Politico.com:
“I think that it would a terrible mistake to walk away now. If we don’t pass the bill, all we have is the stigma of a caricature that was put on it. That would be the worst result for everybody who has supported this bill.” He said the administration will work with Capitol Hill to figure out how.
It’s not at all clear the House would pass the Senate bill, with various interest groups, even on the Democratic side, having some objections, in particular the “Bart Stupak group” of pro-life Democrats. I don’t think the far left who want a public option will vote against it because they realize this bill is the first step toward their desired government takeover of health care. But the Massachusetts election is a massive wake-up call.
If the Democrats jam this bill down America’s throat, America’s anger will turn from a roughly equal balance of anti-Democrat and anti-incumbent to almost entirely anti-Democrat and I would think the GOP would then have a 50/50 chance of winning back control of the House, and maybe a 20% chance of winning back the Senate.
In the medium term, I expect to see quite a few more Democratic retirements.
Congratulations to Scott Brown. He’s the sort of “hope and change” that America needs, rather than the hapless anti-capitalist Manchurian Candidate that so many naive voters elected 14 months ago.
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