Scott Brown was recently elected to fill the senate seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy. While Brown has asserted that his victory was the result of anger over Washington gridlock (rather than being about Obama) some are taking his election as a sign. Of course, the sort of sign that it is supposed to be varies based on who you ask.
Some folks see it is a sign that Americans are against the health care reform proposed by Obama. However, this is a rather hasty inference. First, Brown was elected 52% to 47%. If we assume that every person who voted for Brown voted to express their dissent regarding the health care reform and we assume that every eligible voter in Massachusetts voted, then this would mean that only a very small majority of the voters are against the health care plan. Second, even if the previous assumptions are granted this election only reflects the views of the folks in Massachusetts. To infer from this the general view of the American people would be to fall victim to a hasty generalization. It might also be a biased generalization. After all, the folks in Massachusetts already have their own government health care and they might differ in other ways from the general population. After all, the folks on the right have been known to dismiss the East Coast as not being part of the “real America.”
Some folks see this election as a sign that the Republicans are on the way back. On the face of it, this victory (however narrow) is a gain for the Republicans. After all, they have gained one senate seat and have done so in a state that was generally regarded as a Democrat stronghold. However, the Democrat’s loss might be more of a result of Coakley’s rather lackluster campaign and various gaffes she made (including one that no doubt cost her the votes of some Red Sox fans). Ironically, I suspect that one reason that Coakley lost was due to the mistaken belief that the Democrats could not lose in Massachusetts. One of the best ways to lose is to simply assume you will win.
A bit of irony is that the election the Democrats just lost is the result of the Democrats changing how filling such seats worked. In the past, the governor of the state appointed the replacement. However, when a Republican (Romney) was governor the state legislature changed it so that there had to be a special election. As such, the Republicans can thank the Democrats for making their victory possible. Again.
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The future is brighter. Now I don’t have to worry about death panels. And when I get old medicare advantage will still be around. And Nebraska won’t get special treatment. I hate Nebraskans. I look forward to having my policy canceled if I’m hurting Blue Cross’ bottom line. And a bill that was watered down way past being useless will be history.And we probably won’t have to hear Republicans say how much they really want heath care reform. There are plenty of Republicans and Democrats in both Houses who are in drug company and insurance company pockets to scuttle any bill for another century. Nobody in Washington really wants health reform. Let’s admit it and move on.
T. J. Babson says
“The people have spoken, the bastards.”
–Dick Tuck’s concession speech following his loss in the 1966 California State Senate election.
You’ve brought up the people here. I wonder how the good people will react to the Supreme Court decision. They’ve been up in arms all the sudden this past few years because corporations banks and unions have too much power (bigger voice in form of money?). And the good people of the US have too little. Now scotus says unions, corps, banks can plow more money (have a voice in the form of money)into elections) and get even more power. You’d think someone would come out of the corner pissed as an alley cat after this decision. But not likely. I’ve got a lot more to say on this but this has gotten too long.
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” Mencken
Sumbitch beat me to it http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2010/01/21/citizenstea/index.html But this should separate the truly patriotic teapartiers from the lynch Obama crowd. Will the good people will be too confused by their confusing ideological leaders? Is it all about free speech?. You don’t want unions corporations and banks to have so much power and influence? My common sense tells me that a corporation isn’t a person in any way. SC precedent has supported bills like McCain Feingold. Roberts is a big fan of precedent. And the idea that corps etc should be held in check has been backed by scotus for a long time. Now precedent loving Roberts votes against precedent. I’ve got more to say on this sometime.
T. J. Babson says
Your public servants at work…
In an effort to keep their tax increase package intact, Democrats in the Legislature spin some unfortunate semantic skullduggery
One of the more devilish playground tricks played by bullying third-graders is the old switcheroo, as in: “Do you want me to hit you? ‘Yes’ means ‘no,’ and ‘no’ means ‘yes.'” It was a tactic intended to take advantage of confused victims, and it usually worked.
That’s more or less what Democrats on the Joint Ways and Means Committee did late Wednesday, slipping in some language intended to induce or take advantage of voter confusion in hopes of keeping the Oregon Legislature’s recently passed tax package intact.
If you think that’s an exaggeration, listen to a sample of the new language inserted into House Bill 2414:
“A measure referred to the people by referendum petition may not be adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total votes cast on the measure rejecting the measure. For purposes of this subsection, a measure is considered adopted if it is rejected by the people.”
Got that? Do you want me to hit you?
I guess you do have much to say on the topic. The problem is the Constitution and I know that yes, the Founding Fathers had no idea what was to come. It will have to be changed with an ammendment at this point I am sure. I am not too concerned either way as it is the human condition to cheat, push the bounderies, skirt destruction and manipulate to one’s favor. Even with the campaign finance reform that was in place Obama raised 3/4s of a billion dollars. My point is that money can be raised no matter which way this falls and yes, big corporations gave big, even the Union. Votes will be bought on either side no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court. The responsibility lies with us the people and knowing who or what we are voting for.
The second map of the wiki link makes an interesting overlay of the first. Just a different perspective on the all Dem angle of your article.
kern: Yes,I’m concerned. Why? I share Mencken’s faith in the common people. I believe the biggest spenders will always convince more people even if the message is a lie. There’s not much difference between the crap that the public buys in the marketplace and the crap they’ll believe when their parties start shoveling it.Fact is the average voter is no less susceptible than a paper towel purchaser. Because they’ve got their pet issues, their petty peeves and their poor perception to drive them to believe. Before I decided to do something more rewarding I was in education for a few years at the high school level. A fairly small percentage of students I saw demonstrated effective critical thinking skills. NCLB, a bipartisan bill, isn’t solving that problem. Perhaps the Dr has seen a dearth of clear thinking at the college level as well. You’ve got misplaced faith in the voter knowing what he’s voting for. If you’re correct, why did the guy you were against in 08 become president? My fear? We’re likely to get to a point where there is only one party. Likely The Corporate Party since they have the most money. In office, once they’re truly filibuster proof, they can effectively legislate the competition, like unions for example, out of existence. That would be an oligarchy, right? Oligarchy here we come.
08 is but a flicker in time and yes it is my fear too. Let us not say that one party is the corporate party. I do not think that sells anymore. I also do not have total faith in the people but we get what we deserve. I have hope that more people will study the Founding Fathers.
“Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.” –Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789. ME 7:322
Jefferson may have been partially correct. We fought the Civil War. Obama won the 08 election. But I do wonder if he would make the same observation about a far larger media oversaturated and more heterogeneous population. Spread over a much larger territory. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MAP/TERRITORY/1790map.html A population nearly 80 times larger. Ever wonder why federal government is bigger and more cumbersome? We’re bigger. Why doesn’t the corporate oligarchy sell? what’s happened in the last 20-30 years to make you feel so sanguine?