Tomorrow voters go to the polls to elect a senator to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy and currently filled by an interim appointed Senator.
This is I think a critical election. The Democrats currently hold 60 seats and by the current pansy-assed rules for filibusters need all 60 to get their legislation through. (Filibusters have not been non-stop dramatic speeches on the floor of the Senate as seen in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington for years and years. They are now gentlemen’s’ agreements to require 60 votes, something very different.)
If the Democrats lose this 60th vote Health Care Reform is almost certainly dead.
Frankly if I was forced to place a bet tonight it would be that the Democrats will lose this election. The wind is at the Republicans’ back and even in this bluest of blue states victory is within their grasp. Unlike the special election in NY which was primary a local election, this is state-wide and with broad and clear national implications. A defeat here is a defeat for the liberal agenda and could possibly herald a voter wave that might crash against the party in power in November. (Though November is a long way off electorially speaking.) Maybe even with enough anger and luck the Republicans can take control of the House of Representatives again.
If that happened it would not be the end of the world and the Republicans would have a chance to show that perhaps they have learned some lessons. (I harbor doubts on that front but would be delighted to be wrong.)