Wake Up Call To Democrats: GOP Wins Senate Seat In Massachusetts
“If the Democrats run for cover, if we become pale carbon copies of the opposition, we will lose-and deserve to lose. The last thing this country needs is two Republican parties.” said Ted Kennedy in 1980.
In an incredible upset, Republican Scott Brown easily coasts to victory over Democrat Martha Coakley to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who held the seat since 1962 until his death in 2009.
Ted Kennedy, probably rolling over in his grave, was a champion of health care reform. Scott Brown’s election will likely complicate efforts to pass reform as Senate Democrats will now have 59 members, one shy of a super majority, a luxury they enjoyed since Minnesota’s Al Franken was seated in July.
Beyond health care, the Democrats entire agenda for 2010 will need to be re-evaluated. In a deeply partisan Washington, DC, climate change legislation and financial reform will now need the support of Republicans. Brown campaigned in opposition of the Democrats major legislative priorities.
Scott Brown will be the only Republican member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and the only Republican Senator representing the liberal northeast.
Democrat Party Chair, Tim Kaine, released the following statement:
“It goes without saying that we are disappointed in tonight’s result. There will be plenty of time to dissect this race and to apply the lessons learned from it those to come this fall – but in the meantime we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the America people and we will redouble our efforts to lay out a clear choice for voters this November.”
Republican Party Chair Michael Steele said:
“Now that the people of Massachusetts have made their choice clear, the Senate must move quickly to seat Senator-Elect Brown so that the people have their chosen representative in the Senate as soon as possible. Over the past year, independent voters in Virginia, New Jersey and now Massachusetts have made their voices heard by sending a clear message that they’ve had enough of the binge spending and government-growing agenda coming from Washington – Democrats everywhere are officially on notice.”
A spokesperson from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office said the earliest Scott Brown can be sworn in is Wednesday, February 3rd.
Democrats could try to hastily pass health care reform before then, but they risk upsetting voters by appearing like they have little disregard for the process and the outcome in Massachusetts.
You can follow Leigh Ann Caldwell on Twitter