Yesterday, the people of the Massachusetts, in not their finest moment, replaced the venerable Ted Kennedy, the last Prince of Camelot, with Scott Brown, a Republican. Not since 1972 has that bluest of blue states elected a Republican to the Senate.
All of the pundits that are not on FOX are very clear: this was not a critique of the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, but it was a comment on the continuing frustration of the slow pace of economic recovery and the even slower pace of real change in the lives of everyday people. Basically, the anger at those in power continues, and the people will shift their anger to whoever is in power, Democrats or Republicans.
Why oh why people continue to flip back and forth between two options that have gotten them nowhere fast for a long ass time is beyond me. A year ago, Republicans were evil. This year, Democrats are evil. Wake up people, it's time for a viable third party system in the United States.
But I digress.
What is really annoying the hell out of me is all the woeful tears around health care reform. Oh no! The Democrats have lost their filibuster proof majority. I have a few things to say about that.
1.) The Democrats never had a 60 vote majority. The had 58 votes in their column. There are two independent Senators: Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Idiot Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. That smegma sucking Lieberman demonstrated very clearly during the health care reform debate process that he had no issues with jumping the Democratic ship when necessary or whenever he had an itch in his saggy nuts. Maybe now that the illusion of the filibuster proof majority in the Senate has been shattered, Harry Reid will smile, pat Lieberman on the back, and then strip that bastard of his chairmanship and let him try his luck with the Republicans. Good morning, Joe and fuck you very much.
2) Since when has a filibuster meant death and destruction? Senators have grown soft. Let me tell you a story. Back in 1963, President Kennedy introduced a bill called the Civil Rights Act. At the time, the Senate was controlled by the Democrats and the Democrats were split between Northern and Southern wings. At the time, also, it took 67 votes to invoke cloture and cut off debate, thereby ending a filibuster. Northern Republicans and Northern Democrats felt so passionately about the Civil Rights Act, particularly after the assassination of President Kennedy, that they called the oppositions bluff. Debate on the Civil Rights Act took place, non-stop, for 57 days. But, in the end, justice and patience won out. Enough pressure was applied on those that opposed the Civil Rights act that they caved. This was done both by internal doggedness by bill proponents, and external pressure by the Civil Rights movement.
Yes, indeed. Real change happens when the public demands real change. When oh when will we learn this lesson?
So yes, Democrats, the "easy" passage of the health care reform bill (and what a compromised fiasco it is already) is now out of your grasp, unless you plan on railroading it through before Senator-elect Brown can be sworn in. But passage of the bill is NOT impossible, it just requires your courage, conviction, and commitment. Unfortunately, I believe that he days when Lions walked the Senate halls are dead. Now only angry ghosts and fainting goats leap from hearing room to hearing room, bleating loudly, and falling over at any loud sound.