A chill wind that blows no good for Democrats
Barack Obama is scrambling to salvage his agenda after humiliation in Massachusetts,
SUDDENLY sapped of political confidence, the White House and Democratic Party leaders on Capitol Hill were last night pondering their options for keeping healthcare reform and other key policy priorities alive in the wake of the stunning, upset victory by Republican Scott Brown in the special senate election in Massachusetts.
Their most urgent assessment involved the damage done to the healthcare effort. Even though the Democrats will still have a 59-41 majority in the Senate, the loss of the Massachusetts seat deprives them of the so-called super-majority of 60 seats that makes filibustering, or delay tactics, by the Republicans impossible.
Yesterday was a day of glee for Republicans, who now have a real opportunity to complete the mission they embarked upon months ago -- to stop healthcare reform in its tracks. To call Democrats glum, meanwhile, would not adequately describe their shock. It was all the more sobering that the setback came in Massachusetts and involved a seat that had been held by a Kennedy almost without break since 1953.