Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Why (Sadly) The Election of Scott Brown Really Means Nothing

There are two things that are making me crazy about yesterday’s election of Republican, Scott Brown, to the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly occupied by Ted Kennedy.

First, of course, is the very fact that those idiots in Massachusetts voted in a Republican.  Especially a Republican committed to blocking healthcare reform of any kind. 

What the fuck happened to the Massachusetts I know and love?  The shitty healthcare deal on the table right now is the direct result of Republicans like Brown interfering with it and getting their twisted way.  The idea of adding more bad-will to the already tainted mix is just depressing.

That said, the second thing making me crazy about the Brown election is the idea that his victory means something significant regarding Obama’s ability to get difficult bills passed through the Senate. 

Yes, without a doubt it means that the hallowed 60/40 majority is no longer in effect.  But let’s be honest, folks – what exactly has Obama done to take advantage of that unstoppable 60/40 majority thus far?  The Democrats have achieved pretty much nothing of any worth during Obama’s first year in office.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are still ongoing, as illegal and as unjustified as ever, only now there has been a brand new troop surge, intensifying the war, and extending it across the Afghan border into Pakistan.

The banks were given billions of dollars with absolutely no strings attached.  People continued to lose their homes, their jobs, and meanwhile the banks are bouncing back into excessive profit – producing multi-thousand dollar bonuses for their executives whilst continuing to offer no credit to the poor.  What happened to helping Main Street instead of Wall Street?  What happened to regulating the banks?

And what happened to that commitment to the environment we heard so much about on the campaign trail?  Copenhagen, mainly due to U.S. opposition and wrangling, was a disaster.  And where are all those “green” jobs Obama promised?  For that matter – where are all the jobs Obama promised?  You know, the ones that would be paid for by raising the level of income tax for those earning $250,000 and above?

Why has the PATRIOT ACT not been repealed?  Why is Guantanamo still open?  Why have basic human rights not been restored to America?

And healthcare.  Well, let’s talk about healthcare, shall we?  How a President, voted in on a mandate of change – specifically regarding healthcare reform – and with a majority in both houses, in a country where, according to ALL available polling data, single-payer, universal healthcare was the most popular choice and number one demand of its citizens, still managed to come away from negotiations with a gutted, ball-less, love letter to the insurance industry?  No single payer.  No public option.  Hell – not even any state-funded abortions anymore.  If this has been the best that Obama could do with his “unbeatable” 60/40 majority, I think the presence of Scott Brown in the Senate now won’t really change things all that much.

The Democrats may have lost their filibuster-proof majority with the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts last night, but they lost their ability to use it a long, long time ago.  One year ago today, to be exact: when a charismatic vessel of empty rhetoric and lies got sworn-in in front of cheering crowds and we all were fooled again.


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