Even though polls were pointing in this direction, I still feel stunned today by Republican Scott Brown’s defeat of Democrat Martha Coakley in yesterday’s special election here in Massachusetts. Stunned because I had deep personal respect for Ted Kennedy. Stunned because people bought the “I’ll rise above politics” line Brown toted. And stunned because the symbolic tenor of the election doesn’t seem to have a ceiling.
Time will tell, but I think the “this-election-will-make-or-break-health-care-reform” argument on both sides was something of a straw man. With Brown’s election, Democrats will still have an 18-vote majority in the Senate…and the “super-majority” they’ve enjoyed for the past year hasn’t resulted in a viable health care bill. But there’s that symbolic tenor again, about the desire for change (a different change from last year’s change), the end of eras and Kennedys, and the perceived general weakness of Democrats.
Sigh, this is all making me sad and fretful, so I think this is a moment to just let Jon Stewart speak for me. Preach on, brother.