Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

Massachusetts

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

by Brien Jackson

I haven’t had much to say about the race for Ted Kennedy’s seat, because, frankly, I haven’t really known what to make of it. I wasn’t a big fan of Coakley’s originally; beyond the fact that she has a somewhat troubling record as a prosecutor, she was also easily identifiable as a poor campaigner, and also lacks significant legislative appearance, or any history with any major national issues she’ll be tasked with making policy on. Coakley’s nomination is a good example of why I’m not a huge fan of special elections; hasitly throwin together a contest with little time for candidates to prepare for it and, especially, campaign, with very few voters actively paying attention to what’s going on almost always produces a contest where the candidate with the highest initial name recognition wins, especially in the primary. Especially where Senate seats are concerned that seems like a problem to me.

But do I think Coakley might actually lose this race? Well, I guess anything is possible, but I’m still pretty suspicious. Enthusiasm gap or not, Massachusetts is still an overwhelmingly Democratic state. It’s so Democratic, it doesn’t have a single Republican in its entire Congressional delegation. And healthcare reform is pretty broadly popular there, which makes Brown’s decision to campaign almost exclusively around blocking healthcare reform somewhat odd. And now, Nate Silver confirms a suspicion I’ve had for awhile, that pollsters generally understate a party’s advantage in states that overwhelmingly favor them.

Anything can happen in a special election, of course. Still, I think at the end of the day, Massachusetts is going to remain as blue as it has been, and I don’t think the teabaggers are going to score a major win in one of the country’s most liberal states.

Joe Lieberman: Very Serious Person

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Uh oh, this is going to make Chuck Lane’s job difficult:

Mr. Lieberman had supported the Medicare buy-in proposal in the past — both as the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2000 and in more recent discussions about the health care system. In an interview this year, he reiterated his support for the concept.

But in the interview, Mr. Lieberman said that he grew apprehensive when a formal proposal began to take shape. He said he worried that the program would lead to financial trouble and contribute to the instability of the existing Medicare program.

And he said he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals, including Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, who champions a fully government-run health care system.

“Congressman Weiner made a comment that Medicare-buy in is better than a public option, it’s the beginning of a road to single-payer,” Mr. Lieberman said. “Jacob Hacker, who’s a Yale professor who is actually the man who created the public option, said, ‘This is a dream. This is better than a public option. This is a giant step.’”

So there you have it; Joe Lieberman used to think Medicare buy-in was a good idea, then he found out that Rep. Weiner and Jacob Hacker thought it was a good idea and he changed his mind. Nothing about the intricate workings of policy, budget mechanics, or anything like that; the fact that a couple of liberals were happy with the idea was enough to get Holy Joe to do an about face on it.

The most important public policy question this country has dealt with in the last 60 years is being held hostage by an admitted sociopath right now.  Yay Senate!