Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown Wins, Christie In- A Black Tuesday For Dems

Senator Elect Scott Brown, Rep-MA

Yesterday it became abundantly clear very early- Scott Brown, darling of the Tea Party set, would win the special election for the US Senate seat once held by the late Teddy Kennedy. The little known Massachusetts state senator defeated favorite Martha Coakley, the Democratic attorney general of the Commonwealth.

The prospect of Kennedy's Senate seat going to a man who's election would probably-and ironically- end any hope of meaningful healthcare reform was a cruel twist of fate. Healthcare reform was Kennedy's baby....and the election of Brown would give 41 Senate seats to the Republicans, giving them the ability to filibuster any legislation that the right wished to, including healthcare reform.

Attorney General Coakley might have run the worst campaign in the history of Massachusetts politics- she had a double digit lead at Christmas, and lost the election 52 to 47 percent three weeks later.

Yesterday I was upset at this probable outcome- so much so I decided not to aggravate myself, and went to see AVATAR rather than watch the returns and the bellowing of the triumphant GOP gasbags. Its ironic that members of the same party that once denounced former Palin- almost-son-in-law Levi Johnston for posing nude in Playgirl- Sarah Palin called it "pornography"- are now welcoming Brown, who posed nude in Cosmopolitan in 1982, as a new GOP superstar.

Its not about legislation or statesmanship anymore. It's about wins and losses, and trench warfare between the two major parties. This struggle between the parties became a bloodsport in the early 1990's, much more so than at any time in our history. What this has devolved into is governmental inertia- inefficient and broken, with members of the two major political parties forever blaming the other for the nations ills.

On one side we have the Republicans, dominated by "ends justify the means" NeoCons, and their allies, the Bible thumping TheoCons. And in the other corner we have the Democrats, of whom, as Bill Moyers said on Real Time With Bill Maher, need to get a spine.

I'm not as angry with the GOP as I am with the Democrats. They had a 60-40 majority in the Senate. They had the momentum and the hammer. They had a majority in The House. And they had a President who still maintains a reasonable amount of popularity. But Democrats being Democrats, they found bigger and better ways to shoot off their own toes. Ted Kennedy's body laid to rest less than five months ago, and the unthinkable happened.

Brown may surprise us and become a voice of moderation. But I wouldn't bet on it, because the Republican Party, with its suggestions of "purity tests", has become more sectarian and parochial than the most stringent of principalities of pre Reformation Europe.

Governor Chris Christie,Rep-NJ

Meanwhile the fun and games began for real in New Jersey where Republican Chris Christie was sworn in as the new governor. The self appointed biggest Bruce Springsteen fan in the state couldn't get The Boss to play at Christie's "Inaugural Cocktail Party", leading some Republicans to chide Springsteen for his progressive politics. You know, the "just shut up and sing" stuff. They're the same people that seem to forget that the Red States and country music are "perfect together", and for Nashvile to even lean slightly to the left would be seen as an act against God and country. Just ask Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks how criticizing a Republican president worked out for them.

Governor Christie marched into his office today, sporting what appeared to be an American flag tie. I guess American flag pins are so last decade. He then signed eight executive orders that he says will make New Jersey more business friendly.

All I can say is, he wanted this job, now he owns it. Its not like being a federal prosecutor.

Glory Days?

We'll see.

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