Further to Thursday's comments on the state of the healthcare bill, I present another reason to hold off on breaking out the party hats. If Massachusetts takes leave of its senses and decides to replace the long-serving Democrat Ted Kennedy (who passed away due to brain cancer last year) with a Republican, then healthcare is dead again. Well, almost certainly. It would be nice to think that a newly elected official would not make his first act the destruction of something his predecessor made his life's work and spent decades upon , but that doesn't seem likely. After all, it would also be nice to think that a democracy would be allowed to pass laws that the majority are in favour of, too.
Given the significant poll spread, the fact that Massachusetts is pretty reliably liberal (by American standards and in the American sense of the term), I wouldn't put the odds of Brown winning as particularly high. My inner fatalist is biting his nails, though.
 Obviously, though, there's some bias here. If Kennedy had spent decades trying to put together a fascist state or a repeal of anti-slavery laws, I'd probably be delighted someone was going to knock it down. It's even possible to make an argument that the healthcare bill is worth opposing, though since those arguments involve a) a bunch of technicalities and b) sitting down and trying to work out which option will actually be best for poor people, no-one in the GOP has bothered to try. I guess I'm comfortable with arguing that you'd have to have a better reason than minority obstructionism for political gain if you're going to piss over your predecessor's legacy, but if people wanted to claim I was deciding what I wanted first, and then trying to justify it, they'd probably have a point.