Monday, 11 January 2010

Life Support Redux

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 [1], 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.

[1] 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.


Senior Spielbergo said...

The latest news on this one does not present a particularly positive picture.

SpaceSquid said...

No. No it does not.

The only positive spin I can put on recent developments is that the filibuster's long-term survival chances might drop somewhat if the House continues to essentially tell the Senate they can go fuck themselves. This, needless to say, is cold comfort indeed.

Senior Spielbergo said...

And there we have it..

SpaceSquid said...

So which of the four possible strategies do we think the Democrats will go for?

1) Sprint to push the bill through before Friday?

2) Persuade the House to pass the Senate bill?

3) Find something to put in the pot sweet enough for Senator Snowe (R) to stop saying "This bill should be going more slowly to a degree I won't specify and for reasons I won't give?"

4) Use this result as an excuse for doing fuck all again, lose horribly in midterms.

I know which one I think seems most likely.