A new hope has buoyed the majority of Americans who are opposed to Obamacare. An election is just around the corner that may, against all odds, result in the 41st vote needed to ensure that the health care reform bill receives bipartisan input.
On January 19, the people of Massachusetts will vote in a special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, who died on August 25. Since the announcement that she was running, Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley has been the frontrunner…until last weekend.
Her opponent, Republican Scott Brown, has reduced her lead from more than 15 points to a very close race, and even pulling ahead by a point according to one poll.
This has Democrats in Massachusetts and Washington scrambling. MoveOn.org has been mobilized, and there are concerns that ACORN and SEIU will also be involved, raising concerns about voter fraud.
Worse, it is possible that if he won, Brown’s swearing-in might be delayed until after the final Senate vote on the health care reform bill. Winners in previous special elections have been sworn in quickly, in as little as two days. The interim senator, Paul Kirk, said that he plans to vote in favor of the bill regardless of the outcome of the special election.
Kirk said, “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Sen. Kennedy’s agenda,” Kirk said. “I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”
Brown said Kirk’s remarks made him “sick to my stomach. That’s not what the people want,” he said during a campaign stop in South Boston.
If Brown wins the special election, it will be evident that the people of Massachusetts are opposed to Obamacare and the Kennedy agenda, and it is likely that they would be loudly opposed to any efforts to prevent Brown from casting a vote on the bill.
In recent days, Brown has picked up endorsements from the Boston Herald, the State Police Association of Massachusetts, military veterans, and and in the words of a union newsletter, an “extreme right wing group”—the Tea Party Express.
Coakley has been endorsed by big labor, key members of the Kennedy family, and green organizations such as the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club and the League of Environmental Voters.