Note the updated Headline – below is the post from yesterday –

By the time you read this on Wednesday morning, chances are fair that a winner will have been determined in the Senate Special Election in Massachusetts.  The chance does exist that there could be recounts or lawyers involved in the final outcome and that could mean a big delay.

If the race is close and the decision is delayed, my guess is that Senate Democrats and Mr. Obama come out as winners at least in the short term.  The delay will give them more time with the 60 seat majority to push the Health Care Bill to passage.  Long term, though, I think a close election and delayed result hurts the Democrats, especially those currently in Congress and facing reelection this year.  If the hand picked successor to Teddy Kennedy cannot easily win a statewide election in Liberal Massachusetts, who can claim to have a safe seat?

If Coakley wins outright, I think the Democrats breath a sigh of relief but I don’t think they are out of the woods.  I think the pressure this election has caused will have most of Congress actually a bit concerned about what their constituents want.  If that is the case, again, I think the Democrats are the short term winners, but the voting public ends up the big winner.  Politicians might just learn the lesson that they can’t ignore constituents.  The downside is that if the health care bill as now conceived goes through, the new national debt will be astronomical and will depress our economy for years to come.

If Brown wins, there will be a lot of spin but the inescapable conclusion is that the Democrats, and especially Reid, Pelosi and Mr. Obama will be damaged goods.  They may not be able to get their health care bill through Congress without shenanigans that would just further hurt them this Fall. Regardless if the get their Health Care Bill Passed, they will all be sweating bullets in this Fall’s elections.  Denying the Democrats the 60th and veto filibuster proof vote may even sidetrack the Health Care bill.  It will be interesting to see if the Democrats will see it as important enough to sacrifice as much political capital as it will take to get the bill passed.  Most of the polls show that passage of this bill is against the will of the majority of Americans and it will be hard for Democrats to defend their votes if they do go lock-step for the bill.

So I guess the real message is that regardless the outcome, the American People are the winners after this closely contested race.  It could mean a more balanced Congress.  When a single party controls all the buttons, they tend to get drunk with power and do what drunks do – stupid things.  For sure, politicians will be aware that they can’t vote against the will of the people and be assured of their seats in Washington for life.  That is a good thing.  Complacency breeds an inattentive Legislature and bad law.

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