“Kennedy’s seat” vs. “the people’s seat”

Today is the big election in Massachusetts, with Republican newcomer Scott Brown threatening the Democratic operative Martha Coakley’s plan to assume the Senate seat of the late Edward Kennedy.  If a Republican wins in this most Democratic of states, that icy chill you may feel is Hell freezing over.  At risk is the Democrats’ super-majority of 60 in the Senate, which is enough to stop Republican filibusters.  If Brown wins, though, Republicans will have clout again and must be consulted in any big legislation, such as Health Care Reform.

What do you predict will happen?  Why?  And what does it all mean?

For more background, see POLITICO.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Scott Brown has this election in the bag. Intrade, where people bet real money, offers Brown for 79 cents on a dollar bet; Coakley is offered at 27 cents. Virtually all the polls favor Brown outside the margin of error.

    A majority of the people in even the bluest state of Massachusetts has had it with the blatant statism of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. These people revolted n 1775 and are doing again in 2010. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Scott Brown has this election in the bag. Intrade, where people bet real money, offers Brown for 79 cents on a dollar bet; Coakley is offered at 27 cents. Virtually all the polls favor Brown outside the margin of error.

    A majority of the people in even the bluest state of Massachusetts has had it with the blatant statism of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. These people revolted n 1775 and are doing again in 2010. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  • Tim Terhune

    I’ve lived in this dark blue state for over 30 years
    and have never seen anything like it. Only weeks
    before, the race was over – for the Dems. We live
    under single party rule here at the state level. I
    honestly think people are fed up with and are scared
    of a gov’t that wants to control more and more aspects
    of life (esp health care). I hate to make predictions,
    but am hoping that State Senator Brown pulls the upset
    and wins. Can you imagine?! In MASSACHUSETTS?!

    Wow…

    It’s funny, the old law stated that the Gov of the state
    would appoint a successor to finish out the term, but the
    Dems in the State House changed the law – because at the
    time a Republican Gov was in office (Mitt Romney). I
    don’t believe in karma, but… can’t help but chuckle
    at the irony.

  • Tim Terhune

    I’ve lived in this dark blue state for over 30 years
    and have never seen anything like it. Only weeks
    before, the race was over – for the Dems. We live
    under single party rule here at the state level. I
    honestly think people are fed up with and are scared
    of a gov’t that wants to control more and more aspects
    of life (esp health care). I hate to make predictions,
    but am hoping that State Senator Brown pulls the upset
    and wins. Can you imagine?! In MASSACHUSETTS?!

    Wow…

    It’s funny, the old law stated that the Gov of the state
    would appoint a successor to finish out the term, but the
    Dems in the State House changed the law – because at the
    time a Republican Gov was in office (Mitt Romney). I
    don’t believe in karma, but… can’t help but chuckle
    at the irony.

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s hard to predict anything competent happening in Sodomchusetts. But here’s hoping the sentiment of these voters comes true.

    Of course, Scott Brown needs to revise his genocidal views on murder-by-abortion.

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s hard to predict anything competent happening in Sodomchusetts. But here’s hoping the sentiment of these voters comes true.

    Of course, Scott Brown needs to revise his genocidal views on murder-by-abortion.

  • Danny G

    I predict that if the race is with in 2 or 3 points there will be a long drawn out legal battle giving the congress enough time to pass HC. If its 4 or more points she’ll concede.

  • Danny G

    I predict that if the race is with in 2 or 3 points there will be a long drawn out legal battle giving the congress enough time to pass HC. If its 4 or more points she’ll concede.

  • Scots

    who wins?

    Brown, going away!

  • Scots

    who wins?

    Brown, going away!

  • S. Bauer

    I’ve read that if Brown is elected, and push comes to shove, the House will just pass the Senate version. I guess that means there is no chance for a second vote in the Senate.

  • S. Bauer

    I’ve read that if Brown is elected, and push comes to shove, the House will just pass the Senate version. I guess that means there is no chance for a second vote in the Senate.

  • Adam

    The conservative American Spectator and others describe Brown as pro-choice, so why does he continue to get wild applause from the religious right?

  • Adam

    The conservative American Spectator and others describe Brown as pro-choice, so why does he continue to get wild applause from the religious right?

  • Joe

    I don’t know much about Brown. My interest in the race is that Brown has run his campaign as a referendum on the pending health care bills. It seems that it is a pretty good indicator of what the “people” from a generally liberal think about the plans that passed the House and the Senate. Personally, it gives me hope.

    Unless Coakly is pro-life, I don’t see why Brown’s pro-choiceness really becomes relevant to the choice between Coakly and Brown. I don’t like it, but you can’t invent a no existent candidate.

  • Joe

    I don’t know much about Brown. My interest in the race is that Brown has run his campaign as a referendum on the pending health care bills. It seems that it is a pretty good indicator of what the “people” from a generally liberal think about the plans that passed the House and the Senate. Personally, it gives me hope.

    Unless Coakly is pro-life, I don’t see why Brown’s pro-choiceness really becomes relevant to the choice between Coakly and Brown. I don’t like it, but you can’t invent a no existent candidate.

  • Joe

    And, why is Coakly getting applause from the religous left?

  • Joe

    And, why is Coakly getting applause from the religous left?

  • Adam

    Thanks, Joe @8
    I’ve long suspected the religious right would not let “life” issues get in the way of its goal of political power. Brown’s “pro-choiceness” is, as you say, not relevant, just as long as he votes in the interests of America’s corporate and insurance interests.

  • Adam

    Thanks, Joe @8
    I’ve long suspected the religious right would not let “life” issues get in the way of its goal of political power. Brown’s “pro-choiceness” is, as you say, not relevant, just as long as he votes in the interests of America’s corporate and insurance interests.

  • DonS

    I’m sure the party machine in Massachusetts is in overdrive today. Hopefully the results are outside the margin of error. Hugh Hewitt’s book “If it’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat” always comes to mind at times like these.

    Brown has run a sterling campaign, and Coakley’s a tool. Brown’s abortion position is abominable, but Coakley doesn’t even want people of faith working in emergency rooms.

    S. Bauer, they say they will just ram the Senate bill through the House. But they can’t and they won’t. Wexler has already quit, and Cao says he won’t be the deciding vote. Peel off one more Democrat and it is over. Stupak won’t vote for the Senate version with its abortion funding. Plus, the impact Brown actually winning in Mass. will have in the political world will rock the Dems. Unless they want to commit political suicide, they will have to back off.

  • DonS

    I’m sure the party machine in Massachusetts is in overdrive today. Hopefully the results are outside the margin of error. Hugh Hewitt’s book “If it’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat” always comes to mind at times like these.

    Brown has run a sterling campaign, and Coakley’s a tool. Brown’s abortion position is abominable, but Coakley doesn’t even want people of faith working in emergency rooms.

    S. Bauer, they say they will just ram the Senate bill through the House. But they can’t and they won’t. Wexler has already quit, and Cao says he won’t be the deciding vote. Peel off one more Democrat and it is over. Stupak won’t vote for the Senate version with its abortion funding. Plus, the impact Brown actually winning in Mass. will have in the political world will rock the Dems. Unless they want to commit political suicide, they will have to back off.

  • Adam

    Thanks to you as well, DonS. Even a man whose “abortion position” is “abominable” should be supported, as long as he “rocks the Dems.”

  • Adam

    Thanks to you as well, DonS. Even a man whose “abortion position” is “abominable” should be supported, as long as he “rocks the Dems.”

  • Joe

    Adam – your response to my comment is a great example of responding to what you wish I said instead of what I actually said. I said the issue is irrelevant because both candidates are pro-choice – not because he was voting correctly on other more important issues.

    Now, if you have a response to what I actually said, have at it. But if you’re going to just make up things I didn’t say so you can respond to them with snide remarks, save your breath. You’re not impressing anyone.

    Also, since when am I the religious right? I don’t identify with Pat Robertson, etc. In fact, if you spend any time here you will learn that I am an strident federalist, which means I tend libertarian at the national level and believe social issues are for the state level. You will also learn that I blame the religious right for destroying the Reagan coalition of libertarians, free-marketers and social cons by pushing their agenda at the national level (instead of at the state level).

  • Joe

    Adam – your response to my comment is a great example of responding to what you wish I said instead of what I actually said. I said the issue is irrelevant because both candidates are pro-choice – not because he was voting correctly on other more important issues.

    Now, if you have a response to what I actually said, have at it. But if you’re going to just make up things I didn’t say so you can respond to them with snide remarks, save your breath. You’re not impressing anyone.

    Also, since when am I the religious right? I don’t identify with Pat Robertson, etc. In fact, if you spend any time here you will learn that I am an strident federalist, which means I tend libertarian at the national level and believe social issues are for the state level. You will also learn that I blame the religious right for destroying the Reagan coalition of libertarians, free-marketers and social cons by pushing their agenda at the national level (instead of at the state level).

  • Peter Leavitt

    Brown did introduce an amendment to a bill that would have exempted doctors and nurses from a legal obligation to provide emergency contraceptives if doing so would violate a sincerely held religious belief.

    Coakley turned this into a smear by accusing Brown of disfavoring help for rape victims. She, also, stated that Catholics and religious people who opposes abortion should not work in hospitals.

    The Massachussets Pro-Life Council favored Brown in this recent election, knowing that for a politician in this state he holds a moderate position on abortion.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Brown did introduce an amendment to a bill that would have exempted doctors and nurses from a legal obligation to provide emergency contraceptives if doing so would violate a sincerely held religious belief.

    Coakley turned this into a smear by accusing Brown of disfavoring help for rape victims. She, also, stated that Catholics and religious people who opposes abortion should not work in hospitals.

    The Massachussets Pro-Life Council favored Brown in this recent election, knowing that for a politician in this state he holds a moderate position on abortion.

  • Rose

    Martha Coakley resembles Martha Stewart with the same tension in her face. Her name sounds like Martha Moxley.
    If Brown wins, Stupak will hold the line. He’s a Yooper (UPer–Upper Peninsula of Michigan).
    We’re proud of him here in Michigan.

  • Rose

    Martha Coakley resembles Martha Stewart with the same tension in her face. Her name sounds like Martha Moxley.
    If Brown wins, Stupak will hold the line. He’s a Yooper (UPer–Upper Peninsula of Michigan).
    We’re proud of him here in Michigan.

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Brown’s abortion position has been described as “moderate.” In other words, he is against partial-birth abortion, for parent consent, but otherwise supports “a woman’s right to choose.”

    I have thus far refused to cast a vote for any “pro-choice” politician. It seems to me that Brown’s position on abortion is consistent with Rudy Guiliani’s and I could not vote for Rudy. So, could I vote for Scott Brown (if I lived in Massachusetts)?

    I live in Texas, we do not get these situations too often!

    My answer is yes. Here are my reasons: (1) the health care bill in the Senate will authorize, for the first time, the use of tax dollars for abortions. Scott Brown has promised to vote against this bill. His election has a very good chance of killing that legislation. (2) The Freedom of Choice Act as introduced would strip all state level restrictions (parental consent, ultra-sound laws, etc.) on abortion. Scott Brown will oppose this bill.

    Thus, a vote for Scott Brown is a vote against federal funding for abortion and the Freedom of Choice Act.

    That would be good enough for me! Alas, I cannot vote in Massachusetts. So, I sent Scott $100 instead. Go Scott Brown!!

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Brown’s abortion position has been described as “moderate.” In other words, he is against partial-birth abortion, for parent consent, but otherwise supports “a woman’s right to choose.”

    I have thus far refused to cast a vote for any “pro-choice” politician. It seems to me that Brown’s position on abortion is consistent with Rudy Guiliani’s and I could not vote for Rudy. So, could I vote for Scott Brown (if I lived in Massachusetts)?

    I live in Texas, we do not get these situations too often!

    My answer is yes. Here are my reasons: (1) the health care bill in the Senate will authorize, for the first time, the use of tax dollars for abortions. Scott Brown has promised to vote against this bill. His election has a very good chance of killing that legislation. (2) The Freedom of Choice Act as introduced would strip all state level restrictions (parental consent, ultra-sound laws, etc.) on abortion. Scott Brown will oppose this bill.

    Thus, a vote for Scott Brown is a vote against federal funding for abortion and the Freedom of Choice Act.

    That would be good enough for me! Alas, I cannot vote in Massachusetts. So, I sent Scott $100 instead. Go Scott Brown!!

  • Adam

    Joe, you were thanked for your comment and quoted accurately. Indeed, in criticizing me you again asserted the irrelevancy of Brown’s pro choice position, which was the subject of my comment.
    I’m always amazed at how quickly the religious right discards a candidate’s pro choice views when it means electing another Republican. Whether that describes you, Joe, I don’t know, but it’s plain that the so-called “pro death” viewpoint is negotiable for many.

  • Adam

    Joe, you were thanked for your comment and quoted accurately. Indeed, in criticizing me you again asserted the irrelevancy of Brown’s pro choice position, which was the subject of my comment.
    I’m always amazed at how quickly the religious right discards a candidate’s pro choice views when it means electing another Republican. Whether that describes you, Joe, I don’t know, but it’s plain that the so-called “pro death” viewpoint is negotiable for many.

  • fws

    brown will win. coakley is really really bad. the win will be about how bad coakley is. it will not mean alot about dems vs republicans…

  • fws

    brown will win. coakley is really really bad. the win will be about how bad coakley is. it will not mean alot about dems vs republicans…

  • Peter Leavitt

    Don’t kid yourself FWS, a Brown win will be compelling further evidence that many American people have had it with the Obama, Pelosi, Reid leftist style of politics. This will be a political earthquake on the national scene.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Don’t kid yourself FWS, a Brown win will be compelling further evidence that many American people have had it with the Obama, Pelosi, Reid leftist style of politics. This will be a political earthquake on the national scene.

  • Joe

    Adam – you are still falsely attributing statments to me that I never made. I never stated that Brown’s pro-choice position is irrelevant. I said that it is irrelevant ONLY to the choice between Coakly and Brown. If one were pro-life and one pro-death, the issue would not be irrelevant. This distinction has been clear all in all of my posts.

  • Joe

    Adam – you are still falsely attributing statments to me that I never made. I never stated that Brown’s pro-choice position is irrelevant. I said that it is irrelevant ONLY to the choice between Coakly and Brown. If one were pro-life and one pro-death, the issue would not be irrelevant. This distinction has been clear all in all of my posts.

  • kerner

    Adam:

    Your logic gives me a real pain. It goes something like this:

    Democrat about to lose power:

    “I will destroy all you cherish about the American way of life.”

    Conservative on this blog:

    “I will stop you.:

    Dem: “You can’t stop me. The only candidate who could possibly stop me will not stop everything I want to do. Among other things, he will only prevent a fraction of abortions, not all of them.”

    Con: “Well, if that’s the best I can do right now, then that is what I will do.”

    Dem: “Hypocrite!!! If you were true to your principles you would insist on all or nothing! Since it is presently impossible to prevent ALL the damage I intend to do, the only truly principled course open to you conservatives is to ALLOW ME to do all the damage I intend to do.”

    Con.: So, um, you’re saying that the only way you will respect my principles is if I allow you to violate all of them, because stopping you from violating only some of them is some kind of weasely compromise?”

    Dem.: “You’ve got it! Ready to let me destroy all you hold dear now?”

    Con: “Ummmm, I don’t think so.”

    Dem.: “Ha!!! I KNEW you were a hypocrite.”

  • kerner

    Adam:

    Your logic gives me a real pain. It goes something like this:

    Democrat about to lose power:

    “I will destroy all you cherish about the American way of life.”

    Conservative on this blog:

    “I will stop you.:

    Dem: “You can’t stop me. The only candidate who could possibly stop me will not stop everything I want to do. Among other things, he will only prevent a fraction of abortions, not all of them.”

    Con: “Well, if that’s the best I can do right now, then that is what I will do.”

    Dem: “Hypocrite!!! If you were true to your principles you would insist on all or nothing! Since it is presently impossible to prevent ALL the damage I intend to do, the only truly principled course open to you conservatives is to ALLOW ME to do all the damage I intend to do.”

    Con.: So, um, you’re saying that the only way you will respect my principles is if I allow you to violate all of them, because stopping you from violating only some of them is some kind of weasely compromise?”

    Dem.: “You’ve got it! Ready to let me destroy all you hold dear now?”

    Con: “Ummmm, I don’t think so.”

    Dem.: “Ha!!! I KNEW you were a hypocrite.”

  • DonS

    LOL! Kerner that is a brilliant synopsis of how these things typically go.

    Adam, since you are obviously rabidly pro-life, what is your solution to this dilemma? Since Brown does not have a good abortion position, albeit far better than Coakley’s, what to do? Certainly, voting for Coakley is not an option, given her utter disregard for life, right? So are you suggesting we sit out the election? But, that probably allows Coakley to assume the “Kennedy” seat and ensure passage of a health care plan which enshrines pro-death abortion policies as not only “constitutional rights”, but as rights which are guaranteed federal funding. I see you offering a lot of critical snide comments, but nothing constructive.

  • DonS

    LOL! Kerner that is a brilliant synopsis of how these things typically go.

    Adam, since you are obviously rabidly pro-life, what is your solution to this dilemma? Since Brown does not have a good abortion position, albeit far better than Coakley’s, what to do? Certainly, voting for Coakley is not an option, given her utter disregard for life, right? So are you suggesting we sit out the election? But, that probably allows Coakley to assume the “Kennedy” seat and ensure passage of a health care plan which enshrines pro-death abortion policies as not only “constitutional rights”, but as rights which are guaranteed federal funding. I see you offering a lot of critical snide comments, but nothing constructive.

  • DonS

    Frank @ 18: What Peter said. Many a horrible Democratic candidate has been dragged across the finish line in Mass, just because of the (D) after their name. Registration is 3:1 Democratic in Mass. This isn’t about Coakley. This is about an articulate, charismatic Republican candidate who has focused his campaign on how Democrats are running roughshod in Washington to madly impose incredible entitlement programs and spending like drunken sailors, accompanied by massive corruption, without regard to how the people feel about it. Health care is the lightning rod issue, and it helps that he would be the vote in the Senate to stop the madness. Every poll shows the people don’t want it by a 2:1 margin, and even in Mass it’s 15% negative.

    The question is whether the Dems will learn anything from this or continue to keep their heads in the sand and plow on. So far, it seems like the latter.

  • DonS

    Frank @ 18: What Peter said. Many a horrible Democratic candidate has been dragged across the finish line in Mass, just because of the (D) after their name. Registration is 3:1 Democratic in Mass. This isn’t about Coakley. This is about an articulate, charismatic Republican candidate who has focused his campaign on how Democrats are running roughshod in Washington to madly impose incredible entitlement programs and spending like drunken sailors, accompanied by massive corruption, without regard to how the people feel about it. Health care is the lightning rod issue, and it helps that he would be the vote in the Senate to stop the madness. Every poll shows the people don’t want it by a 2:1 margin, and even in Mass it’s 15% negative.

    The question is whether the Dems will learn anything from this or continue to keep their heads in the sand and plow on. So far, it seems like the latter.

  • Carl Vehse

    Now that Brown has won, will he be sworn into the Senate the day after the election like Mary Jo’s swimming instructor was back in 1962?

  • Carl Vehse

    Now that Brown has won, will he be sworn into the Senate the day after the election like Mary Jo’s swimming instructor was back in 1962?

  • Bruce Gee

    And the winner is: WAIT a minute. You mean a REPUBLICAN won TEDDY KENNEDY’S seat?? Impossible. What is this, a parallel universe?

    We will see now just what impact it has on the national stage. I cannot personally imagine that Pelosi’s moderate dems aren’t nervous as fillies now. Brown ran as the 41st vote against Obamacare. They have to know that.

  • Bruce Gee

    And the winner is: WAIT a minute. You mean a REPUBLICAN won TEDDY KENNEDY’S seat?? Impossible. What is this, a parallel universe?

    We will see now just what impact it has on the national stage. I cannot personally imagine that Pelosi’s moderate dems aren’t nervous as fillies now. Brown ran as the 41st vote against Obamacare. They have to know that.

  • mark14.32

    Brown Wins…Welcome to the Reagan Revolution, Part II!!

  • mark14.32

    Brown Wins…Welcome to the Reagan Revolution, Part II!!

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    CV-&- PL thank you for the heads up on Brown’s pro-abortion stance…and the positive ramifications of his win in MA—in spite of his stance…
    and to AA#16-
    I-too-vowed never to vote for a pro-death candidate-and struggled w/the idea that I would have voted for Brown..
    Your take was the same as the discussion that I just had w/ my off-spring!!!!…

    So-WooHoo-Scott Brown WON in MA!!!!
    C-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    CV-&- PL thank you for the heads up on Brown’s pro-abortion stance…and the positive ramifications of his win in MA—in spite of his stance…
    and to AA#16-
    I-too-vowed never to vote for a pro-death candidate-and struggled w/the idea that I would have voted for Brown..
    Your take was the same as the discussion that I just had w/ my off-spring!!!!…

    So-WooHoo-Scott Brown WON in MA!!!!
    C-CS
    LA LFL


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