Saturday, January 23, 2010

Strange Outcomes From Brown's Victory

In the crazy world of current day politics where 59 votes out of 100 isn't a governable majority, could Brown's election have helped progressive politics in the short term? Chris Bowers thinks it might:

If we achieve the reconciliation path, it would be possible to re-insert the Medicare buy-in during that process. There are no parliamentary issues about inserting a Medicare buy-in through reconciliation, and at least 56 Democratic Senators were supportive of such a buy-in back in December (only Conrad, Lieberman and Ben Nelson expressed worries about it).

It is remarkable and ironic how the defeat in Massachusetts could actually spur Democrats to move in a good direction for progressives. That defeat has revived the public option, made stopping Bernanke a real possibility, and opened up talks about reforming the filibuster. It also has prompted the Senate to throw in the towel on a climate change bill, which is good as long as EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gasses isn't stripped.

Could the Massachusetts special election actually make things better for progressives? That would be very surprising, but it isn't out of the question.

We live in strange, strange times...

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