Political Predictions Based On Last Night’s Massachusetts Senate Race
If you follow the political landscape, there was a pretty big upset in Massachusetts last night with Republican Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Some view this as a referendum on health care and other national issues, while the White House is quick to dismiss this as nothing more than just a terribly run campaign on the Democrats part. Either way, the ramifications are big, and I will detail below what I think will happen between now and the November elections later this year.
Health Care On Hold… Focus Turns To Jobs
I think health care will be delayed or put on hold as a result of this election. While Obama and Pelosi are promising to go full speed ahead – either a sign of disconnect with the American people or a sign of strongly sticking to one’s convictions (you decide) – there are many moderate Democrats who are now fearing for their reelection chances. After all, if the Democrat can’t win in Massachusetts, what will happen in places like Arkansas? As such,I think it will be tough to push forward on the controversial health care bill.
The result will be a doubled down effort on jobs. I think the Democrats will refocus on jobs with the idea that if they can put a dent in unemployment, they will have better chances in November. This will only mean one thing… more spending or more stimulus. Although, no way will they call it stimulus. That word has too negative of feelings with it now. Remember, this is about politics, not transparency and real improvement.
There will be a renewed push for legislation to create jobs. This “jobs bill” will probably be better than the stimulus bill in February 2009 (what an absolute disaster), but it will still have massive flaws. Government cannot do anything good for the economy over the long term, but we don’t need long term, we just need November!
Interestingly, the more Obama doubles down on these policies – namely, that government is the solution – the more he risks his re-election in 2012. If a second stimulus (and maybe a third by the time we’re near 2012) fails to “fix” the economy which it cannot, the more he risks his own re-election. It will be interesting nonetheless.
Conflict Within Democrat Party
Another byproduct of this election will be conflict within the party. The party is split between the true progressives and the more moderate or blue dog Democrats. After this loss, the blue dogs will want to shift toward the center to better their chances in November. The true progressives will put the “pedal to the metal” and want to ram through this legislation. Thus, the leadership will try and strong arm the blue dogs into sticking to the game plan.