This is what I'd like to hear a congressional Democrat say:
"We're obviously disappointed about the results of the special election in Massachusetts. But the fact that we have gone from a 20-seat advantage in the Senate to an 18-seat advantage in the Senate doesn't mean that Republicans are in charge. They had eight years under George W. Bush to push their agenda, and they pushed it good and hard. There's a reason that at the end of that eight years, the voters elected Democrats to the White House and large majorities in Congress. That hasn't changed.
It's entirely possible that by the end of the night, Martha Coakley will have squeaked by with a win in the Massachusetts special election, and all this sturm und drang will have been for nothing. But if that doesn't happen, Republicans are gearing up to tell us that this one election in one state is The Most Important Thing That Has Ever Happened, and one that means more than, say, the elections in which the country gave Democrats the White House and large majorities in both the House and Senate.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
A specter haunts Democratic-led Washington. It's the specter of a special election in Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states, not just slipping through Democrats' fingers but in the process dooming health-care reform. But it doesn't have to -- even if things go badly in the Bay State.
In case you haven't heard, Massachusetts voters will go to the polls today to choose someone to serve the remaining three years of the late Ted Kennedy's Senate term. The Republican candidate, state Sen. Scott Brown, is running a surprisingly strong campaign, while the Democrat, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, has been lurching from one bumble to another. A spate of polls in the last week showed the race to be essentially a dead heat.
It's also striking that most conservatives, through a method that might be called the audacity of audacity, have acted as if absolutely nothing went wrong with their economic theories. They speak and act as if they had nothing to do with the large deficits they now bemoan and say we will all be saved if only we return to the very policies that should already be discredited.