So where do we go from here?
Scott Brown, defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley for the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. Isn't this--a Republican sitting in Ted Kennedy's seat--one of the signs of the apocalypse foretold by Nostradamus? It may be apocalyptic for any chance at passing healthcare reform. Oh, well. The way the legislation was shifting to satisfy all parties was pretty much alienating everybody, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Still, it would have been better than nothing.
And nothing is what we will get, rest assured. Because we are convinced that Republicans are uninterested in passing any kind of healthcare reform. And no, it has nothing to do with small-government ideology: Many of the same Republicans who scream about out of control government spending were the same Republicans who voted for the "Medicare Modernization Act" in 2003. That was the one that Bush sponsored: Apparently, it's OK to approve a half-trillion dollar unfunded mandate, as long as a Republican is in charge. Come to think of it, that's much the same logic that got us into Iraq.
So, no, it's not about objections to healthcare or to spending money: It's about objections to Obama and to Democrats. God forbid that anyone thinks past partisan advantage to do something to help people.
And for what it's worth, we're pretty fed up with Democrats, too. If they hadn't caved to the insurance lobby, if they hadn't run like a vampire from garlic at the very thought of a public option, if they could see beyond the confines of the Capitol to the people whose lives are truly being derailed by lack of health insurance--then this farcical election wouldn't even be an issue. The law would have been passed.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. The Democrats can now safely NOT pass any healthcare legislation and blame it on the obstinate Republicans. The Republicans will say (rightly, it must be noted) that the Democrats had a year in which they ran the show, so what's their excuse for not getting things done.
So basically, the Republicans get exactly what they want: No healthcare reform. And they may not even have to pay a political price for denying coverage to needy people.
God bless America.