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Republicans gain on Kennedy's Senate seat

There's a right-wing surge in comments on political stories today with the news that the Democrats' hold on the so-called Kennedy seat in the U.S. Senate is under serious attack by a Republican whose victory would probably tank health-care reform, and a new chapter in Virginia Republican efforts to repel federal gun or health-care mandates.

The Massachusetts Senate race is close, according to pollsters, and our Readers Who Comment are updating the missiles in the slingshots they used during the presidential campaign. Republicans hope for a win in Massachusetts and support efforts in Virginia to reject the feds. Democrats sound a little fearful and remind us of all the evil things that can happen with Republicans in control.

As Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza write, Massachusetts Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, "still has some distance to go to pull off an upset" of Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley, "but Democrats now recognize they were wrong not to have taken his challenge more seriously..."

Rosalind S. Helderman writes that Virginia's "new Republican attorney general says he is assembling a legal team with an eye to challenging the federal government in court. And Virginia's newly elected Republican governor said he plans to engage actively in a national conversation about limiting Washington's power" in health care and gun control, among other things.

We'll start with comments on the Massachusetts story and gvelanis, who wrote, "Maybe the Democrats can ask the bankers, wall street tycoons and unions for money and help. They seem to be their real constituency as they have abandoned the middle class. I, now an independent, would love nothing more than a really close race. The message might eventually even get through to DC. Business as usually may get you into power, but it won't let you stay there..."

jakedog030 said, "Just given the fact that a Republican is within 2 percentage points of the sacred Kennedy seat in a liberal Democrat state like Massachusetts should tell you something about what is going to happen in November. This will be the shortest majority reign of any party in American history... Let's hope that when the newly elected Republicans take their place in Congress next January, they learned the lessons of their parties' past mistakes."

But jkarlinsky wrote, "I live in Mass. We're too smart to vote for Republicans here. Didn't vote for Nixon or either Bush. Brown is way behind, no matter how you try to spin it. Now maybe if George Bush was in jail for his crimes, the Republican party would have a little more credibility."

derechista, who obviously didn't proofread his own posting, offered that "...As conservatives we need a few more votes to make things a wee more challenging for the Dems to do everything on a whim. Perhaps occupying "Teddy's" seat for the next six years would allow us to shift that balance of power a bit in our direction, a direction that seems to be a better one for the nation at this junction. Scott Brown has a good head on his shoulders and can spell Massachusettes."

infuse said, "The Democrats inside the Washington bubble have no clue about the anger towards them out here in the real world, from all sides. Maybe an upset in this race will get their attention ... but probably not...."

moebius22 wrote, "I hope they lose the seat. I'm a Democrat, and I already tire of Democratic control of all branches of government. Balanced government is best."

sally62 asked, "Have the people of MA come to their sense and realized that Democrat machines only throw crumbs at them expecting them to placidly go to the polls? There could not be a better outcome than Ted's seat going to new blood! If only Chicago were next to stop decade long mafias like Dems in MA."

Aircommando said, "Lot of money going into this race. Makes one wonder what counts? How much money a candidate has or how much intelligence the voters have? My bet is on the money."

mnjam wrote, "Hopefully, hordes of obese, balding, Viagra-popping conservatives will pour into Massachusetts, knock on doors for Brown, and remind the Yankees up there of why we the people of the non-confederate states can't stand Republicans."

csforst predicted that "The Kennedy machine will win this one for the Dems, but the writing is on the wall. In November, it will be a major political blood-bath."

We'll close the comments on the Massachusetts story with sdavis4, who asked, presumably with tongue in cheek, "Does Anyone Know If Ted Kennedy Will Be Voting By Absentee Ballot For Coakly?"

And now to comments on the Virginia story:

furtdw wrote, "Thank you, thank you, thank you Virginia Republicans. Best of luck in un-doing the damage the Democrat led legislative and executive branches are currently perpetrating at the Federal level."

abej suggested that "These legal efforts replay efforts from the 1930s attempting to stop the use of federal power under the commerce clause of the US constitution. They did not work then, and they won't work now. But I guess some of us will be nostalgic for the days of Herbert Hoover."

screwjob2 wrote, "Glad to see that someone is willing to stand up for the Second Amendment." [A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.]

But mbrachman said, "Continuing its great know-nothing, learn-nothing, care-nothing tradition, the GOP works to ensure that sociopaths and psychotics everywhere will have full-time access to high-powered guns... And then there's the GOP "enlightened" attitude about health care reform..."

wleach1974 wrote, "The federal government is out of control! Passing a law that forces citizens to buy health insurance? You can debate whether or not it's a good idea but that it's a brand new, never heard of, not part of the Constitution, federal power there can be no doubt. If the power to tax is the power to destroy then what do you call the power to force Americans to buy something?..."

We'll close with oldwolf53, who said, "Unbelieveable. The economy OF VIRGINIA is tanking, the infrastructure OF VIRGINIA is crumbling around our heads, the schools OF VIRGINIA are being underfunded, and these bozo republicants are worried about things at the federal level. Focus people..."

By Doug Feaver  |  January 13, 2010; 7:37 AM ET
 | Tags: Health-Care Reform, Kennedy, Massachusetts, Republicans, Senate, Virginia  
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I am sick and tired of the media constantly creating a false suspense over a supposedly Democratic loss over Sen Kennedy's seat. Get over it, won't happen, No one ine their right mind from Mass would support stagnation or regression. I do not believe the Hype. Mass will remain blue !

Posted by: wave06 | January 13, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

For Mass, this was a wake-up call to Coakley, who has run a terrible campaign. But in the end she wins by 15-20 pts.

Posted by: jjj141 | January 13, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are going right over a cliff on healthcare and they just don't get it. Too many "special deals," too many "bribes" to Senators, and the public is fed up with it. This is not "change" anyone voted for. Where is the promise of "C-SPAN" watching out for us? The Democrats have lost the battle because they can't even win in the People's Republic of Mass. without a cat fight. How are they going to win in Ohio and Penn? The very best thing that could happen to the Democrats is that Brown wins and then healthcare is defeated and then in November the Republicans have nothing to run on against them other than their pure stupidity.

Posted by: N369RM | January 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Scott Brown has a good head on his shoulders and can spell Massachusettes."

*That* is hilarious. Of little consequence in the big picture, but hilarious nonetheless.

Posted by: dogmo | January 13, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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