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Scott Brown beats Martha Coakley -- and life goes on

Well, that was quick. I thought the Apocalypse would be, you know, more of a blockbuster production, with a lot of explosions and computer-generated effects. Instead, just a phone call of concession -- offstage, no less -- from Martha Coakley to Scott Brown.

You’d think from the overheated commentary that this was the end of the world (as we know it). Instead of having 20 more votes in the Senate than the Republicans, the Democrats now have only 18 more votes. Run for your lives.

From the Democratic Party’s point of view, losing the Senate supermajority can’t be construed as a net positive. But being left with an 18-vote majority isn’t usually the sort of thing that throws a party into abject despair. One side effect is that the poisonous dynamic that took hold as the Senate inched toward passing its health-care bill -- any member of the Democratic caucus could hold the entire process hostage with outlandish demands, which Majority Leader Harry Reid had to meet -- is a thing of the past.

From now on, the Democratic leadership will have to peel off at least one Republican -- or else take other parliamentary routes that require just a simple majority. The way the Senate works right now, Reid has as much chance of snagging 10 Republican votes as he has of wooing one. (A bit of advice for the majority leader: Don’t pine too much over Olympia Snowe. She’s not that into you.) Either a bill is going to have pretty broad bipartisan support, or it’s going to have to get passed in a way that needs only 51 votes. No Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman can become King for a Day.

It would be possible for a bipartisan, centrist, gang-of-14 type of coalition to essentially take control of the Senate by banding together. But there are so few Republican moderates left -- and there’s so much tea party fervor lurking in the upcoming GOP primaries -- that it would be hard for such a group to hold together.

No wonder that everyone so quickly forgave Reid his gaffe about President Obama’s skin tone and elocution. Would you want his job?

One other observation: There is -- unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned -- just one way to quickly and cleanly get health-care reform signed and delivered, and that is for the House to pass the Senate bill. That’s a lot for House progressives to stomach, but it’s hard for me to imagine that any Democrat will be better off this fall after having promised a reform bill and not delivered. And while it would be possible to get better legislation through the simple-majority “budget reconciliation” gambit, I wouldn’t advise Democrats to spend another two or three months on the subject of health care -- not if they want to avoid the next Apocalypse.

By Eugene Robinson  | January 19, 2010; 10:12 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Next: Massachusetts is the canary in the Democrats' coal mine

Comments

Obama never wants to enforce immigration laws so illegal immigrants can keep receiving welfare and healthcare benefits as in the case of Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango, an illegal immigrant from Kenya yet lived in taxpayer-funded public housing complex in Boston for many years and also contributed $260 to Obama's presidential bid. In fact, Obama, with his immigration reform, wants to naturalize twelve million illegal immigrants so they can get healthcare insurance and vote for his Democratic Party. Worse still, without California's votes, Obama would have never become President, but he refuses to give financial aids to California while bribing Nebraska to accept his healthcare reform!!!

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 19, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Eugene - I'm glad to see you finally understand that the November bloodbath is close at hand.

Posted by: PittAlum | January 19, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Robinson-

As I said....

King Obummer got his "Hat-Trick."

The so-called "Harbinger of Change," needs a third (and a fourth and a fifth...) "Teachable Moment."

Now, let's get this country back on its feet.

Cut taxes
Cut spending
Incentivize those who produce, not those on the dole
Drill, Baby, Drill
No more cash for Obama's stash.

This country runs on "cheap oil" and the revenues generated from a "severance tax" would go a long way in reducing the deficit.

Time for the Democrats to jettison Pelosi, Van Hollen, Reid, Waxman, Miller, Hoyer and the other California libertards that have bankrupted their states, to bring it to the national scene.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | January 19, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Keep rationalizing Obama and the Democrat's total failure to govern and repeated election losses Eugene... good news, you have at least 3 more years of it. I predict your business will be good!

Posted by: TheGJ | January 19, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The silver lining of this election is that Democrats don't have to please Joe Lieberman anymore.

Seriously, when under Bush did 60 votes matter? Actually, it was during the Democratic Senate that Bush passed his horrible tax cuts, the Patriot Act, and the authorization for the War in Iraq. Time to get out there Obama, and bring the change you promised.

Posted by: pmax | January 19, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if Dems just lie, tax and spend a little more they can pull of a victory in November.

Obama believes that Americans are stupid, ignorant and gullible. He is wrong.

Posted by: pkhenry | January 19, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

You made some intelligent points, but Democratic House Members from conservative areas could probably all but ensure reelection by publicly abandoning the health care bill.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | January 19, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

For being a political commentator, Robinson seems to understand little about politics. Coakley lost in Massachusetts in (arguably) the most Obama-friendly state in the nation. The problem is precisely that Democrats think they know what the public "needs", public opinion polls be damned. If Democrats keep this up, their 18-seat majority will suddenly become a minority in November.

Posted by: diehardlib | January 19, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Gene Robinson, you're the dumbest guy on the planet. Have a nice day.

Posted by: HookInMouth | January 19, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

To TIMNGUYEN1:

You appear to have an electoral math disability...Obama won the electoral college by 95 electoral votes. CA is worth 55. Illegal immigrants cannot vote in federal elections and the not one of the health care reform proposals authorizes subsidized coverage for illegal immigrants. You are a complete idiot and frankly, a disgrace to this site. Go spew your crap elsewhere.

Posted by: jdtdc | January 19, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

To TIMNGUYEN1:

You appear to have an electoral math disability...Obama won the electoral college by 95 electoral votes. CA is worth 55. Illegal immigrants cannot vote in federal elections and the not one of the health care reform proposals authorizes subsidized coverage for illegal immigrants. You are a complete idiot and frankly, a disgrace to this site. Go spew your crap elsewhere.

Posted by: jdtdc | January 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Get a rope, a tree and get rid of the other 50.

Posted by: BO__Stinks | January 19, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, Pravda is looking for opinion writers, please apply

Posted by: michaelhunt277 | January 19, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Gene you are right, no big deal

So a republican took a seat belonging to the Kennedys since 1952

So democrats out number republicans 2 to 1 in Mass.

No big deal, yeah right just wait til November, then see if even you can hide it by saying no big deal

Posted by: kathymac1 | January 19, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

We Republicans can only hope that Obama follows your advice, Eugene. Full speed ahead!

Posted by: grohlik | January 19, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"as far as I’m concerned -- just one way to quickly and cleanly get health-care reform signed and delivered, and that is for the House to pass the Senate bill. That’s a lot for House progressives to stomach, but it’s hard for me to imagine that any Democrat will be better off this fall after having promised a reform bill and not delivered."

Eugene, you are still missing the point. Both the House and the senate bills fail to deliver an ounce of reform. They are both designed to benefit the insurance companies and not the American people.

The Dems should listen to voters and heed their anger. Discard the Senate bill, improve the House bill and pass it through reconciliation. Passing a bill --any bill-- is not going to fly. They have to pass a GOOD bill. Good for us, not for corporations.

Posted by: Single_Payer | January 19, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse


...a guy who showed his dinky in a magazine is our new senator in Massachusetts...and now the hilarity ensues!

Posted by: nadinem | January 19, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, Eugene, Eugene.

Chin up. You're a journalist (sure you are) and all you have to do is chatter. Keep it up because if your man Barack listens to you, there will be a blood letting in the fall.

Barack Obama: Naive, arrogant, and struggling.

Posted by: AWWNats | January 19, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Tonight the man in the Pickup truck trumped the man in the Presidential Limousine. Scott Brown is a true American.
Tonight Scott Brown proved to the nation that the Obama, Pelosi, Reid extortion, bribery and arrogance will not be tolerated, even in Massachusetts. When we can beat Obama and his machine there we can do it anywhere. Scott Brown needed no teleprompter tonight. He laid out his agenda and it was a beautiful sight to behold.
The time has come to clean out those who would force faux reform down our throats. The People have decided that Obama and company have taken this country the wrong way. That secret back room deals and one party government cannot stand.
Isa. 13: 11
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Obama is the most arrogant man on the planet. His hubris will be his undoing. If Obama continues on his reckless path of ignoring the people of the United States they in their justifiable wrath will remove all those who follow him in the 2010 elections and he will be a one term President.

If the Democrats try to ram this through by delaying the certification of Scott Brown as Senator, all hell will rain down on them.

Posted by: mharwick | January 19, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Dream on, Robinson.

Posted by: janet8 | January 19, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

A poll taken today showed Obama with 53% approval in Massachusetts... this is not a referendum on Obama. This was about the horrible campaign that Coakley ran (she was off the air for 3 weeks from mid December to early January) and the horrible person that Coakley is. She is keeping an innocent man in jail for nothing more than personal, petty politics and she deserved to lose. The big lesson in this race is that the candidate who takes the race seriously and beats feet to meet votors is the one who wins. Coakley did none of that. Hats off to Scott Brown who ran a good campaign and took full advantage of his opponent's incompetence.

Posted by: johnnydigital | January 19, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, you are whistling in the dark. It is hard to imagine that you understand so little of what just happened. You may need denial as a shield against grief, but what happened was strong repudiation of a man, an outlook, a way of proceeding, and a vision for the future. The people may have naively elected Obama, but a lot of those people just don't want him anymore now that they know him better. They just don't.

Posted by: alfisher1 | January 20, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I'll try to put this in the most honest and blunt way I can. I'm an independent, (former Conservative Dem) my family is split half Rep and Dem, so there were a lot of disagreements politically but we somehow found some common ground to work with.
I look at our Government and see a trend that frankly scares me, were getting to the point that we as Americans are deliberately electing people (Rep and Dem) that can’t or won’t
work with the other Party for the better of the country and help us get out of this economic sink hole that we seem to be stuck in. I know people only seem concerned with their personal problems, wants, and needs I understand that, But if we keep deliberately doing this, if we keep electing people who refuse to work together for US. Then our government will cease to function to any effect as setup by our forefathers. Nothing will change for US because Dems and Republicans are so busy trying to win an unwinnable war for total power. Were like a man stuck in quicksand whose left hand refuses to work with the right hand to save the body because it wants to win so badly. Never mind the fact that when the body perishes both hands will too. If we keep going down this path it won’t be God Bless America it’ll be God Have Mercy on US for screwing up the Blessing of America. Come on people were ALL Americans and were better then this.

Posted by: toddjack98 | January 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

And Obama brought his Power Democrat Team to defend Coakley and the Bluest of Blue and the liberalest of liberal states
Many came to bat for Coakley and to save this liberal mecca, There were many high powered Democrat players that came to the plate including Bill Clinton and then Obama stepped up to the plate...
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in the White House— mighty Obama has struck out.

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

An even worse-than-usual collection of smirky and slightly veiled racist comments from anonymous posters which pretend to be commentary. The angry and frustrated right can delude themselves all along that they are somehow the wave of the future. They will continue to have the occasional victory...but their own hatred and poison will finish them off in the end.

Posted by: taylorb1 | January 20, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I rarely comment directly to a Post reporter, but, Robinson, you truly need to consider getting out of journalism. If you SERIOUSLY think that what happened tonight is just another "life goes on" event, you are not only blind, foolish, and naive, but also a discredit to the journalism profession.

November is coming.....and, trust me, you're not going to want to see what happens to the Democrats on Election Night.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 20, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

mr. robinson, are are absolutely out of sync with this country. do you get paid well? otherwise I just couldn't understand how you continue to be blind to what's obvious: Obama and ObamaCare are being rejected by the country!!! What a liberal, though I give you credit for not trying to hide that.

Posted by: jerrywang24 | January 20, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

This was the general tone of the news media about Obama before the election and bringing his machine to back Coakley.

"the trip is an enormous political risk for the president, but also an indication that the White House believes that the situation is as dire as the latest poll suggests."

Now after the election, they will just dump on Coakley...or repeat what Robinson is saying, " No Big Deal". Yes, kind of lying aren't you Robinson?

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

President Obama, don't you have an aniversary coming up soon?

Happy Anniversary Mr. President!

Posted by: robtr | January 20, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

That's probably the best thing for this. The other thing it does is breaks GOP gridlock too. So, it's not exactly a victory without cost. Neither side can play "the one" card at members any longer, that will be healthy.

I doubt the GOP is going to start acting any less like a pile of very ugly people, but this might give both parties room to start kicking around their fringes a bit. That needs doing badly.

Posted by: Nymous | January 20, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans should listen to what you are saying but they won't. They will overplay their hand by trying to make too much of this one election, thereby antagonzing those moderates who had strayed into their fold.

Posted by: docwebb | January 20, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Eugene.. you are not listening.. just lik e your Dem buddies.

The health care monstrosity is dead. Its over boys and girls.

Did you not hear Dems "current bill is dead" Barney Franks and Senator "Wait-to-seat-Scott" Webb ? They have heard the people of Mass, Virginia, and New Jersey. For this health care monstrosity it is \"Time to die\".

Too many Dems and Obama have been tone-deaf to raising voter anger.

The American people are still mostly conservative... as difficult as that is for Eugene. They actually WANT smaller government, lower taxes. fewer abortions, more focus on jobs and improving education (think charter schools).

The Democratic party has to pivot away from special interests (labor, lobbyists, leftists), terrorist-friendly policies, from job-hurting cap & trade, from BIG gov health care, from Wall Street billionaires !

Obama has to move to the middle where he campaigned ! .. He promised bipartisanship, transparency, balanced budgets, low-cost imported drugs from Canada, to clean-up Washington insider corruption.

He can get some modest health care reform. He could attack medicare costs, implement drug import, tort reform, cross-state competition, and than redirect savings into expanded medicare coverage for millions !

All good stuff many moderate Republicans would support !! Yes its a half-loaf maybe even a quarter -loaf but better than the current burnt loaf.

Obama can still save his party and his presidency, IF he acts like Candidate Obama.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 20, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

So the Democrats have lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate? And now the Republicans can block every bill the Obama team wants to pass by talking it to death?

Let them. Let them stall the legislative process to their hearts' content. Let them stand up and speak by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the month, saying nothing.

Then the whole country will see what the Republican party really stands for.
1/19/2010 11:41:07 PM

Posted by: donnolo | January 20, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Ewe-gene, you're obviously a VERY slow learner.

Posted by: jabsemp | January 20, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

No, even libs like me don't want just ANY healthcare bill. Either version is a MESS. I expect BETTER. Give me a good, clean, simple public option--NO DEALS WITH ANY SPECIAL INTERESTS--and leave the insurance companies and those who love their plans alone. Take it to the people FIRST with all the benefits and costs upfront. No "Trust me, you'll like it when we finish behind closed doors." That will restore respect for Democrats and the support of the base.

Posted by: cavecraw | January 20, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Now there are 59 votes in the Senate for a health care bill, which seems a HELL of a lot more than 41, if my grade school math is correct. Doesn't seem that significant to me. If the Republicans want to filibuster, tell them to drag their mattresses in to the Senate chamber and start talking (not their aides and not clerks of the Senate) and we'll see just how long they last.
If those "progressive" Democrats in the House could stop being so prissy about THEIR votes, a health care bill will sail through.
Who should be upset about the Massachusetts election? Both parties. Is any one focusing on the fact that in many states, a majority of voters belong to neither major party?
Welcome to new Senator Brown, who will be one of the most liberal Republicans in the Senate - and also one of those Magical Realist politicians - usually of the Republican persuasion - who campaign on cutting taxes, but never on cutting programs....

Posted by: mhd51 | January 20, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Robinson writes - "There is -- unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned -- just one way to quickly and cleanly get health-care reform signed and delivered, and that is for the House to pass the Senate bill." This solution is so simple, obvious and pragmatic that is seems near to genius. That surely would be the way to get the Republicans with their new super minority wrong footed, embarrassed and too short of breath to gloat in no time flat. So, will the House do it? Of course not!

Posted by: rickboy | January 20, 2010 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Love Mr. Robinson: "head bloodied, but unbowed." Love that humility.

No, you are dead wrong.

The voters, the average Joe and Jane, have rejected these health care bills.

If you didn't get that message from the Virginia, New Jersey, and now Massachusetts results, then you're either blind or tone-deaf, no less than these Democrats.

Posted by: FreedomFirst2 | January 20, 2010 5:10 AM | Report abuse

The anti-Vietnam Democrats set up a counter reaction in the USA that made it possible for Reagan and the Bushes (two) to win in the USA. Now it seems the anti-Iraq Democrats may do the same for our future. Mr. Robinson who has never seen a war he did not want to give up on, should ponder the results of his positions. The cost to our well being will be enormous.

Posted by: gary4books | January 20, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

I had a dream today.

Eugene had a dream...........yesterday?

Posted by: sdavis4 | January 20, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

“It’s hard for me to imagine that any Democrat will be better off this fall after having promised a reform bill and not delivered.” As usual, Robinson’s powers of imagination seem rather feeble. Just ask the Democrats in the House and Senate whether they will be better off after the November elections if they now vote for any health-care bill.

Posted by: gmdim | January 20, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

ASK BILLY 'BOMBER' AYERS, GENE


Dang, Gene. Your pal Billy 'Bomber' Ayers gonna have to start bombing police stations again? He was stupid in 1970 -- stupid now?

Think the 53 pro-life House Dems are going to vote for the Senate bill?

You and Billy "Bomber" Ayers smoked dope too long at "The Michigan Daily," Chuckles.

Posted by: russpoter | January 20, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

WHERE'S BILLY 'BOMBER' AYERS?


He was supposed to get more ILLEGALS to help Coakley.

WTF was he, Gene?

Helping you put out "The Daily Worker" and "Gus Hall: American Communist?"

Posted by: russpoter | January 20, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's Go . . . Republicans?

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, May 1, 2009

At this point, I'm almost ready to start rooting for the Republicans.

No, not really. There's no "mercy rule" in politics. And anyway, the increasingly bitter ideologues who control what's left of the Grand Old Party are so bereft of new ideas -- and so determined to obstruct rather than collaborate -- that I could never wish them well.

The thing is, though, that input from an effective, constructive opposition party would be good at this pivotal moment in the nation's history. If only such a party could be found.

Posted by: hz9604 | January 20, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Denial isn't a river in Egypt, Olbermann lite..

Posted by: wewintheylose | January 20, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

A word of caution to Reid & Pelosi. Voters are not as gullible as you and hour cohorts seem to think. Your behind-the-scene manipulations and giving away the store to get a vote is not acceptable. We need a health reform bill but it's got to make some sense. Your 2000 page bill is garbage that no one, not even you, seemed to have any real understanding.

Posted by: Mecarswell | January 20, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Finally, the apartheid hold on this Senate seat by the thug family "Kennedy" is over.

Posted by: speedo1 | January 20, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

To the Democrats:
Please don't delude yourselves into thinking this is less significant that it is. This is a rejection of the out-of-control spending and the ugly politics that Democrats are using to try to ram their agenda through. Reconciliation should be off the table at this point since it is precisely the type of underhanded crap that voters won't tolerate. Democrats should view this as the whistle of a freight train coming in November. Trying even harder to get this healthcare thing through is a bad idea. You can't get out of a hole by digging faster. If you don't make some serious concessions, November is going to be rough.

To the Republicans:
Please don't delude yourselves into thinking this is more significant than it is. This is a certain victory for fiscal conservatism. However, Scott Brown is very moderate (leaning liberal) on social policy. This is not a wholesale endorsement of the Republican agenda by the people of Massachusetts. On gay marriage, Lt.Col Brown takes the (Constitutionally correct) position that it should be up to the states. He's pro-choice. If you want a Republican resurgence, you must be the party of fiscal conservatism and not the party of the Christian far-right. In short, a good take-away from this is to run more Scott Browns and fewer Sarah Palins.

Posted by: flyingRobot78 | January 20, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

robinson would only be upset if a white man took away a black man's seat...
but not to worry, in november the members of the cbc will have to answer for their inaction on jobs...
like they say...
what have they done for us lately...
the answer...
not much...
and for that...
they must pay...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 20, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, Gene, as so many are beating their chests and shouting "mea culpa" or ("tua(??) culpa"), I must confess that I am among them! Ever since the Virginia and New Jersey elections for governor, I have kept to myself my big secret. This devoted supporter of the President really let him down.

As all of you writers try to fathom what happened to the Democrats, I tell myself that you really do not know our secret.

What happened, Gene, is not that the Republicans won. What happened is that we die-hard supporters of the President gave the elections (all three of them -- VA, NJ, and now MASS) to the Republicans. I was among those who failed to help our remarkable President.

When I could have gone out and worked to bring out the Democratic vote during the primary in my state, I sat back, convinced that the President's Party would win. We had some excellent candidates running in the gubernatorial race. How could we lose?

Alas, Fate worked against us and the most unlikely candidate won the primary. The rest is history.

So, to the Republicans who are trotting around and claiming the prize, I say the party's not over until it's over.

Henceforth, we admirers of our great President are not going to let such a fiasco happen again. I, for one, intend to give my greatest effort in helping any -- repeat any -- Democratic candidate running in any -- repeat any -- state where there is a close election.

And to all Democrats (and my pals, the Former Republicans) who are as chagrined as I am by our lapse, I ask that you put your gloves back on. Our fight has just started!

Posted by: Formerrepublican | January 20, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

No big deal says our most reliable Democratic apologist. Of course, had the reverse happened in some reliably-Republican state, you would be touting this as evidence of the death of conservatism, a landslide toward progressives, blah, blah, blah.

I hope your hypocrisy that you spew in the Post never gets backed up, Eugene. The pressure and volume would cause you to explode in seconds. You are a liar, a would be false prophet, but nobody buys your baloney anymore, Eugene, not even the Democrats of Massachusetts.

Posted by: hill_marty | January 20, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

After the Democrats took over everything, the Republican leadership (the old one that is passing, thank goodness), did not seem to have any idea what to do to regain footing. But then the Democrats basically did a lot for them with Dem ineptness, closed door meetings, and bribing to get its health agenda passed. After that, it took three smart, younger Republicans to run their own campaigns, not follow the old Republicans roadmap, and show them how to win an election.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 20, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Coakley ran a bad campaign - I guess she thought it was a lock. But Brown is no hardcore conservative, he can be persuaded on a lot of issues.

I'm in favor of universal healthcare, but the president probably should have focused on the economy and jobs first.

Of course, none of it matters: until we have real campaign finance reform (and term limits!), nothing will change. Corporations and special interests run America and will continue to do so until the citizenry decides it is willing to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term progress.

Posted by: stevenveshosky | January 20, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson:
The message and legislative actions of DEMOCRATS over the broad spectrum of issues they've brought forth label them as ELITISTS. They are the prescribers and implementors of policies the people have and are rejecting, all the while "labeling those who envision differing policy and actions as out of touch elitists". Reality is there are no reliable statesmen on the scene. Probably the most telling turning point for most independents was Gergen's label that the election was to decide who would fill "Kennedy's seat". Browns riposte was "It's the People's seat"
It would appear the politian's and people's intention should be to spend resources differently meaning reallocation of raising money, not printing more or more debt! Liberty is among the most precious resource, "spend" it with the utmost care!

Posted by: Tamerack | January 20, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Nice spin, Gene - it would make a whirling dervish proud. Too bad you've never had an original thought in your life. The lights have come on in the Capitol and now the cockroaches are running for cover. Keep an eye out the window for the Orkin man, Gene.

Posted by: jpost1 | January 20, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Eugene: this is called 'denial'.

Here's what's really going on: the 2008 election was a rejection of Bush. This rejection caused the political system to slide way to the left of where the US center is (Many W.Post readers cannot understand how far to the left of that center we've gone because DC metro region is WAY to the left of the rest of the US, most people here probably work for the government and get a direct cut of any new govt spending.) Well Bush is now gone, Americans have very short memories, so that sentiment has faded. Constantly hearing about irrational trillion dollar deficits at the same time the government tries to take over a vast swath of the economy is starting to scare independents away from the Democratic party. The Democrats have probably also lost a lot of enthusiasm because Obama has in some areas actually followed the same policies McCain would have -- last time I checked we've still got troops in Iraq.

Democrats are fatigued, Republicans are mad, and Independents are scared. Republicans are going to gain a lot of seats this year unless they can convince those Independents that Democrats represent them and not just their party core, otherwise they will vote for Republicans just to balance them out.

Posted by: afpre42 | January 20, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson,

You are a quintessential water carrier and apologist for Obama and the Denocrats.

Your dismissive, ho hum attitude towards the democrats stunning loss in the bluest of the blue states is on display for all to read.

I do hope you and all democrats maintain your current attitude. If you do, you'll really enjoy Nov. 2010.

Posted by: furtdw | January 20, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Barry Obama is nothing but a neo marxist
sophist and a very poor administrator,as
well. His persistent kowtowing to Islam,
Mexico, China, La Raza, Europe, The U.N.
have not helped America, his agenda, nor
the well being of "We The People". This
Administration calling attacks by Muslim
Terrorists "Man Caused Disasters" shows
just how much The Progressives are out
of touch with reality. Amnesty for 20
Million Illegal Aliens living in America
unlawfully will be another Psychotic
Delusion being foisted upon US Citizens.

Posted by: iamredwolf | January 20, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Once again Americans prove to the world that they are The Dumbest People On The Planet.

Posted by: VietVet68 | January 20, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh Eugene, you are true to form. Absolutely in denial. Hahahahaha

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | January 20, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call for the Obama administration.

While Obama's desire for a nonpartisan approach to governorship is to be admired, it's not realistic or the reality of doing business in Washington.

Obama received as clear a mandate as any president in modern times. It's now time for him to take the gloves off.

The republican's are not going to cooperate with Obama, they simply do not like him, not to mention the political threat to their old boy network. He will never win as long as he meekly deals with domestic issues he believes in.

We had 8 years of the most horrible leadership in modern times with Bush and republicans.

With my vote for Obama I did NOT ask him to hold the republican's hand and find common ground. I didn't ask him to seek their opinion or approval. I know what their opinion is and I don't like it. I didn't vote for them because I wanted change.

Come on Obama, get some balls and do what you think is best, to hell with the republicans. Do what we hired you to do!

Posted by: Topper2u | January 20, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, Eugene, I see why you are not running campaigns or advising people who are in office. Once again, your assertions are dead wrong. I don't understand for a second what you people do not get about public opinion. The health care bill is a disaster and many Americans (not the tea baggers, not the Fox News wingnuts, not the "social conservative" types, just ORDINARY Americans with a non-conformist opinion) DO NOT LIKE IT. People are uneasy about it and don't think that it's been done with any shred of transparency. How else can you explain the middle of the night votes and backroom deals?

What on earth is so difficult for you and your elitist ilk to understand about that?

Posted by: Nixonin08 | January 20, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Its doesn't go on for Ted Kennedy's seat though does it Eugene? Nor does it for your ambitious take over of America's liberty

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | January 20, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Robinson: just keep smiling on the train track until you are looking at the underside of the diesel.

Posted by: RFN8143 | January 20, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

LOL - Get over it Eugene you lost.

Your ideas were rejected in the most liberal state.

Your newspaper is failing. Your beloved Obama is failing, and you still don't get it.

Posted by: asdf9876 | January 20, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

oh and considering how much the democrats have been at each other's throats and how much trouble obama has had directing that 20 seat majority, things will be AWESOME with a 18 seat majority, half of which is scared sh!tless.

ER, there is an election in 10 months. and considering how badly democrats lost in Virgina, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the big news is that people like you are exposed as speaking only to a small group of people on the left wing of the left wing.

talk about burying the lead. not that i can blame you of course.

Posted by: dummypants | January 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Gene, you're livid that Odumbo's Reparations plans are stopped.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 20, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey Eugene, maybe if you arrogant democrats put tort reform in the bill instead of cutting medicare you will still save the taxpayers money and get one or two Republicans in the Senate to support the bill.

Posted by: linus12 | January 20, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

life goes on in this universe. the make-believe universe where obama's fantasy agenda was imagined? it just got hot but a 10 ton hydrogen bomb.

you know what obama says - better grab a mop! that mess is going to be tough to clean up.

Posted by: dummypants | January 20, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Gene wrote:, "One other observation: There is -- unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned -- just one way to quickly and cleanly get health-care reform signed and delivered, and that is for the House to pass the Senate bill."
- - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - -
That is great Gene! Hope they follow your advice! I really liked the *cleanly* part :-) That would place the scuttle charge right at the keel - sinking the Dumboat and saving us a lot of campaign money :-)

Posted by: thornegp2626 | January 20, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

ER, are you seriously still focused on partisan politics? on what course on health care (should we take health care away from some people and give it to others, or shouldn't we?) is best for democrats going forward?

how bout asking yourself what the american people want, nay, are even willing to accept without rising up.

we aint punks ER. and if you think democrats are in a position to worrying about saving political face, just wait till november.

Posted by: dummypants | January 20, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, you need to wake up and put the kool-aid down. Obama is not who you wish he was. He's just not. Yes, life goes on, but you dismiss this election--and the one in NJ and VA--at your own peril. This was absolutely a referendum on Obama's weak [or non] leadership, his lies, his capitulation, his lack of principle. You keep trying to make him a hero, but he is anything but. You want the Dems to pass "any" healthcare legislation so Obama's legacy can be saved. You hate seeing him lose like this, huh? Well, tough. Let it go my friend, let it go...

Posted by: PalmG | January 20, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

You're rambling today, Eugene. I guess you are still a bit shocky, huh? If the dems try to pass the senate bill as is, they will not only find themselves out of a job come 2010 and 2012, they will find this plan in a dumpster behind the senate building before the next inaugural ball.

Posted by: bandaid | January 20, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts voters reflect the general disgust with Congress. The majority party takes the blame, whoever is at fault. The only thing worse than a bunch of Democrats in Washington is a bunch of Republicans. All we need to turn disgust into revulsion is -- more Republicans.

Posted by: frodot | January 20, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

If your pals "quickly and cleanly" pass the Senate Health Care Bill in a rush to beat Brown's arrival they'll take an even bigger beating in November.

Coakley lost because citizens have figured out the Democrat plan is to spend as much and as quickly as possible on their "special friends".

Secret negotiations, no reform for big Pharma and the Trial Lawyers, special exemptions for unions, the list of reprehensible actions by Obama and the Democrats continues to grow.

You and your pals are tone deaf and out of step with America.

Posted by: krankyman | January 20, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

You miss the point Eugene. The Democrats should have been able to elect ANYBODY in Massachusetts. It is ... err ... WAS the bluest of blue states.

If the Republicans can win there, they can win anywhere.

You buried the lede. The story is this election is a harbinger of 2010 (and 2012 if the Democrats don't drastically change tack).


If the Republicans can win there, they can win anywhere.

You buried the lede. The story is this election is a harbinger of 2010 (and 2012 if the Democrats don't drastically change tack).

Posted by: HughJassPhD | January 20, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, the Democrats still hold the Senate.....we get that. Thank you. BUT, you didn't mention that the seat held by Ted Kennedy was taken by a Republican. That certainly is a huge shift in events and worth paying attention!

Posted by: Revcain777 | January 20, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Well, Geno, I see your head is still buried somewhere it shouldn't be and you're still sipping that kool-aid on the rocks. Do you really think the tea bagger right wing nuts hijacked Mass? Come on! You're a bright guy. If the Mass electorate can and will toss out an Obama sychophant it can and will happen anywhere. The gig is up and you are STILL IN DENIAL! Maybe you should sell your laptop, quite being a pundit, and run for office.

Posted by: rogerherd | January 20, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Does Robinson ever stop playing the race card? I have life long friends who are an inter-racial and during the 2008 primaries they supported Clinton because they feared that if Obama won, and because of his lack of experience, he's not as successful as Bill Clinton, folks would believe that it was because he is black.

So tell me Robinson, are blacks and whites even now? Have we paid enough for buying black slaves from black slave owners? How much more pain does the black community get to inflict on America before they get it that they really are equal, if they choose to clean their side of the street, rebuild the black family with moral character, and keep their children in school so they can compete equally with white folks and life themselves into economic parity.

But no, for blacks the only thing they see is skin color. King would be so disappointed.

Posted by: billbridgesmaccom | January 20, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

CAN somebody out there give me the ADDRESS for this EUGENE ROBINSON so that I can send him a SYMPATHY CARD!!!

Posted by: yojoe | January 20, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, I posted yesterday that I couldn't wait to see how you would spin Brown's win.

Frankly, I'm disappointed. No spin - just smug arrogance and the exact air of "this makes no difference, we will forge on in spite of the voters" that got Brown elected in the first place.

You have chosen to ignore the message sent from Virginian's, New Jersey voters and now the people of Massachusetts. You - and the entire left - ignores the message at your own peril.

Posted by: JackESpratt | January 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"No wonder that everyone so quickly forgave Reid his gaffe about President Obama’s skin tone and elocution."

Actually, Reid wasn't speaking of Obama, his skin tone or elocution.

He was speaking of the electorate and correctly pointed out that white voters would be more likely to vote for a black man with a light skin tone rather than the coal blackness of the Sudan, and who spoke standard English.

Posted by: norriehoyt | January 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey Nadinem: Nice comment on that magazine showing. Now, let's remember Teddy K's little driving mishap and you tell all of which is worse!!

Posted by: rogerherd | January 20, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"No wonder that everyone so quickly forgave Reid his gaffe about President Obama’s skin tone and elocution."

Actually, Reid wasn't speaking of Obama, his skin tone or elocution.

He was speaking of the electorate and correctly pointed out that white voters would be more likely to vote for a black man with a light skin tone rather than the coal blackness of the Sudan, and who spoke standard English.

Posted by: norriehoyt | January 20, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama is labeled smart by the progressives. Palin and every other conservative is stupid. OK.Obama makes fun of this guys truck. Brown drives a chevy. Obama makes fun of truck, but then tells us how much money the taxpayer needs to spend to bail out said truck company. Obama is an idiot, blinded by progressive agenda.

Posted by: machoman1022 | January 20, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Well-said, Mr. Robinson. A voice of calm. Democrats own the White House and are the majority in both houses. Pass Health care now, end the wars, heal the economy and let the tea bag wind bags chortle a while. End of the day, it's Republicans out of power. Carry on!

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | January 20, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Gene, you've done some doozies on the denial front, but this one takes the cake.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | January 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

An 18-vote majority is cause for despair because the Senate requires an anti-democratic super majority to pass ANYTHING the Republicans do not want.

41 Republicans, representing about a third of the U.S. population can block ANYTHING they want.

This is the tyranny of the minority, represented by the current state of the Republican Party -- the Party of 'No'.

I've long laughed at comments to 'abolish the Senate'; I'm not laughing anymore.

Posted by: HillRat | January 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

TO JDTDC:

Apparently it is your math that is faulty. Obama won by 95. Take away the 55 he won and give it to McCain and McCain would have won by 15 votes. Is your teleprompter broken?

Posted by: RockTheRedGreat8 | January 20, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama believes that Americans are stupid, ignorant and gullible. He is wrong.

Posted by: pkhenry |
---------------------------------

Pardon me, but you must have confused #44 with #43.

Posted by: sjcsando | January 20, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Considering that 1/3rd of the voters in Massachusetts are Democrats, and 15% are Republicans; this was not a win for Republicans, but a win for Independents. Like I said yesterday; I’m not disappointed by Brown winning this seat. Why? Solely because it will soon come to fruition what the Republican Party is all about. Come 2012, Obama will have a loaded gun to run on. The Republican Party will now block every policy Obama tries to implement (including the extremely beneficial ones), and Obama will definitely point that out.

Posted by: BasicInstinct | January 20, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mr.Robinson. Sometimes I think politics is all a good cop/bad cop game played for the benefit of the dupable public.

If the Dems don't do something about measurable about Health Care soon they better forget about being elected. Put another way, one the pols may actually understand: If you don't do something about health care costs and pre-existing conditions much of your former constituency
may be too dead to vote.

Posted by: martymar123 | January 20, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Great piece in the WP today! Better than this piece

So, a Republican has convincingly won Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat. After opposing health reform. And supporting the waterboarding of terrorists. And appearing as a nude centerfold. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by three to one. And where Republicans haven’t won a Senate election since 1972. After a high-profile visit by President Obama. Who won the state by 26 points last year. But who now carries no political weight in the bluest state in the country. With vicious, public recriminations starting among Democrats even before election day. Following major losses in Virginia and New Jersey.

All of which led one popular Democratic blog to argue: “Why Massachusetts doesn’t matter.”

Well, it does matter. It means a president who no longer inspires political fear. It means moderate Senate Democrats -- such as Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln -- who now feel nothing but fear from angry voters. It means that cap-and-trade legislation and immigration reform are on life support. It means that Rahm Emanuel’s “big bang” theory of legislative liberalism is the most foolish political strategy in recent memory. It means that spending political capital on health reform instead of economic recovery and growth was a dreadful error. It means that a crisis that Obama didn’t want to waste has largely been wasted.


The response of prominent Democratic thinkers? "Since Americans think we are arrogant, let’s cram health reform down their throats, employing legislative trickery."
There is only one explanation for this remarkable turn of events. Americans thought Obama was a moderate. He certainly sounded like one. But now he is attempting to remake one seventh of the economy in a quick march of party-line votes. In the process, he has alienated independents in large numbers -- even in Massachusetts.

Obama now has the highest disapproval rating in the history of Gallup polling for a president entering his second year in office. He has been handed a series of political humiliations. If he takes all of this as motivation to “stay the course,” the humiliations have only begun.

Posted by: kathy26 | January 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

In all of the coverage of this event, before and after the election, I have not seen one instance of what Brown's detailed plans are on health care, the wars, the economy and the deficit.
So, according to the giddy Republicans, they won one for the Gipper. And if they keep on winning Senate and House seats and find themselves in the catbird seat once again, what will be their agenda? How will they approach the deficit, health care, the environment, the wars . . . except to say "we will do things differently?
What will the difference be from eight years of the truly failed presidency of George Bush?
Give us you plan without the platitudes and the generalizations, please.
I didn't think so . . .

Posted by: hyjanks | January 20, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The country would be better off if the current bill was tossed on the scrap heap and a true bipartisan bill was negotiated - with no special deals. That is what American's want .. why can't politicians get this.

Posted by: sarno | January 20, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Just as Rush Limbaugh predicted, the Democrat Party wildly overreached and acted like a kid in a candy store when a strange confluence of events caused the Republican "brand" to wane in the esteem of the national electorate and they suddenly found themselves in a situation of absolute power. The old adage goes that if you put a bag of dog excrement in front of a Democrat they can't help but step in it.
True to form, the Democrat "brand" has been exposed for what it is, the Bolsheviks in sheep's clothing, and the national electorate, beginning two months ago in Virginia and New Jersey, will summarily reject it.

Posted by: ddaly7 | January 20, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Eugene your world collapses on 1-20-1013.

Posted by: mpg515 | January 20, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

obama is a nice guy...his nice guy policies do not cut mustard with the Republicans.

Should go back to simple majority to get his programs through...enough is enough...stop appeasing the Republicans......this bi-partisan is a fodder for inaction if not defeat.

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | January 20, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I betting the Obama Adminstration has conducted more imgration raids than the Bush Adminstration did in the same period, since they had almost none in the first 5 years.
The comment about his aunt is just silly, any sitting Senator could have gotten their aunt a green card if they wanted to, Pres Obama clearly is not that concerned about the side of his family which abandoned him as a young child.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Robinson's analysis was unusual in today's commentary for its sobriety. By contrast , the tone of the majority of the comments is hysterical...If I were in a war, I'd hope to be under the command of a non-hysteric such as Robinson. Others, Dems, Republicans, "Independents" alike seem to be falling into hissy fits- of hatred, gloating, panic, disappointed love, whatever. Man up people.

Posted by: jadler2 | January 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Of course now, if the Republicans do not retake the House and Senate with good margins, they clearly will have failed badly.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 20, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I’m a huge supporter of health care reform and it continues to amaze me that this is such a big issue.

I have health coverage but I won’t be one of the people who say "I’ve got mine you get yours." I hope that Congress will at last take that attitude. They don’t have a filibuster majority so what – pass what you can and screw the Republicans and those who don’t care about their fellow Americans. After all the Republicans have theirs.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 20, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts ! Welcome back to the Real America

Posted by: humzafs | January 20, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How about we try to work out a bill with both parties involved. Time is not an issue here since NONE of the effects (except the immediate tax increases) were to take affect for four years. let's look at this for what it really is; a time to regroup and refrom Health Care the right way. That would be with bipartisan approval, preventive care, open competition across the country and tort reform.

Posted by: thensell | January 20, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts ! Welcome back to the REAL America

Posted by: humzafs | January 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats that won in conservative districts are in big trouble. This country is still center right and we learned that last night.

Posted by: djo4 | January 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes Robinson, and the earthquake really meant nothing to the Haitians...
I'm as perplexed at your Pulitzers as Obama receiving the Nobel....outrageous

Posted by: sophic | January 20, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Massachusetts has Universal Healthcare

The Brown's senate seat victory is the best thing that could have happens to the senate democrats; in the pass, the strategy was to galvanize a 60, vote’s majority to end any filibuster from the republicans. This strategy proved to be a disaster. Harry Reid had to cave in to blue dog’s democrats to get the healthcare bill out of the senate. The healthcare bill was weaken for a few dollars more.
However, Massachusetts has Universal Healthcare, what do they care about you who do not have healthcare are cannot afford it. Now, the senate will come to a snail pace, but Harry Reid, would not have to the blue dogs.

The Public Option is off live support and back in play. With an up and down vote of 51 votes, on the senate floor, America may now have a better bill, because of Brown's senate seat victory. So if you think that this is just a Republican win, it is a nation’s win in a way.

If you listen to Mr. Brown’s campaign stumps, he has his facts wrong, on the health bill. He could not articulate how the senate’s bill eliminate the donut hold and how the nation’s pays 178 billion in Medicare payment each year, that could be eliminated by increasing Medicare benefits and increase payment to participating doctors payment. In addition, his position, he would vote no on this issue, but in the long, run the state of Massachusetts will suffer. They will suffer because he has no advantage, he will vote lock step with the republicans, and his state will suffer, Massachusetts Medicare seniors will pay more for prescription drugs, their doctors will be paid less.

Does Sen. John Kerry, have a partner he can work with? He bashed the Republicans at every chance he had; on his campaign and still think that the president is a bastard. He is a father less child in the senate, and will have to have a gut check when he going to try to reach across the aisle.

The republicans should not assume, just because they won a few early races that 2010 that this is going transcend in victory in November, the same angry voters would most likely vote all labeled constructionist out of office. They want a congress that works together to promotes the American agenda.

Posted by: nateminor | January 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The "wave" that sank Coakley, Deeds and whoever it was in New Jersey is not surprising. Its typical following a presidential election such as Obama's. And, yes, it is building and will hit again in November. Look at those that hit the congressional elections following Clinton's and W's first elections. These waves are usually higher when a party holds the White House and both houses of Congress. The lesson from that is nothing new. Americans abhor concentrations of power. Dems and Republicans both know this. It means the Dems should press ahead to get health care beause they cannot know when they'll again enjoy the majority they now have.

Posted by: mini1071 | January 20, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

We the people have spoken .
Even though the left ,Obama never listened to us .
If they were Democrats ...yes .
Ah but this elite know it all crowd are radical Progressive Marxist .
Big difference !

Posted by: same15259 | January 20, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, please keep pushing for the "progressives"(these are the hard core leftists who've hijacked the Democrat party), to ram through this disastrous health care plan which the majority of the American people clearly do not want. If that goal of political suicide is accomplished, it is OVER in November for all those who wish to ignore the wishes of the American people. Are they that arrogant and out of touch with the average American? Probably. Try us.

Posted by: LAWNMAN209 | January 20, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

TO MHARWICK. Just what is Brown's agenda? I'll tell you. It is the same crap we hear from the Republican crooks who have ruined the country. He'll vote in lockstep with McConnell,DeMint and the Wall Streeters who give them their marching orders. It is beyond anyone's reason why the people of Massachusetts think voting for a teabagging,right winger just like the stupid white folk in the south always do will improve their lot. Thanks Massacusetts. Those of us with brains hate you.

Posted by: hughsie48 | January 20, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Robinson you are just an out of touch delusional spin master. Go back under the porch you curr.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | January 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Republicans have a major inferiority complex here... They'll crow about anything and call it the end of Obama.

Scott Brown's victory does not undo 8 years of Bush, and it does not mean Democrats lose control of the Washington agenda... Ask Norm Coleman.

Posted by: gmoore40 | January 20, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Pass a bill with 51 votes? How dare they? Of course, it takes 60 votes, even though nowhere in the Constitution does it require 60 votes. And nowhere does it give such power to small states. That is in the Senate rules, which I wish the Republicans had changed when they ran the place.

Posted by: gtinla | January 20, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse


IS BARRY BOY PLAYING GOLF TODAY OR PAYING OFF UNION BOSSES???


NEITHER -- HE'S SHOPPING FOR A PICKUP TRUCK AT THE USED CAR LOT - A CLUNKER!!

HIS LIMO LEASE IS FINISHED!!

HAHAHAHAHA!!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | January 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes, wrock76taolcom, they should go back, as Dean and McCain proposed, and start this reform all over again from scratch. And it should be good enough in result to get simple majority in senate and congress. The problem is, however, that I do not believe Obama and, subsequently, his administration could do anything like this. As such thing requires different nature of the leader, and the different approach to leadership. My opinion -dems should let Obama go. it might also mean that they would let the hope of health reform go, but this latter one seems to be practically gone anyway.

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I am a Democrat, but I don't support President Obama's healthcare plan. I am glad Senator elect Scott Brown won. I am going to become an Independent, because the Democratic and Republican parties suck. D.C. voters need to replace worthless loud mouth liberal Eleanor Holmes-Norton, liberal Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, and the left wing liberal D.C. City Council. We need some moderates on the D.C. Council.

You want until Congress and President Obama address illegal immigration, the citizenry will be upset, because they are fed up with illegal immigration.

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 20, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Eugene, for reading my mind. The people who write and rattle their verbal swords about the upcoming blood-bath are working with limited knowledge and imagination.

The Democratic party has the White House and both houses of Congress. Let the stupid stand in the field and do their dance of victory.

We can show how much the Democrats have learned about changing tactics and winning.

Posted by: goodgovernment | January 20, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

It's reassuring to be able to check in with Eugene Robinson at a time like this. As usual he's delivered reason and intellect - sanity.

Thank you, Eugene. I feel better.

I had no idea so many Americans could be so immature, selfish and short-sided. And I don't think Obama did either.

This might very well have been the wake-up call he needed to realize that Americans are just not as intelligent and reasonable as he thought. Most just cannot see the Big Picture of how things fit together - they need to have it more dramatically painted for them.

So now let's see what he can do to set things straight and bring them along. (I suggest more simple, real-life analogies and fewer, or at least briefer, reasoned arguments.)

Posted by: janetsf | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It's reassuring to be able to check in with Eugene Robinson at a time like this. As usual he's delivered reason and intellect - sanity.

Thank you, Eugene. I feel better.

I had no idea so many Americans could be so immature, selfish and short-sided. And I don't think Obama did either.

This might very well have been the wake-up call he needed to realize that Americans are just not as intelligent and reasonable as he thought. Most just cannot see the Big Picture of how things fit together - they need to have it more dramatically painted for them.

So now let's see what he can do to set things straight and bring them along. (I suggest more simple, real-life analogies and fewer, or at least briefer, reasoned arguments.)

Posted by: janetsf | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

We have 104 trillion dollars in unfunded mandates.
12.3 trillion in debt.
Not a southern border but a southern sieve.
Troops scattered around the world chasing explosive underwear---last congressional declaration of war was in 1942.
Somewhere in the midst of all the distraction, could we get a little less talk and a lot more action?

Posted by: EliPeyton | January 20, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

To toddjack98,
I have been reading these post all morning and I had to sign up to respond to your post. Thank you for your post. Someone finally said something that made sense. I myself am a Moderate Democrat. I started voting in 2000 I wanted to wait until I understood all that was going on in our Government. In the time that I have been paying attention, I have seen exactly the same thing, and I agree you 100 percent. The rest of you may verbally attack me for this if you choose, but I am standing by it. because one has to stand by what he says, and by what he believes.

Posted by: Graff_von_Watts | January 20, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

An open letter to all Democratic Senators and Congressmen:

Please, please please follow the advice of Eugene Robinson. Please ignore the lessons of Massachusetts. Please continue to think that this election really doesn't matter and all you have to do is charge forward with your agenda and then we like you for it. Please pass this current abomination that you call health care reform by any means necessary. Please, House of Representatives, agree to the Senate bill.

Please do these things. While you're at it, please continue to afford Constitutional rights to terrorists. For good measure, please continue reckless and profligate spending to your progressive heart's content. Oh, and don't forget to please pass card check and cap & trade.

We hope you will follow Mr. Robinson's advice so that, in November 2010, you will be able to join the other nearly 11% of the population on the unemployment line. And then the new Republican Senate and House can get to work on erasing all of your misguided and completely irresponsible policies.

Thank you,
-America

Posted by: etpietro | January 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Life goes on? Who is kidding whom?

This vote was a repudiation of Barack Obama for whom I'd like to dedicate the following song:

Hit the road Barack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Barack and don't you come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Barack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Barack and don't you come back no more.

Posted by: Jerzy | January 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I told my husband last night. The number is
41. 41 Republicans now in the senate.
On the whole, not that much to crow about.
In fact all the republicans can't even seem to crow. All they can do is say
no.
41. is all they got. 41 and no.
Not much, when you think about it.

Posted by: canaldoc | January 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

jadler2 wrote "Man up people" and I could not agree more. First, it is time the American People "Manned up" and worked towards a united front. The two party and in-party bickering is opening the doors WIDE for Independents to take the reigns in 2012. If we value our two party system we had better learn to work together. Second, we cannot afford to have more months of working on this health care bill. Get it done people (Congress) and move on to the next item on the agenda. Third, lets stop looking towards the next presidential election, it will come soon enough. Lets start working to make our country a better place under the current administration. Even if we don't agree with everything, we have to find some common ground.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

What have he Democrats done with their mandate in a year since taking power? Not much. They should have been able to pass Single Payer - something I favor, even as a Republican. But, instead they dithered, floundered, made seemingly shady compromises and, most importantly, failed. And now they are reaping the bitter fruit. I cannot feel sorry for them, only us...

Posted by: daddybat | January 20, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Apocalypse" might be a very good word to describe what happened. It is a good word because many people think it refers to a disaster, but the underlying meaning of the word is a revelation.

Why do you think that people should be happy about this health care bill when even the labor unions, who were supposed to be among its prime beneficiaries, had to be bribed to accept it?

I think that we probably ought to have a health care safety net, but I don't think this bill does that. It seems that the promoters of single-payer thought the next best thing was to break the current system and hope that single-payer could be brought in to fill the void.

If it was supposed to be beneficial, or even neutral, for those who currently have access to the system, they wouldn't have had to exempt labor unions as the price of their support.

I think people forget that even some of the controversial Bush proposals were passed after reaching out to both parties. Ted Kennedy was a co-sponsor of No Child Left Behind and had significant impact on the bill. Bush's Social Security proposals were the conclusions of a bipartisan commission co-chaired by Sen. Moynihan. The USA PATRIOT act passed the House 357 to 66 and passed the Senate 98 to 1. He obtained congressional War Powers authorization for both the war against those who supported 9/11 and also for the war in Iraq.

And yet Bush did not pander, he promoted what he thought was best for the country even when it was unpopular. That is why Obama is having such a hard time undoing the Bush policies, they may be hard to support but they are well-crafted to the realities of our situation. They are pragmatic.

Obama could save the Democrats, but he needs to convince the Congress to stop their approach of pillaging those they see as their enemies in order to distribute the spoils to those they see as their friends, and to stop creating disaster in order to have a campaign issue. At least he might get them to be less obvious about it.

In order to heal, the nation needs Obama to succeed as a statesman who can bring both sides to make progress on our considerable common ground. If he blows this opportunity, the great hope represented by his election will be lost for a while. Obama needs to convince Nancy Pelosi to stop trying to make this administration into a D.W.Griffith-style caricature of what Democrats want. Of course, she isn't doing this explicitly, but it is the effect of her approach.

Perhaps the Democrats will use this apocalypse to turn more toward the approach Obama laid out in his campaign and away from the Pelosi/Reid strategy that has prevailed since the elections of 2006. These seasoned professional politicians have shown by word and deed that they think Obama is just there to run their errands, and the Democrats will continue to lose if they allow this to continue.

Posted by: Mazzula | January 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

President Obama and his administration have nothing to worry about.

I say give Scott Brown what he wants. Kennedy's position. Use Scott and compare him to the different direction that Kennedy did for Massachusetts. Tag him to the party of "no" and present the difference in November. Boom. Done deal for other republiCANTS.

At the same time...Coakly ran a sorry campaign because she thought it was a given. Other Democrats can take that lesson and learn from it.

Posted by: BigHustla | January 20, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, Gene, as so many are beating their chests and shouting "mea culpa" or ("tua(??) culpa"), I must confess that I am among them! Ever since the Virginia and New Jersey elections for governor, I have kept to myself my big secret. This devoted supporter of the President really let him down.

As all of you writers try to fathom what happened to the Democrats, I tell myself that you really do not know our secret.

What happened, Gene, is not that the Republicans won. What happened is that we die-hard supporters of the President gave the elections (all three of them -- VA, NJ, and now MASS) to the Republicans. I was among those who failed to help our remarkable President.

When I could have gone out and worked to bring out the Democratic vote during the primary in my state, I sat back, convinced that the President's Party would win. We had some excellent candidates running in the gubernatorial race. How could we lose?

Alas, Fate worked against us and the most unlikely candidate won the primary. The rest is history.

So, to the Republicans who are trotting around and claiming the prize, I say the party's not over until it's over.

Henceforth, we admirers of our great President are not going to let such a fiasco happen again. I, for one, intend to give my greatest effort in helping any -- repeat any -- Democratic candidate running in any -- repeat any -- state where there is a close election.

And to all Democrats (and my pals, the Former Republicans) who are as chagrined as I am by our lapse, I ask that you put your gloves back on. Our fight has just started!

Posted by: Formerrepublican | January 20, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, You are a bad liar. Your face has to be stinging from the spanking your heroes just took.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 20, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

so change the rules back on filibusters. Froce them to actually do it. Put up or shut up. It would be good political theater to watch the nparty of no, the representatives of 15% of the nation, standing up there reading phone books while people lose their homes, their savings, their health, their children's educations. Then there would be no hiding who is responsible for the stalling and the slowing down of the agenda we elected Democrats to enact.

Posted by: John1263 | January 20, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Eugene: is you is or is you ain't a journalist? If you is, you are out of touch homeslice and as such, irrelevant. Your article was nonsense, much like your Dem friends agenda for this country.

Posted by: kcdi78 | January 20, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

you pubbies love the markets, and what did the Wal Street repubicon loving crowd say yesterday? Why -- it sent stock in insurance and drug companies through the roof. They think that if republicons actually succeed in sentencing tens of thousand of Americans to death every year and hundreds of thousands more to homelessness and bankruptcy it will be all GRAVY for insurance company death panels and drug dealers. The Market said it all. republicons are the party of Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and Wall Street. Have been in the pocket of Big Business and helping Big Business crush the people since the 1870s.

Posted by: John1263 | January 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Have the republicans thought about america after the november elections? Do they think getting voted back into power makes all of our problems just go away because they are happy again? Or do they even care about our country beyond them running it? You would think based on republicans that all of our problems were created on Tuesday November the 7th 2008, the day Obama was elected and democrats took a majority in congress so we can solve all of americas problems simply by undoing everything we did that day and putting them back in power. Somehow we will not have a health care crisis, an immigration problem, middle east wars, slumping ecconomy and joblessness, this will simply go away by voting against Obama and the democrats and voting them back in to face the same problems that existed when they were voted out.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 20, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

to michaelhunt277. Interesting that you should bring up Pravda, considering that for all the screaming about socialism there's a big 900 pound COMMUNIST gorilla in the room that's holding about half a trillion dollars of our debt. In fact, our futures are so irreversibly linked to this gorilla that but for the grace of
China goes the USA. So go ahead and pick the lies you want to believe, the Dems and Reps both have a nice varied assortment for you to choose from. So forget socialism. We are OWNED and if that gorilla gets mad, we're in trouble. And its good old all-American Big Business that brought us here, with lib and con and mod poiticians enabling it all. Our two party system is an illusion.

Posted by: curtb | January 20, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Life goes on.
Socialism goes off.

Posted by: VirginianforFreedom | January 20, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I have been pondering a scenario in which having 41 votes prevents Republicans from claiming that the Democrats are excluding them because they don't need them, and will, in fact, have to play along for fear of being accused of actually obstructing any reform. That won't happen unless Democrats actually make a public splash of entertaining Republican suggestions to fix the bill in response to their having obtained a 41st seat, even if only out of necessity, but someone might be clever enough to launch such a strategy. If Republicans fear that actually being responsible for obstructing any reform by refusing to even discuss changes, someone might suggest discussing some real improvements to the legislation so Republicans could take even more credit for fixing the bill with their 41st vote than they would for just using the 41st vote to kill it, and avoid the risk of being exposed as just wanting to obstruct.

it's a theory


and without 60 votes, Gene is right that democrat senators can't play the extortion game any more. that's a plus in the long run, for the people anyway, if not the dems, who just look stupid doing it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope the democrats do lose majority, just so the responsibility of fixing these messes will go to the people it should go to, the republicans. I hope Obama does get voted out in 2012, So the republicans can actually do some work instead of standing on the sidelines obstructing with no new ideas. Let the republican party fix the messes they made. I say vote all the democrats out and give the power back to the republicans. But beware they will view them getting voted back in as a vote for their own status quo policy of giving tax breaks to corporations while they move their companies to other countries and bankrupt themselves and expect the government to bail them out the same way they did when the republicans ran government before. I cant wait to see it. Its as if we did not get enough of the republican party. Like charlie brown kicking the ball we believe Lucy will not move it the next time. But she will, she always does, every time.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I hope the soon to pass health care bill has a provision for racist a-hole therapy. There are some folks here in dire need (jerzy? I would add some meds to your course of treatment)

Posted by: LABC | January 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't stomach any of the healthcare bills in Congress.

The various versions of the Healthcare bills in the House and the Senate are all fatally flawed peices of potential legislation; and as such, should be immediately, and totaly, scrapped. The bills are all partisan, rewarding blue states and penalizing red states, loaded with massive pork that does nothing to improve the healthcare of the nation, significantly written to enrich the bank accounts and portfolios of Washington legislators and their cronies, and are economic time bombs set to launch a coupe de grace on Americans after Obama leaves office.

Any national healthcare bill should be destroyed and the issue moved to a secondary priority after the tripartate issue of the economy, unemployment, and homelessness due to mortgage defaulting.

When the healthcare issue is brought back for resolution it MUST provide an equal level of access and quality everyone, it MUST cost less than the current system of healthcare costs, and it must provide a standard, basic set of services to everyone.

And yes, it will need to set a limit that the government will not go beyond for spending on any individual's care.

Calling the deciders of that limit a death panel is a gross, self-serving distortion of the truth, a bald-faced lie. The fact of the matter is that the people of the United States cannot afford to provide all of the healthcare needed for everyone who has a catastrophic illness or condition. They'll have to pay the rest themselves, or die.

Even if that person is me.

Posted by: mhoust | January 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS A PRETTY LAME ARTICLE, EUGENE. I WONDERED HOW LONG AMERICANS WOULD STAND BY AND WATCH THE DEMOS USE CORRUPT TACTICS TO PASS THE HEALTH BILL.YOU AND I HEARD FROM THEM LAST NITE AND YOU SIMPLY SAY LET THE HOUSE PASS THE SENATE BILL. AS BROWN SAID LAST NITE, THERE ARE MORE OF THESE ELECTIONS COMING. OBAMA-RAMA IS ENDING.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | January 20, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

So republicans, what should the democrats do? Scrap healthcare, scrap immigration reform, scrap energy reform? Basically scrap their entire agenda that they were voted in to address and wait until the 2010 and 2012 elections so you can claim either their policies were wrong or they did not do anything for the american people and you will. Yes, thats how our government is suppose to work, by the republicans for the republicans. I am just curious to know what the republicans plan to do if they do get back seats in congress or get elected back to the white house? Because once you win elections you have to do more than just object to your opponents as a way of making progress. You actually have to address the same issues that the current leadership is addressing and you are objecting to.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Eugene,

How do those tea bags taste?

Posted by: hartwr1 | January 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, you haven't a clue. But then apparently neither does Obama, he says he heard but is pressing on with his agenda. Sad for such intelligence and schooling to go to waste on such an egotistical, self-centered, self-serving idiot.

Posted by: staterighter | January 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You just don't get it Eugene!
You try to fluff this off as "Who cares the son will come up and all will be OK" -
You do not see that the president Obama squandered soooooo much political capital in his first year. Mr Obama was steamrolled by the political left.
Someday soon you will realize what was lost and maybe even write about it.
Keep those blinders on as long as you wish.

Posted by: James19 | January 20, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Gene, if you don't get it by now, there is no hope for you at all. The Democrats have already painted themselves into a no-win corner. Passing the insurance company-written senate bill is STILL no reform at all.

The best thing Democrats can do is pay attention to the advice offered by Howard Dean: scrap the piece of crap on the table and start all over. At least Democrats can appear to be working on real reform, even though they don't intend to deliver it.

Posted by: infuse | January 20, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Gene...Ted must be spinning in his submerged Olds 88 in Purgatory.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | January 20, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, the Dems have painted themselves into a corner with no way out. Their choices are to pass Obamacare with shenanigans or to dump it altogether. Either way they lose. Don't look for Scott Brown or any other Republican to save their bacon, it won't happen, at least not until after the 2010 elections which will be a debacle for the Democrats. They did it to themselves. They controlled the Senate, House and Wh and couldn't agree among themselves how to proceed after a year of back and forth. Throw the bums out.

Posted by: delusional1 | January 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson:
You are dismissive and condescending in your attitude to this. But then you can't really appear to discuss the real repercussions because then it would partly fall back on the one you protect practically every time he breathes.
It is a shame that you will be forever, in my mind at least, be known as someone who has given up all objective reporting or commentary in order to ensure that your Obama is protected in history at all costs and that he forever remain the perfect person you wish him to have been.

Posted by: justmyvoice | January 20, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

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