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January 20th. A Democratic win with the inauguration of President Obama, and one year later, the loss of a key Democratic seat in the Senate. Arguably, two victories for frustrated Democrats.

Liberals like myself have been frustrated by President Obama’s inexplicable need to court Conservatives to pass health care reform with 60 votes in the Senate. The result has been compromise after compromise, a watering down of any true health insurance reform while making unconscionable backroom deals with the likes of Bill Nelson and Joe Lieberman, while the most simple and effective solution: “Medicare for all” was all but ignored in a desperate attempt to reach 60 votes.

On ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday, guest panelist Tucker Carlson (sans bowtie) repeated the Conservative meme that “Democrats in the Senate have 60 votes. Everything that comes out of Washington… they own it.” Of course, this is absolute nonsense (as I’ve repeatedly pointed out), with Lieberman and the Blue Dogs (not a pop music group) obstructing every vote, Democrats have had no more than 52-53 reliable Progressive votes to pass anything. Meanwhile, Conservatives have turned being an “obstructionist” into an art form.

And now with no chance of achieving 60 votes for anything, maybe President Obama will FINALLY give up on trying to get 60 votes for everything, and pass health care reform with a STRONG public option using “budget reconciliation” (requiring only 51 votes).

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, filling in for Keith Olbermann on “Countdown”, suggested that a win for Brown could seriously screw up the GOP’s mid-term election agenda. Why? Because they hope to run on “repealing” everything passed by the Democratically controlled congress… healthcare, tax increases, etc. And how do you run on “repeal” if the programs never pass to begin with?

Losing Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, a seat that he held for over 40 years, to a Republican so soon after his death is seriously disappointing, but the fact candidate Chris Brown ran from the label “Republican” like a GOP leper colony, not even using the word on his website, demonstrates that the label “Republican” is still toxic in parts of the country. Voters may be frustrated with Democrats, but Brown’s “win” isn’t exactly a victory for Republicans (though, of course, they’ll try their best to spin it that way… aided by the MSM… for weeks to come.)


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