Hey, Massachusetts, what just happened?

I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the political events of the last 24 hours. Not necessarily Martha Coakley’s defeat; I kinda saw that one coming based on the number of Scott Brown yard signs that cropped up around town, and even in our former home of Milton (home town of Governor Patrick). Patrick Kennedy coming to town to rally for “Marcia” on Sunday kinda sealed the deal. With that kind of support, I bet even the hapless Jack E. Robinson could have defeated Coakley.
No, it’s the reaction of leading congressional Democrats that’s got my jaw on the floor. Barney Frank wasted no time in declaring that the current approach to health care reform is “no longer appropriate.” Harry Reid (D-Obvious) merely pointed out that “The election in Massachusetts changes the math in the Senate,” without ruling out some various parliamentary devices for getting the healthcare bill finished before the new Senatorial balance can interfere. For crying out loud, guys, do you think this bill is right for America or not? If you do, can you please stop wringing your hands long enough to get it done?
I’m not a fan of Brown’s healthcare position, or his support for Gitmo torture under color of law. But Coakley has all the charisma of a pile of wet newspaper. I mostly associate her with the mishandling of Gerald Amirault and the 2007 Mooninite “terrorist” case. I don’t think she’s capable of leading. Brown can lead, but I’m not sure I’ll like where he wants to go. I’m not exactly thrilled by his win, but I’m not heartbroken over Coakley losing, either.
However, we have to do something with health care. I am perhaps more aware than most that the current system is broken. The current bill is not perfect, but it will make things a darn sight better than status quo for a lot of people. Once our various congrescritters get over their gloating and moaning, I hope they can meet their obligation to serve their constituents and this country by passing healthcare reform.

links for 2010-01-08