Already pointing fingers

And Martha Coakley hasn’t lost yet.

As voters head to the polls in Massachusetts, nervous Democrats have already begun to blame one another for putting at risk the Senate seat Ted Kennedy held for more than 40 years.

Many angry Democrats blame their candidate, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, for running a sluggish campaign that let Republican Scott Brown set the contours of the race.

Some Democratic strategists lay the fault at the feet of President Barack Obama, saying he should have done more to sell the party’s agenda.

And in private conversations, Hill sources say White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has blamed Coakley, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake for failing to see Brown’s surge in time to stop it.

“With the legislative and political stakes so high, it’s unbelievable that the Senate committee and White House let this race get so out of hand,” said one senior Washington Democrat. “There’s a lot of blame to go around. Martha Coakley is only one of the problems here.” (Source: Politico)

Most interesting how nobody is accepting responsibility for what went wrong for the Democrats.  Must be more fun to complain and point fingers at each other.

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Things could get interesting …

if Scott Brown wins in Massachussets on Tuesday.

Appointed Senator Paul Kirk will lose his vote in the Senate after Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts of a new senator and cannot be the 60th vote for Democratic health care legislation, according to Republican attorneys.

Kirk has vowed to vote for the Democratic bill even if Republican Scott Brown is elected but not yet certified by state officials and officially seated in the Senate.  Kirk’s vote is crucial because without the 60 votes necessary to stop a Republican filibuster, the bill will be defeated.

This would be a devastating loss for President Obama and congressional Democrats.  The bill, dubbed ObamaCare, is the centerpiece of the president’s agenda.  Brown has campaigned on becoming the 41st vote against ObamaCare.

But in the days after the election, it is Kirk’s status that matters, not Brown’s.  Massachusetts law says that an appointed senator remains in office “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.”  The vacancy occurred when Senator Edward Kennedy died in August.  Kirk was picked as interim senator by Governor Deval Patrick.

Democrats in Massachusetts have talked about delaying Brown’s “certification,” should he defeat Democrat Martha Coakley on Tuesday.  Their aim would be to allow Kirk to remain in the Senate and vote the health care bill. attorneys.

Achieving that aim would be a violation of law & precendent.

But based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period.  Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate.  “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.

An appointed senator’s right to vote is not dependent on whether his successor has been certified, the lawyers said.  In Massachusetts, the election of a senator must be certified by the governor, the governor’s council, and the secretary of state – all of them Democrats.

If Brown wins narrowly and a recount is being conducted, Democratic lawyers might claim that he hasn’t been “duly elected.”  Republican attorneys believe, however, that a candidate has actually been elected, though it won’t be clear who that is until the recount is completed. In Massachusetts, a recount can occur if the margin of victory is less than half a percent of the total vote.

Republican lawyers have examined Massachusetts particularly to find the rules governing a recount.  They also studied the law passed after Kennedy’s death on a Senate successor.

Since it would take months before an election of a successor could be held — possibly causing Democrats to lose earlier health care votes — Massachusetts Democrats changed the law to allow the governor to appoint an interim senator before an election is held.

The Republican lawyers also said Senate precedent is clear on when a new senator’s term begins and the term of an appointed senator ends.  In a number of cases, the pay of a senator who replaces an appointee was determined to begin on the day after the senator’s election.

When Republican John Tower of Texas was elected to the Senate in 1961, he wasn’t certified until April 17.  But his pay as a senator began on April 2, the day after his election.  Strom Thurmond was elected senator from South Carolina in 1956, succeeding an appointed senator.  A resolution introduced by then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson established his Senate term to have begun the day after his election, weeks before his certification.

All moot if Scott Brown doesn’t pull off a win of historic proportions.

The issue of Kirk’s eligibility to vote and a 60th Democratic vote for ObamaCare will be moot if Coakley defeats Brown on Tuesday.  She has said she’ll vote for the Democratic bill. (Source: Kirk can’t vote after Tuesday – Weekly Standard)

At this point though it looks as though the courts could be settling this issue if recent polling is a true indication of what Tuesday’s outcome will be.

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Being called on the carpet …

has to hurt when it’s a fellow liberal doing the calling.

Excellent piece by Camille Paglia.

First hitting the state-run media and Congressional Dems.

As an Obama supporter and contributor, I am outraged at the slowness with which the standing army of Democratic consultants and commentators publicly expressed discontent with the administration’s strategic missteps this year. I suspect there had been private grumbling all along, but the media warhorses failed to speak out when they should have — from week one after the inauguration, when Obama went flat as a rug in letting Congress pass that obscenely bloated stimulus package. Had more Democrats protested, the administration would have felt less arrogantly emboldened to jam through a cap-and-trade bill whose costs have made it virtually impossible for an alarmed public to accept the gargantuan expenses of national healthcare reform. (Who is naive enough to believe that Obama’s plan would be deficit-neutral? Or that major cuts could be achieved without drastic rationing?)

By foolishly trying to reduce all objections to healthcare reform to the malevolence of obstructionist Republicans, Democrats have managed to destroy the national coalition that elected Obama and that is unlikely to be repaired. If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis. It is theoretically possible that Obama could turn the situation around with a strong speech on healthcare to Congress this week, but after a summer of grisly hemorrhaging, too much damage has been done. At this point, Democrats’ main hope for the 2012 presidential election is that Republicans nominate another hopelessly feeble candidate. Given the GOP‘s facility for shooting itself in the foot, that may well happen.

Then pointing out the amatuerism in the Obama White House.

This column has been calling for heads to roll at the White House from the get-go. Thankfully, they do seem to be falling faster — as witness the middle-of-the-night bum’s rush given to “green jobs” czar Van Jones last week — but there’s a long way to go. An example of the provincial amateurism of current White House operations was the way the president’s innocuous back-to-school pep talk got sandbagged by imbecilic support materials soliciting students to write fantasy letters to “help” the president (a coercive directive quickly withdrawn under pressure). Even worse, the entire project was stupidly scheduled to conflict with the busy opening days of class this week, when harried teachers already have their hands full. Comically, some major school districts, including New York City, were not even open yet. And this is the gang who wants to revamp national healthcare?

And finally pointing out how detached liberal Democrats (like Wisconsin 8th District Rep. Steve Kagen) are from ordinary Americans.

Why did it take so long for Democrats to realize that this year’s tea party and town hall uprisings were a genuine barometer of widespread public discontent and not simply a staged scenario by kooks and conspirators? First of all, too many political analysts still think that network and cable TV chat shows are the central forums of national debate. But the truly transformative political energy is coming from talk radio and the Web — both of which Democrat-sponsored proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows, history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy — I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged, manipulated TV shows. Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.

How has “liberty” become the inspirational code word of conservatives rather than liberals? (A prominent example is radio host Mark Levin’s book “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto,” which was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three months without receiving major reviews, including in the Times.) I always thought that the Democratic Party is the freedom party — but I must be living in the nostalgic past. (Source: Too late for Obama to turn it around? – Salon.com)

Go read the whole thing – very enlightening.

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R.I.P. Senator Edward Kennedy

{{w|Ted Kennedy}}, Senator from Massachusetts.
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Senator Edward Kennedy (1932 – 2009) has lost his battle with brain cancer.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, the longtime Massachusetts lawmaker whose personal tragedies along with his professional triumphs and losses unfolded in the public eye, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.

His family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the statement said. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.”

The Massachusetts Democrat was seen by many as an American version of a Greek tragedy. Born into political royalty, Kennedy’s triumphs were often overshadowed by those of his brothers, John and Bobby Kennedy. But nonetheless, the younger Kennedy carved his own political legacy as the second longest-serving senator in U.S. history. (Source: Ted Kennedy, Senate Lion and Liberal Champion, Dies at 77 – Fox News)

No matter one’s political views it’s safe to say one thing can be agreed on – America has lost a political icon.

Condolences to the Kennedy family on their loss.

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