For a party that should be coasting to victory in a Senate election they never lose, the Democrats seems mighty worried about the prospects of the hand-picked replacement for Ted Kennedy. A few weeks ago, no one would have thought for a moment that Republican Scott Brown would come within 20 points of Martha Coakley, the Kennedy family-approved heir to the “Liberal Lion’s” seat in the US Senate. Yesterday, Democrats got so rattled that they began speaking openly of keeping Brown out of the Senate for as long as they could once he wins:
The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.
“Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.” …
The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.
Today, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.
Apparently, the Democrats are afraid of responding to the will of the voters in Massachusetts. They have grown accustomed to having their power go unchallenged in the Commonwealth, and don’t take kindly to upstarts butting into their business. Their best plans now include keeping a man appointed by an unpopular governor in place to keep a popular choice for the Senate seat out of Congress long enough to get a wildly unpopular bill passed.
Everyone in the Democratic party thinks this doesn’t smell of desperation?
Elections matter, except in Massachusetts, where Democrats decide whether to acknowledge them or not. Maybe they should change the name of their party, since democracy appears to mean little to them. Autocrats works better, I think.
So, given all of this, how long will it take for Coakley to get to take the oath if she wins? Something tells me that she won’t have to wait until February 21st.
Update: Jules Crittenden, who has covered this race the best, has more thoughts.
Update II: I hung myself up on a double negative in the original text. I’ve since corrected it.