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If Scott Brown Wins ...
Tomorrow, 19 Jan. 2010, voters in Massachusetts will head to the polls and cast their ballots to fill the late "Teddy Kennedy's seat" in the U.S. Senate. Should Scott Brown actually win the election--and every indication shows he is fully capable of doing so--his victory will represent a major shift in the political landscape and a disastrous blow to the Democrat agenda. It's already been established that even a narrow Coakley victory in this bastion of liberalism will send a warning shot to rank-and-file Congressional Democrats, many of whom will be seeking reelection later this year. Should Brown win, the GOP may as well have released a metaphorical "Little Boy" into the heart of Democrat America. In addition to prompting yet another wave of liberal retirements, a Scott Brown victory would represent a major blow to ObamaCare.
Per Massachusetts state election law--which is often conveniently changed to support the Democrat machine--and Senate and legal precedent, the interim Senator, Kirk, will no longer be a Senator on Wednesday morning regardless of whether or not the election has been certified. Since the issue at hand is Kirk's eligibility to vote for the legislation--and not Scott Brown's ability to cast a vote against it--the Democrats will no longer have their 60th vote even if they stall Brown's confirmation. Indeed, it looks like GOP lawyers, suspecting typical liberal shenanigans, are preparing to file an injunction immediately after the election to prevent Kirk from voting illegally.
Practically speaking, a Scott Brown victory doesn't actually kill ObamaCare. However, it will force Senate Democrats to use reconciliation if they want to ram the bill through the legislature. Since reconciliation only applies to "budget" bills, the legislation will have to be rewritten entirely further delaying the final vote. This necessary process will make it extremely unlikely that the legislation could be passed before President Obama's State of the Union address in early February. If Scott Brown takes Massachusetts, it becomes extremely likely that the President will have to take the stage without any "accomplishments" to tout before Congress and the American citizens still tuning in for his television appearances.
Furthermore, reconciliation brings a host of new impediments to the Democrats' goal of seizing 1/6 of the U.S. economy. Not only will the majority leadership have to navigate the convoluted process of making the Health Care takeover look like a budget bill, the process will force the legislation to expire after 10 years. So, even if the bill passes through reconciliation, the ultimate fate of government healthcare will be up to the 116th Congress, not the 111th. It is entirely possible that group of legislators would simply let the law expire. In addition to these new legislative hurdles, a Scott Brown victory represents a major GOP advance in the psychological battle. If a non-Democrat can win in Massachusetts by campaigning on becoming the 41st vote against ObamaCare, then what sane legislator is going to believe the leadership's claim that passing this destructive legislation is the key to electoral success in 2010?