January 19, 2010
An election is being held in Massachusetts today to fill the Senate seat occupied for four decades by the late Edward Kennedy. If press reports prove true, Republican Scott Brown, will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley. What then?
Republicans hope Brown will scuttle President Obama's health care plan. But Democrats have lots of tricks they can play, such as requiring 51 senate votes, not 60, for reconciliation at the Senate-House conference on bills already passed.
Brown is not the great conservative hope on social issues. He opposes most restrictions on abortion, yet he opposes same-sex marriage. The same standard that affirms opposite-sex marriage also affirms life as beginning before birth. But that's politics.
Still, any slowing of the Obama/socialist agenda would be welcome. Next come the November elections where that agenda could be stopped. The question remains open whether Repubicans have learned their lesson from the last time they held power. Never trust a politician no matter what label they put behind their name.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.