Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Senatorial Election - What is happening?

Needless to say, the entire country is focused on today's senatorial election. Out of no where the republican candidate has surged in the polls within the last two weeks and now its too close to predict who will win. How did this happen? How could it happen? This would be unimaginable months ago when Senator Kennedy passed away.

I see two significant factors. First, Martha Coakley, the democratic candidate lacks the X factor. She simply does not possess the dynamic personality usually required to win over people. I say usually because Representative Paul Tsongas certainly lack charisma and that didn't stop him from getting elected. However, it still can't be ignored that Ms. Coakley has not yet developed the necessary persona to convince the general public that this is the individual who will best represent them in Congress.

The second factor in Congress. Many say the factor for the negativity towards the democratic candidate is the Obama administration but I can't place the blame with them. I blame Congress. The House and Senate have democratic majority and have had the opportunity to show the country how their party can do what's right for America and yet their handling of health care shows the worst congressional behavior.

One of the founding principles of the Obama candidacy was transparency. Then comes the health care bill and leaders Representative Pelosi and Senator Reid. The House passes a bill that is over 1,000 pages in length and yet no one has had sufficient time to read and understand it. Then the Senate proceeds to draft its version of the bill. Except the drafting process is done behind closed doors. Republicans are not included in the process. The final straw is the negotiation to get Senator Ben Nelson's vote. Senator Nelson received a commitment from the federal government to fully fund his state's expanded Medicaid population. No other state would be fully funded. In my world this is called a bribe. The Senate then followed the House and passed a bill that was also over 1,000 pages in length before giving members of the Senate an opportunity to read the bill.

This congressional behavior demonstrates what is wrong with Congress. Pelosi and Reid had an opportunity to show the country the proper way to address the health care problem and instead they demonstrated the worse possible of traits of public office - secrecy and blind ambition. The voters clearly see that Congress did not step up and provide transparency or a proper opportunity for public debate of health care and all of its problems. The voters of Massachusetts are calling for a change. Whether or not the Scott Brown wins, a loud message has been sent to Washington. The wind of change is blowing towards Washington and the people will ultimately have their way - do what is right for this country or we will.

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