As Senator Ted Kennedy, the “Lion of the Senate” passes on, his death will likely also symbolize the death of nationalized health care.
The issues are:
- The US Senate now has 59 Democrats to vote on critical legislation
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts must now conduct a special election to replace the late Senator. This will likely take place in January.
- The mood of the voters is running against Democrats and incumbents (in that order). Voters will soon get over their sympathy for the Kennedy family and oppose a dynasty approach to replacing the late Senator. The era of Camelot is over, let’s move on.
- There are about a dozen state assemblyman who have been waiting for forever to jump at the opportunity to run for this seat. This will be extremely competitive.
- The Governor may attempt a temporary provisional appointment. Possibly Kennedy’s widow.
In the meantime while the Commonwealth of Massachusetts figures out how to replace Senator Kennedy, health care legislation will likely go nowhere.
The wild card in all this is if Democrats in the Senate put pressure on either Senator Olympia Snowe of Susan Collins (from Maine) to defect from the Republican party. Of course, that doesn’t come without a high price.