If Scott Brown wins on Tuesday, you can bet he’ll arrive in DC the next morning waiting to be sworn in. And there’s just not much precedent for any real delay of swearing in the winner of a special election, as long as the election result is not in dispute. (Oddly, there haven’t been that many Senate special elections — as opposed to appointments until the end of a given senate. So we’re actually trying to figure out now what precedent would apply.) At that point, Health Care Reform will be dead unless the House agrees to pass the Senate bill verbatim — which I really wonder about, given how dug in the progressives in the House are. Barney Frank doesn’t seem to think it’ll happen.
At that point, how incredibly stupid is the dawdling over the last few weeks going to look? The work of a year, arguably the work of a few generations, let go needlessly over a single special election?
It’s really almost beyond comprehension.
Late Update: TPM Reader VL responds …
Not only that, but how cruel - not only for us here in MA but for the whole country - for it to be Kennedy’s seat itself that kills health care, the cause of his life.
I actually think this won’t happen. I think Coakely will win. But that’s just gut, and it certainly could come to pass.
Given the stakes, why did this race have such a low profile until just about a week ago? Assumption that a Democrat would win? Seriously, it seems like barely anyone around here even knew there was an election going on until it gained national attention.
I still think we’ll win.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.