Inside Opinion

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Tag: Scott Brown

Feb.
5th

Rah! Rah! Rah! Health care diehards and football metaphors

The impending demise of Obamacare has created a weird combination – liberal journalists and football metaphors. Throughout cyberspace, and in print and broadcast journalism, we hear cries for Democrats to dig down into their guts and “go for the touchdown.” In blogs, there is strident condemnation of “punting” in the red zone. “You don’t punt when you’re on the one yard line,” one columnist insisted. Our president agrees. “Health care is on the five yard line,” Obama implores the liberal base. “We’ve got to punch it through!”

I have previously discussed football-hating liberals. For the record, they are a minority among liberals, but they’re out there. At the University of Washington Tacoma (where I’m privileged to teach), there are individuals who don’t know what the Apple Cup is. At UW Seattle, a few honestly believe there is increased male violence against women on Superbowl Sunday. Last fall, UW’s AAUP line hosted an email chat about the “environmental impact” and “sustainability” of Husky home football games….

Sorry, I digress. Back to the football field, but with some metaphors that actually make sense.

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Jan.
27th

Sharing the podium: Obama and Scott Brown

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Meet the post-Massachusetts Obama.

In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, the president was all bipartisanship, all political unity, all transcendent American values. All because a single Republican candidate in Massachusetts has punched a hole in what had been an airtight, filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate.

The address was front-loaded with Obama’s concern for “men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from” and a call for the Senate to approve a job-creation bill that has cleared the House of Representatives.

Despite the optimistic tone, Obama’s report of retirement funds that have “started” to regain “some of their value,” and of businesses “beginning to invest again” and “starting to hire again” didn’t sound like vote of a confidence in imminent economic recovery.

Persistent financial pain is one of the forces that put Scott Brown over the top last week; Obama well understands that it could cripple his administration come November if his party isn’t at least perceived as easing the anguish.
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Jan.
20th

A brutal lesson for Democratic leaders

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

To paraphrase George W. Bush, the Democrats took a thumpin’ Tuesday in Massachusetts.
It hard to imagine how a single state election could have served up more grief for President Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress.

Massachusetts was, and probably still is, the bluest state in the Union. It had not sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1972.

The election pitted Scott Brown, a flea on an underdog’s belly, against Martha Coakley, who’d won statewide election as attorney general. At stake was the Senate seat occupied by uber-Democrat Ted Kennedy for close to half a century.

Brown campaigned against the Democratic plans for national health care reform – the signature issue of Barack Obama and Kennedy himself. The Republican’s campaign took off when he began billing himself as the crucial 41st vote to block the legislation in the Senate. And, he won decisively. However inept a campaign Coakley ran, someone like Brown could not have upset a Massachusetts Democrat with a pulse unless the national winds were blowing hurricane-hard against Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their agendas.

Cause and effect: Within hours of Brown’s election, Obama was signaling his interest in a compromise health reform bill. Sen. Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat, said, “Republicans have a lot of good ideas.” That’s likely to become a common theme – on a lot of issues – in coming months.
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Jan.
20th

Coming Thursday: Brown’s victory, BPA ban

Here’s what we’re working on for tomorrow:

To paraphrase George W. Bush, the Democrats took a whuppin’ Tuesday in Massachusetts. It hard to imagine how a single state election could have served up more grief for President Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress.

There’s no proof that bisphenol A – a chemical widely used for decades in food containers – causes harm to children. But there is some evidence that it might, and that’s reason enough for the Legislature to curtail its use in Washington.

Jan.
20th

Double standard for cheesecake?

The big news du jour, of course, is the Massachusetts senatorial race, won by previously unknown Scott Brown. I’ve read all the analysis of how the Republican was able to beat the Democratic candidate in a deep blue state, and I get it: Martha Coakley ran a spectacularly poor campaign, and he ran a brilliant, grass-roots race that appealed to everyday folks. Throw in a good dose of voter discontent with the party in power and voila: an upset.

What I don’t get is why his 1982 cheesecake spread in Cosmopolitan apparently helped him, according to some commentators. I can’t

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Jan.
20th

Brown win could make balancing Washington’s budget harder

Massachusetts’ election of a new U.S. senator may cost Washington lawmakers their out on the state budget.

That seems to be the growing consensus after Scott Brown’s upset last night. His win imperils federal health care legislation, which Gov. Chris Gregoire was counting on to deliver federal funds that could help fill some of the state’s $2.6 billion shortfall. Gregoire had planned to propose a tax package to lawmakers, but backed off on assurances from the Obama administration that federal bailout dollars would be headed Washington’s way.

Richard Davis of the Washington Research Council notes that the

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