South reflects on Brown’s victory

By Adam Goldstein
Published: February 2010

In a special senatorial campaign that drew much national attention, Massachusetts unexpectedly elected Republican candidate Scott Brown over Democratic candidate Martha Coakley. Brown, the first Republican senator in Massachusetts since 1953, represents the 41st vote in the senate to sustain a filibuster and potentially put on hold President Barack Obama’s plans for change.

“I really wanted [Coakley] to win because it seemed a vote for Coakley was a vote for Obama’s Health care plan, sophomore Paul Brid said. 67 percent of Newton voters voted for Coakley. The election brought significant national attention and a visit from Obama because if Brown became the 41st Republican in the senate, the Republicans would have the votes they need to hold up legislation.

Senators have the right to speak as long as they want about a bill unless 60 out of the 100 senators vote to commence the voting. To put the voting on hold is to pass a filibuster. Republican leaders who disagree with Obama’s plans want to filibuster as long as possible. This prevents bills from getting to the senate floor where the Democratic majority might well pass them.

Senior Eduardo Morales believes that Brown’s victory is a wake up call to all Democrats.

“Massachusetts isn’t always going to be blue, Morales said. “And if Democrats want our vote, they are going to have to cater to our needs.

Despite Massachusetts’ reputation for voting democratic, junior Zach Rothchild feels that Coakley ran an “awful campaign. “The anti-Brown commercials just made her seem mean-spirited instead of illustrating who she really was and what she stood for, he said.

History Department Head Marshall Cohen was more optimistic about the repercussions of Brown’s election.

“I think if he wants to get re-elected in two years he will vote more moderately than expected, and he won’t get re-elected if all he does is filibuster, Cohen said.

Cohen also added that Brown voted for Massachusetts’ health care plan. Massachusetts in the only state that has universal Health care in the US, and the universal Health care bill proposed on Capitol Hill is mirrored after the one in place in Massachusetts currently.

During the campaign, Brown was reported as having said “I believe that all Americans deserve Health care coverage, but I am opposed to the Health care legislation that is under consideration in Congress and will vote against it.

In 2006, though, he was reported as having said, “In Massachusetts, I support the 2006 Health care law that was successful in expanding coverage, but I also recognize that the state must now turn its attention to controlling costs.

Morales believes that though some things are meant to be dealt with at the federal level, Health care is not one of them.

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