Strange editorial today in The Denver Post about “reconciliation” on the health care debate:
Most Americans want Congress to start over on health care reform, but it seems Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet would rather jam it down our throats.
Ignoring the message that voters sent in Massachusetts [Pols emphasis], and shedding any notion that he intends to be a moderate Democrat, Bennet is leading a pack of liberal senators who want to push through health-care reform using a process known as reconciliation.
How is it possible that Sen. Bennet, yet to receive one vote from a Coloradan, has such a tin ear for what most Coloradans and Americans want?
We’re going to skip over the relative merits of reconciliation here, because we’re more concerned with this ridiculous idea that Bennet is “ignoring the message that voters sent in Massachusetts” when Republican Scott Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate last month. Michael Bennet is the junior Senator from Colorado. We don’t give two shits about whether Bennet is listening to the voters of Massachusetts, and neither should you.
We get that Brown’s election to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy was a huge moment for Republicans and Democrats nationwide. But why the hell would any politician in any other state be expected to base a policy decision — on any issue — on what happened in an election in Massachusetts? Pardon our French, but that’s freakin’ absurd.
Massachusetts is different than Colorado. It’s different than a lot of other states. Brown’s election certainly leads to a lot of interesting political questions as we enter the 2010 election, but to suggest that an election there should be a guiding light for policy decisions everywhere is just plain silly. The only people who should pay attention to any “message” sent by Massachusetts voters are politicians running for office in Massachusetts.
When Democrat Bill Owens won a special election last November in a traditional Republican district in New York, nobody suggested that the rest of the country should just follow along with whatever the people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York think should be done. Why not? Because that would be stupid.
You can discuss all you want about why Brown won the Senate election in Massachusetts, and what that might mean for other races in 2010. But we don’t want any of our elected officials in Colorado, Democrats or Republicans, to be basing their policy decisions on what voters do or say in another state. And we’re pretty sure that Colorado voters don’t want that, either.
Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn are both against the health care reform legislation, but can you imagine if they cast their vote and then said, “We vote no, because the people of Massachusetts have spoken!” They’d be a laughingstock.
So go ahead and argue against “reconciliation,” Denver Post editors. But if you think that what Massachusetts says is really so important, perhaps you should apply to The Boston Globe.