Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Health Care and Gay Rights Helped by Yesterday's Election

Regardless of Republican gloating, I'm not reading too much into yesterday's election. They picked up a couple of governorships in Virginia and New Jersey, but Democrats picked up two seats in Congress, and those two seats might just make the difference in getting health care reform passed.

Via Brian Beutler at TPM:
The NY-23 seat abdicated by Republican John McHugh (who resigned to become Secretary of the Army) went to Democrat Bill Owens--the first Democrat to hold the seat in over a century. And the CA-10 seat abdicated by Democrat Ellen Tauscher (who resigned to become Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs) went to Democrat John Garamendi.

That creates some simple arithmetic. Yesterday, Democrats had 256 voting members in the House. By week's end, they'll have 258. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could afford to lose no more than 38 Democratic votes on a landmark health care reform bill. Next week, after Owens and Garamendi are sworn in, she can lose up to 40. For legislation this historic and far-reaching, she'll need every vote she can get--and both seem likely to support reform.
I'll give up two governorships in return for getting health care reform passed.

And this news will be music to the ears of gay rights activists: "As gay marriage was being voted down in Maine, several openly gay candidates in the South scored victories."

In the south!! So go ahead and gloat, Republicans. It doesn't matter, because mainstream America is not red. (Are you paying attention, Dems?)


Kathy said...

I meant to add this:

Grover Norquist and the anti-tax movement were big losers, too.

K. said...

I'm with you.

Washington state voters ratified domestic partner legislation and voted down -- by a wide margin -- a draconian tax cut referendum. King County elected a liberal as county executive, a candidate who strongly criticized his opponent's past support for Republicans and conservatives (including Sarah Palin).