The understatement of the year.

A headline on the print edition of today’s New York Times may even be the understatement of the decade:

Democrats Fret That the Public is Dissatisfied

With the subhead:

Race in Massachusetts as Party Referendum

But if you don’t get the print edition and go to the web instead you won’t see that. You’ll see this headline:

Massachusetts Race Tests Staying Power of Democrats

The second headline is technically accurate, but the original says so much more. It acknowledges public satisfaction, and it suggests that the Democrats might be concerned about that. It is negative, yet factual.

The second headline is positive and misleading. It suggests that all is well among the Democrats – clear staying power – and this race is merely a test of that obvious power.

After promising transparency and bipartisanship, while delivering one-sided secret backroom deals and secret bills, the public is dissatisfied. And the Democrats, in the manner of a King to his subjects, are "fretting" about it. Of course they aren’t going to change anything; their answer is merely to subvert democracy, though in a completely legal fashion:

Even if Democrats lose the Jan. 19 special election to pick a new Massachusetts senator, Congress may still pass a health-care overhaul by using a process called reconciliation, a top House Democrat said.

That procedure requires 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to prevent Republicans from blocking votes on President Barack Obama’s top legislative priorities. That supermajority is at risk as the Massachusetts race has tightened.

Oddly, this was formerly Ted Kennedy’s seat, and he believed in bipartisan solutions. Would he have been ok with this? Doesn’t matter I suppose; the deal seems done already.

I’m just not sure this the hope and change that people voted for. And I don’t think that it’s what the founding fathers had in mind either.


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