Taking a moment to avert my gaze from the unrelenting horror unfolding in Haiti, and putting it back on the unrelenting horror of domestic politics, I find myself practically insulted by the language being used to describe the race for the special election to fill the vacant senate seat in Massachusetts. I’d like to see it stay in democratic hands myself, but the stench of entitlement coming off of the democrats is nigh-overpowering: “It’s Ted Kennedy’s seat! We have to keep it!” Ted Kennedy is dead, and strictly speaking the seat belongs to whoever the people of Massachusetts SAY it belongs to. I realize they like having a 60 seat supermajority (for all the good its done them), but talking about filling the seat in terms of hereditary succession isn’t exactly helping the case that the democrats are the new champions of change in Washington.

Then again they can hardly be blamed for panicking. The fact that the GOP (or rather the Tea Party mad hatters that now possess them) have been able to smell blood in the water in a state as blue as Massachusetts is a most evil omen, and losing the supermajority basically kills health care reform dead unless one or both of the Ladies from Maine can be seduced. This of course even assumes that the House can stomach the loss of the public option, and Pelosi’s got too much invested in her liberal base to give it up. With GOP candidate Brown favored to win nearly 3 to 1, and no republican likely being able to support the healthcare bill without having to leave the party entirely, barring divine intervention this is looking like a serious knee to the groin for Obama’s legislative agenda going into the State of the Union and will likely inflame liberals as much as the debate has so far inflamed conservatives.