Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It's election day for all of us . . .
Republican Scott Brown, Democrat Martha Coakley, and independent Joseph L. Kennedy (Globe file photo)
Today is the day Massachusetts holds its special election to replace Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. And the whole country is watching. At stake is the Democrats' 60-vote filibuster-proof majority, which probably means that the late Senator Kennedy's dream of healthcare reform is at stake, as well.
You cannot get much farther from Massachusetts than Los Angeles, yet the Massachusetts election rates a banner link at the top of the front page of the LA Times online. There's also a front page article in the Chicago Tribune, and the race is being closely followed in the Houston Chronicle (through AP reports) which also ran in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
There is massive coverage in both The New York Times and The Washington Post (where it rates lead-article status.) Only the southern newspapers I scanned -- The Miami Herald, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charleston, S.C.'s Post and Courrier -- decided the Massachusetts special election was not front page news.
We cannot vote, of course. The decision of who should replace Senator Kennedy in the U.S. Senate is Massachusetts citizens' alone. The only out-of-state interference allowed is money -- and millions have poured into both campaigns.
All the rest of us can do is hope that Massachusetts voters cast votes based on informed thinking rather than slogan-driven emotionalism. The future of national healthcare reform is all that's at stake.