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Noodle music

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JANUARY 26, 2010 7:30 AM

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You gotta admit, only the Democrats, classic wimps that they are, could freak out and delve into a neurotic feeding frenzy believing they are now in the minority because they only have a 59-41 majority in the Senate.

That would be a 59 percent majority, if you’re keeping score at home, which to a normal person (if there are any of those left) would sound like a fairly large majority. But we are speaking about Democrats here.

(Yes, yes, I know — the Dems need 60 votes to prevent a Republican filibuster under the quaint, to use the polite word, rules of the Senate. Hmm. Oddly enough, President George W. Bush, when the GOP controlled Congress, never enjoyed the size of majorities Democrats have in the House and Senate. And yet, he still got what he wanted, for the most part. Which is why we are where we are today, for the most part.)

But Democrats are crying in their beer, or, more likely, their herbal tea. That’s because severely over-cooked spaghetti has more of a backbone. And, having worked in a number of restaurants (not including my current one), I’ve seen much more than any one person’s share of severely over-cooked spaghetti.

We usually referred to that stuff as Democrats. Then we threw it away.

Which is pretty much what the Massachusetts voters did with Martha Coakley, whose last name will certainly become a verb.

In college hoops or the NBA, when a guy blows a sure slam dunk, the announcer will say, Oh, man, he Coakleyed that one. When a shortstop has a traditional tailor-made double-play ball, then air-mails the throw to second into right field, the commentator will say, Ooooh, did he Coakley that toss or what?

It won’t be confined to sports, of course (or, for that matter, verbs — all parts of speech can join in the fun). A guy slips on the ice and falls on his, um, “hip,” his helpful friend will say, Dude, what a Coakley. Awesome.

Welcome to fame, Martha.

What? I’m too harsh with Coakley? The Senate’s version of the health bill and the would-be Christmas bomber scuttled her campaign?

Hmm. As The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports, President Obama’s approval rating inched up — “slightly” is Ambinder’s word — after the Senate passed the bill and the Christmas “bomber” didn’t exactly strike. So Obama’s popularity goes up, but Coakley’s goes down?

In any case, as Ezra Klein points out, a poll put together by the Washington Post with the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University found that while a large majority of Republican Scott Brown’s voters opposed the national health plan, a majority of Brown’s voters, Coakley’s voters, and nonvoters in Massachusetts support the state’s nearly universal health plan (which is similar to the national plan — go figure). And that poll shows that Coakley’s voters and nonvoters think Brown should work with the Democrats on health reform, not kill it. And, surprisingly, 48 percent of Brown’s voters believe the same thing.

So health care wasn’t the main deal here.

Just look at Coakley’s campaign — or rather, non-campaign. I mean, what politician wins a primary, then pulls a Rip Van Winkle and says I’ll see you in a few weeks, at my victory speech? Which is what Coakley pretty much did, because she thought she had the election sewed up. As the Boston Globe pointed out, the Kennedys, who won a ton of elections in Massachusetts, never took the voters for granted.

I mean, compared to Coakley’s campaign, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was a roaring success.
And the future of the Democrats? I hear the National Weather Service has issued a severely over-cooked spaghetti warning, general all over the country.


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