Dear Friend of Justice,
A great many good friends urged me to hold my nose and vote for Martha Coakley because it was vital to save health-care reform. But I could not bring myself to do this.
Ironically, the defeat of Coakley turned out to help Obama pass HCR.
His prior strategy was to preserve 60 votes in the Senate. This gave conservatives (from insurance-industry states) Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson veto power over the content of the bill. And they used their power in December to get what they wanted.
Once Coakley was defeated, however, Obama had to go with Plan B. He switched to a reconciliation strategy, which only required preserving a majority in the Senate. Lieberman and Nelson lost their veto power.
Would they have used it? Lieberman did vote for the bill. But Nelson did not.
So if Coakley had won, Obama would probably have gotten a bill less to his liking. And Martha Coakley would be Senator-for-life in Massachusetts.