‘Revolution in the Streets’: Mass. Republicans Prep for Fight over Seating Scott Brown

Jan 18, 2010 2:40pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: A win by Republican Scott Brown in tomorrow’s special Senate election in Massachusetts would throw the push for health care reform into chaos. Democrats are game-planning a few different scenarios if that once-unthinkable development comes to pass. But if Brown wins and Democrats try to slam health care reform through the Senate before he’s seated, expect an all-out political and legal war, Massachusetts Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today.

“I’d love for the Democrats to try to not seat him, and I’d like to see them rush through health care,” Kaufman told us from Boston, where he’s helping Brown’s campaign in its final stages. “If either of those things happens, we’ll have a revolution in the streets — not just here but in Washington. I think they’re smarter than that.” Kaufman, who was political director in the George H.W. Bush White House, said that after tomorrow, Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass. — who was appointed to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat on an interim basis — should no longer be permitted to vote in the Senate. Kaufman cited the Massachusetts law which provides for an appointed senator to serve “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.” That’s different than waiting for the election to be formally certified by the secretary of state, a process that takes at least 10 days, Kaufman said. “If you read the language of a special bill that they rammed through to get him appointed in the first place, it says that [Kirk's] term is over tomorrow night,” Kaufman told us.  ”I am convinced that if Scott Brown wins this race in a comfortable margin – in a fair margin – then the Democrats are not suicidal enough to try to prevent him from being the duly elected senator,” he said. Win or lose tomorrow, Republicans feel as if a message has been sent by voters in Massachusetts — and that means real trouble for Democrats this year, Kaufman said. “It’s more fun winning than losing. But the bottom line is, yeah — people get it in Washington. And if you’re one of those 54 [House] seats that [John] McCain won over the president and you’re a Democrat, then you’re really, really worried,” Kaufman said. “If you’re [Nebraska Sen.] Ben Nelson, or [Sen. Blanche] Lincoln in Arkansas, or the new senator in Colorado [Michael Bennet], or [running for] the open seat in Delaware, you’re really, really worried. So, this is going to change — in my opinion this is going to change into a debate in Washington no matter what happens tomorrow,” he said. (There are actually currently 48 House Democrats sitting in districts won by John McCain). Watch the interview with Ron Kaufman HERE.
Also today, we checked in with Bill Adair, editor of the fact-checking Web site Politifact.com, about President Obama’s record of keeping campaign promises, one year into his presidency. Watch that segment of “Top Line” HERE.

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