Our opinion: Obama, Warren triumph

Wednesday November 7, 2012

President Barack Obama’s re-election victory in a taut battle with Republican rival Mitt Romney Tuesday assures that America will continue on the promising path of the last four years. We hope that with the president re-elected for a second term that congressional Republicans will reach back to the president when he reaches out to them to work out compromises that are best for the nation.

The close vote speaks to the divisions that separate America. With the many problems and challenges facing the nation, Democrats must find common ground in the years ahead. This means that Republicans must stand up to the tea partiers who are dragging them to ruin and re-assert the traditional conservative, as opposed to radical, policies the GOP long stood for.

Elizabeth Warren’s victory in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race Tuesday returns the seat long held by Edward Kennedy to a progressive Democrat whose principles and passions are in keeping with those of the legendary senator.

Ms. Warren entered the Senate race already positioned on the front lines of defense against Wall Street plutocrats with her successful advocacy of the creation of a new consumer protection agency. Republican obstructionism prevented her from being confirmed as head of that agency and she will be joining a Senate whose minority members led the opposition to her appointment. Health care was one of Senator Kennedy’s great passions and Ms. Warren, who shares the late senator’s beliefs in this regard, will now be a vote to protect the Affordable Care Act from any attempts to repeal or water it down in the years ahead.

If Senator Scott Brown was truly the conciliatory moderate Republican that he campaigned as he might have won re-election to the seat he won in a special election following the death of Senator Kennedy. However, the senator’s votes against his party’s leadership largely came after Ms. Warren emerged as a challenger, and on the big votes -- against the extension of unemployment insurance, for the extension of tax cuts for the rich and against women’s rights -- he sided with the far right and against moderate Massachusetts voters. Senator Brown could not make a connection with Massachusetts voters beyond his personal appeal, leaving the field open to Ms. Warren with her advocacy of middle-class values ignored by the national Republican Party.


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