They couldn't beat him when he was alive, but if the latest polls are accurate there's a good chance the Republicans will beat Ted Kennedy now that he's dead: Massachusetts voters will cast their ballots today in a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by the Democratic icon, who died last year of cancer.
The outcome of the contest promises to alter the balance of power in the Senate. If Republican candidate Scott Brown beats Democrat Martha Coakley, the GOP will have 41 votes, enough to make passage of any Democratic-backed legislation -- especially health care reform -- a near impossibility assuming they maintain party discipline.
"It is the ultimate political irony that the man who spent his lifetime trying to force socialized medicine on the American people would now see the seat that he occupied taken over by a free-market Republican."
That free-market Republican is also a bit of a free spirit: The man once posed nude in Cosmopolitan, prompting its editors to pitch a few campaign slogans:
Who Needs Joe Plumber When You Can Have Scott Six-Pack?
Scott Brown: A Name You Can Trust, Abs You Can Believe In
Vote for Brown. He Has One Hell of a Stimulus Package
Are those the family values Bachmann can get behind?