Closer than expected

Speaking of filibusters, the Democrats are in a panic over the possibility of losing Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat -- and with it, their filibuster-proof majority in the upper chamber.

Yes, Bay State Attorney General Martha Coakley, the anointed liberal favorite to replace the late Sen. Kennedy, remains ahead in most polls. But her Republican challenger, state Sen. Scott Brown, has closed the gap quickly in the past few weeks, riding a wave of sentiment borne of opposition to the hyper-leftist agenda beltway Democrats and the Obama administration insist on pushing.

The election looms Tuesday, and Democrats have been pouring late cash and campaign personnel into the race hoping to avoid a monumental embarrassment. The last Republican to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate was Edward Brooke, who was defeated in 1978.

"If it's a close race, or the near unimaginable happens -- she (Coakley) loses -- then make no mistake about it, this becomes the Holy Grail for the Republicans to flog the Democrats about the 2010 election," Democratic political consultant Mary Ann Marsh told The Associated Press.

So frenzied are Democrats that they're openly contemplating the outrageous step of delaying Mr. Brown's swearing in, should he pull an upset, in order to preserve their position in the Senate for an extra month or so while they attempt to reconcile their competing efforts to nationalize the nation's health care system.

Such a ploy would border on outright corruption -- but shouldn't surprise anyone as Democratic desperation heightens with November approaching.