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Mass. election: seismic shock or seismic shift?

Ted Kennedy must be hitting about 78 rpm now, spinning in his grave. GOP State Sen. Scott Brown comes out of nowhere to close a huge gap and then win the vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts -- Massachusetts!!!! -- putting Kennedy's old vote in the hands of a Republican who has pledged to block Obamacare, the latest version of Ted's most cherished legislative goal.

Whatever your politics, this definitely was democracy in action. And the key wasn't the party vote -- Massachusetts is 3-1 Democrat -- it was the voice of the independents. This time around, the Democrats lost them. Big time. And the rest of the Democrats in Washington ignore that at their peril.

We'll discuss this at the edboard table tomorrow, but I'm already wondering if "Hell freezes over" might be the right headline for Thursday's editorial. Combine this with Obama's sinking poll numbers and the closed-door health care debate mess, and there's much for politics watchers to chew on.

-mike vogel/editorial page editor

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