Winners and Losers in the Browniverse

Who’s going to gain and who’s going to lose if Scott Brown becomes a United States Senator?

— Biggest losers by far will be the people of Bangladesh and other low-lying coastal areas. The odds of a cap and trade bill passing in 2010 never looked great, and if Brown wins they’ll look worse.

— President Barack Obama, conversely, will get a terrible week or two of press but should actually benefit politically (cold comfort for the damage it will do to his substantive agenda). It’s much easier to complain about “Republican obstructionism” if Republicans have the 41 votes they need to obstruct. Similarly, it’s easier to keep your coalition together if it’s not possible to do anything.

— “Centrist” Democratic Senators, by contrast, are going to lose their pivotal position and thus their access to a lot of bribery/fundraising opportunities.


— Now-pivotal Senator Olympia Snowe will have a lot of leverage but is also going to find herself facing an uncomfortable level of scrutiny.

— Multi-millionaire financiers are, however, probably the biggest winner here. Absolutely nothing about this will make it less likely that they’ll receive a bailout after the next financial crisis, but Brown’s ascension will ensure that their taxes stay low and regulation remains biased in their favor.

— Brown himself would clearly also be a big winner. He clearly has political talent, but as of 6 months ago who really thought he was going to become an influential figure in American politics? Now it looks like he very possibly will.

That’s how I see it.