I had a feature with that title on my radio show ‘The Right
Questions’. So often, all around the world, one person has made a
dramatic difference in the lives of many people. The cases are
endless…..from a little-known good samaritan to a Mother Teresa to a
Barack Obama……to even the tyrants and terrorists who not only changed
countless lives but ended terribly many.

This comes to mind these days as one Bart Stupak virtually
single-handedly stopped the House health care reform bill from
mandating federal funding for abortion. And conversely, one Ben Nelson
gave in his resistence to that funding and gave over his vote for a
hefty payoff to his state. One stood for his principles and changed the
House legislation, the other caved in and changed the Senate
legislation. In recent days, media analysts have been predicting that
in the ‘compromise’ process to mediate the two versions, Democratic
leadership will force the House to the accept Senate’s terms, and the
party 60-seat majority will drive it through so President Obama can
hold up a signed bill at his State of othe Union address next week.

What a difference one day makes. And one election.

“A little-known Republican shook up the balance of power in
Washington by winning a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, a result
that imperils President Barack Obama’s top legislative priorities and
points to trouble for his party in this year’s midterm elections…

“Mr. Brown’s come-from-behind victory gives Republicans their 41st
senator, costing Democrats their 60-vote Senate majority and ensuring
the minority has enough votes to block legislation.

“The White House and congressional leaders now must decide how to
salvage their long-sought health-care overhaul. Rushing the bill after
losing Massachusetts carries political risks. So does letting it

And thanks to the nobility of one Jim Webb in the Senate, (at least the first one to make a public statement on it) the former will not happen.

“In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not
only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of
our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the
American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that
end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend
further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is

Fairness and prudence. That’s the change we wanted all along.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....