Democrats were scrambling to respond to [Scott] Brown's gambit. By tradition, Vice President Biden would be the one to swear Brown in, but any number of folks could do it. And Democrats who are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat.Gambit? The notion that it's a "gambit" that the Senate Democrats are too pusillanimous to parry is based on a previous agreement to do the swearing-in on February 11th.
Brown's reason for moving the date up is, according to a source, that the Senate was "moving forward with controversial issues and nominations... votes where his vote is the deciding one." With the unelected Paul Kirk voting as if he still represented the people of Massachusetts!
Whatever the extent of the agreement about February 11th, it could not displace the responsibility Brown owes to the people who elected him. They should be outraged at Kirk's illegitimate occupation of their seat.
The Senate Democrats "might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat"?! There's no decent excuse. The failure to seat Brown immediately would not merely be "seen as hyper-partisan." It would be hyper-partisan — and a shameful abuse of power.