I’ve said a number of times that I hoped Elizabeth Warren prevailed in Massachusetts, and now I see that she has. I should say, though, that I think it’s a shame that Senator Scott Brown had to lose to make her victory possible.

If Brown were running against a garden-variety liberal Democrat, I’d probably have been rooting for his victory. I’d like to see both parties show the flexibility on cultural shibboleths to field viable candidates in all the states of the union, and let the divide between the parties line up along meat-and-potatoes lines. And Scott Brown is exactly the kind of Republican you’d have to run to win in Massachusetts.

But Elizabeth Warren isn’t a garden-variety liberal Democrat. She’s the substantive and symbolic leader of the fight to rein in Wall Street after the financial crisis. She could still do something in office that would turn me against her – I certainly expect to be disappointed with her in a variety of areas – but it’s a good idea to have at least a few Senators who really know and care about an important topic and push back against the consensus. I’d like to see her get a good number of years to fight this particular fight.

It doesn’t quite compensate for Senator Webb’s retirement, but it’s something.