No snappy title for this one.
The AP has called the race, and AG Martha Coakley has conceded.
The Democrats fielded a lackluster candidate against a background of growing dissatisfaction with a Democratic Congress and Presidency, and ran a weak, halfassed campaign. That should have meant a close race — but it took a really spectacular failure of tactics and strategy to produce this outcome.
State Senator Scott Brown is an anti-choice, pro-torture, pro-war, teabagger and proto-Birther, who promised from the beginning of his campaign to be “the 41st vote” in the Senate, i.e. to march in lockstep with the Republican party leadership no matter what’s right, what’s good for the country, or what the voters of Massachusetts actually want, just like every Republican (excluding Arlen Specter and including Joe Lieberman) does.
And now he’s the next United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Now he holds the seat that Ted Kennedy held for nearly half a century.
I can only assume that Senator-Elect Brown’s first order of business, after delivering what I fear will be a smug, gloating victory speech tonight, will be to rush to DC, visit Arlington National Cemetery, and there, twice — once for himself, and once carrying out the will of the majority of Massachusetts voters as expressed at the polls — spit on Teddy’s grave.
I’m sorry, Senator Kennedy. It’s a disgrace to your memory, and will inevitably redound to the misfortune of our state and our country.
Massachusetts Democrats, AG Coakley, assorted strategists — this was your race to lose, and lose it you did. A wet paper bag should have been able to beat Scott Brown (Scott Brown of all people!) in this race by at least ten points, so long as that bag had a “D” after its name. You are a disgrace.
To the rest of the country, I am sorry. The Democratic supermajority in the Senate wasn’t really doing a lot of good, but I suspect Brown — new whizkid celebrity for the Republicans that he’s certain to be — will be able to do a lot of harm.
Mr. Brown, you’ve won the election: you’ll be my Senator. I accept that, but I sure don’t have to like it, and I will fight like hell to see you ousted in 2012. You do not deserve that seat.
And now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have an appointment with a gentleman from Knob Creek.
Via my friend Evan and Boston Post Mortem, I learn that Governor Patrick has declared today Video Game Innovation Day in Massachusetts.
I love my state.
Following up on the other day’s post, I want to strongly endorse the TAB’s editorial on the matter. I haven’t got a flagpole at my apartment, but could perhaps put a flag up in a window. Displays of solidarity like the TAB suggests are an excellent way to combat bigotry.
I was going to start this post with something like “there’s nothing worse…” or “there aren’t many things worse…” but every time I started writing something like that, I thought to myself, “well, no, you know that’s not right: many things are worse, you’ve just experienced almost none of them because you’re the beneficiary of so many of society’s structural biases.” And that’s true.
But without making fatuous comparisons, I feel confident in saying that it is in fact a rather terrible feeling to discover hatefulness in your own backyard: someone burned the rainbow flag that hangs outside the UU First Parish of Watertown.
The TAB now has a more detailed article up. Apparently this is not the first time their flag has been targeted.
Apparently Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church (sic) will be protesting in Cambridge, MA in a couple of weeks, over the continuing existence of a Gay-Straight Alliance at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. This is close to home: I live only a few miles from there, and a good friend of mine went to Rindge. The gall of these terrible people bringing their hatred here is astonishing, and it makes me very angry.
If you’re angry too, and you can spare some money, please consider the Phelps-a-thon, which I think is one of the more effective counters to the WBC. Phelps wants attention; he wants shouting matches with counterprotesters and even altercations, because that raises his profile. Better to calmly display to him a sign showing how much money he’s raised so far for the causes he hates.
Or, as Governor Patrick called it almost a year ago, and the editors of Blue Mass Group have been calling it since then, the Dumb Idea.
Question 1, eliminating the Massachusetts state income tax, is worse, really, than “dumb” — it’s an astoundingly stupid idea.
Seriously, if you’re voting in MA, kill this thing. Even in good economic times it would be stupid, but right now, when we’re no longer even faced with the question of whether we’re in a recession, but of just how long and how bad it’s going to be, the absolute last thing we should be thinking about doing is destroying the government’s ability to invest in infrastructure and services — creating jobs when there otherwise would be none, to help end the recession faster, and helping people hurt by the recession get through it.
Question 2, decriminalizing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, probably won’t pass, but it seems like a good idea to me; Question 3, banning greyhound racing, is as obviously a good idea as Question 1 is a bad.
Looks like Jon Hecht has won Rachel Kaprielian’s old State Rep seat by a 800-vote margin or so (this was the primary, but there’s no Republican challenger). I expected him to win, but I thought the numbers would be closer; I didn’t expect him to clear a majority, but he got 55% of the vote. Marilyn Devaney has also successfully defended her 3rd District Governor’s Council seat against two challengers, with 54% of the vote across the district. Congratulations to both of them, and especially to Hecht for getting such turnout in a write-in campaign. I agree with sco that Hecht is likely to be a very good Rep.
The Massachusetts Democratic Primary is in a week; Tuesday, September 16th. Here in the Two Nine we’ve got a four-way write-in/sticker campaign for Rachel Kaprielian’s old seat, as I’ve been discussing; Ed O’Reilly challenging Senator Kerry; and Waltham’s Jack Doyle, who doesn’t appear to have a website, and Watertown’s Tommy Walsh are challenging longtime Governor’s Councilor and Watertown Town Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney for the 3rd District Governor’s Council seat. I’ve been following the State Rep. race much more closely than the others.
I’ve had a chance to read the TAB’s interviews with the four State Rep. candidates (I didn’t find the video of the interview with Julia Fahey before; turns out it was posted in the blog, but left out of the main TAB site’s article), and last night a two-hour candidate forum was held here in H2Otown. Unlike the previous Cambridge candidate forum, this one (which was also better-attended, probably because it’s closer to the actual polling day) was mainly driven by audience questions, and that plus its greater length helped really draw out the distinctions among the candidates’ positions (minor though those differences tend to be) and their personalities.
I like Jon Hecht, Julia Fahey and Josh Weisbuch pretty well. Steve Corbett seems a nice enough guy in general, but doesn’t really excite me as a candidate, and threw a couple of what sounded to me like nasty barbs at Fahey and Weisbuch into his opening and closing statements — swipes at “special interests” and emphasis on being “ready on day one,” which is a little odd coming from a guy who said in his TAB interview that he’s looking forward to the challenge of learning the job of State Rep. I’m sticking by my earlier prediction that Hecht will win, as much on better organization as anything else — and there’s something to be said for organizational skills as a desirable quality in a legislator. I admire Fahey’s dedication to the labor movement, though I disagree with her (and agree with Hecht) on casinos. But there’s really nothing I disagree with Hecht on, and I think, controversies with the Town Council President notwithstanding, that his record tends to indicate he’ll be very effective. Gender balance is also a concern, however; women are not proportionally represented in the State House, and a Hecht win will mean one less seat held by a woman (there is no Republican challenger for this seat). Obviously I wouldn’t make that my only reason for voting for Fahey, but I do also expect she’d be a good Representative.
I’m not in the endorsement business, because I’m not really convinced of the value of endorsements, and anyway who cares what I say? (My track record also isn’t great; I backed Dean in 2004 and Edwards this year, and really thought Romney would win the Republican nomination.) So that’s probably my last word on this election for the next week: I predict Hecht will win, but I think either he or Fahey would be excellent.
Soon, back to non-state-government topics for a while.
The Massachusetts Democratic primary is a week from tomorrow, so in nine days we’ll know who will be taking Rachel Kaprielian’s seat in the State House representing the 29th Middlesex.
The TAB has been running a series of candidate profiles and interviews (Stephen Corbett, Julia Fahey, Josh Weisbuch, Jon Hecht), which I haven’t had time to watch yet, but will try to today; tonight at 7pm is the second of three candidate forums, this one at Brigham House on Mt. Auburn St.
My impressions so far are that Hecht is probably going to win; he’s certainly winning the sign war in the parts of Watertown that I see, and he seems the most organized. If he didn’t have a website and hadn’t been at the first forum, I wouldn’t have any idea Weisbuch was even running — he still doesn’t appear to have any signs up, and I don’t think I’ve seen any announcements at all from him in the TAB. Fahey has a lot of labor endorsements, which makes sense, and Hecht has a lot of endorsements in general. I’m still uncommitted going into tonight’s debate, but still leaning toward Hecht and Fahey.