Tag Archives: Martha Coakley

Urgent memo to Jerry Brown: Be a Scott Brown, not a Martha Coakley

Democrat Martha Coakley lost last week’s U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts in no small part because she thought that she had it in the bag to the point that she didn’t need to bother to seriously campaign.

Ironically, I have to wonder if Repugnican Scott Brown — who has replaced Democratic icon Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate — mimicked Team Obama’s Democratic primary season strategy of having campaigned in all of the geographic areas that Team Billary Clinton ignored. Billary apparently thought that she had it in the bag on name recognition alone and didn’t need to campaign very hard, especially not in the populous areas of the nation.

While Billary was snoozing like the hare in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, Team Obama, like the tortoise, slowly and steadily won the race. In the parable, by the time that the hare wakes up, the hare finds that it’s too late — the tortoise is just now crossing the finish line.

That happened to the slumbering Democrat Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, and if he doesn’t wake up oh, right about right now, the same is going to happen to Democrat California Attorney General Jerry Brown in his quest for the governorship of the nation’s most populous state.

I fear that Jerry Brown — who has yet to officially throw his hat into this year’s gubernatorial race (he has formed an exploratory committee; he could be bothered to do that much) — has believed that he has the governorship in the bag, as evidenced by the fact that he’s the only major gubernatorial contender who has yet to make his candidacy official.

Although of all of the contenders Jerry Brown would make the best governor, California’s voters — whom I think I know, since I’ve been living in the state’s capital since 1998 — will be turned off if Brown, like Coakley, takes their votes for granted.

I can see the state’s voters punishing Jerry Brown for real or perceived arrogance on his part and voting for a Repugnican, even though doing so undeniably would be in their worst interests.

California’s voters have demonstrated themselves to be capable of making incredibly stupid decisions at the ballot box.

They bought Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign lies during the too-short gubernatorial recall election of 2003, and they re-elected him in 2006.

Now, according to The Sacramento Bee, Schwarzenegger’s approval rating among Californians has hit an all-time low, at only 27 percent. Almost 60 percent of Californian voters believe that the state is now worse off than it was when Schwarzenegger took the reins in 2003. Only 7 percent believe that the state is better off now than it was before his hostile takeover of the governorship in the bullshit recall election.

Californian voters also narrowly passed Proposition Hate — er, 8 — in November 2008, 52 percent to 48 percent. I expect the federal court that currently is hearing a case on Prop H8’s constitutionality to rule that the proposition indeed is unconstitutional.

Apparently, the majority of Californian voters aren’t constitutional lawyers. But we let them vote on vital constitutional matters anyway. Thank Goddess for checks and balances.

As anti-democratic as it sounds, the fact is that voters often make stupid, stupid decisions, and now that the same 5-4-tilted U.S. Supreme Court that crowned George W. Bush “president” has given corporations license to pour even more of their billions into pro-corporate election propaganda, voters will be making even dumber decisions, unless the saner Democratic U.S. Congress does something to counteract the top court’s incredibly bad, incredibly anti-democratic decision. (That’s strike two for this 5-4 right-wing court…)

But I digress.

Because California’s voters have soured on Schwarzenegger does not mean that Jerry Brown has it in the bag.

Another recent Sacramento Bee news story reports that Brown’s two Repugnican rivals have gained on him in the polls. His most serious Repugnican challenger, billionaire bitch Meg (that’s short for Megalomaniac) Whitman, who never has held elected office and who wants to buy the governorship and who would be even more disastrous for the state than Schwarzenegger has been, now trails Brown by only 10 percentage points (it’s 46 percent to 36 percent).

At least one of Brown’s supporters has remarked that Brown knows exactly what he’s doing.

“He’s very skilled, and he knows when to be patient and when not to be patient,” Democratic strategist Darry Sragow told the Bee of Brown. “It would be totally inadequate to equate Jerry’s low visibility as a candidate with taking a nap.”

I would love to think that Jerry Brown knows exactly what he’s doing, that he isn’t napping like the hare, but there’s way too much at stake for me or any other Californian who cares about the fate of the state to just assume that Team Jerry Brown knows what it’s doing.

Times have changed since Brown first was governor of the great state of California from January 1975 to January 1983. The state’s voters are, I think, much dumber now than they were then (in no small part due to the corporate propaganda, meant to mislead or at least to confuse the voters, that the U.S. Supreme Court loves so much).

Team Brown, I think, needs to realize that this is 2010, and that yes, a plurality or a majority of Californian voters are perfectly capable of voting in yet another Repugnican governor even though almost 60 percent of them believe that the current Repugnican governor has made things in the state worse instead of better.

Jerry Brown can’t campaign in California like Scott Brown could campaign in Massachusetts. California covers 163,696 square miles, making it the third-largest state in the nation in terms of land area, and California is home to about 37 million Americans, making it the most populous state in the nation. Massachusetts, by contrast, has only 10,555 square miles, making it the 44th-largest state in terms of land area, and with a population of about 6.6 million, it ranks at No. 15 in terms of population.

But the one thing that Jerry Brown can do is to not act like Martha Coakley and act as though he has the governorship in the bag.

That means formally announcing his candidacy sooner rather than later and campaigning as though he were behind in the polls.

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Mitt Mystique wins again in Mass. in wake-up call for complacent Dems

Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, left, celebrates ... 

Associated Press photo 

Repugnican Massachusetts state  Sen.  Scott Brown celebrates his come-from-behind win of the late Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts today. With him is Repugnican former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Can you tell which one is which? (Neither can I…) 

“In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts,” The Associated Press breathtakingly reports right now, “Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in a U.S. Senate election [today] that left President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marred the end of his first year in office.” 

Oh, please. 


Embarrassing to the Democratic Party, to be sure, but “epic”? 

Look: According to the accounts that I’ve read, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, Massachusett’s attorney general, sat on her ass — er, laurels — while her Repugnican challenger Scott Brown actually campaigned. It widely has been reported that he even campaigned across the state in his pickup truck, apparently to make the voters of Massachusetts think that he is one of them.  

Wikipedia notes that Brown is an attorney who is married to a local TV reporter and that the couple own “a 3,000-square-foot primary home [in Wrentham, Mass.], a second home in Rye, New Hampshire, three small rental units in Boston, and a timeshare on the Caribbean island of Aruba.” 

So yes, Scott Brown is just like you — if you’re an attorney, if you’re married to a local TV reporter, and if you are loaded. (And if your pubes have appeared in a national magazine…)

Brown “rode a wave of voter anger”? Maybe. Or maybe he just lied — er, campaigned — harder than did his opponent. (Which is what the consensus of the news accounts has been.) 

Further to pick on The Associated Press’ overblown lead paragraph, when did the Democrats ever have a solid, filibuster-proof 60-vote majority? There always have been those problematic senators wanting to have their asses licked because they threatened to withhold their vote among the 60 if their demands weren’t met. 

The “public option” died some time ago, did it not? “Barack Obama’s health care overhaul” — “Obamacare,” as the wingnuts love to call it — was in doubt long before today’s election in Massachusetts. 

And how can you “mar” the end of a new president’s first year that was lackluster at best anyway? 

I don’t see that much has changed as a result of the election in Massachusetts today. I don’t see some automatic Repugnican resurgence. 

It’s true that we live in the United States of Amnesia, and that after a group of stupid white guys just ran the nation into the ditch after their eight long nightmarish years of unelected rule, the voters in Massachusetts apparently thought that it was a swell idea to put another stupid white guy in charge of things. 

But, I surmise, even if we can extrapolate voter sentiment in Massachusetts to voter sentiment nationwide, that would be because voters have unrealistic expectations as to how long it takes to turn the Titanic back around. 

George W. Bush and crew didn’t get us into our predicament in just one year; it is unrealistic to expect Team Obama to get us out of it in just one year. 

But hey, Scott Brown is hot! In fact, in 1982, he was a centerfold for Cosmopolitan: 


Nice treasure trail there, Scott! (But it looks like there was some manscaping going on there, and, as I recently noted, I hate that.)

Brown still looks edible — here he is gloating some more today: 

Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, holds up a ... 

Associated Press photo 

— and apparently he has a bit of that Mitt Romney thing going on; apparently, your soul can be as black as pitch, but if you look good, the voters of Massachusetts will give you their vote. (Call it the Mitt Mystique, I guess…) 

I see nothing but good coming from Brown’s win. 

The Democrats have been way too fucking complacent. They needed this wake-up call. 

But an “epic” loss for the already shaky Democrats it ain’t. Per The Associated Press, Brown won today with only 52 percent of the vote to Coakley’s 47 percent, with 97 percent of the state’s precincts reporting. That’s not an “epic” landslide. It was a close election. 

And U.S. Sen. Brown will be up for re-election in only three years, as that’s when the six-year term for the U.S. Senate seat that he won today ends.  

Wake up and get to work, Democrats. 

Stop taking votes for granted, even in places like Kennedyland, and don’t let the voters be fooled by more rich Repugnican former centerfolds who successfully bamboozle the voters into thinking that they’re just one of them.

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Maybe Martha Coakley should lose

Former President Bill Clinton, left, clasps hands with Martha ...

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (L) speaks to ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

Democratic Party heavyweights like Bill Clinton and John Kerry have campaigned for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to succeed the late Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. Her defeat in the special election for Kennedy’s seat on Tuesday would be an embarrassing blow to the party.

In the photos that I’ve seen of her, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who as the Democrats’ hand-picked would-be successor to the late Ted Kennedy is in a tight special election to fill Kennedy’s seat on Tuesday, looks nice enough. Nice enough that I gave her $10, even though I live on the Left Coast, in California. (It was U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s fundraising e-mail that induced me to give her any money at all, as I like Al.)

But I can’t help but wonder, as the fundraising e-mails for Coakley flood my two e-mail addresses’ inboxes, why the special election is so tight.

Ted Kennedy served in the U.S. Senate for Massachusetts from November 1962 to his death in August — longer than I’ve been on the planet, and I’ve been on the planet for a little more than four decades.

John Kerry, the now-senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts, has been in the Senate since January 1985 — for 25 years now.

Could it be that the Democrats have taken the Democratic votes of the people of Massachusetts for granted for waaay too fucking long now?

Could that be why the Dems need to scramble now to ensure that they don’t see an embarrassing defeat on Tuesday — because (at least in Massachusetts) they got too cocky, too complacent, too sure of themselves?

For the most part, no, I don’t want to see Coakley lose on Tuesday. I know how the mainstream media love to spin just one fucking election result: COAKLEY LOSES TED KENNEDY’S SEAT! THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS DEAD! It’s not accurate, but it’s dramatic and sensationalistic, so that’s how the media handle shit like that, and people who don’t know any better then parrot it.

Nor by a Coakley defeat do I want the Repugnicans to feel emboldened going into the 2010 mid-term elections. After a Coakley defeat the mainstream media headlines would say that, too: NATION SWINGS BACK TO THE GOP! 

But what if Coakley’s defeat would make the Democratic Party stop taking its base for granted?

What if?

For years now the Democratic Party has been great about hitting its supporters up for $$$, but not so great about actually delivering upon its promises in exchange for that $$$. We’ve given the Democratic Party a lot of our change, but we haven’t seen much of that promised change in return.

If Coakley’s defeat would make the Democrats actually start delivering the promised hope and change, then maybe her defeat would be worth it.

Still, again, I am cautious to assert that apparent voter discontent in Massachusetts is indicative of the national sentiment more than it actually is. I think that the mainstream mass media and mainstream-mass-media-consuming Americans in general tend to assert incorrectly that a regional or local election is indicative of a national trend.

Still, I love what 2004 Democratic presidential contender and former Democratic Party head (February 2005-January 2009) Howard Dean has to say about what’s going on right now. Reports The Associated Press today:

Washington – The ill winds of an angry electorate are blowing against Democrats, the warning signs clear in a closer-than-expected Massachusetts [U.S.] Senate race that may doom President Barack Obama’s health care agenda and foreshadow the party’s election prospects this fall.

[Again, I disagree that Massachusetts necessarily reflects the national mood; I could be that the voters of Massachusetts are just sick and tired of having the same political dysnasty, including its hand-picked successors like Coakley, running the show for several decades now.]

Anti-incumbent, anti-establishment sentiment is rampant. Independents are leaving Obama. Republicans are energized. Democrats are subdued. None of it bodes well for the party in power.

“It’s going to be a hard November for Democrats,” Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman in the 2006 and 2008 elections when the party took control of the White House and Congress, told The Associated Press in an interview. “Our base is demoralized.” [Emphasis mine.]

While he praised Obama as a good president, Dean said the Democrat hasn’t turned out to be the “change agent” the party thought it elected, and voters who supported Democrats in back-to-back elections now are turned off. Said Dean: “They really thought the revolution was at hand but it wasn’t, and now they’re getting the back of the hand.” [Emphasis mine.] …

Oh, shit, Howie, tell us how you really feel!

But seriously, I appreciate Howard Dean’s candor. Democratic Party hacks — you know, the fucktards who can defend even Billary Clinton, just because Billary calls itself a “Democrat” — will blast Dean for stating that President Barack Obama hasn’t been the “change agent” that he promised to be, but fuck, Dean was only speaking the obvious truth.

I really have to wonder now if Dean — who no doubt is deeply disappointed that Obama campaigned for the White House like a Howard Dean but now is presiding like a Billary Clinton — is angling for another run at the presidency.

You know, when Dean was head of the Democratic Party, the party did retake first the U.S. House of Representatives (giving us the nation’s first female speaker of the House), the U.S. Senate, the majority of the governorships and the majority of the state legislatures in 2006, and then retook the White House in 2008, while increasing its majorities in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate as well.

That’s not bad!

The Democratic Party hacks who oppose Dean might actually claim that the nation was going that way anyway, but I give Dean the credit where the credit is due; God knows that the clueless establishmentarian, Billary-lovin’ Democrats couldn’t have done it on their own.

Should Dean actually oppose Obama in 2012 — an unlikely but not impossible scenario — then Dean has my support. If not in 2012, then maybe in 2016.

In the meantime, Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts should prove to be interesting.

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