Punting the Pundits: Wednesday Afternoon Quarterbacking in MA

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Punting the Pundits: Wednesday Afternoon Quarterbacking in MA

It's the day after the Massachusetts special election to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by the untimely death of the Liberal Lion and the greatest senator to ever serve this country: Edward M. Kennedy.  We know that already, you may be saying. Ah, but I live in Massachusetts, where the importance of history cannot be over-stated. Funny thing about history, though, is that in order to make history, you generally need to do something first, before all other comers. And Massachusetts has led the way of this nation time and time again. So what does this first — the first Republican elected to the Senate in nearly 40 years — mean for the rest of the country? Is Obama and his agenda now as dead on arrival as the disappointing 2009 Red Sox? For those who are only privy to the national spinmeisters take on this election here are some first-hand observations about just what happened and what, if any, are the national implications.
Don't Hate on Martha

I know Martha Coakley is now persona non grata in many liberal/Democratic circles. How could she lose in an overwhelmingly Democratic state? First of all, she's our Attorney General, and although a darn popular one she has never held a legislative seat. In fact, the only other election she lost was for state representative. So she's never had to do 'retail politics' on a grand scale and she's not particularly good at it.  Let's face it, most highly intelligent people find it difficult as well. I suspect the reason she ran for this seat now was in part because she figured in a short election cycle her name recognition and high 'positives' with the public would offset her pressing-the-flesh handicap. There's a public perception now (being spread by the likes of Jon Stewart) that she was arrogant and didn't work hard enough.  Not true.  She had to win a hard-fought primary first against three other opponents. While she was doing that, Scott Brown had a cakewalk over a late entry and not-so-serious opponent, Jack E. Robinson (say it out loud). After she won the primary handily, due to hard work and a stellar organization, she had to pivot to refilling her coffers for the general election. The conventional wisdom was that people wouldn't be paying attention during the holidays anyway, so this didn't seem like a huge strategic error.  Unfortunately,

Comments [29]

Grace Moon's picture


so congrats to your new senator for having the balls.


tweet tweet @gracemoon

SMBrown's picture

Grace, I was heartened too,

Grace, I was heartened too, but honestly I don't think this is indicative of how he'll vote in general.  He still believes tax breaks are the cure to all our ills (gag).  Nevertheless, it was good to see all the wingnuts pitching a fit at their newly-anointed hero!

MacLass_19's picture


Thank you for writing this... I really appreciate your insight.


SMBrown's picture

Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to indulge my inner wonk!

Rusty's picture


Mystics and common sense = The antidote to pundits.

This is a much more complicated issue to dissect in terms of the message sent.

Great job and thanks for the local perspective. I have no idea on the mixing of the lemonade. It's too soon to tell, but if it had to happen, I'm glad it happened in Jan 2010 and not Nov 2010. Maybe the lookout will see the iceberg in plenty of time to make corrections.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

SMBrown's picture

Rusty, what's lemonade

Rusty, what's lemonade without ice?  Good point about (hopefully) avoiding the bigger 'berg. 

deedee's picture


Are so guttless ,they are always givening in to the Repubs they are ALWAYS going to vote NO on anything the Dems want .So STOP fucking with the repubs and kissing there ass becaues they damn sure will never kiss yours.

rovermom's picture

Hi DeeDee! not sure about the

Hi DeeDee!Smile

not sure about the kissing ass part. and this is coming from a person who isn't Dem or Repub.

deedee's picture


Where ya been ? I been missing you!!!!

SMBrown's picture

Me too!

Me too!

rovermom's picture


been missing you guys, too!

rovermom's picture

I've been around from time to time

I'm on twitter.com/rovermom and I've been on facebook. I'm just living.

How are you? What have you been up to?

rovermom's picture

This is long over due

watching the rise and fall of Dems and Repubs and the ferver and momentum is really really swining hard.

That means Change is truly in the air...more people are grassrooting and getting involved to reshape this together for this era and not letting it fall into only politicians hands.

I even will bet on a fall and split of either or, or both parties and a regrouping and renewal in our system that is WAY over due. Even new parties stepping up.

I've said it countless times, the parties are who really need to change. That is the driving force, the heart of the "vs." the fight and struggle that propells our nation into a working life force.

If our parties stop evolving, it makes our goverment weak by being on autopilot.

Tex's picture

Good thought...

we've bashed the Bush era so much - blamed them for all that ails us - when there were a lot of Dems in control in a lot of places during the reign. We're in a hell of a mess with plenty of blame to go around.

Lemonade sounds good!

Nice job, sweet cheeks! And, you can still get married in MA, can't you? One good looking nude dude is not gonna change the whole shabang!


Twitter Time @kdhales

Grace Moon's picture

i have to say

mystics talked me down from the ledge.

I hope brown turns out to be a Gillibrand, someone who seems to step up for the people...

tweet tweet @gracemoon

SMBrown's picture

Phew!  Can't have our

Phew!  Can't have our fearless leader out on a ledge! 

As for Gillibrand, I have trouble trusting her because I have no idea what her core values are.  But I suppose serving the will of her constituents is a core value of its own, eh?

Grace Moon's picture

well she did do a big flip

a filp in our favor, her core has become NYC, so she's been tryin her daggest to win us... so far its working.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

skate's picture

"So she's never had to do

"So she's never had to do 'retail politics' on a grand scale and she's not particularly good at it.  Let's face it, most highly intelligent people find it difficult as well."

Pretty big indicator of a problem there!

mickey06's picture


Thanks for this....gives me a slightly better snapshot of what was going on in MA at the time

minniesota's picture


I'll say something here that I said privately earlier this evening. I was surprised when listening to Brown on All Things Considered tonight how more reasonable he sounded compared to the Republican Minority Leader.

That's my lemonade.

Mystiscmb, thanks for your analysis. The only thing I'd add is the good looks factor..I mean it didn't hurt that Brown has them.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

SMBrown's picture

I nearly had a flip-out when

I nearly had a flip-out when Whoopi said he rang her bell yesterday.  I kinda don't get it, I mean he's attractive but not to-die-for.  At least he's not as slick as Romney.

That reasonableness will give him more in common with Obama than the Republican leadership.

I think we should start a new party: the Reasonable Party.   Smile

Grace Moon's picture


Whoopie go for Ted Dansen? could be a fetish...

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Not2Taem's picture


The guy from Cheers? Definite resemblance. Never really have gotten the pretty boy thing, but far be it from me to begrudge anyone her fetish.  LOL  Beer

Not2Taem's picture

Boot in the seat

I'm hoping this will get the Dems off their apologetic asses, but it doesn't look that way.

SMBrown's picture

I actually think the Dems

I actually think the Dems should do a huge mea culpa for the Nelson pact-with-the-devil, but then pivot and explain that they had no choice: we have hundreds of people DYING in this country daily because of a lack of access to health insurance and yet the Republican party refuses to budge.  Then they should give a brief history lesson about how for most of our history we got things done because representatives voted their consciences first and party second. 

Not2Taem's picture


I definitely agree with that history lesson and they need to embarrass the Repubs majorly on conscience.

Grace Moon's picture

i love


tweet tweet @gracemoon

Not2Taem's picture


That's just because you get to squeeze it.

SMBrown's picture

(I might have guessed)


(I might have guessed)