Kennedy's seat has been returned to the people. 10:25 AM, Jan 21, 2010 • By ROSS TERRILL
To the Boston left, "anger" and "Washington" explain Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts senate race, but the win was also a shaft of common sense hitting Bay State's echo chamber of liberal self-righteousness. "Voter anger caught fire in final days," said Wednesday's Boston Globe. "Massachusetts voters sent Washington a ringing message." Yet it wasn't anger, the final days, or just Washington, as the Globe suggested.
None of my friends who voted for Brown seem angry. For them politics is important, but not the summation of life. They see public policy as the result of outcomes, not good intentions alone. It is Martha Coakley’s crowd that sees moral certainties in politics: The truth is known and beyond argument. Layers of hysteria substitute for "debate" when a Massachusetts liberal talks with a conservative. Coakley described herself as "heart-broken" Tuesday night; one feels for this bright and decent person. But ”heart-broken" seems to join anger as a hallmark of the left's morality-play view of politics.
As for "Washington," yes. Obama is seen by many independents here as an eloquent speech maker who fails to deliver on policies he loftily tosses out. Insofar as the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate are all ruled by the left, and Brown is a conservative, last Tuesday's result was about Washington.
But Brown's success was also a Massachusetts phenomenon. I have lived in Cambridge-Boston for forty-five-years and nearly all that time it has been a citadel of unexamined leftism. Take a couple of key institutions.
At Harvard University, a liberal is “middle of the road” and a conservative is “extremist.” It's said when a conservative comes to the Harvard faculty, another conservative must leave (if one can be found) to make room. As James Piereson once wrote in these pages, the left university since the mid-1960s replaced the liberal university.
The Boston Globe, like the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature of Massachusetts, faced with the illness of Senator Kennedy, treated his seat as one for the Kennedy clan or the Democratic Party to fill.
The Globe editorialized in favor of an appalling maneuver to give the governor power to appoint a new senator immediately upon Kennedy’s death: “Massachusetts would remain at full strength in the Senate,” it purred, “the prospect for health care reform would remain alive, and the voters would have their final say on a new senator within a few months." It conceded piously that the law-makers might “look hypocritical to hand the power of appointment back to a Democratic governor a few years after stripping it from a Republican." Indeed.
Just over five years ago the same Democratic legislature cancelled the governor's longstanding power to appoint a U.S. senator to fill a vacancy. In 2004, John Kerry was the Democratic presidential nominee and his party knew if Kerry won, state law allowed the governor — Republican Mitt Romney — to appoint Kerry's successor, no doubt a Republican. Hence the bill, which Romney tried but failed to kill by veto.
Both moves were identical in advancing the Democratic Party's interests. In all other respects the 2009 bill was a total reversal of the 2004 one.
But the Boston Globe concluded soothingly: "The image of the state Legislature, however, is a minor point compared with the prospect of Massachusetts at 50 percent strength in the Senate... If anything, this is an opportunity for lawmakers to redeem themselves by putting the interests of representative government and health care reform, a hallmark of Massachusetts, above Beacon Hill politics.”
Even the New York Times could not embrace such hypocrisy and editorialized against an appointment and for a prompt special election.
And saved America from ObamaCare.12:00 AM, Jan 21, 2010 • By GARY ANDRES
Representatives of organized labor met in the White House last week and cut a deal exempting union members from paying higher taxes as part of health care reform. It was a tawdry affair in many ways. But the meeting seems to have had an unintended consequence: Massachusetts has just elected a Republican senator.
Contrary to popular belief. 2:47 PM, Jan 20, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Before it becomes the received wisdom on the left that Scott Brown won because Martha Coakley lost, permit me to express the opinion that Coakley may not have been the most skillful candidate in American political history, but she was defeated not by her own deficiencies but by national trends and factors that transcended her particular race and parochial issues of Massachusetts.
A man and his pick-up truck rocked the political world.1:15 AM, Jan 20, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Of all of the memorable moments from the Massachusetts special election, the one that stands out most--and the one with real implications for 2010--did not directly involve either of the two candidates in the race.
It came Sunday, during Barack Obama's speech.
And other repercussions of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts.12:30 AM, Jan 20, 2010 • By FRED BARNES
The impact of Republican Scott Brown’s capture of the Massachusetts Senate seat held for decades by Teddy Kennedy will be both immediate and powerful. It’s safe to say no single Senate election in recent memory is as important as this one.
Here are a few of the repercussions:
Divine intervention may have played a role in the Massachusetts Senate race.11:52 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By NOEMIE EMERY
When Dean Barnett died at age 40 in August 2008, it was a loss of a unique voice in politics, and those who admired him could console themselves only with the thought that he had been needed for some pressing business above. Now, a year and a half after it happened, we know what it was: Only Barnett -- Bostonian, Red Sox fan, former aide to Mitt Romney, with a loathing of cant and a fine sense of lunacy, could have orchestrated the Senate race in Massachusetts thus far.
Could it really be that close?8:00 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Via Ace, oh my:
The Martha Coakley campaign just sent out a media advisory, announcing a press conference at 5:30 p.m. ET, alleging irregularities in the special Senate election.
The press conference will involve reports of voters who received ballots that were already marked for Republican candidate Scott Brown.
Blue on blue.5:45 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
As Mary Katharine notes below, Ben Smith reports that a Coakley adviser is sending around a memo blaming national Democrats for Coakley's current predicament, and Washington Democrats are firing back.
Taxes, terrorism, and health care were much more important than Scott Brown's truck.3:55 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The Massachusetts election is by no means a done deal, but Democrats are furiously spinning the race under the assumption that Brown will win. There are a number of misconceptions being spread by those trying to pin blame mostly or solely on Coakley, but one of the more puzzling Democratic talking points is that Coakley "let the race become a personality contest." That line was uttered by Barney Frank last week and is repeated by Tom Schaller at FiveThirtyEight.com today:
Surprisingly, women and youth support Brown over Coakley.3:24 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By RACHEL HOFF
A Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll released yesterday showed remarkably high support for Scott Brown, especially among two groups that many would assume to be sure bets for Martha Coakley: women and youth.
What Scott Brown needs to do to beat Martha Coakley.12:22 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Assuming that the Massachusetts election results page (update: see results here) doesn't crash due to a tremendous amount of traffic, what should one be looking for after the polls close at 8:00 p.m. and numbers begin pouring in? The Cook Political Report's election whiz David Wasserman writes in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD:
1) Western Mass - Coakley needs a huge margin out of what I call the "Rachel Maddow Belt" - the Berkshires, where she has roots, and the Pioneer Valley. She probably needs a 5,000 vote lead out of Amherst and high turnout in places like Springfield, Pittsfield, and Northampton.
Spin-Mania!9:43 AM, Jan 19, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Stu Rothenberg: "If you are looking for an analogy for a Republican victory in Massachusetts, the best one for Democrats may well be the stock market crash of 1929. Come Tuesday night, you could have Democrats jumping out windows and off roofs ..."
9:04 AM, Jan 19, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
“I think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead,” Rep. Anthony Weiner said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”