Sara Whitman

Down to the Wire: Coakley vs. Brown

Filed By Sara Whitman | January 18, 2010 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Kerry, Markey, Martha Coakley, Massachusetts, Menino, Patrick, President Obama, Scott Brown, Vicki Kennedy

I took the kids to the Obama rally yesterday. Yeah, they were really happy about that. Actually, we had the chance to meet the President and they all willingly put on ties and suits.

It was the President after all.

Even Ben, Mr. I am not impressed by anything, was impressed. Mom... you know all these people?

Some. Yes.

Wow.

Walking up to the Cabot Center, where the President was speaking, there was a small contingency of Scott Brown supporters. For the three to four thousand folks lined up to get into the event for Obama, there were maybe 100 people lined up on the other side of Huntington Ave. We all walked through the Brown crowd, to get to the crosswalk. I felt like I was back at an abortion clinic, all those years ago.

Ben leaned over to me and said, Mom, all these people are white. Every one of them.

Indeed, they were. White men, mostly, from 20 to 60. Some women, mostly older. Signs with fetus' on them were in the crowd. I found it fascinating that it was mostly about abortion- not teh gays- and health care.

But there weren't that many of them, compared to those attending the Coakley event. Unfortunately, the way Huntington Ave is designed at that point, the T runs down the middle, with barriers, and you cannot simply cross the street.

This is awkward, Ben said to me.

Just smile, I said.

At the event, we heard Menino, Markey, Patrick, Capuano, Kerry, Vicki Kennedy, and then the President. In a packed room, you could hear a pin drop. We still love our President in Massachusetts. I was worried about that. Unfortunately, it gave space for a antiabortion heckler to stand up and start shouting. The crowd drowned him out with shouts of Martha! Martha! Once he was removed, the room quiet again, a young girl started with the same stuff.

Seems they made the trip from California to let the President know they were opposed to abortion. Just one more right that could be up for grabs if Brown wins.

The polls are all over the place. Last one read? Brown is up 51 to 46. And it's suppose to snow tomorrow. Not good.

I don't want to have to fight for abortion rights all over again. It was an old, bad feeling going through that crowd. Smiling at people who sneer at you, knowing they love their superiority over your going to hell soul. You want to argue but you can't because you're afraid, physically, of what would happen.

It's a deep division. As Capuano said yesterday, the right always uses guns, god and gays to divide the country. My god is better than yours, and hates you, he said, instead of the real work of congress- health care, education, the economy.

In a little over twenty four hours, the results will start to trickle in. I do believe if we get enough voters to the actual polling place, we will win. Massachusetts has not undergone a personality change.

I hope.


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'Guns, god, and gays'. Indeed.

Nice post, Sara. Thanks.

I personally didn't like being heaped in with god and guns but... it's true.

still want my rights.

Actually, I'm tired of hearing how people come in, or just call from out of state to effect a local election. To here that NOM is funding Brown in this campain... and at the same time they keep saying that they're not a PAC or a Lobbying group... and they only have small mom and pop donors.

Really, whats going on? A-holes moving to New York from Tennesse to run for Senate, Brown getting funding and support from out of state...

Maybe I should run for Senate in Alabama or Missippi as a Ultra Conservative. I could propably get elected if I act inbread enough.

Coakley is a truly, truly terrible candidate. Her record as AG and DA is apalling.

As you know, I'm on the Right. But she to me exemplifies the worst that the Right can be at times, denying painkillers to the sick, keeping innocent people in jail just to further her political career....

I just wish they'd chosen someone, ANYONE, but Coakley in the primaries.

Those on the Right will vote against her anyway, because she's pro-Choice etc. Those on the Left have never been exposed to her gaffes and misdeeds, the Left-friendly press has covered for her.

But Independents.... they know. And she's poison to them.

I don't think anyone's particularly enamoured of Mr Brown. Yes, he's nice eye-candy, runs a good campaign, but he's a Republican for goodness' sake, and this is Massachusetts. For him to have any chance, the Dems would have to nominate Alebrt de Salvo (the Boston Strangler) or someone equally on the nose.

Guess what? They did.

Judas Peckerwood | January 19, 2010 2:28 AM

Well I'm about as far to the left as you can get, and I agree that Coakley is a monster. Listening to supposed progressives downplay and even justify her vicious perversions of justice makes me sick to my stomach.

This is truly one of those election choices that proves that neither of our allegedly "major" parties should be trusted with running Jamba Juice stand, never mind our frickin' government.

Martha Coakley has been a great friend to gays and lesbians. She did manage to win a primary also. I think that Ms Brain is unjustifiable tough on her record.

I have to agree with Pete, Zoe. I don't know exactly what you know about Massachusetts but since 1914 the Commonwealth has elected 14 Republican governors to the Democrat's 12. Four out of the last five governors have been Republican. It isn't that hard for a Republican to win a statewide election in Massachusetts.

The right wing has made a cause celebre out of the Armirault case. The irony is not lost on me. Where does Brown stand on civil liberties? He believes marriage is between a "man" and a "woman". I am waiting for the Brown camp to come out with quotes from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Swift was the Republican governor who was ultimately responsible for refusing to commute Armirault's sentence. No one from the right puts any emphasis on that. I cannot find much about Bee Baran, a self described gay man, who claims to have been railroaded and targeted specifically because he is gay being written by the Brown supporters.

I have reservations about AG's running for higher office because of who the have to please and what they have to do to reach that position. I would rather see a different candidate running against Brown but as Sara says you can forget about any kind of progress if he wins. Coakley has been commended by the ACLU for her stand on Marriage equality. I can find nothing about her that has anything to do with the Armirault case that has not come from some ACLU hating organization.

This is not about the Amirault case. Scott Brown has made it clear that he will vote against ENDA, whether or not it's 'inclusive;' and he will vote against repeal of DOMA and DADT. And he sure isn't smart enough to have a clue about who got this country into the fiscal mess we're in.

I'm not disagreeing with you as regards Scott Brown. There's no way I'd defend his policies.

But with respect, it *is* about the Amirault case, and the many others. It's about the record of not a single prosecution for corruption in MA.

With 100,000 dead and otherwise disqualified voters on the MA electoral roll, Coakley may manage to get in anyway, despite a 53:47 vote. But Brown's playing it smart - the first thing he did was to get enough attorneys to monitor each polling station. I hope Coakley has done likewise, such dirty tricks may be traditionally used only by the dominant party, but in cases like this the dirt is bi-partisan.

The USA is drastically in need of Health care reform. The original Obama bill was pretty good, based on a model that we know worked pretty well (it was really similar to the system in Australia BTW).

But it's been mutated out of all recognition. Almost all the good bits removed, and many bad bits inserted. Larded with more pork than ankh. Even those most enthusiastic about health care are having to vote for it while holding their nose. Many who were on the fence are now against, out of fear that it's a pile of poo. (IMHO they're correct, but that's irrelevant, it's their perceptions that count, not the reality either way)

But had Coakley been less odious to the independants, she'd still be a shoe-in.

I'd like to think that Brown would support an incremental, progressive health care reform, and not the current proposal, not because he's against reform, but because this thing is an abomination.

I'd like to think so. I'd like to think he's pro-ENDA too. And I'd like to win the lottery.

Maybe I should buy a ticket, so at least one of those three things may come to pass.

The Amiraults Oh, don't get me started. If Coakley wins today? I'll write about the Amiraults. The case was raging in the newspapers when I moved her many many years ago. I have a good friend who was a prosecutor under Coakley.

Coakley a monster? Get a grip. Perhaps not the most exciting candidate in the world but a monster? No.

Does anyone remember that she was that one who is suing the federal govt so MA gay married couples can have federal recognition? How about the times she has testified on behalf of the trans community in regard to the trans rights bill here in MA? over and over again.

she supports LGB and T rights. I mean, how many politicians get the T part???? And go to the extent of testifying???

Scott Brown, as shown on rachel maddow last night, sneered at the thought that Obama's mother was married when she had him. Sneered. Yeah, whatever, he said. This guy is a pig. Unlike Mitt Romney who played, I love the gays and I love abortion and I love the social left when he ran against Kennedy, this guy is about hugging the teabaggers.

Everyone get a grip... No politician is perfect but the choice here is clear and simple.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 19, 2010 7:52 AM

Certainly an upset in Massachussets today will have big ramifications, and I truly join you hoping that it doesn't happen.

However, even if Coakley pulls through, looking at it all from a national perspective, a 60 vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is something akin to that brief moment of totality in a solar eclipse. It's chances for lasting past next November's elections are rather slim, and with Joe Lieberman as part of the mix, it has not been a solid as it might appear.

Given the close division of the American electorate and our constitutional system with respect to equal state representation in the Senate, NOT having such a supermajority seems the rule and not the exception. So if the Democrats are going to expect to govern, they are going to have to find a way to live with what is the more usual legislative situation.

I frankly think the filibster is undemocratic, if not unconstitutional, stacked on top of the current two votes per state regardless of population. But that's not likely to change either.

Bingo. This is an area I'm going to explore in a post today, Don.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 19, 2010 10:43 AM

As to the filibuster, Bil, it is interesting to note that during the Bush Administration, then Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott questioned the constitutionality of the filibuster, at least as it applied to judicial nominations.

I've googled a bit, and it seems that the constitutional argument comes down to whether the provision covering each body making its own procedureal rules essentially blesses supermajorities. I think most legal scholars have traditionally thought it does.

But there is a counter-argument that elswhere in the Constituion specific super-majorities are expressly set out, as in treaty ratification, etc. The theory is that these are the only lawful cases where something else than a simple majority rules.

Probably comes down to what's considered a "procedural" rule and what's not. To me, at least, the ability of a single senator to bring an entire popularly elected body to a half isn't exactly what the "Founding Fathers" had in mind.

Wonder what Scalia thinks about that?

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 19, 2010 10:44 AM

As to the filibuster, Bil, it is interesting to note that during the Bush Administration, then Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott questioned the constitutionality of the filibuster, at least as it applied to judicial nominations.

I've googled a bit, and it seems that the constitutional argument comes down to whether the provision covering each body making its own procedureal rules essentially blesses supermajorities. I think most legal scholars have traditionally thought it does.

But there is a counter-argument that elswhere in the Constituion specific super-majorities are expressly set out, as in treaty ratification, etc. The theory is that these are the only lawful cases where something else than a simple majority rules.

Probably comes down to what's considered a "procedural" rule and what's not. To me, at least, the ability of a single senator to bring an entire popularly elected body to a half isn't exactly what the "Founding Fathers" had in mind.

Wonder what Scalia thinks about that?