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Precriminations in Massachusetts Senate race

Washington conventional wisdom is so thick that you can usually feel it. On this gray morning, the overwhelming consensus of the punditocracy and the political class is that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts today, and the roof will cave in on President Obama.

Partly because I don’t like conventional wisdom, I am inclined to point out that the final polls in Massachusetts were in conflict. If the close ones are to be believed, Coakley still has a fighting chance to win -- especially if all the hype about the resources Democrats have thrown into the state for Get-Out-The-Vote activities is true. (And it’s probably close to true.)

At one end, there was the Insider Advantage Poll for Politico that showed Brown up by 52 percent to 43 percent. If that’s accurate, Coakley is toast. But Democrats immediately cried foul. Late yesterday afternoon, a mass e-mail popped into my mailbox from the Democratic National Committee with the urgent subject line: “Don’t buy this skewed poll.” The DNC pointed out that the poll, implausibly, showed Brown winning 26 percent of the black vote and 77 percent of the Hispanic vote (on the basis of very small samples of both groups). I noticed that the poll also showed Brown winning two-to-one among voters under 30, one of the most Democratic groups in the electorate. This meant either that Brown has done something extraordinary in turning around the youth vote, or that the poll was off.

Earlier in the day, a very different race was described by a Research 2000 poll for the liberal website Daily Kos. That poll had a tie race: Coakley 48, Brown 48. It showed Coakley winning the black vote 90 percent to 7 percent, the Hispanic vote 75 percent to 23 percent, and the under-30 vote by 61 percent to 35 percent. Those are more probable numbers. On the other hand, the bad news for Coakley is that an earlier Research 2000 poll had Coakley ahead 49 percent to 41 percent, so even this relatively positive survey for Coakley had the trend moving against her.

It’s that trend that had gloomy Democrats engaged in precriminations before a single vote had been cast. The internal hate fest is described in lavish detail in Politico. In Politico’s highly believable account everybody in the Democratic Party is blaming everybody else for letting a race in Massachusetts -- Massachusetts! -- get away from them. Yes, it will be an ugly time for Democrats if Coakley loses.

I’ve said before that, if nothing else, this race should lead to a polling inquest to figure out why the polling numbers were all over the lot, and whose methods made the most sense. That inquest will be especially interesting if Coakley pulls this out or, alternatively, if Brown actually does win by a substantial margin. But whoever wins, this will be a good opportunity for everyone to examine their methods, since there will be thousands of polls published in this election year. If journalism is to be poll-driven -- it shouldn’t be, but it will be -- let’s at least get the polls right.

And just accepting the conventional wisdom for a moment, have you noticed that politicians regularly urge leaders to follow public opinion whenever the polls show the public to be on the side of whatever policy said politicians support -- and then turn around pay tribute to politicians who defy public opinion when public opinion is running the other way?

Looking forward to a Brown victory in Massachusetts, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared on Fox News Sunday: “I'm still hoping that at some point some Democrat is going to say, 'I don't buy any longer this arrogant notion that we ought to ignore our constituents and pass it no matter what they think.’ It's perfectly clear that if it's unpopular in Massachusetts, it's unpopular everywhere.”

But the same sorts of Republicans had nothing but lavish praise for George W. Bush when he declared before the second presidential debate in 2000: “I really don't care what the polls and focus groups say. What I care about is doing what I think is right.”

But there I go, buying the Washington conventional wisdom on what’s going to happen in Massachusetts. So I will bravely defy the polls -- or not, depending on the poll -- and declare: this race is still too close to call.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: A little while ago, I got off the phone with one of the smartest and most experienced Massachusetts Democrats I know, and he was not confident that Coakley can pull this out. The race, he said, felt like the 2002 Governor's race between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Shannon O'Brien, when O'Brien tried and failed to rally the Democratic base in sufficient numbers at the end of the campaign. Romney won that one by five points, picking up many votes along the outer suburban belt near I-495. My informant's fear is that even a big Democratic turnout may not be enough to counter Brown's apparent strength among Independents in the state's middle-of-the road and more conservative suburbs. "I pray that I'm wrong," he added. I made my brave too-close-to-call "prediction," so I'm sticking to it, but who knew that it would take an upset for a Democrat to win a race in Massachusetts?

By E.J. Dionne  | January 19, 2010; 9:31 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

I just don't see how the Republicans can win. Mass is a 4:1 Democrat state. All the press has probably terrified them and they will all come out and vote. Also the Democrats are excellent organizers and will bus as many to the polls. I predict a Coakley landslide, all the hype for nothing.

Posted by: staterighter | January 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Some blame should fall on Ted Kennedy himself, for selfishly holding onto power and insisting on re-election when he was very old and in poor health.
He thought he was indispensable, and didn't groom a successor, and left his party in the lurch.
It says something about his drive for power, and the fact that despite all the accolades and "Saint Teddy" hoopla, he was another trust fund politician who felt entitled to hold "his" Senate seat until his last breath.

Posted by: johnL1 | January 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Brown is pro abortion. His winning will not be all bad.

I particularly liked his nude photo....

Women have good reason to vote for him.

Posted by: dutchess2 | January 19, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope and pray that the people of Massachussets don't elect a former nude model to uphold their "family values".

Posted by: gsross | January 19, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If you want to understand how Brown can win, go to the message boards of the Globe and Herald and read the comments - even on the Globe (one of the more liberal papers in the U.S.), the comments are at least 4-1 in favor of Brown. He can win because his supporters are almost Obamaesque.

One thing is that "he" isn't really what's winning - he's run a good campaign, but it's not like Obama where everyone loves him. It's unrest with the one-party rule in DC and Coakley running an abhorrent campaign that almost seems like it's a test designed by a political scientist to see if Mass will elect anyone with a (D) next to their name.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | January 19, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I voted this morning - huge turnout so far in my west-central Massachusetts town. All the Republicans I know were out there - they are definitely energized. But the Democratic folks are too - the conversations over the weekend have been intense and numerous. If the D's do in fact get out, Coakley wins. The problem is that most of us aren't very excited about the candidate herself. (And it's snowing - that doesn't help the unenthusiastic.) But there was an enormous amount of waking up over the past few days with regard to the real threat of a right-wing Republican Senator from Massachusetts!

Posted by: AMac1 | January 19, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I think it's ironic that Massachusetts - one of the few states with universal health care coverage - might be responsible for killing a national health care program. How selfish to deny others benefits that you yourself enjoy.

Posted by: kalixmd | January 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Having grown up in Mass and been up here since Friday, and having worked for Shannon O'Brien against Romney in 2002, this race is completely set up for Brown to win by >5%, approaching 10%.

He reran the Romney race, using some of the same Malone/Romney advisers that have beaten women 2 out of 3 tries since 1998. Brown has managed to make the "indpendent" v "machine" fracture in the electorate work. Coakley failed to call him on it successfully. She failed to wrap Romney around him while he managed to wrap the state legislature and Patrick around him. The state legislature is straight out of Romney's playbook against O'Brien, while Patrick is 20% negative in favorable / unfavorable ratings and has alienated the so-called "machine" vote of urban Irish and Italians so much that he is drawing an Independent challenge from Tim Cahill.

There may be a machine vote in Boston, but it does not come out for women against a jock imaged, jock endorsed man. Brown has even done some jujitsu on the machine, the same way it worked against O'Brien, tieing the machine to Beacon Hill. The machine may drag voters to the polls, but it does not go into the voting booth, and nothing stops people from having Coakley lawn signs and voting against her.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Brown is pro abortion. His winning will not be all bad.

I particularly liked his nude photo....

Women have good reason to vote for him.

Posted by: dutchess2 | January 19, 2010 9:53 AM"
-----------------
Interesting comment because Coakley has spent much of her final week ad buy on the argument that he is anti-abortion for sponsoring a bill to allow health care providers "deny rape victims hospital care," IOW a conscience exception for providers who morally object to administering morning after pills. He of course disputes the ads and plays aggrieved victim of negative campaigning and politics as usual. I think he has muddied things enough, and has put her in a position where she appears against the 1st Amendment. It is too bad that she did not exploit the "right to life" group endorsement of hium instead of framing the issue in an over the top way.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 19, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As a former resident of Western Massachusetts, I find it hard to believe that Democrats won't come out to vote and that independends will vote for a Republican...ANY Republican. Should Brown win, be prepared for gridlock in Washington. Nothing will get accomplished to make America a better place. Exactly what is it, that the Republicans have offered this country in the last 50 years? Remember New Orleans? Remember the crooked election of 2000? Remember Bush looking for those weapons of mass destruction under his desk? Remember the lies? Remember "Good Job Brownie" ? Remember the trickle down theory? I am still waiting for the trickle. Life is a lesson in history, and we are once again dooming ourselves to repeat it. God Bless America!

Posted by: RockStorm_Radio | January 19, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: AMac1
But there was an enormous amount of waking up over the past few days with regard to the real threat of a right-wing Republican Senator from Massachusetts!

--------------------

This post says it all. A true, middle of the road, non-ideologe like Brown is painted as a "right-wing Republican". He could easily be a moderate democrat. LOL

E.J., you've written another partisan hackery of an article. Please come out of the closet and embrace your lifestyle and stop trolling in gay bars every Tuesday night (yes, we see you).

Posted by: Sarah_Palin_2012 | January 19, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

E.J. wrote: "the poll, implausibly, showed Brown winning 26 percent of the black vote and 77 percent of the Hispanic vote" Intentionally skewing a poll to influence the outcome of an election should be illegal. I am very concerned that Republican mouthpieces seem to feel they have a license to lie. Is there no recourse in the courts?

Posted by: bertram2 | January 19, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama and the Democrats have squandered a year in groveling for acquiescence from the Republicans.

They have failed to distinguish their fundamental policies from those of Bush in massive corporate give aways and ignoring multitudes of high crimes and treasons.

Even when the Dems are given all the tools for change in the world, they are afraid to use their power for reform and rebalancing the economic equation in the USA.

The disgusted citizens of Massachussets will vote no confidence by not voting at all, or by writing in Dukakis.

The Dukakis syndrome continues.

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 19, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

'I don't buy any longer this arrogant notion that we ought to ignore our constituents and pass it no matter what they think.’

Wow Mitch... Just think, if you and your band of megomaniacs had bothered just once to consider this in the early aughts, you might still have the majority!

Idiot. You want hubris? Look in the mirror.

If Republicans win this election and in 2010 it will prove nothing but that the electorate gets the politicians it deserves. That said, I am actually pulling for Brown. Having the 41st member to stonewall all legislation and kill HCR while offering nothing of solutions should put the final nail in the coffin of these new Grover Norquist/James Dobson Republicans and get that party back to some sanity.

That's change I can believe in.

Posted by: jenzinoh | January 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@kalixmd: "I think it's ironic that Massachusetts - one of the few states with universal health care coverage - might be responsible for killing a national health care program. How selfish to deny others benefits that you yourself enjoy."

======================================

Duh. Maybe they're voting against national health care because they realize how awful the Mass. experiment has been.

Mass. voters won't be denying us, they'll be saving us.

Posted by: Hk45 | January 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The popular consensus from the media, radio and television and newspapers, and from pollsters, inside and outside observers and practically everyone else in Massachusetts is that today's election result will be decided by the independents or "unenrolled". Even a last-ditch campaign speech for Martha Coakley by President Obama can not change the course of history. I only hope that this momentum against the decades-long, one-party Democratic stranglehold against the people of Massachussetts will forcefully expand to include the likes of "Representatives" Barney Frank, Michael E. Capuano, Bill Delahunt, John W. Olver, Stephen F. Lynch, Edward J. Markey, James P. McGovern, John F. Tierney and Niki Tsongas.

These incumbents need to be kicked out of office. They'll scrape by on their million-dollar pensions and speaking engagements. These Democrats--elite members of a Mutual Admiration Society--are unified only in voting in favor of more and higher taxes, not just for the people of Massachusetts, but for all Americans. Who needs them? The rise of populist anger is not limited to Republicans, the phenomenon of "Tea Party" activists and others, but also includes Independents and an increasing number of Democrats who are totally fed up with elitist politicians who just can't bring themselves to even listen to their constituents.

Posted by: BKLisenbee | January 19, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

EJ is pathetic, whining putz.
Even if Brown loses CLOSE it should send amessage to the Chicago criminals in the WH; But it won't because ideology will trump common sense fore these arrogant, inept, amateurs.

Posted by: F-4Phantom | January 19, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

If the good citizens of Massachussetts elect Brown, they will be following in the footsteps of the good citizens of Connecticutt who voted for the faux-democrat Lieberman. Why do New Englanders hate America? Or are y'all too stupid to remember the disasters of Shrub and Reagon? (If you elect Coakley, Mass., you have my apology in advance for comparing you to Conn.)

Posted by: douard1 | January 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

From my perch in central Mass. - yes, Brown will probably win. Martha was too late out of the gate and let Brown define himself (good looking, regular guy in a truck) and define her. She was actually a pretty good AG and had lots of populist cred; she just didn't have time to sell it once it became apparent that she was in a real race.

To those who think Brown is some Dem in Republican clothing, think again. He's as right-wing as any Republican in Congress and will fit right in. If the race had gone on much longer and his true views and voting record became known, his numbers would have started falling.

Good news: it's only for two years; and as Jon Stewart pointed out last night, Dems *still* have an 18 seat majority in the Senate - way more than the majority W had when he rammed through his programs.

Posted by: mwallace8831 | January 19, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I cannot understand how Scott Brown can possibly win today. I just don't know a single person who is going to vote for him.

Posted by: pgould1 | January 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It's about time that Mass woke up and voted for some real change. Scott Brown represents the kind of change that Washington needs. He's a man of honor as shown recently when a Gold Star mom (someone who has lost a son in combat) attended one of Brown's rallies. Rather than turn the woman's appearance into a campaign photo-op, Scott Brown asked all of the reporters to leave and THEN met privately with her. That's the kind of honorable behavior that we need in Washington, not someone who stands by when one of her thugs (supporters) knocks down a reporter who is asking her an 'inconvenient' question.

Posted by: honorswar26 | January 19, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Will the people of one of the better educated states in the union really vote for a candidate for the Senate whose chief qualification is that he looks good in a centerfold? I will never look at that state with the same respect again if that happens.

Posted by: withersb | January 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

So the Dems will try to ram through Health Care even after they lose Massachusetts, and New jersey, and Virginia?

Say good bye to both the House and Senate in November if they do that.

This Health Care thing has become for Obama and the Dems what Iraq became for Bush and the Reps. A losing obsession. One more Iraqi election, one more tactical change, one more surge, one more xxx, and Iraq would come out on top and save the Republican party. Until 2008.

Ideologues never learn!

Posted by: barrylarryandtimmy | January 19, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Well the people of many better educated states in the union voted for a candidate for the presidency even though he had a next to nothing track record to speak of. A scanty legislative record. Absolutely no executive record of any kind. On what basis did they vote for the man? His flowery language?

Posted by: barrylarryandtimmy | January 19, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Easy to see through Dionne. He is trying to portray the election forecasts as a probable victory for Brown, so if Coakley wins, as she should with huge built in advantages for Democrats in Massachusetts, he can declare his hero, Obama, saved the day.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I live in Massachusetts. If we're dumb enough to vote Brown in, we get what we deserve.

The guy proudly announces that he wants to undermine majority rule by torpedoing health care. That's an honorable political position?

Despite our supposed "Eastern elite" status, Massachusetts is as full of parochial, self-interested, uniformed voters as anywhere else.

Maybe health care reform will be achieved 30 years from now when we try again. Probably after we're reduced to second-world status...

Posted by: xSamplex | January 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Well the people of many better educated states in the union voted for a candidate for the presidency even though he had a next to nothing track record to speak of. A scanty legislative record. Absolutely no executive record of any kind. On what basis did they vote for the man? His flowery language?

Posted by: barrylarryandtimmy | January 19, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse


I disagree.Your point about Obama having a limited legislative record is well-taken, but his claims that we were most concerned about at the time (war in Iraq, tax promises) were issues he voted on.

Unfortunately, he did not vote on any of the economic meaasures passed in late 2008 (bailouts, etc.) so we had to take him on his word.

2008 was my first time voting for ALL democrats (Obama & Hoyer). I told this to my family and they said "they didn't tell you the bill comes due, did they?". I answered "They said they'd bill someone else." LOL.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am always hearing about "independents" from analysts and that they are supposedly more important than people who register with a party.

I can understand being moderate or independent-minded, but who are these idiots that are too indecisive to pick a side? Registration with a party doesn't obligate you to vote for their candidates.

I am convinced that it is these "independents" that are the poorly informed, unprincipled voters that deserve bad politicians.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 19, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

By 2008 it was beyond clear that the Bush presidency was a failure. Iraq was a lost cause. The economy was in shambles. So the problems were known. The issue should have been who was best QUALIFIED to fix the mess. And qualifications require a track record of some kind. Training. Experience. Skills. A proven track record. People instead voted their passion and beliefs and hope.

And here we are, after eight years of utter rightwing incompetency, facing what looks more and more like four years of rank leftwing amateurism.


Ask not for whom the bill comes, it comes for thee ...

Unless you are an investment banker, then the bill never comes. LOLer!

Posted by: barrylarryandtimmy | January 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I understand that Chicago is sending a special team to Massachusetts to help the Democrats win. I understand Dan Quayle is helping with the Democratic spelling of Massachusettes, potatoe, ah...

Posted by: staterighter | January 19, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats should have persuaded Vicki Kennedy to run to protect her husband's legacy, but my guess is in the end, they're not too smart and are sexist. For the rest of us Democrats (coming from California) it is a valuable lesson to learn how off the Eastern Democrats are...

Posted by: Janisberman | January 19, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

E.J. Your partisan loyalty is egregiously naive. But I'm sure Democrats somewhere will appreciate it. Those who also have the heads in the sand.

There are ten polls listed at
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/senate/ma/massachusetts_senate_special_election-1144.html
taken at varying intervals over the last seven days. Only one shows Coakley with a lead (2 points). One shows a tie. And eight show Brown leading from 3% to 15%; five of those show Brown leading by 7% or more.

So take that poll you like so well, turn it upside down, sideways and crossways all you want. The fact is that Brown's polling numbers are still on a cresting wave while Coakley's have crashed.

Posted by: infuse | January 19, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Even if Coakley pulls this out, the message is clear for the GOP's path to the mid-term elections: demonize, demonize, demonize, obstruct, obstruct obstruct, blame, blame, blame, lie, lie, lie, then present a fresh face with a moderate tone as the solution to all the problems that Obama couldn't fix painlessly and immediately.

Posted by: bfieldk | January 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

MASS is not a 4:1 Dem state. the latest registration #s (from a couple sources I have seen in the past two weeks) show that Indies are 41 percent of registered voters, one of the highest %s in the USA. with Dems at about 30 percent, and Repubs at low to mid 20s percent. others (4 to 6 percent) being mostly Green Party registered. so Mass is, by voter register #s, not a 4:1 dem state... far from it.. it is more than anything, an Indie state.. and as the recent results in NJ and VA governor races, and now in Mass are showing, the Indies are deserting the Dem candidates by a large number... some polls show Brown is getting 60 percent of the Indie vote, higher than the winning GOP candidate in NJ, but about the # that winning GOP candidate won in VA.... among Indies, Obama pulled about 56 percent as I recall, McCain about 45.... and it was the Indies that put Obama over the top... in most States, it is the Indie voter that elects any candidate....

Posted by: RoguesPalace | January 19, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I am astonished at the superiority complexes exhibited by many posting here. Anyone who could possibly have a point of view different from yours is an idiot? Well then, I guess there is no need to discuss anything at all. Just marginalize anyone that dares to think for himself and go on believing you are the one enlightened person on the face of the planet.

The one thing I never see from the "left" is an argument supporting what you believe. That would at least be constructive, but you seem to be afraid or unable to defend the actual basis for policy beyond one-liners and insults.

Although postings like these will do nothing to further understanding, they do help to energize the opposite faction. After all, I didn't pay much attention to politics at all until I started seeing the seething hatred of the left on sites like this one and the Drudge Retort.

I always consider myself to be an Independent because I will not let someone else think for me. I won't follow the party line of any party. I guess that makes me too stupid for the left to care what I think.

Posted by: scaredstraight1 | January 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

the only poll showing the race as too close to call is Kos, who has about the same street cred as Arianna.

your "brave" prediction is not analysis, it's wish-is-father-to-the-thought.

Posted by: miglefitz | January 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"I think it's ironic that Massachusetts - one of the few states with universal health care coverage - might be responsible for killing a national health care program. How selfish to deny others benefits that you yourself enjoy."
~Posted by: kalixmd | January 19, 2010 10:05 AM
----

@ kalixm
Actually, what is truly selfish is someone like you who would want insured Massachusetts taxpayers to pay for uninsured non-taxpayers in other states. Talk about audacity!

Posted by: melrose1 | January 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I am always hearing about "independents" from analysts and that they are supposedly more important than people who register with a party.

I can understand being moderate or independent-minded, but who are these idiots that are too indecisive to pick a side? Registration with a party doesn't obligate you to vote for their candidates.

I am convinced that it is these "independents" that are the poorly informed, unprincipled voters that deserve bad politicians.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 19, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

______________________________________

And we are just as convinced that you are a foolish sheep.

Posted by: drc231 | January 19, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I am always hearing about "independents" from analysts and that they are supposedly more important than people who register with a party. I can understand being moderate or independent-minded, but who are these idiots that are too indecisive to pick a side? Registration with a party doesn't obligate you to vote for their candidates. I am convinced that it is these "independents" that are the poorly informed, unprincipled voters that deserve bad politicians.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 19, 2010 12:51 PM

Why would I want to join a party that will sell me out at the drop of a hat? Most independents want to limit government involvement in their lives. I'm no idiot, it's people like you that mindlessly cede control to the two party system. All the two party system does is offer me the lessor of two evils.

Posted by: je121819 | January 19, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

you who would want insured Massachusetts taxpayers to pay for uninsured non-taxpayers in other states. Talk about audacity! -- posted by Melrose1


Melrose: Again, your statement reflects the craven selfishness of those who don't care if others do without as long as they are comfortable. We have become a nation of self involved selfish people. Other countries in the industrialized world view health care as a right. Apparently you and others only want it extended to the fortunate few. I'm sure you can sleep well at night, as apparently you have no conscience.

Posted by: kalixmd | January 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Again, your statement reflects the craven selfishness of those who don't care if others do without as long as they are comfortable. We have become a nation of self involved selfish people. Other countries in the industrialized world view health care as a right. Apparently you and others only want it extended to the fortunate few. I'm sure you can sleep well at night, as apparently you have no conscience.

Wow! That shows less compassion for the unfortunate than it does disdain for the practical-minded. There have always been foundations and societies that provided health care for the poor but as taxes are raised, less and less money is left for charity. The left believes it is the government's job to provide these services. I believe it is an individual's right and responsibility to help his fellow man, not the government's place to take the ability to perform that noble act away from him.

Posted by: scaredstraight1 | January 19, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Scared: Again, other sensible industrialized countries view health care as a right. "Foundations and societies" have to date left more than 45 million without health insurance. You may be comfortable with that number, but I'm not.

Posted by: kalixmd | January 19, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"I hope and pray that the people of Massachussets don't elect a former nude model to uphold their "family values".
Posted by: gsross

------------------------------------------
But you have no problem with a diaper wearing jerkwad from Minnisota sitting in the same chamber? Or the former head Klansman from West Virginia?

Posted by: MDDem1 | January 19, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Coakley ran a very lazy and arrogant campaign. I'm so sick of they uber-partisan's on the left and right. I still dig Obama because he drives the loons on the right as crazy as the left. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, and don't understand how any empowered and informed member of society could still belong to either. regards

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | January 19, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Scared: Again, other sensible industrialized countries view health care as a right. "Foundations and societies" have to date left more than 45 million without health insurance. You may be comfortable with that number, but I'm not.

None of the aforementioned societies provided insurance, they provided HEALTH CARE for the uninsured and underinsured. America has always done so and not just here at home. These 45 million are not denied healthcare, they are uninsured. There are better ways of reforming healthcare than allowing the government to control it. It is, again, not the proper function of government to be trying to run our healthcare system.

Posted by: scaredstraight1 | January 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Even if Coakley pulls this out, the message is clear for the GOP's path to the mid-term elections: demonize, demonize, demonize, obstruct, obstruct obstruct, blame, blame, blame, lie, lie, lie, then present a fresh face with a moderate tone as the solution to all the problems that Obama couldn't fix painlessly and immediately.

Posted by: bfieldk | January 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

WE TOOK THAT RIGHT OUT OF THE LIBERAL PLAY BOOK YOU JERK. DO YOU GUYS ACTUALLY BELIEVE THE PUKE YOU REGERGETATE? OBAMA WILL THOW HER UNDER THE BUS JUST LIKE HE DID DEEDS IN VA. OBAMA WILL ACCEPT ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY WHEN LIBERALS LOSE. EJ EJ EJ EJ, YOUR A SILLY MAN. YOU COULD NOT GET A JOB DELIVERING PIZZA'S. HOW DID YOU END UP BEING A HACK OPINION WRITER? LIBERALS SUCK!

Posted by: Cobra2 | January 19, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

kalixmd: The people that came to this continent from Europe to start over did so to escape the tyranny of governments that tried to run their lives and take their money in taxes. They wanted to be free to succeed or fail based on their own hard work and not have the government take it all away. The "sensible industrialized countries" you are referring to are the ones our forefathers came here to escape.

Posted by: scaredstraight1 | January 19, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

DEMOCRATS...
GET READY TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND

Posted by: TonyV1 | January 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

You've got to love a former nude model (oh those pro-family Repubs) who opposes a more conservative version of the health reform bill he ardently supported at the state level.

He's not even in the Senate yet and already Brown's the master flip-flopper.

Posted by: chi-town | January 19, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Some blame should fall on Ted Kennedy himself ..."

No. Don't be ridiculous. The blame is on the Mass. Democratic Party which was overconfident and put its faith in a terrible candidate for Senate. This applies whether she loses or wins in a squeaker. She has no discernible political skill.

Plus, people are not looking for a political hack. Hello, Jon Corzine, or rather goodbye.

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"... if Coakley wins, as she should with huge built in advantages for Democrats in Massachusetts, he can declare his hero, Obama, saved the day. ..

Naw. It's not that deep. Everything is not a plot. He said right out he's just trying to go against the grain. Obama won't get credit for a victory, which will be close anyway. He'll get all the credit for a loss. That's politics.

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 19, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"the poll, implausibly, showed Brown winning 26 percent of the black vote

Obviously, Brown will get nothing like that. The issue, however, is whether the black vote will turn out at all?

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 19, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiah Wright infamously said "God Bless America? God D@#m America!" When I look at the state of politics in America I thing maybe he was right and God did.

Posted by: GabsDaD | January 19, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"We should at least get the polls right"
I assume that I am not alone in lying to pollsters. The polls that I have been asked to participate in have agendas and I lie to screw them up.

Posted by: BenthereDoneit | January 19, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pgould1:
I cannot understand how Scott Brown can possibly win today. I just don't know a single person who is going to vote for him.
------------------------------------------

You need to get out more. There's going to be a lot of people voting for him, errr, against Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. This is on them for promising change and playing the same,old politics. That Ben Nelson, Christmas Eve vote, and union buyout stuff is old school. This is an exercise in "Buyer's Remorse." Win close or lose at all doesn't matter: The Dems need to wake up and change their approach to governance or next November will be an "Oil Change."

Posted by: PS7900 | January 19, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

If Democrats do lose the race and republicans get their 41st vote for obstruction, there is one small silver lining. Schmucks like Joe Lieberman and his 4 or 5 BlueDog pals will no longer have the leverage to hold Democratic legislation hostage. When he was thr 60th out of 60, he could screw the party and his constituents at will. Now he's one of votes 42 to 47 for the republican party. No use to them and no use to Democrats who will now have to start passing what they can with the 51 vote majority that says they still call the shots. We'd probably have been better off if healthcare reform had been passed via reconcilliation. Those parts that couldn't go this way could be brought up separately one fight at a time. This guy in Mass. is just one more with nothing to offer but NO. The people in that state will spend the next 6 years embarrassed by what they've done.

Posted by: fredfawcett | January 19, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"The daily kos poll" That's rich. What's next, the Hugo Chavez poll?

Posted by: wewintheylose | January 19, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama’s Failed Presidency
Predictive Profile AFTER the Massachusetts Rebellion


Obama's Presidency is in free fall FAILURE.

When a Republican even had a CHANCE in Massachusetts-- the verdict is in on the Obama Administration.

Team Obama was voted off the island by angry Americans fed up with the stimulus waste, cap and trade, obama's incessant asinine attacks on capitalism as he kills jobs, obamacare and most importantly 10% unemployment.

A failed embittered Presidency can be extremely dangerous--
so a profile of Obama's like FUTURE actions is critical.

In his monumental work "Hitler and Stalin" Alan Bullock notes both Hitler and Stalin were narcissists. ProCounsel is NOT stating Obama is either Hitler or Stalin. But his analysis, written long before Obama's ascendancy, is a useful model.

Bullock explains narcissism on page 11:

"In such a state only the person himself, his needs,feelings and thoughts, everything and and everybody as they relate to him are experienced as fully real, while everybody and everything otherwise lacks reality or interest."

Bullock describes the effects of narcissism and provides a predictive model useful for Obama on page 343:

"Narcissistic personalities are convinced of their special qualities and their superiority over others, and any threat to this self image--such as being criticized, shown up, or defeated--produces a violent outrage and often a desire for revenge."

Bullock cites 3 psychological reactions Stalin used to guard his narcissistic self image. Bullock credits Robert Tucker for these insights on page 356. The 3 reactions to expect for the Obama profile would be:

a. Repression–simply blankly deny the truth, no matter how obvious or even if caught on video

b. Rationalization-Admit but use the fault as proof of his zeal

c. Projection-Obama will attribute to others the motives and attitudes he refuses to admit in himself

Ironically, per the Profile Dems in the House and Senate will be in much more danger from a wounded irrelevant White House than the Republicans, as Obama will deem the Dems unworthy of him--THEY failed NOT him.

Don't believe the profile??

Just go back and review Obama's response to the Detroit airplane bombing. Obama went through all 3 stages above and that analysis is especially instructive as Obama was naked--without senior staff.

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 19, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The Massachusetts Massacre
a political autopsy- how and why obama’s presidency failed

coakley was the least significant among the losses on tuesday night. obama’s presidency not only failed, but was soundly rejected. but due to his predictive profile, obama will not comprehend the nature and extent of his failures.

obama had a systemic political failure in massachusetts.

political autopsy results–

1. while obama slept–how could massachusetts NOT be on obama’s radar screen?

obama has spent most of the year bribing senators due to a razor thin margin in the senate. yet obama sleeps while brown attacks.

more ominously obama had two systemic failures–strategic and tactical which will reappear with far more serious consequences in national security, as homeland napolitano makes coakley look like a genius.

2. strategic –obama failed to designate someone to monitor massachusetts. thats what presidents do--and obama didn’t.

obama is not only asleep at the switch, obama denies there are trains while the whistle gets louder and louder.

3. tactical–obama does not multitask well, he is hopelessly mired in a reactive mode. team obama has some great players, but the bench lacks depth.

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 19, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

As we await the returns, I see the false right-left paradigm is alive and well on the blogs. The problem is not socialism, or the primacy of equality. Truth has it that the United States is a representative democracy in form, not in practice. The corporations have merged with the state. According to Mussolini, this is the essence of fascism.

Posted by: Aurellano | January 19, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't see how the Republicans can win."

All it takes is the centrist in American politics, always the largest voter bloc, to vote against a crazy health care plan.

As you're seeing tonight, the Democrats are rejecting Obama.

This is a game changer. And Obama was too busy vacationing and ignoring what people want to see it.

It's over.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 19, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Good news: it's only for two years; and as Jon Stewart pointed out last night, Dems *still* have an 18 seat majority in the Senate - way more than the majority W had when he rammed through his programs.

Posted by: mwallace8831 | January 19, 2010 11:28 AM
__________________________________________

Brown will have two years to prove he's a Bill Weld type Repub, not a right-wing tool. Ironic that he's the type of Repub who'd be called a RINO in 47 other states. If Brown proves you can be a Repub and win without catering to right-wing loonies, we'll all be better off.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 19, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the union thugs that make up Martha Coakley's base will have to get someone else to push around now.

Posted by: HookInMouth | January 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Democrats, remember what you said to us just a few months ago?

"We won, you lost, so shut up!"

Right back at ya', losers!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations, Senator Brown!!

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | January 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Coakley concedes; so much for the pundit and the rest who couldn't see how the Democrats could loose Teddy's seat.

The reason is very simple. The Dems deluded themselves into thinking the slim margin of victory for Obama somehow meant a land slide.

Now that the swing voters got a glimpse of the far left socialism that Obama and the Democrats mean to inflict upon the country they will begin voting Republican to offset the power of the Left.

Two gubernatorial and one senatorial loss in states the Democrats counted as locked down. Doesn't look good for 2010 as voters will vent their displeasure in the Democrats policies.

Posted by: krankyman | January 19, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

9:55 PM Jan 19, 2010

Hi,

Just finished a Tea Party in Boston. WOW!! What a turn out.

I expect an even better turnout in November.

Party On!!!!!

Posted by: mdsinc | January 19, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

A true sign of change! Thanks Massachusetts!

Posted by: jmk55 | January 19, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, E.J., many of the things you don't know will be taught to you over the next few months. Don't pass up any hankey sales.

Posted by: grohlik | January 19, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

E.J.,

Ted Kennedy is surely unhappy at this moment. But, then, the Catholic Senator from Massachusetts would be as aware of your Faux Liberalism as I am.

Polls aside, you not only support the health care bill's denying poor women the right to choose, but you defend your co-Catholic Sen. Ben Nelson for his obstructionist allegiance to the Vatican. (In fairness you did not make mention of is loyalty to Big Pharma and Big Insurance) Then, you go on to defend Nelson's bribe-taking for his noncooperation, attempting to pedal it as reform (LOL). Not terribly slick propaganda, Eugene James. Silly really.

So, please no more Faux Liberal b.s.


Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | January 19, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

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