In today's anticipated Massachusetts senatorial election for Ted Kennedy's seat, State Sen. and military JAG Scott "Six Pack" Brown is poised to become the first Republican to win a Senate seat in the Bay State since 1966, when Ed Brooke -- a middle-of-the-road Republican former attorney general -- became the first African-American to win a popular senatorial election.
Who would have imagined that a State Senator, who voted against providing assistance to the Massachusetts 9-11 workers, staunchly opposed gay marriage, posed naked in a woman's magazine, (Damn those pesky staples!) doesn't provide health insurance for his own staff and vows to torpedo health care reform for all Americans, would even be considered a viable substitute for Ted Kennedy in the Senate? What was unimaginable a few weeks ago has become a thundering possibility.
If the Democrats don't turn out in force at the polls today, Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley will lose to the leggy legal eagle and the crucial 60-vote filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate will be shattered. But it's not Democrats or Republicans who have made this race a real nail-biter; it's because Team Brown ran a sexy campaign that knew how to put the "scha-WING!" in the swing voters.
John P. Avalon of The Daily Beast explains it this way:
Conventional wisdom labels Massachusetts a liberal bastion, but this stereotype misses the mark. In fact, there are more independents in Massachusetts than Democrats or Republicans. Take a look at the numbers: There are roughly 2.1 million independent voters in Massachusetts, 1.5 million Democrats, and 500,000 Republicans. Yes, Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the Bay State -- especially in Boston -- but there are more independents than Democrats and Republicans combined. . . . There are now 11 states like Massachusetts, where independents outnumber Democrats or Republicans outright. Winning independents is the key to winning any election -- and right now, independents are angry at the Democrat-controlled congress.
If his political philosophy and party affiliation were as
exposed and well-defined as his thighs, this wouldn't be such a horse
Recognizing the new political power of the Independent voter,
the lean, mean Brown political machine targeted this group with a
deliberately vague campaign in which Brown rarely mentioned his
Republican affiliation, and references to the GOP were noticeably
absent from his campaign ads, literature, and signs. Try to find the
word "Republican" on Brown's website.
It's easier to find Waldo. Brown has mastered the art of manipulating
the Independent voter by playing to their anger over Obama's policies,
then exploiting Coakley's association with Obama. He's like Lieberman
after dental-bleaching and hair plugs; on steroids and partnered
with an "Abs-Master."
Granted, Coakley ran a clumsy, complacent campaign, overestimating the Kennedy stronghold. "Coakley said no terrorists were in Afghanistan, and mocked shaking voters' hands outside Fenway Park in the cold," explains an article in today's NY Daily News.
"The Democrat said she didn't know about a campaign worker knocking
down a reporter then was seen in a photo watching it. She called Red Sox hero pitcher Curt Schilling a Yankees fan . . . she went on vacation over the holidays with the vote looming and Republican Scott Brown
gaining." If this is sort of reporting is any indication, we're headed
this fall for the most politically-charged midterm elections in
decades. And what about the future?
Palin/Brown in 2012? Brown/Palin? If the GOP can upset the powerful Massachusetts Democratic machine this easily, then anything is possible. Even a complete break with sanity.