Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Problem with Scott Brown

I just did 2 hours of phone banking for Martha Coakley tonight. A lot of people may wonder why I'd be willing to invest that kind of time to her campaign when I've been fairly critical of her on this blog, but I think the answer is pretty clear. While I think she'll be an okay Senator (and potentially a very good one with a few years' seasoning), Brown would be an absolutely horrible one.

My biggest problem with him, though, is the fact that he's not even a moderate Republican -- this guy is no Governor Weld, or the type of socially liberal, fiscally moderate kind of Republican Massachusetts voters have proven willing to vote for in the past. Brown was anti-marriage equality. He's boasted that he wouldn't support the Senate health care bill, even though it's very much like the Massachusetts bill he voted for not so long ago.

He's very much more like national Republicans than he is the standard variety Massachusetts Republicans -- and he's even running to the right of where he's been in the past. He's doing that for two reasons: it's getting him national support, with the Tea Bagger brigade readily on board. Furthermore, there really is some angst around the country directed at Democrats -- not because they've been too liberal, but because they haven't gotten stuff done (no thanks to Republican obstructionists, but it's difficult for the average voter to understand all that Washington nuance -- so it's not very helpful to even try to make that point).

Activists need to focus on reminding voters why we need Martha Coakley over Scott Brown. The critical policies that effect children, seniors and working families are all at stake. Even if the Democratic brand has been tarnished, those are all still programs that the rank and file citizen still widely supports -- and those are the reasons why they'll support Democrats, if they're reminded to do so. Brown would obstruct and attack all of those priorities, which would do very tangible damage to this country. Coakley will expand and save them. That's what's at stake here -- and that's why people need to vote for Martha Coakley.

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