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History can be made.
The assumption, of course, is that it can’t be done. The assumption is that the US Senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy will naturally be claimed by another Democrat on January 19, 2010. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?
Those of us who live in Massachusetts have been told, in ways obvious and subtle, that the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat has, for all intents and purposes, already taken place. Attorney General Martha Coakley has been unofficially declared the winner, the inheritor of Teddy’s seat.
Unofficially. Not officially.
We’re supposed to forget that there’s another candidate in this race–a candidate who’s not a blind party apparatchik, not a limited thinker, not a bland, nameless, faceless hack.
That candidate is State Senator Scott Brown.
There always needs to be a razor-sharp contrast between the two major candidates in any election. We haven’t always had such a contrast–how much of a difference was there between Bill Weld and John Kerry in 1996, for example?
This time, we have a clear difference, a clear choice. Just listen to the debate involving Brown, Coakley and third-party candidate Joe Kennedy on the December 21st edition of WBZ’s Nightside with Dan Rea. Brown and Coakley are fitting representatives of the country’s ideological divide–and that’s a good thing.
Brown vs. Coakley is more than just a political contest. Brown vs. Coakley is economic freedom vs. economic control, legitimate health-care reform vs. government seizure of the industry, science vs. pseudo-science, tough-minded foreign policy vs. softly-stated appeasement.
There is another fight going on here. It’s a fight between populism and elitism. Listen closely, very closely, to that debate on Dan Rea’s show. You can’t help recognizing that Brown has a stronger sense of what the average voter is concerned about, has a firmer grasp on what the real issues are.
Coakley is not the most repellent person to run for a prominent seat in this state, but she comes across as the candidate of theory, someone who cannot tell the difference between a perfect world and the real world. She’s a progressive think tank’s dream candidate, the epitome of a knee-jerk baby-boomer blue-stater. Her scornful remarks about former President Ronald Reagan bear this out: it’s one thing to disagree with Reagan’s political vision, but her inability to even acknowledge his accomplishments reflects nothing more than reflexive genuflection to the hard-left.
Coakley’s campaign has attempted to depict Brown as a clone of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. That’s bold balderdash. Brown is a Republican with his own mind, his own convictions, his own conclusions. When Coakley suggests that Brown will be an operative of the far right, she’s engaging in projection: can anyone, even the strongest of her supporters, deny that if she wins, she will follow every word in every script written for her by Harry Reid?
In the debate, Coakley talked about JFK’s ability to inspire people. Who does she inspire–besides those who are filled with passionate loathing of all things Republican? What appeal does Coakley have to those who don’t automatically think of the GOP as s thuggish enterprise?
Brown is a forward-thinking Republican, a man who will lead the fight against fiscal excess in Washington, a man who will be an advocate for the burdened taxpayer and the struggling small businessperson. Coakley will be an advocate for…the DNC, perhaps.
Brown vs. Coakley is the first major battle in the ideological wars of the 2010s. On January 19, 2010, our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops must fight to ensure Brown’s victory.