In analyzing the Brown victory on Tuesday, there is plenty of blame – or credit – to go around. I was both surprised and intrigued at the Times‘ story about how the Teabaggers pulled a coup (http://tinyurl.com/ykq737u). It reminded me that those who supported Coakley – in this town pretty much Sciortino alone – OWED IT TO THE PARTY, no less than to their candidate, to do some serious organizing to make her the next Senator. Instead, they – he – were – was seemingly quite satisfied (some might say self-satisfied) with her primary victory, and presumed, like their candidate, that a primary is enough in this state.
If you choose a candidate from outside your local mainstream, you’ve a duty to make that candidate live in the minds and hearts of new constituents. Instead, it was all head-work: “she’s been there for me,” or “she’s good on issues” - really doesn’t sell against a campaign like Capuano’s. We know him: we know his style and substance, and we know he’ll be around for a while. Individuals may dislike Mike, but there is a gravitas, a personal and community experience behind those likes and dis-likes. For candidates like Coakley that most surely is NOT the case.
For example, and I do think this highly indicative of why I, at least, could not stand her. (I did vote for her, but literally holding my nose – the folk at the high school giggled.) Last week Court of Appeals ruled on the Paul Shanley case. The court sustained every argument made against Coakley’s case against the now de-frocked priest: the evidence was crap and probably fictitious, and the case depended on “recovered memory” which seems to have been inspired by lots of cash, ultimately from the same church that abandoned him in the first place. Although the court sustained every argument and recognized the legal foundation attacking the judgment, they refused (as they usually refuse) to over-ride the lower court. It will now probably go to federal court, and maybe even to the Supreme Court, since “recovered memory” is pure scam and has no validity in 48 of the 50 states.
That’s not the point, however. The point is that DA (now AG) Coakley chose to ride that case because the Globe got its Pulitzer on that case. Opportunism trumped ethics, law, justice, and lots of other good things. The same thing occurred with the Fells Acres case. The point is that her oft quoted “care to protect children,” was really and ultimately a care to promote Martha. No wonder she lost.
I wonder if we lost even more than Martha: in the primary, not the general. I hate the idea of a Republican Senator (particularly a business Republican) representing me in the Senate. But I hate even more a crass opportunist with sanctimony replacing sincerity. And I learned to distrust those promoting her even more! Let us keep that in mind in future local politics: who sold out whom, for what.