Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Martha Coakley's Political Autopsy

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)

Thousands are laying out their scalpels and rib spreaders, adjusting and tapping their microphones and some of them may even be putting their sandwiches on her abdomen. It's time for the inevitable political autopsy in the wake of any election, in which political pundits both professional and amateur get to play Wednesday morning quarterback or PE's (Political Examiners, a vocation or avocation requiring no political training or pedigree, alas, a byproduct of the First Amendment and the internet).

So let us see what we have before us: A bloodless lividity and premature rigor mortis of the personality. Some incumbent Presidents run Rose Garden campaigns. Martha Coakley never got out of the ironweeds. In fact, our uncharismatic Attorney General couldn't have run a worse campaign as if she was in quarantine.

What was the cause of death? Well, other PE's claim that it was a referendum on health care, which makes no sense whatsoever since Scott Brown has pledged to be a little Mitch McConnell, which is to say no health care reform. Others say the COD was Obama and his communicable, tanking poll numbers, which is equally fallacious since Coakley's own numbers began dropping long before the president came to Bean Town. In fact, she began burning through her 30+ point lead faster than Bush went through Clinton's $200+ billion surplus.

Still others have advanced the theory, the most ridiculous of all, that Scott Brown and his little Fred Thompson truck resonated with the Massachusetts voter, a far-fetched scenario considering that Brown, until a couple of months ago, was even more obscure than Coakley.

To be sure, Brown reached out to the voters more effectively than did the Attorney General and therein lies the beginning of the explanation of the real cause of the death of the terminally-ill Coakley campaign: It wasn't that Brown and his out-of-state teabaggers resonated so much with the voters but that Coakley didn't resonate with them at all.

This was a woman who couldn't melt a stick of butter if you stuck one under her arm. Under the rubric of carefully choosing her campaign stops, Coakley openly mocked Brown for doing what any politician does during an election: Going out and shaking hands, this time at Fenway Park. In the 11th hour of a campaign, this means braving the cold, not staying indoors in climate-controlled fundraisers.

But there was another culprit- Democratic disaffection with Democratic choices. Undoubtedly, the Massachusetts voter only has themselves to blame since they chose Coakley to be their standard-bearer in the primaries. Coakley's fatal mistake was in treating this as if she was running not for the United States Senate but for AG again, which requires not so much charisma and charm (although it wouldn't have hurt) as projecting a pragmatic image of law and order, being tough on crime and on criminals.

Coakley's certainly that- she's tough on criminals against whom she knows she can win slam-dunk cases, doggedly allowing evidence to get misplaced, massaged and manufactured while letting actual child sex offenders walk without a care in the world. In the end they came back to haunt her like so many Jacob Marleys.

Martha Coakley was the wrong person for the Democrats at the wrong time. We sent in an emotionally frigid schoolmarm when we really needed another Sarah Palin, only one not as clueless, glassy-eyed and sanity-challenged. We needed someone who resonated with the voters on a human level, something managed quite effectively by Senator Brown, a guy who didn't extend health care benefits to his staffers, once voted to deny 9/11 rescue workers benefits and to allow emergency room workers to deny care to rape victims on religious grounds.

You have to be a platinum-plated major league fuckup to resonate with the voters less than a guy who's capable of doing all that.

True, Brown had out-of-state zealots and tea partiers financing and working his campaign, screaming, wild-eyed zombies who didn't have a stake in the matter and wound up working, as usual, against their own best interests. But at the heart of the Coakley campaign's death by disadventure (as opposed to death by misadventure, which is a whole lot more fun, at least) was a disaffection with Democratic policies.

In retrospect, it would be easy to say that anyone else on the primary ballot would've been a better bet than Coakley, a woman who was not Amelia Earhart but Typhoid Mary. The state's independents, the largest voting bloc in the Commonwealth by far, waited for Coakley, gave her chance after chance to redeem herself then regrettably came to the conclusion that she was infected with a terminal case of the stupids and ossification of the soul.

She represented the same old-same old Democratic politics on Capitol Hill that's squandered a super majority for the last 6 1/2+ months since Al Franken finally took his seat in early July. As in 2008, we wanted change yet we also wanted the same thing. We wanted real health care reform, to see the final chapter in Ted Kennedy's decades-long crusade. We were looking for the old magic. And Martha Coakley, because we were collectively stupid enough to give her our party's nod, was put in the unenviable position of having to succeed in two short months a beloved liberal icon who had held this seat for nearly 47 years. And she fell short.

And, really, is that entirely her fault? We pushed Martha Coakley out into the cold streets of Boston, Worcester, Springfield and small towns on a suicide mission and the more she exposed herself, the more shot up she got.

Scott Brown won last night's election fair and square and proved once and for all that no Senate seat is safe for Democrats or is an heirloom. Not Ted Kennedy's seat, no one's. Ted Stevens, in the Senate almost as long as Kennedy, lost his own bid for reelection over a year ago in the heavily Republican state of Alaska.

So you want to know who the real culprit is for Martha Coakley's political death by disadventure?

Look in the mirror and hang your heads in shame.


At January 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM, Blogger janinsanfran said...

Solid truth. Thanks.

Were Coakley's faults magnified because she's a woman? Probably, though hackery is gender neutral.

At January 20, 2010 at 10:07 AM, Blogger Zifnab said...

"--So you want to know who the real culprit is for Martha Coakley's political death by disadventure?

Look in the mirror and hang your heads in shame.--"

That's a pretty royal "We" you're invoking there. Coakley had the backing of the Democratic political machine in MA, and in a low turn-out primary that's all she really needed.

But once it got to the general election and the stacks were cranked up a hundred fold, the entire election turned into a focal point for Republican activism that had been brewing for the last year. The Teabaggers had their candidate and this was their Bunker Hill.

Coakley would have been a reliable, abet mechanical, vote in MA. That's what the Democratic apparatus was designed to select for. The problem isn't in the huddled masses for choosing the select pre-wrapped candidate. This was a manufacturer's defect, and the MA constituents should seek out their state party leaders and demand their money back.

Ultimately, this was failure of old school politics. Blamming the iron-calfed campaign worker or the reliably Dem voting soccer mom on failing to seed the race with a rising political star is absurd.

But that doesn't mean the soccer moms and the campaign workers shouldn't hold the state party leaders accountable, in turn.

At January 20, 2010 at 10:08 AM, Blogger Gary Ottley said...

Absolutely spot on. (Wonder what Capuano would have done with this race.)

At January 20, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Blamming (sic) the iron-calfed (sic) campaign worker or the reliably Dem voting soccer mom on failing to seed the race with a rising political star is absurd.

So who gave Coakley the nod in the primaries? Was it the "apparatus"? No, it was we the voters, therefore Mikey's right- collectively, we're to blame. The Democratic machine gave us choices. We made a bad one. End of story. Bag the organs, sew up the "Y" shaped incision and move on.

At January 20, 2010 at 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep the left is being blamed for the lost and I would say thanks if I lived in this state. Will the wh learn anything from this Nope.

At January 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, here's last night's Massachusetts Senate election in a nutshell:

Let's look at the Massachusetts voter in the abstract: He's just ended a more or less happy 47 year-long relationship that had its ups and downs and he now finds himself, suddenly, tragically, back on the meat market. He goes on a dating show hosted by some moth-eaten Bob Eubanks (we'll call this the Terry Gilliam-esque MA Democratic machine).

He's given several choices last November and he picks the most frigid and uncharismatic bitch out of the whole field. OK, she's not much to look like and he suspects that she couldn't melt a stick of warm butter if you stuck it in her cunt. Still, she's better than going gay and chasing the handsome, naked right winger. But he's still an option.

So he takes her home and all goes fairly well for about one weekend. She doesn't put out, hates giving hand jobs as much she loathes shaking hands. She tells you not to go gay, that it would be a big mistake going to Wrentham and sucking the cock of that handsome naked guy. Still, though, she always has an excuse for not putting out. It's my migraine, it's my spastic colon, it's my aching back, it's my alopecia, it's always fucking something with her.

But the pressure starts building. You fuck and you fuck and you fuck her, coax, wheedle and cajole her with dildos, French ticklers and lubricants but she makes less noise than a mouse breaking wind on cotton. Adding to the misadventure, while you're trying to get your rocks off, she has sudden outbursts of Tourette's and starts screaming just as you're reaching a gooey climax, "Curt Schilling's a Yankees fan!" and, "You mean out in the cold? Shaking hands?"

You don't know what the fuck she's talking about and she's ruining a really good climax but you fuck her like a one-nut on his honeymoon, trying to turn a battle axe into a love doll.

But you know it's not the same. Yes you do. It's just not quite the same and your old squeeze of 47 years was better and always will be better and you start thinking about that Republican cock in Wrentham like Joe fucking Lieberman with OCD. You know you've painted yourself into a corner and you realize that, despite your head-shaking protestations to the contrary, you know deep in your broken heart that you settled.

So one Tuesday night, you snuck out, broke into that Republican's house while he was sleeping and began gnoshing his knob. You hated the taste of that Republican spunk but it's more than what you got out of your cold, stiff squeeze at home. You desperately want what you had before and you keep corkscrewing that little GOP soldier with your arthritic hand as you dive bomb on that mushroom-shaped head and realize, By golly, this really is better than what I settled for!

So without having the nerve to throw your new girlfriend's clothes, big underwear, stereo and law books out the window, you keep sneaking back for that tasty Republican cock, even though you know it's wrong and unnatural and rubs against your grain like a cheese grater.

It isn't until later that month that you realized you sucked the cock of a Republican Mr. Goodbar and next thing you know you're bloated and floating on the banks of the Charles River wondering how something so right could end so suddenly and how you were left with only choices that painted you into a corner.

At January 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, Massholes. You demonstrated your anger that she wasn't fiery enough on liberal issues by electing a dogmatic teabagger.

At January 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Just found this on Craigslist. This bird and the next to last anonymous ought to hang out their own shingles.

At January 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM, Anonymous Diva said...

The only way to right this fucking ship is to bring back Howard Dean who would fuck up any Dem who didn't toe the fucking line. Second, Obama should forget all prmises he made during the primaries (just like a Republican would) and procescute EVERYfuckingBODY who had anything to do with the decade of trickle-down poverty.

I am so fucking sick of these dimwit Dems. Grow some balls and get the fucking job done already.

At January 20, 2010 at 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the usual Democratic circular firing squad is forming.

Its really fun to watch....again.

At January 20, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, we can always depend on JP to repeat everything the right-wing says about a Democratic candidate.

At January 20, 2010 at 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I with you Diva

At January 20, 2010 at 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anon - "Mass election in a nutshell": EPIC.

At January 20, 2010 at 9:25 PM, Blogger John said...

The Mass election is only the beginning. People are sick of this bunch of crooks, and this is the most crooked administration since Harding,

At January 21, 2010 at 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @11:21-
Yikes- you got a way with words!

At January 21, 2010 at 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and Diva, correctamundo. Some balls need to get broken here, and I say we start by throwing Lieberman the fuck out of his committee chair.

At January 21, 2010 at 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ones for you Mary Jo.

At January 22, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going through the comments, and deleting the disparaging ones. That's about as low as a blogger can go, but no doubt, you will reach new depths before its over.
No redemption for you! Nada, nyet, nope, nuttin.
You will be unshriven and unannealed, and suffer the torments of the damned, to boot!
You shoulda married that nice girl, did you think you could make her beg?

At January 22, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Oh, please, don't look at it that way! Look at it as... comment management. The bigger blogs do that. If you're off-topic, stray off the party line, blogwhore, spam or just otherwise become a general, daily nuisance.

I'm actually more forgiving than most- I draw the line only at personal defamation and lies, i.e. libel.

But I'll tell you what I'll do: On the advice of someone who, shall we say, knows a thing or two about the law, I won't delete any more. I'll save and even print up every one I get, trace the IP addresses of every one and make a journal out of them, retroactively back to last April.

I've been amassing evidence that I'm being trolled by idiotic mouth-breathers like you who live just a few blocks from me and you don't have to be Sherlock fucking Holmes to know who's doing the trolling.

You know what the beautiful thing about living in Massachusetts is? We have some of the toughest online stalking laws in the nation. Look up Chapter 265, Section 43, subsection a of the Mass general laws and you will find that any telecommunications device regularly used for the purpose of harassing someone could be considered stalking.

My harassment is constant, almost daily, and the real beauty of the Commonwealth's general laws is that I don't even have to be in fear of my life (I'm a former SEAL and more than capable of taking care of myself)- I just have to be "annoyed" (a word used in the bylaw).

Perhaps I shouldn't be tipping my hand like this but, unlike some scumbags I could and have named, I prefer to be up front and aboveboard about this. And when I've amassed a large enough amount of evidence, I'll present it to the country DA and get a lot of people in hot water, including a certain person who's been trolling my blog daily every morning from Newton Wellesley Hospital's Central Scheduling Department.

That in itself may not be illegal but it's certainly unethical and her superiors may think it's questionable that she's using company resources, on company property and on company time to troll a political blog written by her ex just moments after he posts something for the first time.

And I have absolutely no problem whatsoever doing that to someone who thinks nothing of denying a two year-old child Xmas presents and "loses" them just because I bought them.

So have a nice day, sport. A lot of people are going to get a rude definition of what a real asshole is capable of.

At January 22, 2010 at 2:25 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Btw, your own IP address is How's the weather in Oregon?


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