Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Digby this morning:

I think a lot depends upon this election in Massachusetts, frankly. If Martha Coakley loses, it will be very bad for progressives. Worse than we can imagine. After the so-called lessons of Virginia and New Jersey, there will be no fighting back the perception that the party is in big trouble, regardless of whether it's true --- and it's hard to argue at that point that it isn't. Sadly, the lesson that will be taken from losing Ted Kennedy's seat to a right wing Republican is not that the Democrats have been too liberal, I guarantee it. What will follow will likely be a sharp turn to the right.

So, job one is to make sure that Senator Playmate is defeated. If you live in Massachusetts, and I know I have readers there, please do what you can to get out the vote. The consequences are quite dire if Coakley loses.

Yeah, but will the conventional wisdom really be any better if Coakley wins -- even if Coakley wins big? Won't it just be said that those crazy people in Taxachusetts -- people who voted for McGovern, for heaven's sake -- elected another liberal Democrat, and what the hell does that have to do with real Americans? Plus, those people are just nuts about those Kennedys, aren't they?

Look, I was mostly just playing a game of political freakonomics when I said earlier today that a Coakley loss might position Democrats better for the midterms than a Coakley win. I really do want her to win, and I'd like the win to be decisive. But I don't think the C.W. is going to change much no matter what happens in this election. Hey, it's Massachusetts, we'll be told. Those people are nuts.

Elsewhere in the post, Digby is absolutely right about what's going to happen after we have the Massachusetts results: the Beltway is going to become obsessed with deficits. But, see, that's going to happen no matter what. Vote Coakley because she'll be on the side of good a lot of the time, whereas Brown never will be. Don't vote Coakley because a Coakley win will change how the Village sees the state of play. The Village has its mind made up. A Democratic loss (or squeaker win) will reinforce what the Village already thinks it knows. A Democrat win will be, well, ignored.

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