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writing for godot

Martha Coakley deserved to lose.

Written by J.M. Warenda   
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 05:14
When did we become a nation so transfixed by federal politics that every election at every level suddenly had to be analyzed for its “broader political meaning”? Of late it's as though every political commentator, be they liberal or conservative, has found their inner Freud – tearing apart each political dream looking for it's greater (and deeply encoded) meaning. But even the master of subconscious interpretation, Sigmund Freud himself, is supposed to have said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. In the case of Martha Coakley we should be asking ourselves is it not true that sometimes a political failure is just a political failure.

Much hay has been made of the fact that Ms. Coakley was running for the Senate seat of the late great Edward “Teddy” Kennedy. A seat that everyone emphasizes was held by the Liberal Lion of the Senate for nearly 47 years. Immediately the focus becomes the fact that Kennedy was a liberal Democrat and that his seat was lost to a Republican. Overlooked is the fact that Kennedy himself was so loved by the people of Massachusetts. According to SurveyUSA Kennedy had among the highest Senate approval ratings with his constituents, far higher than the national average for Senators. His popularity with Democrats even extended beyond to the national party as a whole (though not necessarily in as great a magnitude). Why, with all of the emphasis on who once held the seat then, does the IDENTITY of its previous occupant appear to be lost – only the fact that he was a liberal Democrat remaining. Why is there ANY assumption that his popularity should be inherited by Coakley.

In point of fact, Kennedy's popularity and the liberal leanings of his constituents did influence the special election, by giving people the early default assumption that they'd be voting for the Democrat chosen to succeed him. This can be seen in the early polls that gave Coakley a 30+ point advantage as the campaign was just getting under way. Those responses can easily be said to have been influenced by certain assumptions that respondents were making prior to any extensive campaigning. They assumed that the heir to Kennedy's seat would be worthy of it – worthy of the adoration Kennedy himself had earned. EARNED being the key word. Kennedy wasn't popular simply because his constituents were inherently liberal. He wasn't popular because they were inherently Democrats. You don't hold some of the best approval ratings in the nation for decades by sitting on your duff. You get those numbers by getting out there and winning over the people, by building a record your constituents approve of, and yes by kissing every baby and shaking every hand and doing it with a winning smile.

By doing everything that Coakley scoffed at.

I'm not refering to a figurative scoff either – Coakley literally told the Boston Globe “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ in response to assertions she was being too passive. She openly turned her nose up at the idea of meeting and speaking with voters as though she were just too good for them. She openly assumed that having the support of local party figures and national elected officials was all she needed. Kennedy, although mocked by conservative commentators as a liberal elitist, would never have stood for this sort of dismissal of the people.

Beyond her contempt for the people she claimed to wish to represent, Coakley's campaign was so inept, so lazy in their execution, that they couldn't even spell the name of their own state correctly in a television commercial. With polls tanking her campaign sat idle, indifferent to the inclinations of the voters, as though she was simply to be ordained Senator. She was, and no doubt remains, a political DUNCE.

I am a liberal Democrat. I loved Ted Kennedy, I believe in the President, and I wear the title of liberal with pride. Despite my political inclinations as an outside observer I wanted Martha Coakley to lose. I loathe Scott Brown and everything he stands for – but I loathe Coakley even more. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes political ineptitude is just political ineptitude. Martha Coakley is a failure. She didn't WANT to win enough to qualify for the U.S. Senate. If you're not going to EARN the vote of your constituents then you don't DESERVE to go to the Senate. Martha Coakley didn't earn a win and Scott Brown did. I may hate his politics, I may hate everything he stands for, but the man deserved to win. This wasn't a referendum on the “Obama Agenda”, or even on a Senate too afraid to have a real parliamentary throw-down on the Senate floor, this was a referendum on Martha Coakley. It's time people stopped inflating the relevance of this election and realized that what the people of Massachusetts were rejecting was an inept candidate – nothing more. your social media marketing partner
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