Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Triumph of the Mighty OK

Cutting crystals of icy rain made me aware of my baldness as I got the papers from the walk a little before 5 this morning. That was an apt mood continuation from last night.

After working 15 hours as a clerk at a Boston poll, I followed the online and TV news simultaneously to see what I had vaguely dreaded for weeks. Massachusetts went with the adequate to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

I went the extra 20 feet to extract the Capuano lawn sign.

The three of us at Left Ahead! will kick this election can up and down our virtual hallway this afternoon at 2:30. (Live stream here.) Meanwhile, there'll be tons of analysis. You can start with the Globe for wee morsels of analysis or for Yvonne Abraham's lament that for all the bluster about glass ceilings, this has only shifted this state's highest elected woman from one office to another rather than any net increase.

I have no doubt that come Robert E. Lee's birthday, January 19th, Martha Coakley will trounce Republican Scott Brown in the final and become junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. I also am sure she'll be a lot better for us economically and politically than Brown would have been.

Yet, this looks like serious regression. We already have a good, quiet, timid Senator. Now, we have almost certainly chosen another one just like the other one.

We did it statewide too. The Boston/Cambridge/Somerville urban axis went heavily for Capuano, as did Maynard, and Amherst and a number of Berkshires towns. (Only Alford went for Khazei and nowhere for Pagliuca.) Coakley owned the rest of the state from a little to a lot.

Were voters tired of all that Ted Kennedy demanded of them? Was it time to hunker down and let some other Senator from some other state lead national debates and call for progressive crusades?

Moreover, is there a closeted John Kerry? Does he have an heroic side he deferred to Ted Kennedy's power? TBD.

For all of her self-congratulatory campaign rhetoric, Coakley hasn't done much. That shouldn't be a surprise, as that is typical of prosecutors and attorneys general. They tend not to be big-vision sorts or machers. I can now hope that people can say to me in two or six years, "See. She really was a progressive activist like Ted!" Likewise, wouldn't it be great if Kerry has been the great political tree disguised as a sapling stunted in Kennedy's shadow?

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