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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:19 PM
Original message
Red Mass?
Audio version of this article can be found here: http://www.truthout.org/red-mass56086



(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Ludie Cochrane, jessi., Mark Sardella)

Red Mass?
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Friday 15 January 2010

The nature of modern American politics has been off-the-wall weird for a dozen years now. We've seen a president impeached for lying about sex. We've seen another president who was selected instead of elected in an orgiastic festival of Florida and federal fraud. We saw an administration use the darkest day in our history as an excuse to scare us, spy on us, steal from us and start false wars in our name. We've seen a vice president go on national television and advocate the benefits and blessings of torture. We came within an eyelash of seeing the first woman president elected in this still-misogynist nation, and did see the first African-American president elected in this still-racist nation.

Those are just the big-ticket items. It is almost impossible to quantify the political mayhem that has broken loose during the last several years, and after all of it, you start to think that maybe you've seen it all. How much more deranged can it really get?

Well.

The open US Senate seat for Massachusetts, held since 1962 by the late liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy, could be filled on Tuesday by an outrageously hard-right Republican named Scott Brown if the voting breaks his way.

Seriously.

A seat that has been in Democratic hands since God was in short pants could flip to the GOP after the special election to fill Kennedy's vacant seat takes place next week. Not to some sanded-down version of a Republican, mind you, but a real rock-ribbed fire-breathing right winger. GOP candidate Scott Brown enthusiastically endorses the use of torture, is anti-choice, against stem cell research, and once sponsored an amendment that would have let emergency room workers turn away rape victims if said workers had religious objections to giving those victims emergency contraception should they request it.

This guy - this guy - could take Teddy Kennedy's seat. That a man like this is even within shouting distance of winning a true-blue Massachusetts Senate seat is eloquent proof that the world has, indeed, gone completely barking mad.

The rest: http://www.truthout.org/red-mass56086
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. I just can't get my mind around all this

Then again, I'm a Texan, and I can't quite fathom how we've foisted such shitty politicians on ourselves, our country, and the world.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. 'Common" people often vote against their own interests
Edited on Fri Jan-15-10 12:30 PM by SoCalDem
and in a case like this , where a seat was occupied by one family..one very rich family, that seat can be taken away by an upstart..even a right wing upstart.

MA has flirted with republicanism..as has NY & CA..through their governors, so it;s understandable that in an election where dems sit back, they could easily elect a republican.

People could see the Kennedy tenure, as paternalistic and might just want something completely different. They would surely live to regret it, but the pendulum swings both ways....and we forget that at our own peril
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'm sure that Ted would be horrified that
a nude male centerfolder, backer of fat cat banks and supported by hate groups.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/14/alipac-brown-immigr...
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. And with all the anti-Obama, anti-dem
Anger, even among the left wing (how often have you seen people write here that there is 'no difference' between the parties in the last two months? People almost rooting for democrats to lose?) if there's no difference, who cares who wins?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I hope that people will get scared enough to go out & send Mr Hunk
packing..
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
24. Well, it's true that we have flirted with Republicanism but...
as a governor, William Weld wasn't all that bad.

In fact, quite a few things got straightened out under his governorship.


Paul Cellucci wasn't bad, either, and at least he supported Roe v. Wade.


But Scott Brown doesn't look like a William Weld or a Paul Cellucci, and I honestly couldn't say why he would be that close in the polls for Teddy's Senate seat.

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janet118 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. I voted for Weld because the so-called liberal Mass. Dems . . .
put up John Silber - a greedy, anti-choice Republican in Dems. clothing. Don't get me started on the old boy hacks who run the Democratic Party here. Martha Coakley should have realized that a state that has never elected a woman to state-wide office would not be a cakewalk, no matter what the polls after the primary were telling her.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. will, what's your gut take on who's going to win?
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. As of yesterday, Coalkey is up by 8
Turnout is everything, and there's no way to predict.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
27. There will be scores of MLK gatherings across Mass on Monday - ya think those gathering will
sit at home on Tuesday? I doubt most of them will do that....I think no one has been factoring in the significance of election day being held the day AFTER the MLK memorials.
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SandWalker1984 Donating Member (533 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. The backlash against corporate owned Democrats has begun
Edited on Fri Jan-15-10 12:41 PM by SandWalker1984
Another DUer from MA posted this today on another thread:

Little Star (1000+ posts) Fri Jan-15-10 11:42 AM
Response to Original message

23. If I were running in MA, I'd run against it. Seems like that
would be the only way to win. This horrible HCR bill is killing Coakley, pure and simple. I live here, I talk to other people who voted for her in the primary. They didn't like Capuano because he was originally for this HCR bill before he was against it. They hate this bill for all different reasons that the republicans do. They hate it non the less!

They are pissed at her flip flop and we/MA are probably going to pay the price! Who twisted her arm to flip?????????????? This race is a referendum on this sucky HC bill. Blame those who forced her to flip! She had it right before they got to her. Obama and his bill are toxic in this state. Gawd help us. One little trip to a senior center could tell anyone, who had a desire to hear, they are pissed. Those seniors vote, someone might want to listen to their complaints. Women here are beyond pissed about the abortion clause, they are the ones who work the back end of campaigns and the phones. Social Independents are pissed about all the spending yet not much on social issues, we have a shit load of them here in MA. Almost all Dems and Independents here hate the insurance industry and don't like our president cutting deals with them behind closed doors. Yep, lots of pissed off people in MA who will just stay home.

I personally want this bill dead! That said, I still don't want to see Martha Coakley lose here in MA. I have been trying to get people to see that her loss will not kill the bill. I have been trying to tell them that we here in MA will suffer greatly if the nude center fold wins. They are to pissed at this administration, president and both houses of congress. Pray (or whatever you do) for us we are going to need it here in Massachusetts.

*****************

The backlash at the polls is going to happen unless the Democrats in Washington understand we voted them in to act as Progressives and Liberals, not corporate Republicans! The so called health care reform bill, especially the Senate version, reads like it was written by insurance lobbyists, not Democrats. They cannot serve their corporate masters and keep our votes!
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. If Brown does win, it will be accepted as proof that the Dems need to tack farther right.
:banghead:
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. By certain twisted Dems
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is the direct result of lack of fight the Democrats have shown over
the last year. People were pissed at the end of the Bush years and the Democrats failed to capitalize on it. No impeachment, no war crimes prosecutions, the bailouts, the piss poor results on unemployment and restoring the American economy, health care, all of that and more. It just keeps adding up. People wanted their pound of flesh and haven't got it. They're disillusioned with the Democrats and they have a right to be.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. + 1000 agree totally; an historic opportunity squandered, & massive disallusionment resulting
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Justice, not a pound of flesh, otherwise agree
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. This is what happened in the VA Governors race. Dem base are discouraged, not turning out the vote.
Edited on Fri Jan-15-10 12:47 PM by leveymg
The Party leadership has only itself to blame. They campaigned Left, Governed Right. Put us through the water torture of the Senate HCR Bill. Now, how could anyone be surprised that the Progressive Democratic base - the people who are actually the ground soldiers in any campaign - aren't really involved, anymore?

It's not that we won't vote, it's that we won't sweat blood getting Democratic candidates elected like we did for Obama.

The GOP did one smart thing. They kept their activist base intact. The Democratic leadership seemingly don't give a shit so long as there's money to roll around in.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. A confession from your Mother.......
I campaigned for Eddie McCormick in the primary against Teddy in 1962. I was almost disowned. :-) Now, all these years later, I have acquired some wisdom...If I was back in Massachusetts I would walk a hundred miles in a blzzard to cast my vote for the Democrat even if that Democrat was the Devil herself.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. It's going to be a political earthquake.
And it's not totally disconnected to the President criticizing the big banks and their refusal to pay back the money to the taxpayers. They are finally realizing that taking the sides of the big banks and Wall Street over the people is the quickest way to put Republicans back into power. Unfortunately, it may be too late to salvage this race in Massachusetts. The Democratic Party, at its roots, is not a Party of big business or Wall Street. Barack Obama will have a difficult time re-establishing the support and momentum of his election of just one year ago.
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
17. i would only change one thing about this:
"barking mad" to "fucking bloody ass-backwards berserk"

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. What's the matter with Massachusetts?
"Not to some sanded-down version of a Republican, mind you, but a real rock-ribbed fire-breathing right winger. GOP candidate Scott Brown enthusiastically endorses the use of torture, is anti-choice, against stem cell research, and once sponsored an amendment that would have let emergency room workers turn away rape victims if said workers had religious objections to giving those victims emergency contraception should they request it."

You expect Kansas to elect a BROWNback, but not Mass.

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janet118 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Coakley ran a practically non existant campaign . . .
and Mass. has never elected a woman state wide - Dem or Rep. Coakley should have gone full speed ahead right after the primary. She did nada. She has finally picked up the clue phone - let's hope it's not too late. It doesn't help that Brown is being pushed by an amazing media campaign from talk radio, Fox news, and his ads where he plays a pick-up truck drivin' guy. Coakley's ads feature her talking at the camera and it seems like she has something wrong with her mouth. She refused to do more than a couple of debates and seems to have expected to be crowned rather than elected. Her primary was too easy. People in the state don't know her all that well and she comes off as aloof and lacking in passion for anything. There was little to no grassroots work done and now there is a shaky foundation for the GOTV. I'm hoping that she dodges a bullet and learns from her mistakes.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. a pick-up driving guy?
What is Massachusetts - Marlborough country or something? That crap is supposed to work in Tennessee maybe, but how do you win Massachusetts over by being a gas-guzzling redneck?

As for GOTV that is my job, to a large degree. As a precinct man and part of the KDP I am supposed to GOTV for my precinct. The MaDP should have a well oiled machine, unless they have been spoiled by many years of easy victories.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I think the point of the pickup ad
is to show that even though Scott Brown tries to come off as just a "regular guy" who drives a pickup and wears LL Bean pullovers, he's really just another corporate shill who will take care of the Big Guys first and screw the "common people".

It's especially effective out here where I live. Pickups and SUVs are everywhere. We're not Rednecks...it's just necessary for survival (try driving on a dirt road with 12" ruts in a 2WD sedan).

And we often feel disenfranchised by the people in the eastern part of the state. The guys in suits and ties. So when we see someone trying to look like he gives a shit about us out here, we get a little...annoyed.

It'll be interesting to see what the final results are from my part of the state.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I don't understand why the whole state is not paved
You just about cannot find a dirt road in Wisconsin, at least southern Wisconsin. Doesn't Mass have about 160,000 people per square mile or something? You make it sound like Western Mass is rural or something, but Berkshire County has 133,310 people according to my 2006 road atlas. That's more than the largest CITY of my home state. Sioux Falls, SD which my atlas has at 136,695. Okay, that surprised me, a little bit bigger than Berkshire. I thought it was still at 110,000 or 120,000, but it has grown some since my sister moved away.

I was also surprised to see that Berkshire County covers the whole western part of the state from north to south. It looks like a huge county on this road atlas map. So I decided to check wiki and got a nice laugh. Berkshire county is 946 square miles. The county I grew up in, Beadle County is 1,265 square miles and a mere 17,000 people!!

That's 140.92 per square mile for Berkshire compared to 13.46 for Beadle. How the hell can you still have dirt roads?
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janet118 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
29. It's clear that you know very little about Mass.
The pick-up truck is a symbol of the working guy here - Brown's base. You should listen to our local talk radio. It would shock you. I live near the Cape. My husband drives a pick-up and we live on a dirt road. Brown's ads don't appeal to me or my husband, but when I was holding signs for Coakley outside Brown's headquarters in my town (he has megabucks), I got many rude gestures from angry men driving pick-up trucks. I hope Coakley pulls this one out, but her complacency is what brought us to this point. Her campaign was run by people who thought they didn't have to take Brown seriously. She didn't play to her base or get out and work for her votes. Big mistake.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
19. .
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canoeist52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. Right-wing radio reaches every tow in Massachusetts too.
My husband works with a nest of blue-collar republicans who get all their news from Rush. Our party has got to appeal to the working class to keep it's power.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
22. We will know a lot about where we stand...
once this race is over.
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-16-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
25. Let's keep pushing forward til Tuesday.
I can't accept that this putz has a chance. If he does win, that speaks volumes about the change that is happening in MA. Hell, Lynn MA just elected a republican mayor for the first time in decades.
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