January 19th, 2010


Today's election: Martha Coakley

[ Recap for people not in Massachusetts: Today is the general election to fill the US Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy last year. ]

Since I made it clear how much I don't like Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee, I feel I need to say this: Please vote for her today.

Most of those things I don't like about her? Scott Brown's positions are as bad or worse. Whatever her tolerance for shoddy prosecutions and low regard for civil liberties protections... Brown thinks the president should just be able to declare someone guilty and avoid the whole "fair trial" process altogether, and as far as I can tell, torture is just fine with him.

Have you been frustrated at the way every decent piece of legislation Obama has asked for, has been hacked into bits in the Senate in strained efforts to get the support of Olympia Snowe or Joe Lieberman to get through the Republicans 39-member "filibuster every damn bill no matter what" block? If Brown gets elected, that block will grow to 40, and nothing will get past the Senate unless it can get both Snowe and Lieberman's support. Lieberman will become an even more unavoidable roadblock.

Health care: Here's what will happen if Scott Brown wins today's election: the US House will vote on the Senate's crappy bill as is, because it's better than passing nothing, and since the Senate has already passed it, that will be the only way to get health care reform through without going back to the Senate. The House's ability to demand improvements would likely collapse instantly as soon as a Brown election victory is announced.

Yeah, I still don't like Coakley, but all the good candidates in this election already lost last month. Sometimes you lose elections, it happens. Now, though, we determine just how much of a loss it will be.

Martha Coakley will champion equal rights for women and LGBT people, work for more health care improvements, support infrastructure investments for economic recovery, fight financial fraud and predatory banking practices, support Obama's policy of diplomacy and engagement while also supporting efforts to remove American troops from Afghanistan, and support clean energy legislation. Brown would be her opposite on all of those things.

Polls are open 7am - 8pm. Find your polling place at WhereDoIVoteMA.com.