Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

A Message to Brown


(Scott Brown’s stunning upset in the Massachusetts special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy sent shock waves throughout that state and the Democratic establishment in early 2010)

Deal with it. Martha learned her lesson in sudden, stunning fashion. And Scott will surely learn his. He’s the beneficiary, for now, of a “perfect storm” of circumstances and of having been lucky enough to catch a wave not of his making. (Note to political aspirants: That’s why it never hurts to run for office even when they say you have no chance).

Contrary to rumor, I doubt our new senator is a nobody with a pretty face, a pin-up for the gals and a truck to show real men that he’s one of them. But as for the former, pause a moment to imagine what would have been said of Martha had such a photo of her had surfaced from an earlier time.

Truth is, Brown has a tiger by the tail. Republicans didn’t elect him, they didn’t even see him coming but will always take what they can get, then pretend they were there on the day of creation. Independents have no real Party in the state and no place to go but to vote contrarian in elections.

Democrats and liberals, for all the right wing says about them, tend to vote their own minds–as in Massachusetts and in Congress–compared to conservatives whose only dance move is a lock-step. Red states elect a Dem now and then but never a real liberal, witness the “blue” and “yellow” dogs who do more to thwart Obama than Republicans alone could ever dream of.

Take one Massachusetts town on Boston’s North Shore–one that nobody can figure out because, when all is said and done, there’s no way to test the waters of preference ahead of time. Few newcomers even speak to regulars, and its formal designation as a “city,” is in reality a small town. One watches with amusement when the folk size up local elections as if they know what really happened–like water front issues or campaigners going door-to-door. Hardly anyone votes–(till Scott came along and scared the hell out of them)–certainly not young upscale families where one commutes to an enviable job in tech corridors while the other tools around with triple-carriers of broods who, when grown, won’t vote there either. They don’t care what happens in that burg and certainly never bow and scrape when a mayor or councilor walks by.

Without local polls, election outcomes are Rohrschachs to look at and to pretend they tell us something. Might as well look at tea leaves.

Speaking of tea, as in “tea party,” that’s who else showed up in that fair state, including the “city” just mentioned. The resident Republicans didn’t dream up all the in-your-face stunts the town suddenly was heir to. There had just been a most civil mayoral campaign–thought to be another sign of its political gentility. Not. For Coakley’s last-minute rally at Michael’s Harborside restaurant, what was seen but an auto plastered with Brown insignia smack front and center in the parking lot and a long line of Brown supporters along the Gillis bridge yelling down obscenities at arrivals. That disgraceful show may have been why Coakley won there–her only victory in the region. At first it appeared the bridge line was a planned mass suicide, and onlookers wondered why they didn’t go ahead and jump.

Oh, sure it was “legal”–as well as an act of meanness to which that port city is unaccustomed. And they’re only part of what Brown has inherited. He’ll have to find a way to deal with them, because these people are ugly–Americans Behaving Badly, whose first taste of blood was in the recent Town Hall Meetings from Hell. As the Good Book says, the parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. They better get what they want or they’ll turn on Brownie as quickly as they turned out for him.

Aside from all the demonization that goes on among the true believers in any election, there’s no evidence that Brown is among such weenies. And where is his home base of Wrentham, by the way? Do not think, given his success, that this Ken Doll will be the centerfold of Senate Republicans for more than five minutes; after that, he will  have to shut up, cooperate and play by their rules and, actually, I think he knows that: too many senators are in line ahead of him and power is not easily ceded.

So, Brown’s victory was one part good campaigning but equal parts a pack of zealots who invaded both state and town just to rub it in the face of the Kennedys and to show Obama a thing or two–not to mention that raw phenomenon of the Angry Voter who got mad too late to show up during Bush-Cheney’s reign of Missions Unaccomplished.

And angry people do stupid things. In and of itself, voting for Brown was not one of them, but the motives of some of their political bedfellows are more than questionable. Pundits are wrong to say this was solely “sending a message to Washington;” some of these miscreants want to tear down the whole house.

Stand by to see more of their mischief until America gets tired of them and sends them packing, as the Bay State did to Martha.

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