I need to rant a little bit today, so forgive me. . .hey, wait, that's what this blog is for. Anyway, let's get this over with.
Massachusetts Senatorial Special Election: So today in Massachusetts, the voters are voting on Ted Kennedy's replacement (Massachusetts law allows the Governor to appoint an interim Senator until a Special Election can be held). And lo and behold, the Democrat, Martha Coakley (the current Attorney General) might just lose to Republican State Senator Scott Brown.
Now this is big news for two reasons: first, Massachusetts is a liberal state; and second, attorneys general are elected statewide, and state senators are not. In other words, Coakley was a known commodity to Massachusetts voters, whereas Brown was only known to a small group of them. Now, while I'm sure that Bogart has some other ideas, let me state why this is happening from my perspective:
1) Coakley is a bad candidate - Even though she was the AG, from what I can tell, Coakley has been a terrible candidate. She hasn't worked for it since the primary. Voters can tell when they're being ignored and that's dumb. A good campaign is like a good college football team - there's no such thing as overkill. Since Sunday, Brown has made 66 campaign stops, and Coakley 19. Are you kidding me?
2) National Dems are repeating past mistakes: Coakley is the classic "Law and Order" Democrat - the current AG and a former DA, she's more conservative than Kennedy was, and hasn't differentiated herself from Brown. But, you see, that's why she won the primary - the voters and the National Dems backed her because they thought she was going to win because she was a more conservative Democrat. And quite frankly, that's insane. Some strategic voting is okay, but as Truman used to say - when given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voters will choose the real thing.
Moreover, the Dems are forgetting that in a special election, turnout is key. And the only way to turn out Democrats is to excite the base. Moderates are great, but they don't excite anyone. With the insanity of the health care reform bill, Coakley would be in a stronger place if she went Alan Grayson/Howard Dean.
Anyway, here's my point - the Democratic Party needs to understand that its base is the same size, if not larger, than the GOP base. Expanding to the independents is good, but having the base with you is equally important. The most successful Democrats are always presumed to be more liberal than they actually are. So, stop being afraid to be liberal.
The Chargers choke again -
As a Chargers fan, last Sunday's game was painful. Without question, the Chargers choked - and choked big time. Ten penalties, three missed field goals, a dumb interception, the Chargers just didn't play up to their ability. I blame Norv Turner - but at the same time, the offensive line and the defensive line are not what they should have been. The D-line is excusable from a coaching standpoint (although A.J. Smith better do something to upgrade the D-line), but the offensive line play has been atrocious for years. Yes, LT isn't the player he used to be, but he hasn't had any holes to go through.