A Republican in Kennedy’s Seat??

A new poll shows that Ted Kennedy’s seat could go to a Republican on Tuesday. That’s right. Massachusetts could send a Republican to the Senate. Yeearrrghhhhh! If you’ve got friends in Massachusetts, make sure they know how important it is to vote for Demcrat Martha Coakley. (I imagine it’s all to easy to just assume the seat is safe.) And if you’re anywhere near Massachusetts, do consider helping out.

13 thoughts on “A Republican in Kennedy’s Seat??

  1. Hate to concur with a point made by Scott Brown, but it’s not Kennedy’s seat; it belongs to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The sense of (party and/or family) entitlement conveyed by the expression “Kennedy’s seat”, and by the general expressions of shock that a Republican could fill it, is a problem; I think it already led the Dems, or at least Coakley, to misplay their hand in the early part of this campaign.

    Massachusetts actually has a proud, if infrequent, history of producing some great Republican Senators (Edward Brooke, anyone?). However, if the Republicans are going to win this one, I’d rather not see them do it by default (e.g. because Coakley is a terrible candidate or because she’s running a terrible campaign).

  2. Good point, Nemo– thinking of it as Kennedy’s Seat is definitely part of what got Dems into this mess. But good Republicans have pretty much been forced out of the party by now.

  3. I agree with Nemo and Jender. My distress comes from the fear of losing any Democratic seats to the fanatical super-conservative selfish Republicans that are apparently taking over the party. We must not let them take over the country.

  4. This is a site for consideration of feminist issues and there is NO DOUBT that Coakley is a stronger feminist than Brown. To think of Brown as a feminist is bizarre. I’ve met Coakley and heard her speak at a breakfast for at-risk girls and I was hugely impressed by her commitment to feminist issues; this together with her track record is amazing in this day and age when feminism is considered a bad word and politicians compromise on women’s concerns all the time. I believe that anyone committed to feminist values should be voting for Coakley over Brown. Brown’s bump is due to a string of negative ads that are full of lies and fearmongering. His campaign as well as his politics are deeply problematic.

  5. Sally H., it may well be that Coakley is a “stronger feminist” than Brown, although it’s not clear what you mean by that or why. But to imply that someone to whom feminist values are important must necessarily conclude that the candidate who is the “stronger feminist” is the better of two candidates seems highly questionable.

    Could you be more specific about your assessment of Brown?

    At any rate, it seems improbable that “Brown’s bump” – if we may call a 35% change in two months (in some polls) a “bump” – is solely due to false negative attack ads. Coakley and her campaign have been involved in a series of high-profile gaffes recently, and that can’t have had no effect. As for the campaign ads, I note that the watchdog Factcheck.org has slammed Coakley’s campaign for misleading advertising – in particular, for a bit that tried to cast Brown as insensitive on women’s issues.

  6. I think Coakley is the best candidate and the stronger feminist. I mention her feminist credentials here because this is a feminist blog written by and for feminists. It seems relevant. She is strongly pro-choice, pro-marriage-equality, pro-health care reform. Brown is against the current health care reform, against marriage equality, is iffy on choice, and wants to reduce taxes. I have a pretty clear idea what it means to be the “stronger feminist” but I don’t want to debate that here. I am not electing Coakley to run a campaign. Even if she and her crew made some errors along the way, I am voting for her because she represents me and the feminist values I endorse, and I count on her to vote accordingly. Does Brown have a single feminist credential? Not that I can see.

  7. I think an argument could be made that Brown’s record on sex offender law reforms and victim’s rights is a “feminist credential”. On the other hand, it’s not exactly indisputable that Coakley’s views on abortion, marriage, or healthcare reform are “feminist credentials”, or that contrary views evidence a lack of feminist bona fides.

  8. To be perfectly honest, I work from the assumption that feminist philosophers are likely to agree with me on most things politically– and that when something pleases me, worries me, interests me, it’s likely to do that for other feminist philosophers. And it therefore fits in the remit “news feminist philosophers can use”. I’m pretty confident that the vast majority of feminist philosophers will think that Brown winning would be a disaster, hence the urgent call to action. Which is how I think of a post like this. People are welcome to get into a debate about the meaning of “feminist” if they really want to, but that wasn’t the plan. Thanks, Sally, for the tips on what to do!

  9. A word about usage: Is it “Kennedy’s seat?” I think that when a seat is vacated before the end of the period for which the original holder was elected, it is common to refer to it in terms of the original holder. Didn’t everyone wonder who would fill “Obama’s seat?”

    I don’t affirm or deny that some people think it is a seat that ought to be filled by someone who will uphold the Kennedy agenda, whatever the people of Massachusetts want, but it strikes me as a political trick to make that charge stick on the basis of the usage. Perhaps there was more, but I do wonder.

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