The Massachusetts Story: How Obama Can Win

by Randy Shannon, Treasurer

PA 4th C.D. Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America

Democrat Martha Coakley may win the Massachusetts special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. But the massive mobilization of Democratic Party resources across the nation, including the President, to save a Democratic seat from a Republican upset in a state with a 3:1 Democratic registration edge is a sign of a serious problem.

President Obama said in Massachusetts today that he understands that people are upset. He claimed that it wasn’t his fault but the fault of eight years of Bush that he’s had only one year to rectify. “Understand what’s at stake here, Massachusetts,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s whether we’re going forwards or backwards.”

Indeed, the voters who elected Obama President are unhappy with the kind of “forwards” that his administration has provided this past year. The escalation of the war in Afghanistan, no matter what Obama said in his campaign, is a deeply felt betrayal of the American people’s desire for peace.

The retainment of the financial criminal gang from Goldman Sachs in the Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisers deeply revolts and angers the American people suffering from the economic crisis while these crooks continue to rake in record profits.

Lastly the promise of fair and affordable healthcare reform with a public option and no taxes on middle income Americans has been tossed aside like an empty phrase from a fortune cookie. Instead working Americans will pay a tax on benefits, be forced to buy private insurance, see coverage reduced, and the insurance companies will be subsidized with no limits on premium increases to cover the uninsured.

Progressive Democrats in Massachusetts may turn out and save Coakley, but their votes will be difficult to mobilize without some political movement in Washington. If Obama wants to stimulate Progressive Democrats to turn out on Tuesday he should take some decisive political action on Monday.

First, he should fire White House Chief Rahm Emanuel, the architect of the murder of health care reform. He should then fire bankers Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner and withdraw his nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as head of the Federal Reserve System. Lastly he should fire Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General Stanley McChrystal.

These firings would have more effect before the election than if forced afterwards by the defeat of Martha Coakley by voters fed up with Obama’s path of no resistance to the financial elite and the global war cabal in the Pentagon. These firings now would inspire the electorate of Massachusetts and revive the hopes of the American people for a survivable future.

4 thoughts on “The Massachusetts Story: How Obama Can Win”

  1. Hello Randy,
    I live in Massachusetts and will vote for Coakley. However, she is in deep trouble because she is an extremely boring Democratic Party machine candidate. She is an Obama democrat, i.e. supports “centrist” policies, in a liberal state. A strong fighting progressive would win easily.

  2. Duncan thanks for commenting on our site. What happened to the progressive Democrat Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary? And why is there not a strong progressive running as an independent?

  3. Hello Randy,
    There was a very short time frame for the Democratic Party primary. Coakley, as state attorney general, was known throughout Mass. Capuano, coming from one Congressional district, was not very well known outside his district. Coakley had the party establishment behind her. Those things were too much for Capuano to overcome quickly, he finished second. Coakley’s handlers thought she was a shoo-in so she basically did not campaign until a couple of weeks ago, fearing to make a mistake. Scott Brown to some has a more appealing personality; Coakley is like wood.

  4. I have been going door to door in my immediate neighborhood canvassing for Coakley.

    After campaigning for Capuano in the primaries I dropped back to get my life back together, and then left town and fell out of contact for a week. When I returned I found three emails from one (fairly progressive) democratic activist and one from about the campaign – when the Internet should have been abuzz with traffic about it. I am told that she made no outreach to the Capuano and Khazei campaigns to include them and their supporters, who have responded by sitting on their hands. For the last week however everyone has been in panic mode.

    The Brown Campaign with the help of the media has been moving to turn this election into a referendum on Obama, Gov. Patrick, the Democratic Party – and most especially on the health care bill. When I warned that the Democrats would pay dearly for allowing and supporting this bill I knew I was right but didn’t imagine that it would come home to roost so soon! This issue is getting a lot of traction from working people, young professionals and from some activists who should know better.

    I came across clusters of young working-class men who are just plain angry and full of blame and want someone to pay; men who think they’re voting for Joe Camel – who probably more closely resembles the public Scott Brown than does the one his wife knows. It’s all about image and anger – and a deep substrate of racism – but the individual mandate in the health care bill is their Exhibit A for why the Democrats need to be taught a lesson.

    Another concern is vote fraud. Our much-vaunted scanned card system is hackable, and nearly all of the votes are counted on Diebold or LHS Associates equipment. The latter group has been described as thuggish and devious, and openly engages in practices that could easily be turned to fraud. Most importantly, we are not dealing with the Massachusetts Republican Party now, we’re dealing with the right wing of the National Republican Party, which has been pouring money and volunteers into the state and for whom fraud is a standard MO. Rules for hand counts of the ballots are sufficiently restrictive so that it is possible that even a suspicious losing candidate might not succeed in catching it. Luckily, Coakley is concerned enough to have called in a team of experts in from Florida to monitor the election.

    It has been a while since there has been documented or suspected fraud here in Massachusetts, and Democratic activists whom I’ve spoken to have dismissed the possibility out of hand – which makes them all the more vulnerable.

    My guess is that Coakley will carry my neighborhood, and perhaps Worcester. The pundits think she will win statewide despite the poll numbers. My gut is telling me something different. My gut sense is that too many people are fed up with the Democrats, and Brown will win, with or without fraud. Even if Coakley wins though, it will be a squeaker, which it shouldn’t have been by all conventional calculations.

    The Democratic Party is in crisis in Massachusetts, and from what I can see is unable to adapt. The people and the activist base are fed up with the corporatist and high-handed Deval Patrick Administration and it is headed for defeat by the Republicans this November, unless the activist base can put up a candidate that can beat him in the primaries in September. Time for this however is running out. In the meantime the insiders are playing their games in full confidence that they can control the outcomes within the Party, and with utter lack of concern for whether that is dooming the Party’s chances in the general election.

    In general the people here are losing what’s left of their belief that the political system is capable of responding to their needs and opinions. This is not good – they don’t have genuine leaders that they trust, and their ranks are riddled with tea-baggers who will take directions from Fox. When the next shock hits, anything can happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s