Archive for January 18, 2010

Q: If someone asked me two weeks ago what were the chances of:

Scott Brown beating Martha Coakley Jan 19th.

That I’d be doing a blog post while sitting crossed legged on my den floor watching Morning Joe and blogging with the sound down because Robert Stacy McCain is fast asleep on the couch behind me.

What would I answer?

Well the first seems poised to happen and the second is happening as I type this.

If this doesn’t prove the truth of this passage:

for God all things are possible. Matt 19:26b

then nothing does.

“The Brown people are chanting, let’s drown them out” was the cry of the 50 something lady with the rainbow colored scarf that along with me was pressed together in the crowd waiting at the entrance area of the Auditorium at Northeastern University.

Like many in the crowd she had gotten there very early and had been disappointed. When the doors were finally opened to the assembled throng the seats were quickly filled (or not) leaving people waiting outside disappointed, wondering why such a small venue would be selected for an event featuring the sitting President of the United States.

The disappointment only grew as just across the way Hundreds upon hundreds of people gathered bearing signs of their hated opponent Scott Brown.

They lined the street opposite the venue. They lined the center divider where the Green Line passed dividing the two sides of the street. Even more worrisome to the Coakley partisans, their numbers were so great that they were spilling over to their side of the street where they were standing, hoping against hope to enter and see their President come to save Ted Kennedy’s seat for the democratic party.

The discouragement was palpable and only grew when her attempt to get a chant of “Go Martha Go,” elicited little or no response from the waiting crowd.

The arrival of Senator John Kerry brought a few cheers as the crowd parted for him. He acknowledged them, speaking briefly but inaudibly to the crowd before heading into the building.

Later, as a group of Brown partisans bearing signs supporting Brown and the famous Gadsden flag — with it’s Don’t Tread on Me banner and coiled snake — moved through their ranks they attempted new chants with more success: “Down with Brown” and “Flush Brown Down”. Their zeal was a tad excessive as one Coakley fan got into the face of a very disabled Brown supporter in a wheelchair who was part of that procession.

NOT the confederate flag!

“That’s a Confederate Flag” said one African American woman observing the coiled snake on the yellow field. It took the word of several people around her to convince her that the flag was in fact the Gadsden Flag from the American Revolution (an odd thing to miss in Boston).

This was consistent with the current campaign situation where ad after ad had bashed Brown with the zeal and accuracy of a jihadi denouncing the State of Israel. The Coakley supporters were not happy and felt cheated out of their rightful victory.

After all wasn’t it only two months ago where their candidate took more than 50% of the vote in a four way primary and more votes than both republican primary candidates combined?

Hadn’t it been 31 years since republican Edward Brooke held a Senate seat in the state?

Hadn’t they, like most Boston liberals, read just last week in the Boston Phoenix about the anticipated effect of various Democrats preparing to fight for the soon to be vacated Attorney General position?

In less than two weeks, when Massachusetts voters elect Martha Coakley to the US Senate — let’s not pretend that Republican state senator Scott Brown has any chance of pulling off the monumental upset — they will trigger a massive domino effect that has the state’s political class buzzing with anticipation. (emphasis mine)

Yet all of this seemed for naught. Slowly events spun out of control and the tide had turned. Conservatives blogs boasted There’s a lot of enthusiasm in Massachusetts and it seems to be all for Scott Brown. and declared Martha in a death spiral.

Even worse the amount of Brown people started to overwhelm the volume of remaining Coakley supporters, thinned by both people heading into a secondary room to watch the speech on TV and by people leaving. As the Chants of the “Scott Brown, Scott Brown” became louder and louder as the numbers increased, there was no way to counter them.

As I was preparing to leave the event I spotted the woman with the cane and limp I saw earlier who had not been admitted to the hall after first being let through the barrier.

She was a 50 something Coakley volunteer. As I greeted her she sat down in front of Au Bon Pain tired from her exertions and dismayed by the Brown supporters all around where she sat. She had been sent out because of fire regulations, I couldn’t see why she couldn’t be somehow accommodated. I discovered she had come to Massachusetts 15 years ago from her native state of Maryland and cheered the liberal policies that she so believed in that the state seemingly embraced. I asked her finally why she thought a state that had voted 69% for Kennedy and had so convincingly selected Martha Coakley in the primary could change so quickly?

She had her answer.

“The Brown people are a bunch of Redneck Teabaggers.” she proclaimed. “Massachusetts is Boston on one side, the Berkshires on the other with Alabama smack in the middle.” She said this with a bitterness and a contempt that she presumed I had shared since I was standing with the Coakley crowd for nearly my entire time.

At this moment Robert Stacy McCain emerged from Au Bon Pain with the coffee that is the Gasoline of his engine I wished her well and excused myself knowing that my experience of 46 years in that middle of her adopted state would be no match for the comfortably bigoted fiction with which she consoled herself, even if I was inclined to be so un-gallant as to try.

My Review of the Sherlock Holmes Movie, Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror is available at here.