Should Libertarian Candidate Make Way For Scott Brown?


The Libertarian Party candidate in the Martha Coakley-Scott Brown special election for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat is getting bombarded with quit-the-race messages, may be the subject of misleading robocalls, and briefly let it be known that "people have been told to threaten" him, according to the TPM network.

"I implore you to step aside and encourage your supporter to vote for Scott Brown," says a message to candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation to Ted Kennedy).

Is this that night-before-the-election drama where Mr. Republican shows up, kicks in your door, breaks your forearm, comes at you with a kitchen knife, chases you into the bathroom and then declares, "Swear to Jesus, baby, this time I've really changed"?

No! The pressure on Kennedy to quit the race is not coming from Brown's truck or the Republican camp, but from Tea Party organizers:

"The Massachusetts Tea Party movement is banding together to contact Joe Kennedy and ask him to step out of next Tuesday's Senate race," reads a Tea Party email obtained by TPMDC. (The Massachusetts Tea Party is part of the national Tea Party Patriots organization.)

Unnamed "Tea Party faithful" are said to be appalled at this truckling to the latest in a long a line of GOP Mr. Rights. Kennedy is staying in the race and may yet earn himself a spot as the Ralph Nader of the right, the guy you're supposed to blame while paying too much for mandatory weekly rectal probes. (See Peter Suderman's excellent breakdown of the possible effect a win by Brown could have on the reconciliation version of the health care reform bill.)

The Brown campaign, meanwhile, seems to understand the mathematical certainty that more people will vote for Kennedy because they think he's one of the Kennedys than because he's a Libertarian. If the Republican is trying to muscle in on Kennedy's 1 to 2 percent of the vote, there's no evidence of it.

"Joe Kennedy is the name you can trust," says a robocall that's actually being sponsored by Kennedy supporters.