Based on what I read at Reason.com about Martha Coakley (and that she was supposed to inherit Ted Kennedy's Senate seat like Fenway Park season tickets and mentions her dogs in her campaign bio), I knew she was a bum.
But what about Scott Brown, who just won election to the Senate, who managed to steal hundreds of thousands of votes away from the non-Kennedy Joe Kennedy, whose positions I agreed with almost completely? I'm just about always glad when favorited candidates lose (especially if they're incumbents), so attaboy Scotty. But to be honest, I don't really know much about the hirsute former centerfold other than that he's a Republican, which is rarely a good thing.
Peter Suderman notes that when it comes to the flashpoint issue of health care, Brown's exact position is vague. He's agin the Obama plan (whatever that is) but has spoken well of the Massachusetts plan, which has produced the highest premiums in the country. He's spoken well, too, of torture, and supports sending more troops to Afghanistan and staying there until the job (whatever that is) is done. According to On The Issues, a site that rates candidates and pols across a variety of social and economic issues, he is generally pro-gun rights, anti-abortion rights [corrected: "nuanced" on abortion; i.e., generally in favor, against late-term abortions, for strong parental notifications, etc.] prefers lower taxes, is anti-gay marriage [but pro-civil-union], pro-death penalty.
On The Issues scores Brown as a "hard-core conservative" and maps him on the World's Smallest Political Quiz field like so:
For comparison, here's Coakley's results on the same scale:
On The Issues didn't have info for good ol' Joe Kennedy (not to be confused with bad ol' Joe Kennedy), but I suspect he'd be in the sweet spot of this graph, right up above the "Libertarian" legend.
Well, with all proper caveats, disclaimers, throat-clearings, etc., let me ask you, kind Hit & Run readers, does this look like progress to you? Or a distinction without difference? Off the top, a Brown victory likely means the submarining, or at least radical scale-back, of ObamaCare, which is a good thing for patients and taxpayers alike. Is that enough to wash away the sins of the world? Or, to put it less cryptically, how much is it really worth celebrating Scott Brown's victory if you are a small-l libertarian who wants more freedom and less government?