The Pauline Kael Cities, The Louise Day Hicks Suburbs
Cambridge, Ma.—There are no print copies of the Boston Herald anywhere in the city, including in commie Cambridge, where imports of the Morning Star typically outsell Boston's favorite right-leaning tabloid. Online, though, those interested in Hub politics can get a sense of the panic overwhelming Gov. Deval Patrick's office and how Scott Brown's campaign embarrassed Martha Coakley in Ted Kennedy's old Hyannisport stomping grounds.
But things are slowly returning to normal today. Whereas last week every conversation in every pub and coffee shop had something to do with the Senate race, now the conversations in this city (Coakley, 84 percent) are confused and Pauline Kael-like: "If there are Scott Brown voters in this state, I've never met them." The man who made my coffee this morning was talking at great length about the late Paul Tsongas (though fails to mention his widow Niki, a Republican target, who represents my former district in Congress) and local talk radio is doing the yeoman's work of keeping tabs on out-of-town journalists parsing returns from Wor-Chester…It is, for those keeping score at home, pronounced Wuss-tah. It's time to sit back and poke fun at those blogger-prognosticators who predicted victory for Martha Coakley, while maintaining that the Bill Weld "almost beat" John Kerry in 1996 (Kerry won by almost 8 points).
But as is being noted on all the local AM yakkers today, the inimitable MBNBC heavy-breather Keith Olbermann sees a blue state that hasn't shifted much since the busing wars of the 1970s, a state full of racists and sexists and fascists:
In Scott Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, sexist, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.
Though Matt Welch previously noted Keith's magnificently insane hysterics, it is worth pointing out that he also seems to think that the stupid truck conceit—and a note to Brown's handlers: the schtick is already grating—is coded racism designed to appeal to the rump of ROAR that lurks in the suburbs. And racist white people drive trucks, or something.
Glenn Beck got his crazy on too, telling his radio audience that he was deeply offended by Brown's clumsy and uncomfortable joke offering his daughters into white slavery. This, said Beck, would end with a "dead intern." I have no idea what this means, but why try to shoehorn in a Steve Gobie joke as well?
And while Brown is a semi-moderate Republican and almost all of his local supporters with whom I spoke were bright, engaged, and truly concerned with spiraling deficits and the unknown-unknowns of ObamaCare, the out-of-staters who came to Massachuetts to bear witness would, in most any other time in recent American history, denounce him as a namby-pamby RINO sell-out.
In the press pit at the Park Plaza Hotel for last night's Brown victory party, a representative from the right-wing conspiracy theory web site World Net Daily, a blogger who believes Barack Obama is the illegitimate son of Malcolm X and who once thundered that "it is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth," a story the media refused to "push," and various weirdos mumbling about how they had "heard" that ACORN was going to steal the election.
But Scott Brown is not a "teabagger," as Chuck Schumer and Keith Olbermann maintain. And he isn't anyone's idea of a social conservative. Nor is he a Liberty Caucus Republican, known for his libertarian instincts. In trying to stop this health care bill by destroying Martha Coakley—a feat she performed without outside help—conservative activists, bloggers, and Brown fanboys are going to soon have to deal with a guy who, in the words of Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney, is not that right-wing. And if he attempts to assuage their fears by diving right, when he comes up for election in two years, the people of Massachusetts could very well punish him for selling out.