Whiners and Losers

05Feb10

US Senator-elect Scott BrownIf Martha Coakley had won the Massachusetts special election on January 19, 2010, do you think she would have embarked on a statewide post-election tour to thank the voters?

We’ll never know of course, but I’m guessing she’d have been sworn in and shaking hands in Washington – not at the Kowloon in Saugus shaking hands with voters 11 days after the election.

But that’s where Senator-elect Scott Brown was last Saturday, along with several hundred wildly enthusiastic supporters. When they broke into repeated chants of “Seat Scott Brown,” they weren’t trying to secure him a table for lunch at the Kowloon.

Veteran Boston comedian Steve Sweeney introduced Brown at Saturday’s event. Brown appears to have the comedian vote sewn up – Lenny Clarke was with him on stage on election night. (Janeane Garofolo could not be reached for comment.)

Sweeney joked about his own reaction when Brown called him six months ago and said, “I’m going to win this thing.”
Steve Sweeney
“I said, well that’s good,” Sweeney recalled, “you have a positive attitude, like people going into an operation.”

Six months – even six weeks before the election – no one gave Brown a chance to defeat Martha Coakley, least of all Coakley and her supporters, who assumed that the “Kennedy Seat” was hers by virtue of being a Democrat in Massachusetts. Some of Coakley’s supporters were less than gracious, to put it mildly, in expressing their shock after Brown’s win.

Here’s a small sampling of the outrage in the wake of Brown’s election expressed on the Internet.

“The forces of darkness have prevailed and Massachusetts elected a malevolent incompetent,” wrote one embittered Coakley voter on the “progressive” blog, “Blue Mass Group.” The same individual went on to detail his disdain for the majority of voters in the January 19 election.

“Ironically,” he wrote, “the well-to-do suburbs with better educated people, such as Wayland, voted against [Brown], while the people most harmed by his policies voted for him.” Translation: Either you agree with progressives or you’re ignorant rabble who didn’t know any better than to act against your own interests by electing Brown.

On Facebook, such intellectual snobbery was alive and well. One poster believed that Massachusetts voters were “seduced” by Brown’s looks. “Voters always choose the prettiest candidate,” was her dismissive assessment. Another claimed that voters were “duped” by Brown’s “common man” image. Still another disconsolate Democrat announced her intention to wear black the next day, to mourn “the death of the middle class,” that the election of Scott Brown surely presaged.

It did no good to remind Bay State progressives that Democrats still control every branch of their federal and state governments. Their world had come crashing down because of the election of one moderate Republican, and there simply was no consoling them. If the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers and the Service Employees International Union had any money left after the campaign, they might have considered spending it on grief counselors for these folks.
US Senator-elect Scott Brown
In contrast, the mood at the Kowloon last Saturday was jubilant as Brown addressed the crowd.

“A lot of my friends from grammar school are here,” said Brown, who grew up in Wakefield. “This is my turf.”

Saugus was just one stop on Brown’s weekend tour of the state to thank the voters for electing him. He spoke briefly from the podium, but seemed more interested in getting into the crowd and shaking hands, signing autographs and talking to people, which he did for more than an hour. When it was finally time to leave, he climbed into his truck and inched into the Route 1 traffic, headed for his next stop.

Everyone was happy at the Kowloon last Saturday. But they would have been even happier if Scott Brown were aready in Washington instead of in Saugus.

[A version of this column originally appeared in the February 4, 2010 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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