A Word To The Sixth

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standingI was raised in the part of Massachusetts that Georgians don’t know exists. There’s a reddish-blue center to the state, in Worcester County, that better resembles Lawrenceville than Lindbergh Station.

It’s the Massachusetts of Dennis Leary and Howie Carr, of gloriously obnoxious Patriots fans, and four wheelers at the kegger in the woods, and bitching about property taxes or police union salaries or how much road flagmen get paid, and good pizza next to the townie bar, and hoping for snow to grab some plow money and the uncle with half a dozen junked cars behind the barn that he’s hiding from the code enforcement guys. My home town, Northbridge, went for Trump five to four.

My home town is why we know the name Scott Brown.

I bring this up because if a Democrat is to win the congressional seat formerly held by Dr. Tom Price, it will be a Scott Brown moment.

I have some unsolicited advice for those earnest campaigners — advice that might be surprising to hear from a man who started calling Donald Trump a fascist sometime in mid-July of 2015.

Never mind Trump.

Attach your competitors to the health care bill. With cement. 

About 60,000 people in the sixth work in health care, social services or higher education. And approximately no one likes the American Health Care Act rolling through congress like an Indiana Jones boulder of excrement. Not libertarian Republicans looking for a clean out of the ACA. Not mainstreet Republicans who actually wanted something that might work. Not working class white Trump voters who were promised rainbow fairies sprinkling magic pixie dust on their bills. And certainly not Democrats, who will vote en masse against it and anything like it.

Anything a Republican candidate says about this bill is going to cost them votes. If the leading Republican contender after the jungle primary is sufficiently coated in the drek this bill is dredging up, Republican voters may simply stay home … which is about the only way a Democrat wins this seat.

I bring all Scott Brown because he emerged from similar loathing in Massachusetts.

No one particularly liked the Affordable Care Act as it was emerging from a Democrat-controlled legislature in 2010. Then, Ted Kennedy died, right in the middle of it all.

Martha Coakley, the singularly-useless machine candidate of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, faced off against a young, telegenic working-class truck-driving Republican from Boston’s North Shore, Scott Brown.

Republicans turned out. Democrats stayed home. Brown squeaked out a win.

Coakley sucked multidimensionally, of course. Many voters did not fondly remember her prosecution of a day care using what turned out to be fabricated testimony. She blew off nonwhite voters. There’s some latent sexism in Massachusetts politics that can’t be dismissed out of hand. And anyone who lacks the political sense to pander to Red Sox fans in Boston deserves what they get.

But the vote was a referendum on the health care bill, and even though it was modeled on Massachusetts’ own rules, Republican voters there hated it, and Democrats were indifferent to Coakley. Republicans turned out in numbers that looked more like a general election, knowing they had a chance to stick it to the machine. Democrats voted like it was … a special election in Massachusetts.

Thus, Scott Brown, a bill passed under procedurally-questionable circumstances in budget reconciliation, and our present catastrophe.

Any Republican candidate for this seat is the health care bill. I think that the more that’s true, the better the chance of an upset for the ages here.

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Dave BearseDavid CdavidmacJ KaineScottNAtlanta Recent comment authors
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ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

60,000 work in healthcare and 30,000 are going to lose healthcare under the current republican bill. I agree that no republican is going to be able to run away from this. Add to it that democrats are quite energized. Not saying a democrat wins yet but every day as the show (comedy/tragedy…your choice) unfolds in DC, its looking more like a possibility that no one would have seen 2 months ago. Let me add to that if one of the republicans who is running as a Trump supporter makes the run off with a democrat…chances are even higher of a… Read more »

J Kaine
J Kaine

While I agree with some of your points, I think you’re hoping for too much. Scott Brown was the most centrist Republican if there ever was one. That’s the only type of Republican who could ever get elected in that state. His personal charisma was backed by legislative experience, the military, and a law degree. When you throw in that his opponent for that senate race ran one of the worst campaigns (which both sides will agree on), he narrowly won. I’m assuming your excitement for a Democrat winning is being directed at Ossoff? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t… Read more »

davidmac
davidmac

Massachusetts is an interesting study in contrast – did you know that Republicans have held the Executive Mansion for more years than Democrats since Kennedy was president? Democrats may have been overall indifferent to Coakley – but progressives despised her. She was a liar and a power-hungry ambulance-chaser who would do anything to prosecute and appear “tough.” She showed very poor judgment in the fabricated testimony about the day care, as well as prosecuting Star Simpson and the “Mooninites” LED graffiti. If you want a quote as to how limited her understanding of technology is: Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley… Read more »

David C
David C

“Massachusetts is an interesting study in contrast – did you know that Republicans have held the Executive Mansion for more years than Democrats since Kennedy was president?” Yeah, part of that is that Mass was more swingy a while back than it is now (e.g. it voted for Reagan twice and had Ed Brooke as a GOP Senator from 66-78) and wanting a certain kind of Republican as a check on big, untouchable Dem majorities in the Legislature. Rhode Island and Connecticut have been the same way. It’s not unheard of: That’s one reason that, say, Wyoming and Oklahoma got… Read more »

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Former state lawmaker is now artistic director for a Doraville strip club

[…] If you study Georgia politics, then you know that George Chidi is (present company excepted) one of the field’s more astute observers. Here’s a taste of some advice he has for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Ron Slotin in the Sixth District congressional contest, posted at georgiapol.com: […]

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

With these new CBO numbers it healthcare is a potentially lethal weapon if democrats use it well.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

I’ve see Dems that generally vote but otherwise do not much involve themselves in campaigns supporting the Ossoff campaign. It remains to be seen if they’ll be effective at increasing friendly turnout and attracting anti-Trump Republicans to a Dem Congressmen. It’ll take both to win and its tough to have it both ways.