Martha Coakley's Shame and Scott Brown's Win

An editorial in our sister paper, the Boston Phoenix, explains the larger significance of Republican Scott Brown's victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in the race for the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy. An excerpt:

Considered in concert with last fall’s loss of the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, Brown’s election spells trouble for the Democrats nationwide.

Massachusetts may not be as blue a state as most people believe. It twice voted to elect Ronald Reagan, and for 16 consecutive years sent Republicans to the governor’s office on the backs of independents.

But Brown’s election is in a category of its own. There is no escaping the fact that, in electing a right-wing Republican to take Kennedy’s place, Massachusetts is sending America a message: the nation’s middle-of-the road independents have been radicalized.

Congressional Democrats and Obama enjoy their majority at the sufferance of independents. But every indicator now screams that independents have lost faith in Democrats, just as a little more than a year ago they lost faith in Republicans.

Keep an eye on our site today. I'll have a piece on the implications for Rhode Island Democrats a bit later.

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