The Approaching Horror

Nobody else seems willing to discuss this, perhaps because it is too gruesome to contemplate. But something must be done.

It's like one of those Prisoners' Dilemma or other awful scenarios, where each person's rational best decision ultimately leads to a result that nobody wants. 

And no matter how much everybody may want to avoid that unwanted outcome, the logical decisions they make along the way still lead them to the exact choices that bring it about.

Here in Massachusetts, if you dare to confront it, you can play out the series of decisions and actions that will confront a variety of pols, voters, activists, media, power brokers, and so on -- choices that at each step, from each perspective, seem the wisest and most rational.

Yet those very choices will lead us to what nobody, nobody wants:

Scott Brown vs. Martha Coakley for governor.

I hope that I'm wrong. I hope that I do not find myself, in 2014, explaining to national observers how Massachusetts ended up with the same two candidates -- neither of whom has ended up with the office for which they competed -- facing off again in a completely different high-profile statewide race.

It's nothing against either of the two individuals. There would be no problem with either of them becoming their party's gubernatorial nominee, or even winning the state's top executive office.

One could even make a strong case that they are the best potential governors in their respective parties.

But nobody, nobody wants the two of them campaigning against each other again. And yet, I fear it will all seem so logical and rational -- up until we suddenly realize what horror we have unwittingly done.


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