In early 1942, the United States did something which was incredibly audacious and led to the loss of every aircraft sent on the mission.
They sent B-25 bombers to bomb Japan.
While the raid failed to inflict material damage to the enemy war effort, it greatly disrupted their strategic approach to the war and their use of available resources.
The Republican Party and conservative activists have had many recent successes. Now it's time now to take the battle to the "home island" of the Democratic Party.
It's time to play to win the 2010 MA Senate special election to replace Ted Kennedy. We need to rally behind Scott Brown
Hey, I know the conventional wisdom is this will be a coronation for Martha Coakley and we'd best not throw money into the wind. Jeez, this is even what RedState is posting.
Coakley is the prohibitive favorite to win the January 19th special general election in this knee-jerk Democratic state.
And that's precisely why suddenly jumping in makes so much sense.
The Democrats think this one is already won. They aren't expecting a fight. They are expecting something akin to the CA 10 special, where the game but underfunded Republican quietly lost by 10 points,
So there's a huge element of surprise.
There's really not enough time (the election is January 19) to spend a whole lot of money; especially when the Commonwealth is really not that large. (about 80% of the voters are in the Boston TV market; which is cheaper than San Francisco or Philadelphia).
So guess what, we could squander a couple of million dollars and achieve little. But the "movement" seems hell bent on throwing a lot more than that trying to oust Barbara Boxer in the nation's most expensive campaign state. Well I think doing this makes more sense.
Why? Huge risk, but even greater potential reward.
What would the impact to our party have been of losing the Senate seat held by Barry Goldwater or Bob Dole? Imagine the Democrats losing Ted Kennedy's seat?.
The reaction across the nation would be pretty much like this. just two years earlier!
Even a highly competitive--albeit unssuccesful-- election night would inflict huge psychological damage on the Democrats. If Ted Kennedy's old senate seat was in jeopardy, why should a Blue Dog risk political oblivion when it's a lot less painful to just walk away? What's the value of potentially accelerating a couple of dozen Democratic house vacancies? A lot less than the cash which the party can readily replenish I say.
The Doolittle Raid told the Japanese there was no safe refuge from the American military. The Brown Raid into the heart of liberal Massachusetts sends the same message to the Democrats.
And if it fails, well, we weren't supposed to win anyway and we can raise more money. It's early in the cycle.
As for the "we can't win in MA" argument; well. folks it's a special election. And in the horrendous political environment of 2007 the GOP came within a few thousand votes of winning the 5th District; losing to the widow of local icon Paul Tsongas.
In the 2007 MA-5 special the Democrat primary had 55,517 votes cast versus 13,493 in the Republican primary for a 4.11 to 1 ratio of ballots cast. In the 2009 US Senate race the Democrat primary had 664,795 votes cast versus 162,706 in the Republican primary for a 4.08 to 1 ratio of ballots cast. Those numbers are similar....
Ultimately Niki Tsongas defeated Jim Ogonowski 51% to 45%. Her margin of victory was slightly smaller than polling indicated.
The difference--well I think Scott Brown is a better candidate than Jim Ogoronski and the political environment is a hundred times better for Republicans.
The sad parallel is the GOP failed to properly fund the 2007 race, and we'll probably decide not to go all in on this one too. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.
Can this be done? After all, MA did vote for Obama by over 20 points. But he won going away in NJ, too, and the Democratic incumbent this November lost by 5 points on the "normal" election day; let alone dealing with the turnout vagaries of a special election held in mid-January where a small cohort of highly motivated voters can be decisive.
Back in September I suggested that there were enough non-liberal voters across suburban and exurban eastern Massachusetts to win a Senate special. I stand by my reasoning.
In the 2002 election almost 80% of the the total vote in the Commonwealth was cast in the Boston media market and Romney won by more than his statewide plurality here; Democrat Shannon O' Brien actually carried the areas in the Providence, Springfield and Albany TV markets. And the critical area was not the close-in urbanized area. O'Brien won the city and the close-in's by a 209,000 to 134,000 margin. But in the rest of Middlesex and Norfolk counties, and in Essex and Plymouth counties...Romney amassed a 576, 000 to 414,000 margin. In the reaches beyond I-495 (metro Worcester and Cape Cod) Romney won by 202,000 to 144,000.
Well, what's changed? Scott Brown still represents part of the I-495 belt. (called the "Off-ramp region" by one local scholar). Deval Patrick is still painfully unpopular, and Obama, Reid and Pelosi are less popular even in the Northeast than they were then.
So, folks, to my mind the question is not why do we go after the Ted Kennedy senate seat?
To paraphrase Ted's late brother Bobby, I see an election we can win and ask;: Why Not?!