An issue for Coakley

Obama’s proposed Wall Street tax should split the money-cons in the GOP from the Tea Party wing, leaving people like Scott Brown caught in the middle.

One of the things that Scott Brown would be the 41st vote against cloture on is the President’s proposed Wall Street tax. If I were running the Coakley campaign, I’d want to make sure that the voters knew that. Brown appeals to the faux-populist Tea Party crowd, but there’s no way the GOP bosses would let him vote for that tax.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

11 thoughts on “An issue for Coakley”

  1. Isn't the Wall Street tax tailor-made for the reconciliation process? It directly affects the budget and it's only needed for 10 years.

  2. Yes. But this is just one part of what Coakley should have been doing from the beginning. Brown is running as "an independednt voice for MA," etc., but the fact is he is a cookie-cutter Republican. I defy him to name three issues on which he differs with Mitch McConnell.

    If Coakley had pushed the broader point all along she would be miles ahead.

  3. Is Brown actually planning to try and keep his seat after 2013 (when the next election will come up)? I don't see how he could pander too far to the hardline Republican aisle if he does (and he didn't in the past – he supported the Massachusetts health care reform).

  4. Why "faux"? Do you live in a world where no movement you dislike can be at all popular? Or is the apparent popularity a result of false consciousness?

    It appears that the left simply can't accept that large numbers of people can genuinely disagree with it.

    I will agree that there's a considerable effort on the part of the institutional Republican party to turn the Tea Party movement INTO astroturf. Nothing new there, political parties hate uncontrolled movements. But it doesn't appear to have been all that successful.

  5. What Bernard said. I’m not sure any new argument based on matters of policy is going to make a difference this late in the race. Coakley can make her accusations; Brown can make his defenses and counter-accusations; by the time the median undecided voter weighs both sides enough to determine who is more correct, it will be Wednesday.

    By acting like someone who was so sure of her entitlement to the office that she didn’t need to campaign for so long, Coakley let Brown get two strikes against her.

  6. Brett: Where was this populist movement for “fiscal responsibility” protesting Bush’s deficit-busting Medicare expansion, or his deficit-busting military budget, or his deficit-busting tax cuts? When Alan Greenspan told the Senate Budget Committee that it would be a bad idea for the US to pay off its entire national debt, where were the protests in favor of continuing Clinton’s budget surpluses?

  7. In fact, I saw some Coakley TV advertisements about this late Sunday night.

    I'm not sure how well they go up against a simultaneous very positive Brown ad stating, basically, that he is a nice guy, you should ignore all negative ads, and that he is running against the establishment. (I know he isn't really, but it is what he is selling.)

  8. Mark, you are assuming that these people are against anything which would interfere in the God-given rights of their betters to screw them with a very, very large, rusty screw. Please note that there hasn't been a real economically-populist right-wing movement for decades. I think ever since the Confederacy moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, economic populism was dead in the water.

  9. Mark:

    What you're missing is that this isn't about Obama, healthcare etc.

    It's more about the Dems in general and Duvall Patrick specifically to tell the truth. He's absolutely hated here because he's raised taxes which were already high, cut firefighters and cops but kept on Dem. cronies making 6 figures a year and basically been a crappy governor. Oh, and the fact that Sal Dimassi is under indictment, joining our last three Dem. Speakers of the House doesn't help either.

    As for Coakley, she isn't just a bad candidate, she's a horrific candidate. She's got history here that people remember, even us Dem leaning independents and Obama voters. This is like having a race between GW bush and Sarah Palin for the presidency. Brown (Bush) will probably be a tool for the next two years (barring a historical accident, he won't win re-election) but Coakley is downright dangerous and will be there for decades.

    People who live here know that we will be stuck with Coakley basically forever if she gets in. Mass. voters don't vote out incumbent Democrat senators. It simply doesn't happen and everyone here knows it. Obama's visit and the argument for the 60th Dem seat in the senate may get her by in a squeaker, but this is Dems reaping what they've sewed in this state for decades.

    I'm seriously considering staying home. I will not vote for a Republican again on the naitonal level. Not as long as I live. But I couldn't sleep at night knowing I helped put a person like Coakley in office.

    the Dems have screwed up this whole healthcare plan by wasting time chasing after Repubs who weren't even living in the real world. A fact that was obvious to anyone who was listening by April. If they want healthcare they can use the nuclear option, vote for the senate bill unchanged and amend it later or just hold the vote before Brown gets seated. You'll pardon me all to Hell if I have little sympathy for Pelosi etc. being utterly incompetent at keeping party discipline, handing out more Billions to corporate interests and then blaming their incompetence on Mass. voters who won't go along by electing a total sleazeball like Coakley.

  10. If folks in MA hated Coakley so much, if she was a bad campaigner, why did she win the Democratic primary?

    Seleazeball is a very strong accusation, but I don't believe I heard it during the primary. Perhaps the same accusations would be flying, no matter the result of the Dem primary?

  11. She prosecuted a well-known child molestation case where the defendants were innocent and she knew they were. She supported the prosecution of a man for striking (not beating the crap of, simply one punch) a pervert who was attempting to fondle his small child in a public restroom. She's subverted the firearms regulation laws by making hundreds of well-known, California AG approved firearms illegal to sell in the state despite their passing approved roster tests and on, and on.

    The tea-baggers make up a tiny fraction of this state's voters. Blaming Coakley's loss on them is like blaming global warming on fireplaces in the U.S. They may not help, but they aren't the problem. We will have to live with her as our senator basically forever Mark. Anyone who's unhappy with the Dems and the machine here, including most Democrat voters I know, are seriously considering voting Brown or staying home.

    She won the primary because of tiny turnout and a giant warchest, along with the entire state's Dem machine behind her. This is a machine-run state. It's as corrupt a place as I've ever lived.

    Coakley is every crappy right-wing caricature of Democrats you've ever heard wrapped up in one package and in this rare case, that caricature is accurate.

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