Today: Rachel analyzes the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat and a kazillion Democrats try to deflect the blame.
Bay (State) Watch
Tuesday night Rachel did the show from Doyle’s Café in Jamaica Plain, MA, which briefly held the distinction of being the loudest place in the whole wide world until everybody got settled down.
Rachel devoted two full shows to the Senate race between Scott Brown (R), Martha Coakley (D), and (sort of) Joseph Kennedy (L), which was rough because Brown was leading 52.6% to 46.4% at the start of the first show.
The Democrats were already dividing into factions and selling each other out, and who knew that offering loved ones up to the masses would become a theme for the evening?
As ugly as the Democratic maneuvering got, there was at least one consolation: Brown ran as a “family values” candidate, so we can all look forward to the inevitable spectacular sex scandal in a year or two. I hope there are costumes.
Among the many politicians and newspeople who dropped in, one of my favorite interactions was between Rachel and fellow MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews. Something about them talking politics in a bar was immensely entertaining, quite possibly because Rachel seemed way more willing to mix it up and call bullpuckey on his logic than I’ve seen her before.
As the second show got rolling, Rachel and Norah O’Donnell of NBC News offered excellent summations of the evening thus, far, including what I’m sure will not be the last “He said what?!” moment of the newly minted Senator Brown’s career.
The magical thing about Brown’s extended remarks about his daughters is that they creep big and they creep small. You don’t want to hear a dad talk quite like that about his daughters under any circumstances, but when he’s an elected official, it offers a depressing, uncomfortable look ahead at how Brown will be looking at women and women’s issues for the rest of his term.
Ladies, just get used to the idea that Brown thinks we’re chattel and he’s going to try to have everyone’s uterus bugged.
Ah, but why worry about future bugging when there is current blaming to do? Rachel welcomed Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D – Florida), vice chair of DNC, who acknowledged that it’s time for some Democratic introspection, but other than that the Democrats are fine, do you hear her? Fine, fine, FINE, and this was totally not the DNC’s fault.
What About Health Care Reform?
The health care reform process is in no way going to get less torturous, but at least, now that no one can claim to be Magic Number 60, the power of Conservadems and certain independents has been yanked away and they can all shut up and shrivel back to normal size.
Right now Joe Lieberman is sitting on the floor of his living room, listening to opera and switching a light on and off, on and off, as he realize that no one on the entire planet gives a rat about what he has to say anymore.
OK, yes, but how screwed is health care? Ezra Klein of The Washington Post checked in to talk about the options.
Rachel, a longtime Massachusetts resident, stepped in to disabuse us of the popular notion that the state is entirely populated by liberals living next to socialists living next to particularly liberal commies.
She also took us off those tenterhooks and read Sarah Palin’s Facebook statement about the election, because otherwise who was going to get any sleep?
Rachel then chatted with Joan Walsh of Salon.com about women and Massachusetts politics and Palin’s advice to the Democrats on health care, which is to slit the TaunTaun’s belly open and stuff your friend inside to keep him warm until help comes.
Pub Pundits II
And let’s end where we began, with a couple of pundits in a bar, a little more tired and quite a bit more relaxed this time. Rachel and Chris Matthews brought back the idea that poor Martha Coakley, though she did check out of her own campaign for a bit, may have simply been out-socialed.
The two gave a portrait of a woman who is a dedicated public servant but just wasn’t good at all the glad-handing and folksiness and giving people charming nicknames like “Turd Blossom” that the American electorate requires before it will launch someone into higher office.
Which is saddening and disturbing, because when it comes to people running the country, we should maybe try to get some nerdy wonky geekballs in there, and try to do less measuring of their abilities to make sports chatter over pancakes.