The Terminator

It's not a surprise, but the news is good nonetheless. The Boston Globe has endorsed Martha Coakley. In the process, they have provided Scott Brown with an exciting new nickname.
People in Massachusetts are understandably frustrated. Next week's special election comes in the midst of a too-long Senate debate on health care, showcasing much of what is offensive about the rules of the Senate. The fact that a final bill hasn't even emerged has left many people ready to toss away the whole thing. Stir in the anxiety that comes with a still-faltering economy, and voters are angry.
Coakley's campaign of inactivity and detachment has fed into voter skepticism over the mission of those who control the levers of power in our society. Voters are looking to terminate the special interest control over our government, while Coakley is the darling of the Machine.
Republican State Senator Scott Brown, who drives an old truck, channels voter skepticism more directly. Ignoring signs of improvement in the economy, he casts President Obama as the source of today's problems, and would give the Republicans enough votes to block, under Senate rules, anything Obama wants to do. Affable in person, Brown nonetheless seeks to be a terminator, stopping the Democratic domestic agenda in its tracks.
When a Rasmussen poll last week woke Democrats up to the fact that their candidate was in trouble, her responses further fed the negative Coakley storyline - she threw some formulaic ads up and rolled out stale Kennedy's. No one cares - a week later, Rasmussen shows her lead down from 9 points to 2. It's the Terminator Effect!
Voters who want to cast a critical eye on Washington without destroying the Democratic coalition should go for Coakley. Her quiet diligence in pursuing some of the most thankless, but deeply important, tasks in prosecuting child abusers, scouring the fine print of Big Dig contracts to bring back hundreds of millions of dollars, and securing $60 million from Goldman Sachs for its subprime mortgage abuses, contrasts sharply with Brown's five-year record of voting no in a state Senate run by the opposite party.
Now, the Globe further pushes voters to Brown - another big institution trying to control events over the wishes of citizens.
Coakley wasn't the most forceful or visionary candidate in the Democratic field, but her measured approach won broad support. She and her rivals touted the same issues — expanding health care, promoting renewable energy, protecting homeland security — but she conceived of them as problems to be solved, not crusades to be mounted.
What they mean is - she was the only woman in a race with three boring white men with no discernible policy difference between the lot.
To that end, she pledges to seek Ted Kennedy's seat on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, from which she could safeguard and enhance Massachusetts' vital interests and industries.
Hey, dummies. Didn't you learn the other night? It's not Ted Kennedy's senate seat, and it's not his committee seat. Those seats belong to the Peeps. Pretending to be Teddy won't do her any good. He had it for 47 years - that was long enough. Time for the Terminator.