For the first time in a very long time, it would appear as though Massachusetts voters will decide a real horse race for a seat in the United States Senate between the candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Sure, Mitt Romney put up a good fight against Ted Kennedy in 1994, at least as compared to the token opposition Kennedy and Senator John Kerry have faced for decades. But Romney (at that time at least) did not offer himself as being very different on the major social issues that people care about. He came across as a liberal on social issues, but a conservative on fiscal matters. (He later changed his tune on social issues when he decided to run for President and realized he had to say what the ultra conservative wing of the GOP wants to hear.)
However, Tuesday’s election between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown pits two candidates who are at opposite ends of the spectrum on almost every major issue.
Coakley is pro choice, pro gay marriage, and supports President Obama on the issue of reforming health care. On the other hand, she is opposed to enlarging the war in Afghanistan.
Brown has sponsored legislation that would hinder a woman’s right to choose; vehemently opposes gay marriage; and is upfront in stating that he wants to go to Washington to become a part of the obstructionist Republican minority that thus far has opposed everything President Obama has tried to do, other than spend more money and send more troops into Afghanistan.
Moreover, Brown has received the financial and political support from promoters of far right causes such as the Tea Bag groups and their right wing affiliates, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin.
In short, we have a very real Blue state vs. Red state battle in Massachusetts. We have a choice between Martha Coakley, who has pledged to go to Washington to support President Obama’s efforts to bring about change vs. Scott Brown, who proudly says he will say “No” to everything President Obama wants to do.
With all eyes of the nation on Massachusetts this Tuesday, every voter, regardless of political affiliation or belief, should be excited about the prospect of voting in the U.S. Senate election. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that similar to 1775, it is up to us to make a statement about the future direction of our country.
Staying at home simply should not be an option for anybody.