senate race

Martha Coakley Is Not the Perfect Candidate to Replace Ted Kennedy. Vote For Her Anyhow

On the eve of Massachusetts’ special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacant U.S. Senate seat comes word that the National Organization for Marriage is making the most of its unlimited long distance plan and backing a robo-call campaign to encourage voters to back Scott Brown, the anti-gay (or is that “anti-gay,” with air quotes?) contestant facing off against Attorney General Martha Coakley. That’s typical, but annoying. Unless of course you’re a bleeding heart liberal who is no fan of Coakley, either.

Refusing to debate her opponent. Her arguably questionable record as AG (bungling a rape case and making deal with child molesters). And the unresolved scandal about whether she used campaign finances from her state campaign to finance her federal Senate campaign.

In the end, the obvious vote is for Coakley, not Brown. Coakley helps ensure health care reform — itself not close to a perfect solution — passes. And that the Senate will have the votes to, perhaps one day, kill things like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, something we expect Coakley to back, given she’s taking on the federal government in a DOMA lawsuit.

But as with all things politics, there’s no perfect answer. Brown is, unquestionably, a terrible candidate for LGBTs. Except we’re also curious what will happen to Coakley’s DOMA challenge if she vacates her attorney general post; will her office continue to pursue the suit?

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