I've given it a great deal of thought, and I've come to a conclusion: the best thing for the nation is to have Martha Coakley elected to the United States Senate, not Scott Brown.
Coakley has been a career prosecutor in Massachusettes, culminating in her election to the Attorney General's office in 2006. And in that 2-plus decades in law enforcement, she's had some impressive milestones:
In 1995, she brought charges of child sexual assault against Father John Geoghan. She then went along with a plea bargain that let the pedophile priest go on "secret probation" and remain free to continue his predations -- until he finally found the wrong victim and was arrested and convicted again in 2002. The case against Geoghan triggered the exposure of the decades of "pedophile priest" abuses that had been repeatedly concealed. Coakley helped keep the lid on that mess for a good seven years.
In 2003, a police officer was accused of raping a 23-month-old baby with a hot implement (probably a hair curler). Coakley did nothing about the initial complaint. In fact, she did nothing until the baby's mother filed a private complaint against the cop (who was eventually convicted and is serving two life sentences) did Coakley finally start acting. Even then, she recommended that the cop/baby rapist be released on his own recognizance.
Massachusetts is a notoriously corrupt state. There's practically an express lane between the State House and the State Pen, as lawmakers keep running afoul of the law. Just in recent years, three Massachusetts House Speakers have been indicted for corruption (two convicted, one pending), and two big names in Boston politics (former State Senator Barbara Wilkerson and City Councilor Chuck Turner have been caught on videotape taking bribes.
Wilkerson's involvement, as career prosecutor (AG since 2007)?
Well, the feds who brought all these cases sent her press releases, I'm sure.
That's right. Every single major corruption case brought in Massachusetts since Coakley became Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the Bay State has been brought by federal prosecutors -- not the state. The only time Coakley has been involved in cases involving malfeasance by public officials has been to try to sweep them under the carpet.
And that is why Coakley needs to be elected to the United States Senate.
It's the "Dilbert Principle."
As Attorney General of Massachusetts, Coakley has caused tremendous harm to a great number of people. She needs to be removed from office. And the simplest way to do so is to promote her to a position where she can cause far, far less harm.
As a United States Senator, she'd be one of a hundred, and the bottom of the seniority list. And let's face it -- she's replacing Ted Kennedy (well, his hand-picked seat-warmer), so it's really no net loss to the nation.
Yeah, having Scott Brown in the Senate would be a great thing. But the price for his election is leaving Coakley as the chief law enforcement officer of the Bay State. And while I tend to believe that "people get the government they deserve," some of those who have suffered from Coakley's neglect (especially Father Geoghan's victims and the 23-month-old cited above) weren't old enough to cast a ballot for or against her.
So on Tuesday, let's hope that the people of Massachusetts hold their noses and cast their vote to remove Martha Coakley from office and send her out of the state.
They should do it for the children.