Another Consequence of the Coakley Race: Dawn Johnsen


Dawn Johnsenís nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee months ago, and with Arlen Specterís support her confirmation has been thought to be all but assured. Nevertheless, with the re-nomination process, Republicans will seek additional hearings, a perfect opportunity for them to fearmonger on terrorism.

All but assured if Coakley wins the Massachusetts Senate race. Otherwise, we are back where we started - Republican Dick Lugar supports Johnsen but Nebraska Dem Ben Nelson opposes and will not allow a floor vote on the Johnsen nomination to head the OLC.

Speaking for me only

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    The bright side (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:21:24 PM EST
    People hoping for a Coakley victory have new reason for optimism.
    Rudy Giuliani is in Massachusetts campaigning for and with Brown.
    That should sink him.

    Except the people who Guiliani draws (none / 0) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:01 PM EST
    are people who do like him...

    It may motivate people to vote (none / 0) (#27)
    by nycstray on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:19:53 PM EST
    who don't like the fact that Brown has Rudy as a buddy. Although the people of Mass may not feel the same way as NYers do about him {grin}

    Most of us think (none / 0) (#31)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:26:22 PM EST
    he's a bit of joke, but having him around won't hurt Brown except with some of the people who wouldn't vote for Brown anyway. I'm disappointed that his visit didn't provide more entertainment than it did.

    Same could be said of Obama (none / 0) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:44:11 PM EST
    campaigning for Coakley.

    My opposition to her has nothing (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:36:22 PM EST
    to do with Obama and everything to do with her record as a prosecutor and her over-identfication with and support for the rights of presumed victims at the expense of fairness and defendants' rights.

    If the Dems want to win, they need to pick better candidates.

    My support for Coakley has little to (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:39:50 PM EST
    do with Obama.

    Scott Brown's positions on those same issues could be preferable to you.

    And Coakley's positions on virtually everything else, including the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, are clearly superior.

    I respect you decision to favor neither candidate, I do strongly disagree with it.


    Could not be preferable (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:40:10 PM EST
    I mean.

    Brown's positions are not preferable (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:47:06 PM EST
    and I don't support Brown. I oppose Coakley. I hope she loses and I think it's absurd how much attention is being paid to this race. The sky will not fall.

    Do you also oppose Brown? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:49:49 PM EST
    I understood you did.

    As I stated, I disagree with your opposition to Coakley in THIS election.

    I think we might both support a primary opponent for Coakley in 2012.

    In fact, given her dismal performance in this race, even if she somehow wins, she should be shelved.


    My position is clear (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:15:41 PM EST
    I oppose Coakley. I don't support Brown. If I lived in MA, I'd sit the race out. I would not reward Coakely because Brown is also objectionable.

    If he wins, he's in for 3 years and then Dems will take the seat back with an acceptable candidate. If she wins, she's in for decades.


    I think this is a great starting place (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:28:52 PM EST
    for the Dems to learn they really do need to look harder at the candidates they run for office.

    Coakley may stand with women on some important issues, but I strongly agree with you on her judicial attitudes being wrong for the country. I will be very disappointed if the people of Massachusetts send this person to DC to make laws for all of us.


    The problem: Maybe not (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:21:02 PM EST
    Maybe he isn't out in a few years, Jeralyn. Any form of incumbent usually has the advantage. Too often in my political life I've seen the ole' "well, we will get rid of x later." But, typically doesn't work that way from a statistical and historical sense. So...if he is given the "in," his other positions can become quite quite significant.

    Here's a question (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 12:33:38 PM EST
    Would you ever support someone in a high office race like this that was a prosecutor?  Do you oppose all prosecutors elected to legislative positions because they would be in the position to craft legislation?  Or is it just this particular one?

    I ask because your framing of the question - where you call into question whether victims are really victims or not.


    I'm curious (none / 0) (#17)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:51:39 PM EST
    Are there any occasions when you'd favor a candidate other than a Dem?

    I ask for two reasons:

    A. I really am curious.

    B: I believe that Dems are currently as sick of the demonizing of political opponents as everyone else; a faux 'commitment' to good government that insists that in every instance, the candidate on the other side is automatically inferior to the Dem.

    Voters want to know why they should support an individual candidate and at this point Brown appears to be that, at least in the eyes of MA voters.

    Nobody in the WH is going to pay the slightest bit of attention to any critic who has already promised to support all Dem candidates no matter what, as you evidently do.

    Is this an unfair or inaccurate description of your position?


    It is not an accurate description (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:25:04 PM EST
    I support Bernie Sanders for instance.

    For instance? (none / 0) (#35)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:40:04 PM EST
    So, if Dems don't run a credible candidate against  an independent Senator, one who caucuses with Dems and who happens to be one of the few arguably socialist Dems elected to office in America, in those 'instances', you'll buck.

    Thanks for the reply. Really.


    Give me a specifc example (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:41:29 PM EST
    where you think I should support a Republican.

    I'm sure (none / 0) (#43)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:37:49 PM EST
    there are some. I'd take Eisenhower over virtually every Dem senator elected south of the Mason-Dixon line at the time.

    Today, my guess is that there are plenty of Republicans running or serving at the local level who are better qualified, more able, and more honest than their Dem counterparts.

    You've established fairly clearly the 'instances' of when you'd be willing to support a candidate other than a Dem. As you know, I think that renders you politically meaningless. Dems can bank on your support and forget you.

    I'd like to see that change.


    Find Ike on the ballot (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:41:49 PM EST
    and I'll consider it.

    The problem with that idea (none / 0) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:16:31 PM EST
    is that every single one of those "able and honest" Republicans running at the local level is willing to be part of a national party that is run by racists, corrupt liars and crazy people.

    Calling into serious question the judgment and honesty and ethics of such honest local Republicans.

    I will never, ever, under any circumstances vote for anybody morally corrupt enough to be willing to walk around with an "R" next to their name for any office, large or small.  Never.


    Michael Steele is a (4.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:23:12 PM EST
    r@cist? Who'd have guessed.

    Not all R's are part of the evangelical branch of the party. And, the D's are rapidly catching up on the number of crazies in the party.

    Independents are at least giving all candidates a fair chance to state their positions and see what they've done to confirm their words are an accurate depiction of what they claim.


    Michael Steele (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 09:56:29 AM EST
    as should be abundantly obvious, does not in any way, shape or form "run" the Republican Party.

    And I defy you to name a single national Dem. politician who even approaches the level of crazy that dominates the R's.


    So Dawn Johnsen doesn't (none / 0) (#25)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:08:47 PM EST
    stand a chance without Coakley?

    imo (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:24:29 PM EST

    Why? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    Is that important enough to risk all the other things Coakley will assist in getting passed?

    The legislation being introduced these days is questionable, and the things that are critical to the country are being ignored.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:36:49 PM EST
    I am for Coakley.

    Inspector (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:24:56 PM EST
    What precisely are "all the other things Coakley will assist in getting passed?" (And, in the same vein, what are all the things that the Republican will assist in getting passed or prevent from being passed--specifically?)

    If you're not paying attention (none / 0) (#55)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:13:33 PM EST
    I'm not going to do your homework.

    Tut tut (none / 0) (#59)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:18:53 PM EST
    You tried to dodge.

    Nope, just not interested in getting (none / 0) (#62)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:27:38 PM EST
    into an exchange with you. You answer everything with a challenge or another question, but never have a thing to contribute.

    Here is a direct comment (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by christinep on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:57:44 AM EST
    I did not call you names or insult your integrity; and, I would think that adults here could engage in disagreement without the slurring approach of which you are so fond. Tough, buddy. Somewhere along the line, try to understand that disagreement does not amount to "never have a thing to contribute."

    I'm not big fan of the law and order (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:12:37 PM EST
    candidates....For that reason my initial enthusiasm for Sotomayor became tempered when I learned of her early years as a prosecutor.  She has, however, turned out well....

    Coakley will be a lot better than Brown for many reasons, and even, I think, on issues of crime--not ideal, but better....


    Hang on for one hot second... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:38:23 PM EST
    before you explain why Coakley is going to assure Johnsen's approval, perhaps you can explain why her nomination wasn't assured when Obama nominated her, fresh off his historic win and with that stratospheric approval rating.

    I wonder if it would have made a difference if he had actually fought for her, and not treated the nomination as a bone to those who were distraught over what came out of the Bush OLC.

    So far, other than re-nominating her, I haven't seen much sign that he intends to lift a finger for her this time, either.

    Arlen Specter was the reason (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:40:41 PM EST
    If the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Emma on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:43:36 PM EST
    don't have enough party discipline to get Nelson in line, Coakley is nothing but papering over incompetence or planned failure.

    No (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:47:30 PM EST
    Coakley represents the 60th vote for cloture.

    The Dems stink in general does not change that fact.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#14)
    by Emma on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:48:39 PM EST
    there's something I'm not getting, but if Nelson won't let her nom come to a vote, what does it matter?

    I explained in the post (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:50:30 PM EST
    Lugar, a Republican, supports Johnsen.

    I'll bet $10 (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:14:29 PM EST
    that the vast majority of people going to the polls on Tuesday don't know and don't care who Dawn Johnsen is. "All politics is local" -from another MA icon.

    So what? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:23:33 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure most of them do not read blogs.

    What's your point?


    My point is that (none / 0) (#38)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:48:21 PM EST
    for the people outside of MA, there may be many reasons why Coakley's election is important that just aren't on the minds of the people inside MA. This election may be a referendum on Obama and the Democratic Party, but viewed from the perspective of what the average MA voter believes affects him or her directly. There are many times when Coakley's 60th vote or Brown's 41st will matter, and if this is an academic exercise in what kinds of things they may be, that's great, but on Tuesday, healthcare, jobs, the deficit, our military engagements, gay rights, etc, are going to be higher priorities for MA voters than Dawn Johnsen and other political appointees.

    Nonsequitor to my post (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:41:03 PM EST
    I explain to you and other readers one reason why I support Coakley.

    Dawn Johnsen means nothing to you? Fine. She means something to me.


    My point is that (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:50:32 PM EST
    I promise you that she is not on the minds of the MA voters. Not even a blip on the radar screen.

    It is an irrelevant point (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:05:41 PM EST
    with regard to my post.

    I am not recommending anyone cut a 30 second ad on the issue.

    Honestly, what is so hard to understand? I care about Dawn Johnsen. You don't. MA voters probably don't either.

    Guess who wrote this post? Me. Not surprising I think. I get it. You do not care.

    You could have written a much shorter comment to tell me that.


    it'd be unfortunate (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:14:26 PM EST
    if sen. nelson disappeared, and was unable to attend to his senate duties.

    really, it would be.

    On cloture (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:19:18 PM EST
    That would not help - (get that your joking).

    Yup, (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:28:27 PM EST
    "sitting and sworn," not "present and voting"

    It would be unfortunate (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:32:16 PM EST
    if Ms. Coakley lost because of disenchantment with President Obama;  A proxy vote in order to send a message to the president will do nothing--he does not do messages. Besides, the White House spin with make us all dizzy. Indeed, I envision a great speech. Moreover, "anonymous senior White House sources" will persuade many that the loss was the fault of Ms. Coakley, because she was a lackluster candidate, too shrill and too partisan. The contenders are Coakley and Brown and they do not hold the same political views--Brown's election would bring remorse to many and consequences for all.

    It's not all about Obama (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lentinel on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:42:58 PM EST
    I have read that one of the reasons people are considering voting for Brown is that they like the healthcare plans that they have in Massachusetts. They fear that passage of the healthcare bill will result in worse quality and increased costs for them.
    They see Brown as a means of defeating a bill that they don't like and don't want.

    The proposed legislation (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:20:39 PM EST
    was crafted in many parts by Senator Kennedy and it is likely that he accommodated the Massachusetts program. It would be a sad commentary on Ms. Coakley's campaign style if that concern of the voters was not  adequately addressed. However, flashy campaigning may result in election but does not necessarily  equate with adroit public service.  

    Scare Tactics (none / 0) (#20)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 07:15:50 PM EST
    "1,736 Women Were Raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown Wants Hospitals To Turn Them All Away."

    This is the best the Dem campaign can come up with? I actually think Coakley will win, simply because MA Dems take considerable pride in their bluest of the blue reputation. I'm not sure this sort of mailer muck is going to inspire anyone.

    The Brown-sponsored amendment to exempt personnel from the obligation to inform rape victims about the morning after pill is bad enough. It'll be interesting to see whether voters buy into the 'Brown doesn't care about his campaign workers' narrative. I suspect that independent-minded MA residents do want the right to choose their own health care solution.

    I think Coakley will win, but not if Dems persist in describing the vacancy as Ted Kennedy's seat. There's nothing 'inevitable' about the outcome of any real election.

    The MA Dems (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 08:07:40 PM EST
    may take pride in the "bluest of the blue" reputation, but the majority of the people in MA are not registered Dems. Although we respect the service that Ted Kennedy gave to the people of Massachusetts, we were not as lockstep with him as people on the outside looking in might believe. Many people are excited about having a real choice this time.

    And, the "real choice" is between... (none / 0) (#41)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:32:29 PM EST
    attempting to continue the policies expounded and supported by Senator Kennedy or ??? In this case, what does one voting for the other choose--McConnell? McCain? Mc?

    This sounds like those inane "Bernie" (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:38:55 PM EST
    movies.  Maybe just prop up a zombie Ted and vote for it? :-)

    Well... (none / 0) (#48)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:47:06 PM EST
    Given that both have indicated a number of positions and how they would vote, what would you do?

    Well.... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:08:44 PM EST
    Coakley stated her position on HCR, and then said she would vote against her own position. What would you do?

    I would find it tough in a tight race (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:14:38 PM EST
    like this, as I did for several presidential elections when my state was the closest or one of those.  So it was with a great sense of relief that I could just do a write-in in 2008.

    Bigger picture, I would again blame the Dem party, the gang that apparently can't shoot straight anymore.  With a Senate seat coming open in my state sometime soon, I have been dreading for a long time now what the national party might do to mess it up here, running some pseudo-Republican.  The national Dems -- Obama, Emmanuel, the White House -- already have made a mess of my gubernatorial race.

    The national Dems have got to start listening more to the locals, clingy as we may be to what we know we want.


    I don't know where you live, (none / 0) (#47)
    by itscookin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:46:45 PM EST
    but Kennedy isn't the god here that many people think he is. My family, staunch Democrats, local Democratic committee chairs, called him, "the swimmer". None of them would have ever voted Republican, though, and Kennedy was the only Democrat on the ballot. I know a lot of Democrats and independents who normally vote for the Democrat who are not voting "for Brown" or "against Coakley", but against Obama, Reid, and Pelosi. I get that response from a lot of people when I phonebank for Coakley. That being said, yes, there are people here who are excited that the winner of the election is not a foregone conclusion.

    Given some of her (Pelosi's) positions (none / 0) (#49)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:49:15 PM EST
    I wonder what about Speaker Pelosi causes such animosity???

    Yeh, that line that the seat "belonged" (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 09:37:37 PM EST
    to Ted Kennedy, in an earlier post, really was a stopper for me, too.

    I thought that seats in Congress "belonged" to the people. :-)


    Mailer Smear Backfires (none / 0) (#51)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:02:34 PM EST
    The most read story right now at the Wapo right now Wapo right now: Mass GOP candidate claims defamation

    BOSTON --...The cover of a four-page mailer sent by the Massachusetts Democratic Party says, "1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away."

    Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn Mass rape victims away? Of course he does, I mean that's so believable. The story continues to detail clearly that Brown advocated nothing of the kind.

    Bound to impress, the story is from AP so the entire nation gets a chance to talk about what 'hope and change' looks like in a tight race.

    Turns out Dems may have violated Mass law about making false statements about a political opponent. Thanks for keeping it classy Mass Dems!


    And then there was the Twin Towers ad (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:09:21 PM EST
    I read about that Coakley ran -- and had to pull.

    She is not getting good campaign managers, my guess.  Of course, the candidate is responsible for hiring them (or not firing them).


    Reminds me of a moment during (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:15:13 PM EST
    the primaries....

    HRC waving a flyer while saying "shame on you, Barack Obama" :)


    It's frankly astonishing (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 10:24:44 PM EST
    Really. I just visited Digby, where I watched the 'evidence' that Brown is a 'birther'. Don't blink.

    I'll run the risk of annoying folks by giving away the ending. Interlocutor points out that Obama's mother was married when she gave birth at age 18, now wait for it....Brown replies...

    'I don't know about that.' Yup. That's what he said. Can you imagine?

    'I don't know about that.' Five words.

    The sad part is that for both Digby and TPM this is the heavy artillery in the 'smear Brown campaign'. Pathetic.

    The campaign will be over soon, thank goodness.. It's almost too painful to watch.


    Abu Ghuraib Mailer Smear Goes Viral (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 11:55:07 PM EST
    Politico and Sullivan post the actual image of the Coakley campaign's Smear mailer and let me tell this POS is right out of Abu Ghuraib. Has to be seen to be believed. If this image goes on TV, Dems are going to have to do damage control overdrive.

    Really, really offensive, it features a lurid montage of images of women with Brown's name big red text. Absolutely disgusting.


    Brown is running an ad of her (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 02:34:48 AM EST
    on a tv panel where she's asked what she knows about Afghanistan and she answers, "My sister lives there." It's pretty funny. Reminds me of something SP would say except Coakley is not stupid like SP.

    I have to wonder, with all the errors (none / 0) (#67)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 10:54:37 AM EST
    made in Coakley's campaign, whether all the women whose photos were used in that montage gave permission -- to be rape poster girls, as it were.

    Thanks for the link.  Yecchh.  Who is running her campaign that is trying to do women's issues without understanding how to do them?  This reads like some of Anne Kornblut's book, Notes From the Cracked Ceiling, at least some that I've been able to handle so far.  Amazing to me, as commercial ad agencies and marketers learned decades ago that there is need to be careful in selling to women.  Telling, isn't it, that in politics, campaign managers still are having to learn that?


    That was the DSCC from what I understand (none / 0) (#65)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 09:44:50 AM EST