Dear Rachel Maddow: Enough About Scott Brown

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasfam/2801647177/" target="_blank">Paul Schultz</a> (Creative Commons)

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For much of the last week, revered liberal dork Rachel Maddow has been blasting Massachusetts senator Scott Brown for sending out fundraising e-mails suggesting she could run against him in 2012. Since—according to Maddow, who would presumably know—the MSNBC anchor is not going to run against Brown, this makes Brown a “liar.” To a certain extent, Maddow has a point: Brown is, of course, deliberately spreading an untruth in the hopes of boosting his fundraising totals. But the notion that a politician might sensationalize his opposition for his own gain is hardly much of a scoop, and while it reflects poorly on Brown, it doesn’t make him history’s greatest monster, either.

But there’s a bigger reason why Maddow should cool it with the criticism: she’d actually make a pretty compelling candidate. For a state that’s so heavily Democratic in its local and federal officers, Massachusetts has a remarkably thin bench of political talent. Barney Frank isn’t running. John Kerry’s already has a job. Boston Mayor Tom Menino would never run. And incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick, facing a tough re-election bid, isn’t really in a position to think two years ahead. If the 2012 Democratic primary were held today, it would likely pit Rep. Michael Capuano (whose brand of antagonistic populism is so underwhelming he once lost to Martha Coakley) against Rep. Stephen Lynch (pro-life, pro-Iraq war, and “foragainst” Health Care). Either one would probably be an improvement over Brown, but given how rarely these seats become available, it’s a bit of a wasted opportunity for progressives.

Maddow shouldn’t call Scott Brown a liar. She should take him up on the offer! She’s wonkish, affable, articulate, and, as we’ve seen, unafraid of a challenge. From a substantive standpoint, few commentators spend as much time harping on the shortcomings of Senate procedure as Maddow does (she once conducted an interview with “the Bill” from Schoolhouse Rock). Who better to come in and fix it? At the very least, she’d give complacent Bay State Dems something to be excited about. If Stuart Smalley could do it…

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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