Streetwise Professor

January 16, 2010

Martha Coakley: Political Dodo

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 9:51 am

Despite the Scott Brown surge in MA, I still think it more likely than not that Martha Coakley will win the senate race there.  The Democrats’ structural advantages there are very difficult to overcome.

That said, Coakley is the most amazingly inept candidate I think I have ever seen.  She is the Popeil Gaffe-o-matic.  The MG-42 of gaffes, spewing out inanities at a very high cyclic rate of fire.

Her campaign provides an excellent example of the debilitating effects of political monocultures.  Not usually having to compete in truly competitive elections, the candidates of the dominant party are not selected on the basis of their ability to survive and thrive in such an environment.  Instead, the selection process favors those who can play to the party, not the electorate.  Those who operate well in the back rooms.  It selects party cadres, not real candidates who can operate well in a dynamic competitive race before an electorate.

Throw somebody groomed in that environment into a fluid, competitive election contest, and it is highly likely that that somebody will self-destruct.  The traits for which they have been selected are maladapted to the new environment.  Indeed, they are often positively counterproductive.    They are completely unprepared, and very vulnerable to making serial mistakes.

Subject a political monoculture like Massachusetts (or is it Massachusettes?) to a huge environmental shock that is Obama and Obamaism, and those creatures like Martha Coakley who evolved in the monoculture are very likely to perish.

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