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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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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