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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Victoria's secret

What is it about Victoria Kennedy that makes grown men want to shred the First Amendment?

Scott Brown has become the latest man who wants to muzzle the widow of the man he succeeded in the United States Senate, saying he would agree to a debate sponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute -- only if Vicki Kennedy did not endorse Elizabeth Warren.

Brown's Profile in Cowardice comes only months after Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus forbade Anna Marie College from having her as a commencement speaker.

Brown, who also wants MSNBC out as debate sponsor, is in an even shakier position than that the bishop. He showed no similar reticence to a debate sponsored by the Institute in 2010 when he took on Martha Coakley in a meeting he famously declared was for "The People's Seat."

Nor has Brown been shy about imposing litmus tests for venues that would favor him -- immediately accepting an invitation from right-wing radio host Dan Rea and chiding Warren for not following suit. Nor has he accepted a debate sponsored by local media, even though he declared he would prefer a Kennedy Institute debate with a local moderator rather than Tom Brokaw, who was proposed for that encounter.

The debate debate is rapidly getting old. And it would suggest Brown has a real concern about meting Warren in any venue that he can't control. It's a stance virtually identical to his shunning of voter encounters where he can't be assured of a friendly audience. Or his avoidance of reporters unless the topics are limited to those of his choosing.

It's the proposed muzzling of Vicki Kennedy that leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It would take a real leap of imagination to think the endorsement of Kennedy's widow would make any difference whatsoever in a race that polls show to be exceedingly close and with virtually all voters decided.

But the sheer audacity of the position that Kennedy be denied her free speech rights before he would even agree to talk about a debate suggests Brown is looking for any excuse under the sun not to meet Warren on any playing field that is not sharply tilted in his direction.

Brown's demands should be unequivocally rejected -- and the forum should go on whether he shows up or not.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Vickie wants to play the hostess in the building where the federal government spent at least 38 million to promote the idea of civic engagement, not just engagement for wacky liberals, she should be expected to remain neutral. We spend all this money so noone will forget Ted, did we put in the Big Dig just so they'd have a park to name so we wouldn't forget his mother?

June 19, 2012 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, didn't Nancy Reagan host a debate at the Reagan Library and then endorse John McCain?

June 19, 2012 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two wrongs don't make a right.

June 20, 2012 4:47 AM  

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