By Michael C. Moynihan
Perhaps the special election for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat in Massachusetts isn't as close as opponents of Democrat Martha Coakley hope. A number of polls convincingly demonstrate that Republican challenger Scott Brown has significantly narrowed the gap; enough to scare the wits of the Coakley campaign, who have taken to depicting the fairly moderate (but not for Massachusetts!) Brown to a Nazi-saluting Rush Limbaugh who loves to "deny care to rape victims." In an email to potential voters, Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Brown "a far-right tea-bagger Republican." In the coming days, expect robocalls fingering Brown as an escaped Serbian war criminal or John Doe number two.
And all across the web today, we have seen photos and grainy video of a Coakley consigliere knocking Weekly Standard journalist John McCormack to the ground and physically blocking him from approaching the candidate on a public street. The lunkheaded Coakley employee, Democratic media consultant (!) Michael Meehan, insisted that he did nothing wrong and that the Constitution dictates that "Republican operatives can’t chase a candidate down the street." Coakley said that these mean journalists—errr, party operatives—were "very aggressive in their stalking," but added that she didn't see the incident, despite an AP photo showing her watching McCormack hit the ground. Incidentally, I know and have an enormous amount of respect for McCormack. He's a young and hungry reporter who possesses the enviable skill of driving moronic politicians into fits of rage.
Watch the Irish-on-Irish violence below. And while it is unclear from the video how McCormack ended up on the ground, it is obvious that Meehan is physically preventing him from walking on the sidewalk and asking questions. It's odd that Massachusetts' top cop watches the scene unfold silently...well, odd if you haven't read Radley Balko's piece in Politico.
Update: Better video added, and it seems pretty clear that Meehan, who acts like a a two-bit tough in a Studs Lonegin novel, shoved McCormack to the ground.