It’s been a strange week in Massachusetts. In the past 48 hours:
The town of Amherst, Mass., voted overwhelmingly in Town Meeting to invite released Gitmo detainees to live in their community;
A Muslim school teacher in Sudbury, Mass., was indicted by a grand jury on terror charges, including a plot to shoot up a shopping mall with automatic weapons;
The University of Massachusetts invited “NYC’s Most Prolific Bomber,” Raymond Luc Levasseur — whose United Freedom Front killed a N.J. cop and blew people up in Boston — to speak on the taxpayer dime. Only when Governor Patrick was confronted by talk-radio listeners and the Boston Herald did he pull the plug yesterday.
Now the Ft. Hood attack raises the issue of terrorism and the federal death penalty. A few weeks ago, Rep. Michael Capuano attacked the frontrunner, Attorney General Martha Coakley, over the fact that she once was pro-death-penalty for cop killers.
For Massachusetts Democrats in a primary, that’s apparently a bad thing.
AG Coakley insisted that she changed her position years ago. She is now just as adamantly opposed to capital punishment as her opponent. As I wrote at the the time, Massachusetts’ next U.S. senator will oppose the death penalty for Osama bin Laden.
But what about Nidal Hasan? If there is a vote to repeal the federal death penalty — which is hardly a stretch for this Congress — do Massachusetts independents and moderate Democrats really want a U.S. senator who would vote to keep Hasan alive?
Republican state senator Scott Brown is the longest of long shots for the U.S. Senate. But he can help the party by pointing out how out of touch the Democratic leadership is with the average voter.