Every once in a while a combination of stories comes along in politics that is so bizarre you can't believe you're actually writing about it. This is one of those times. Fresh after taking a run at Fenway Park fans in a public interview yesterday, Martha Coakley decided today that she'd insult another institution nobody in Massachusetts gives a crap about: Nuns. Here she is discussing why Nuns shouldn't be allowed to work in Catholic Hospitals - private institutions that have zero problem with accomodating the consciences of the nuns:
Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don't want to do that.
Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.
Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.
Martha Coakley: (...stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room.
Okay. So a private employee of a private company doesn't want to perform a particular duty because of her religious beliefs, and her private employer has no problem accomodating that... and this somehow constitutes a violation of the First Amendment? I suppose it's hypothetically possible that Martha Coakley is stupid enough to actually believe this manifest crap (and as this campaign goes on, it becomes more believable!), but the more likely explanation of course is that she finds the nuns icky and just wants them out of sight where she doesn't have to look at them when she goes out in public. And believe me? Plenty of Massachusetts Catholics are gonna take that last sentence exactly that way. So, to review, in the last two days, Martha Coakley has, in public interviews, dissed A) Fenway Park and B) Nuns. Like my inestimable colleague Moe Lane, I am forced to wonder whether she has any public comments she'd like to share about clam chowder?
WAIT. THIS STORY GETS WORSE.
While Nuns and Fenway Park are on Martha Coakley's bad list, it turns out she has a good list. Know who's on it? Pedophiles.
Read on below the fold...
When Martha Coakley was the Middlesex district attorney, her office prosecuted the Rev. John J. Geoghan based on an allegation that he squeezed the buttocks of a 10-year-old boy a single time at a public swimming pool. The highly publicized 2002 conviction won Coakley widespread praise for bringing the first successful criminal case against the widely accused pedophile, a priest many had called “Father Jack.’’
But seven years earlier, Coakley, then the head of the Middlesex child abuse unit, had Geoghan in her sights and took a dramatically different approach. Back then, three grade-school brothers told investigators that Geoghan had inappropriately touched them during numerous visits to their Waltham home, and had made lewd telephone calls to them. Rather than prosecute, Coakley agreed to grant Geoghan a year of probation in a closed-door proceeding that received no media attention at all.
Because of the deal, Geoghan faced no formal charges and no criminal record.
In sanctioning the 1995 probation agreement, Coakley, now the front-runner in a special election for the United States Senate, never pressed the Boston Archdiocese for any prior complaints against Geoghan.
Now, granted, I am not licensed to practice law in the State of Massachusetts, but down here prosecutors are not wont to grant such generous diversion for DUI tickets. Heck, I dunno, maybe up there in Massachusetts, the people don't really care about folks getting off scot free when there are three eyewitnesses to child molestation. At the very least it suggests that a large part of Coakley's entire narrative of a candidate - to wit, that she is "tough on crime" (and sex offenders in particular), is more or less crap. Well, at least when it comes to pedophiles. One wonders when she developed a soft spot for pedophiles, and how it can be that she harbors, at the same time, such disdain for faithful Nuns.
In any event, in less than a week, the people of Mass. will decide if this is the character of the person they want representing them in the United States Senate. It's possible that it is; they elected Ted Kennedy for a number of years. But Scott Brown is forcing them at long last to make a meaningful choice.
UPDATE: Somehow, I missed this story all day - more Coakley being soft on pedophiles! Careful. Reading this story may turn your head into a flaming skull.