Democrats have decided who they are running against in next Tuesday’s special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, and it’s not Republican Scott Brown.

Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, couldn’t seem to utter Mr. Brown’s name yesterday at a news conference without tying him to a political boogie creature she labeled “Bush-Cheney.” “Not only is Scott Brown a roadblock to progress, he wants to go back to the failed policies of the Bush-Cheney administration,” she contended.

She kept up that drumbeat during their final debate last night, finally prompting Mr. Brown to tell her: “You can run against Bush-Cheney, but I’m Scott Brown. I live in Wrentham. I drive a truck, and yes, it’s over 200,000 miles on it now. But you’re not running against them.”

When Democrats aren’t raising the specter of the unpopular Bush administration, they’re trying to tie Mr. Brown to Sarah Palin. The Democratic National Committee dispatched its top political spin artist, Hari Sevugan, to Massachusetts yesterday to help out the struggling Coakley campaign. He promptly sent out an email taunting Ms. Palin for not coming to Massachusetts to endorse Mr. Brown: “Come on, Sarah, why are you being so shy?” Within hours, he sent out another message headlined: “Has the Pit Bull lost her bark?” A third salvo late in the day demanded that reporters ask Mr. Brown a simple question: “Will you accept Sarah Palin’s endorsement or won’t you?”

There was no discussion of issues from Mr. Sevugan, much less any evidence that Mr. Brown has ever expressed an interest in having outsiders come into the state on his behalf. Democrats have apparently decided that hauling out fright masks beats trying to defend President Obama’s record, much less Ms. Coakley’s conventionally liberal positions.

‘John Fund is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal’

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