Open warfare indeed is breaking out in the Republican party just as some had predicted, from Washington to Massachusetts which bucked the national 2010 trend and retreated into its Democrat shell.
The situation is not so cut-and-dried as conservatives and Tea Partiers would like to think. They are suggesting that the GOP Establishment is insufficiently conservative, and they have a very good point. The Tea Parties were responsible for much of the congressional surge against Obama. Then again, say some observers, the US Senate races in Colorado, Nevada and Delaware might have been GOP success stories if the Tea Party had not intervened.
But you cannot say that for sure by any means. Just look at the terrible record of Establishment Republicans like John McCain, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, perennial non-candidate and perennial political crank Colin Powell, and others like 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker who was so socially liberal that he picked an openly-gay running mate. This shut down many conservative voters who do indeed exist in Massachusetts. Baker lost by 6.3 points.
And Massachusetts Tea Partiers/conservatives like activist Mike Franco, a perennial candidate for governor’s council, is hot under the collar after Baker’s loss along with the defeat of four other statewide GOP candidates for treasurer, auditor, attorney general and secretary of state. Some are blaming Baker for dragging down the whole GOP ticket, especially one race that was very close, for state auditor. Meanwhile zero US congressional seats were picked up by Republicans in the 10-seat BayState contingent.
So there is lots of post-election quarterbacking breaking out all over Massachusetts despite the fact that the GOP picked up an admirable 17 state legislative seats from Democrats in a state with only 12% Republican registration and 90% Democrat control of the state legislature. So there was some progress.
But in a provocative post-election blast e-mail from Franco, Rich Howell wrote:
‘…The results from last week’s elections were unmistakable. Nationally it was a clear repudiation of the Administration and Congressional “leadership”. Statewide it was a shameful and unforgivably missed opportunity. There is no reason why we could not win at least two to three Congressional seats and four Constitutional offices statewide.
Why was did this happen and who is to blame? Is it the people, the partisan affiliation or the Tea Party? No, people have been coming out in larger numbers against the status quo than ever before. The partisan affiliation should have hurt Democrats this year more any other partisan group.
The Tea Party!? If not for the Tea Party we would not have a Republican Senator today (Scott Brown) nor have seventeen new State Representatives. Where then should we place the majority of blame? Where it belongs: The individuals who are supposed to be running the Massachusetts Republican Party.
Having two virtual Democrats (Baker and running mate Richard Tisei) at the top of our ticket effectively eliminated any chance for a Statewide or Congressional victory. The lack of support for any of the other statewide offices or statehouse races was irresponsible.
And, the funneling of a majority of party funds to the Governor’s race at the expense of the others was as reckless as it was intolerable. This mentality has been governing that group for the last twenty years. This explains 11% voter affiliation and what was until the Tea Party activity 9% of the state legislature.
If we are to pull our Commonwealth out of our present catastrophe, we must chart a different course as an effective opposition. We start by galvanizing our Tea Party organizations and taking the lead in every aspect of the opposition to the status quo. We have made great strides but in order to obtain better results we must do the following:
1. Break and eliminate the grip of the Republicans in Name Only on the state party apparatus. We have the majority of the rank and file with us and if the RINO’s don’t like that they can join the Democrats where they belong.
2. Work with the major statewide organizations on those core issues we believe in such as voter ID.
3. Fight everywhere and anywhere the large government apparatus, government pension system and government unions.
4. The regional Tea Party groups in the Commonwealth must work more with one another.
5. Not compromise in any manner our core beliefs as we maintain faith with each other. (end of excerpt)
Massachusetts Establishment Republican leaders indeed are out of touch. They sit in an office in Boston and lose year after year. Meanwhile Massachusetts conservatives like Ed King, who wrote the historic tax-restraining Proposition 2-1/2 back in the late 1970s, is still promoting the kinds of ideas that have made the only difference between Massachusetts being the economic basket case it is today and becoming a banana republic.
The next big question for Massachusetts: Is political superstar Republican US Senator Scott Brown vulnerable in 2012? Brown won ‘Ted Kennedy’s seat’ in January 2010 in a special election, and must face voters again in the 2012 election cycle that Kennedy would have.
And the answer is yes he is vulnerable. In fact Brown is going to lose. Because the national Democrat establishment is gunning for Brown and Brown’s problem is that many conservatives in Massachusetts are gunning for him too. He even supported repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And if you want to see how a pro-gay Republican does in Massachusetts, just ask Charlie Baker.
Indeed many on the right see Brown as just another RINO who now seems to be obsessed with own starlight and being a member of the Ruling Class. His voting record has not exactly been what Tea Partiers wished for. He voted for Harry Reid’s jobs bill in February and was the 60th vote to end debate on the Wall Street reform legislation which included nothing about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
On Facebook and Twitter, former Brown supporters were livid. They wrote things like:
“You are a pig… Oink oink and you just sealed your tomb with us voters … you can kiss your candidacy goodbye, scott.” And “Your days in D.C. will soon be over. You lied, you became an insider the second you got to D.C. You shut down debate on the so-called Wall Street reform bill. I call that business as usual.” And “Did you really expect better from guy who posed nude and pimps his daughters on TV?” (a reference to Brown once appearing as a centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine in the 1980s and an innocuous comment he made about his daughter in his televised victory speech.) (end of excerpt)
Brown also skipped a Tea Party event in Boston with Sarah Palin. This all has come after Tea Partiers from adjoining states flooded into Massachusetts to help Brown win. This all should not be taken lightly. Brown still thinks he can win by playing the middle, but that is what Baker thought too.
And in review, Brown’s victory may have been a fluke. It took place only at a time of high anxiety over Obama’s health-care plan and also because of the inept candidacy of his opponent Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley who, among other blunders, was unable to name Boston baseball superhero Curt Schilling as a member of the maniacally-beloved Red Sox. This is literally travesty in Beantown. Brown still won only by 5 points, which is not a resounding victory but still good for a Republican.
Which Massachusetts Democrat will most likely vanquish Brown?
The best bet is the current governor, Deval Patrick, who is black and who was just re-elected to a second term in November. Or far-left US congressman Barney Frank, who is known all over the state and the nation. Or congressman Michael Capuano who lost to Coakley in the 2010 primary.
In 2012 Brown will be a big, juicy target. And he even could even face a primary challenge from the right and that in itself could doom him. After all, that happened in many races in 2010 and easily can happen again. Even in Massachusetts.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.