Yesterday Massachusetts voted for Ed Markey to replace John Kerry in the Senate. Massachusetts is a very blue state, so the results were not really a surprise, but as Scott Brown has proved, a Republican can win in Massachusetts. Scott Brown won one election. He didn’t win the second time he ran. The first time Scott Brown ran for the Senate he had the support of the Tea Party. Scott Brown made it very clear that he was not a conservative, but that he opposed ObamaCare, the issue of the day. The second time Scott Brown ran, he ran as sort of a generic independent and distanced himself from the Tea Party. He lost. Therein lies the lesson.
Michael Graham posted an article in the Boston Herald today about yesterday’s election.
Michael Graham reports:
The Gomez candidacy is the perfect reflection of the thinking of the failed Massachusetts Republican party leadership. Find a Republican who doesn’t like Republicans, make it someone with money to self-finance all the local consultants who need jobs, and — if possible — a woman or minority.
Have them run on the “I can’t wait to work with those great Democrats in D.C.” platform, spend as much time as possible criticizing the national GOP, and then ride that tide of independent voters to victory!
Gabriel Gomez met all those qualifications. And, as happened 99 times before, he lost.
DaTechGuy posted an article on his blog this morning that said pretty much the same thing in different words. He relates the events on the form of a fairy tale:
Once upon a time there was a political party in Massachusetts called the GOP that regularly lost elections for National office and that party had a choice to make.
For the 2nd time in four years they had a chance to face a Democrat after a tough primary race alone on a ballot without city counselors, town clerks, governors counselors, ballots questions , state reps or senators that might have voters who supported them to help increase the Democrat party vote.
The last time this happened everyone, including the party expected to lose. But the Tea Party base was energized, they volunteered in large numbers and they helped draw volunteers and funds from members of the GOP base nationwide. Their candidate, with nothing to lose, embraced that base and highlighted a single key issue that polled well among both the party and independents who made up the majority of the electorate in the campaign.
DaTechGuy points out that when Republican candidates alienate the Tea Party they lose. It’s not that the Tea Party is all that powerful, but the fact is that recently any enthusiasm and ideas in the Republican Party have come from the Tea Party.
The traditional Republican party has become part of the Washington establishment–they are more interested in holding on to power than representing the American people. There is very little difference between establishment Republicans and Democrats. The Tea Party is a direct threat to the Washington establishment–they want smaller government, lower taxes, transparency in government, etc. The Republican and Democrat parties represent themselves and the low-information voters who have no idea what is going on. As more Americans wake up to the direction our government is taking us, there will be fewer establishment candidates and more people who actually want to serve in office. Unless the establishment Republicans embrace the Tea Party, they will become a permanent minority party. As long as the Democrats have the unions and low-information voters, they will maintain their power in states like Massachusetts.