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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Together they can't

The campaign strategy is so pathetic that if it weren't for the ever-diligent Statehouse News Service (subscription required), no one would know about the Massachusetts Republican Party game plan for the fall: run against Deval Patrick.

Of course this pronouncement from the mount came on the same day as the GOP's latest, greatest hope, Jim Ogonowski, fell 30 signatures shy of qualifying for the ballot to run against Sen. John Kerry.

And less than a month after the GOP acknowledges it will contest only about one-quarter of the House and Senate legislative seats.

No word of any of these stories on the Republican Party web site, although the state GOP did take them time to issue a "my presidential candidate is better than your presidential candidate" raspberry.

Leave it to the last diehard GOP zealot left in Massachusetts to blame all the state's ills on the one-party domination -- without looking at the myriad reasons the Republican Party in Massachusetts is about as popular as the Los Angeles Lakers. And has been for more than 30 years.

The national party has had a lot to do with the withering of the GOP brand. Newt Gingrich-style slash and burn tactics -- not to mention George Bush incompetence -- doesn't inspire Massachusetts voters to sign up.

But the state party has failed miserably for decades at creating its own brand and candidates.

Oh sure, the state GOP was able to elect four straight governors -- three of whom abandoned the state physically or mentally before their terms were up to pursue better personal opportunities.

But the party has consistently failed to do the work at the grassroots -- building up its legislative contingent and building for the future.

Remember Team Romney's plan to gain legislative seats? Just like Myth himself, it's gone with the wind.

Ogonowski's embarrassment is just the latest sad chapter: here was a candidate who made a heckuva run at an open House seat. With all due respect, all that Niki Tsongas really brought to the special election last year was a golden name in the 5th Congressional District.

Ogonowski ran a solid campaign and came within a reasonable hailing distance. A rematch this year, before Tsongas can claim true incumbent status, would have been a wise move.

But nope. Whether on his own or with the party's blessing (silent or otherwise) Ogonowski opted to go statewide and challenge John Kerry. And wind up 30 signatures shy of the ballot.

Now there is no Senate primary that could have raised the visibility of Jeff Beatty, the sole GOP Senate candidate; only four of 10 U.S. House races and a dearth of legislative races. So the powers-that-be at the state GOP target Patrick and his current unpopularity (according to the polls run by the TV station that employs the father of the party's chief spokesman).

Says state GOP boss Peter Torkildsen:
"Deval Patrick ran on a message of together we can. He's done virtually nothing except spend money, and for a lot of the candidates their communities are suffering. Taxpayers don't have the property tax relief that was promised."
All quite true. And a lot of it caused by Patrick's rookie mistakes. And a lot more of it caused by the opposition of House Speaker Sal DiMasi. Who runs a branch with a solid Democratic majority so that what he wants, he gets.

But you can't help but marvel at the the real heart of this brilliant campaign strategy. Patrick is not on the ballot. And there aren't enough Republicans running for House and Senate seats to make a difference -- even if the GOP weren't destined for a historic shellacking in a year when Republican is close to a four-letter word.

The jury is still out on Patrick's ability to live up to "Together We Can." Not so with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

Even if they could find a "we" they have proven conclusively over the years that they can't.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

RedMassGroup is a microcosm of everything wrong with the Mass. Republican party. It's populated almost entirely by hard core Republican operatives who bash anyone who dare disagree with them.

The problem is, to quote a recent post on BMG, they've become the "Torture a Gay Immigrant for Jesus party" AND they somehow think this is a winning pitch in Massachusetts. Well that, and running on not being Democrats (the old "checks and balances" argument).

To be specific, incredibly homophobic former Mass. leg. Peter Morin (aka wavemaker) and incredibly stupid Ogonowski partisan Rob Eno (aka EaBo Clipper), pummel any and all who deviate from the GOP platform. Throw in a couple of ethically challenged State Committee members, including the incomparably amoral Cynthia Stead (aka Peter Pocupine), and you have a recipe for disaster.

The best summary I've seen comes from conservative radio announcer Ken Pittman, in response to an attack by Mr. Eno:


For whatever reason, you and your buddy Wave, connected at the hip (or that general area) have lambasted anyone who disagrees.

Well, I've disagreed and I've been right all along. You two go out of your way to piss people off like some appointed mother hens to the room but end up "losing sleep" over posts yourself.

The both of you believe yourselves to be political experts but are part of one of the most losing political efforts in US History; the Massachusetts Republican Party.

New ideas enter and you insist they must be stifled because the course you run is best.

I think you are out of your mind and that you should reconsider how effective you are at this. You have done your best to make this the Red Mess Group.

June 04, 2008 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, here. Word on the street is Ms. Stead was the source for the mother character in "The Manchurian Candidate." EaBo is to young to be the source for the husband, but the shoe does fit.

June 07, 2008 12:58 PM  

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