< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Premature victory lap

The skies were gray in Boston yesterday but the sun was shining brightly in Worcester yesterday, at least in the DCU Center where the beleaguered Massachusetts Republican Party overwhelmingly nominated Charlie Baker.

And while the Baker team had much to celebrate for squeezing out Christy Mihos and avoiding a primary, the jury is still out on whether happy days are really here again for the Grand Old Party, Massachusetts division. And the reason can be summed up in two words:

Martha Coakley.

Yes, the attorney general whose name has become a punch line for the inept campaign that put Scott Brown into "the people's seat" once held by Ted Kennedy. And whose electoral loss doomed health care reform.

Nothing should symbolize the snapshot nature of politics and polls better than that reality. Except for the the equally harsh reality that the state GOP failed to produce a challenger for Coakley in an attorney general campaign where she could be vulnerable among Democrats furious over her pathetic Senate run.

But the real test will come with the filing deadline later this month for legislative seats. Has the traditionally up ticket party actually attempted to build a grassroots squad to add to a caucus that could fit into a Statehouse phone booth -- if those hadn't already disappeared like the caucus itself?

Baker and Richard Tisei will make a formidable team to challenge Deval Patrick and Tim Murray (and compete for anti-incumbent votes with Tim Cahill and Paul Loscocco.) And the party may have some candidates to mount a challenge and actually send a member to the U.S. House of Representatives.

But real "change" of the type being promised will never happen without changes in the Great and General Court, where Democratic dominance is so strong it doesn't matter that a fellow Democrat is sitting in the Corner Office.

After all, we just saw a show of strength from House Speaker Robert DeLeo which amounts to a collective extended middle digit to Patrick's uneasiness over bringing slot machines into the state's tracks.

We saw what a legislative caucus could do when Bill Weld swept into office in 1990 during the last big economic downturn. But the GOP could not hold those gains and when Mitt Romney tried again in 2004, his "team" actually lost ground and Mitt began the Long Good-bye.

So congratulations to Baker and Tisei. Hello Mary Connaughton, Kamal Jain, Karen Polito and William C. Campbell.

But I will hold my applause about the Massachusetts Republican Party rebirth until I see how many contested legislative races there are -- and how many candidates actually win.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home