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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, December 22, 2010

When the music stops

The posturing began even before the announcement. No knives are being shown yet, but they are surely being sharpened. One member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation is going to be out of a job in 2013 and the next year should provide ample entertainment for the viewers.

That the stakes are high was already obvious. Before the first census count was released the two western Massachusetts representatives announced their 2012 intentions. And with both John Olver and Richard Neal holding potentially powerful posts should Democrats storm back, their message was clear: don't mess with us.

While the Herald gleefully recited the weaknesses of each eastern Mass. Democrat, there is a dearth of qualified Republican challengers to topple the incumbents (Bill Hudak anyone?). And in any event, the Legislature's Democrat-dominated redistricting committee is hardly going to start by looking for a sacrificial lamb.

That means some a lot of "caucuses" where the members either come to agreement on their own for a course of action or force Sen. Stan Rosenberg of Amherst and Rep. Mike Moran of Boston the chance to engineer a steel cage match on par with the time Barney Frank beat Margaret Heckler in 1982.

So don't count on the bloodbath that would ensue with two Democrats pitted against each other.

My money is on either Mike Capuano or Steve Lynch (despite his early denial) voluntarily giving up his seat to take on Scott Brown.

The junior senator's now-obvious connections to out-of-state cash is a blessing and a curse. He has the cash to barrage an opponent but it's a form of Kryptonite as Tea Party supporters learn he is beholden to the same bankers who created the mess that help spark their movement in the first place.

Lynch is ambitious but his vote against health care reform is a double-edged loser for him. Shunning the bill allegedly for being two weak hurt him tremendously among liberals who already hold him in suspicion. And "too weak" is exactly the wrong reason for those opposed the law as creeping socialism.

Capuano made a less-than-spectacular debut on the statewide stage as the last angry man to Martha Coakley's calm and competent plodder. There are many Democrats wishing they had a do-over on that one and Capuano has no doubt learned from his mistakes.

Let's say I'm seeing a Capuano-Brown tilt in 2012 -- with a lot of relieved Democratic incumbents holding on to their seats.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

I also believe in the Up Not Out scenario. But because of the geography of his district I see it being Barney Frank running against Scott Brown. Rep Frank did very well against a Scott-Brown-like Sean Bielat for his reelection.

If there is anyone in the delegation that could be retired it would be Steve Lynch because he has lost the respect of the far left of his party.

December 22, 2010 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only we had one Republican, it would have been fun to watch the gerrymandering by the Dems to oust him from his spot.

December 22, 2010 9:26 AM  

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