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Party ponders direction - Defeat triggers debate among Mass. Democrats
Boston Globe ^ | November 25, 2002 | Brian C. Mooney

Posted on 11/25/2002 2:15:59 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:08:36 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

After a crushing loss Nov. 5, conservative and liberal Democrats in Massachusetts are scrapping over control and direction of their party.

In an ostensibly Democratic state, four consecutive Republican triumphs in gubernatorial elections have set off the new clash. At a Democratic State Committee meeting last Wednesday in Southbridge, the big tent of the party was swaying as activists from both sides engaged in sharp debate over the party's course.


(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: boohoohoo
Dysfunctional Democrats play election blame game*** "The Democratic Party is a family -- a dysfunctional family, but a family. In order for the family to fix problems, they need to get together in a big circle and talk," he said.***
1 posted on 11/25/2002 2:15:59 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Democrats are shrinking in Massachusetts. Many Dems are to the RIGHT of their own party. And what's even more bad news for them is if the trend continues their long stranglehold on Congress and the Senate may come to an end in our lifetime. I don't think The Schwimmer is thinking about retirement - it doesn't mean his own seat is necessarily safe for a Democrat.
2 posted on 11/25/2002 2:22:12 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
I see a rock and a hard place for the Dems, they're scared to retreat from their LIBERAL position because they think they'll lose voters to the Green Party, yet their LIBERAL agenda is driving away voters.
3 posted on 11/25/2002 2:25:17 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Republicans also won because they had a very well-known, media-savvy candidate from an experienced political family (sound like the description of a Kennedy). If only they could get a couple more just like him to take those two Senate seats.

Any suggestions?

4 posted on 11/25/2002 2:25:43 AM PST by MHT
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
How beautiful! The Bay State surprises people even conservatives who think every one west of I-495 is a Boston liberal. They aren't. A lot of Democrats outside of Boston are Democrats out of habit and don't subscribe to the party's ultraliberal policies - they're really DINOs. If President Bush can reach out to these Dems and the independents in Massachusetts he could carry the state in 2004.
5 posted on 11/25/2002 2:28:29 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Wasn't it in Boston where union guys insisted on going into voting booths with people? Didn't help enough, huh? Funny thing, JFK was a tax cutter. The foundation of Mass. liberal politics is poisoned at the root.
6 posted on 11/25/2002 2:28:43 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
What defeat!? Like they care. A GOP head of state gives them cover! They would be happy if O'Brien won. But they don't care since Mitt won. We had Weld and Celluccii and it didn't matter one speck. In Fact a GOP head of state gives this state an aura of respect. We don't deserve it. Romney will be a good little GOP figure head and let the Democrats run the state as always.
7 posted on 11/25/2002 2:31:15 AM PST by Burkeman1
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
The Mass Dem Party has drifted away from its roots. Its no longer the blue collar, traditional values and Catholic friendly party it used to be. That's why Dems keep voting for GOP governors for its rightly perceived the Dems in the Bay State are too liberal for all but the pointy headed crowd inside the I-495 Beltway.
8 posted on 11/25/2002 2:33:58 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
'In my district, many Democrats support the death penalty, sportsmen's issues, you know, around guns, fiscal responsibility, and in many cases, lower taxes,'' said Glodis. ''But the leadership of the party is talking about bilingual education, `Clean Elections,' and gay marriage. There's a great divide.''

"Democrats" are even dumber than I thought. It's one thing to support stupid policies if you believe in them. It's much worse this way.

9 posted on 11/25/2002 2:47:20 AM PST by AZLiberty
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
O'Brien beat herself. Romney was just too professional for her to handle.

Kerry and Olver won by big margins.

The rotten dems still run the state.

My only hope is that Romney can stop the tax hikes the dems are drooling for.

MA is is as bad as OR, WA & VT... socialist cesspools, with “alternative” lifestyles.

10 posted on 11/25/2002 2:53:32 AM PST by johnny7
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To: AZLiberty
The grassroots is old-fashioned huh while the leadership is to the right of Nancy Pelosi? Well it seems to me there's a failure to communicate here.
11 posted on 11/25/2002 2:54:47 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: johnny7
Only in Boston and some of the weirder college towns. While the number of Republicans hasn't gotten bigger, there are today more Indies in Massachusetts than Democrats. And they don't automatically vote in lockstep with the in the Beltway liberal leadership.
12 posted on 11/25/2002 2:56:59 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
There is no party. They are a collection of criminals running herd over people that are rationally impaired.
13 posted on 11/25/2002 2:58:06 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I love watching them self destruct before my eyes. I always hoped for it the last 10 yrs but I guess I didn't think it would really happen. Go Progressive/Socialist Dems! Leftwards Ho!
14 posted on 11/25/2002 2:58:12 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
Yeah John F and Ted are untouchable institutions in Massachusetts but I wouldn't bet the farm on the Democratic Party in the future should they decide at some point to retire.
15 posted on 11/25/2002 3:00:16 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
"The Democrats are shrinking in Massachusetts. Many Dems are to the RIGHT of their own party. And what's even more bad news for them is if the trend continues their long stranglehold on Congress and the Senate may come to an end in our lifetime."

It has always been a riddle how Mass. arguably being the most Catholic state in the US could also be the most pro-abortion. I don't know, but suspect that Cardinal Bernadine's seamless garment is in full control of the Mass. Cardinals/bishops. Of course there is Cardinal Law. In any case, There must be little pro-life leadership in the Massachusettes Catholic Church. I also understand that the activist homosexuals are powerfull. Of course this is also tantamont to pro-abortion.

I have to believe that there are many hardworking Catholic families who would vote pro-life if they had effective pro-life leadership in the Catholic Church. This may happen sooner. rather than later. when Cardinal Law is replaced.
I can't imagine him remaining with one revelation after another becoming public knowledge.

Godspeed, The Dilg

16 posted on 11/25/2002 3:11:49 AM PST by thedilg
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To: thedilg
Hey Jack... you're entitled to your opinion but it's wrong.

MA is not moving to the right. All the people in power are socialist or liberal at best.

Catholics? HA! Rare breed up here... the old ones always vote dem.

This state is run by Kennedy and the unions.

MA will vote against Bush in 2004... they are sheep.

17 posted on 11/25/2002 3:42:17 AM PST by johnny7
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The problem still remains, though, that the MA Dems is the party of the big ideological tent at the legislative level, and the state GOP is non-existent, with conservatives being driven out as ruthlessly as by the Dems elsewhere under the reign of Weld-Cellucci-Swift. Romney has an opportunity to start to repair the damage and bring back people that are represented by the likes of Guy Glodis (who would be a Republican elsewhere), but he will have to literally start from scratch. Not an easy task at all.
18 posted on 11/25/2002 3:45:23 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
MA Dems....MADems? you may have coined a new one there....
19 posted on 11/25/2002 3:53:55 AM PST by Centaur
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Romney more than wiped that out in the small leafy town of Boxford (population 8,000) in Essex County

The town of Boxford has to be seen to be believed. It reminded me of the movie "The Stepford Wives". Every blade of grass in the entire town is perfect. Enery house costs a fortune.

These are "country club Republicans" and will ensure that even if and when the Rats are driven from power they can only be replaced by RINOs.

The only way these folks could be converted to Freepers would be for the Rats to double the state income tax and mandate weekly Gay Pride Parades through the streets of town. ;-)
20 posted on 11/25/2002 4:02:07 AM PST by cgbg
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To: fieldmarshaldj
....but he will have to literally start from scratch. Not an easy task at all.

Then he better begin. I wonder how long, strong George W. Bush coattails will help with a steady conversion.

21 posted on 11/25/2002 4:03:35 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: cgbg
....The only way these folks could be converted to Freepers would be for the Rats to....

Freepers come in all shapes and sizes, no lock-step on this site. It's nice to feel the Dems squirm. They see dark clouds and that's encouraging..

22 posted on 11/25/2002 4:07:04 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Centaur
Yea... they're MADEMS. They always vote after 10:00 PM to give you a screwing.

And it's always on a Friday night... by Monday, the sheep are at work and docile.

They say there isn't enough revenue to support their idiotic programs and the suckers buy it.

Hey... I blame the voters. Stupid is as stupid does.

23 posted on 11/25/2002 4:08:40 AM PST by johnny7
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To: Prodigal Son
I love watching them self destruct before my eyes.

The 2004 Democratic Presidential Convention will be held in Boston. It should be great theater.

24 posted on 11/25/2002 4:08:49 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: johnny7
they're MADEMS. They always vote after 10:00 PM to give you a screwing.

asking for $$ after a screwin'.....guess the term works on many levels....lol
25 posted on 11/25/2002 4:16:19 AM PST by Centaur
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To: johnny7
Why do you bother to stay in Mass. ?
26 posted on 11/25/2002 4:32:50 AM PST by Jason Kauppinen
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To: Jason Kauppinen
Because we're on the ocean. The skiing is only an hour away. Boston is a great city. It is LA, without the great weather and the smog. It's expensive, but that's because too many people want to live here.

That said, the politics stink.

27 posted on 11/25/2002 5:04:46 AM PST by Mr_Peter
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
That will be the task of the new commission, chaired by state Senator Guy W. Glodis, a conservative from Auburn; Senator-elect Jarrett T. Barrios, a Cambridge progressive; and a woman to be named later, possibly Somerville Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay.

Sheesh, no wonder the Dems are losing. Talk about mindless identity politics. I guess anyone with two X chromosomes will do. Liddy Dole, maybe, or Imelda Marcos?

28 posted on 11/25/2002 5:25:23 AM PST by jalisco555
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To: jalisco555
Yup. Must be why Massachusetts west of Boston is crawling with Indies where Rats should be.
29 posted on 11/25/2002 5:27:07 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Goldstategop, you are absolutely right about all the independents west of I-495. It would be a mistake for the GOP to write off Mass. Outside of Boston, Cambridge, Northampton & a few other liberal enclaves, this state is crawling with "Reagan Democrats" and all those independents. Many of them are very conservative and are just Democrats because their parents were. With some time, patience and hard work the Republican party could win a lot of these people over.

The biggest problem that the state GOP has here is hat those Republican governors we keep electing, don't stick around long enough to build anything upon their success. Weld never took the job seriously and now he's off in the private sector out of state. Celucci left half-way through his term to become Bush's ambassador to Canada. Swift is an incompetent benchwarmer in way over her head. Romney looks like the kind of guy whose executive experince could really turn things around for the party. Unfortunately he also looks like the kind of guy who could be very appealing on the national scene as well, leaving us back at square one once he departs for greener pastures.

The good news is, that even if Romney leaves, we should keep winning the governor's seat so long as the dems continue to run charisma-challenged party hacks like O'Brien.
30 posted on 11/25/2002 6:02:46 AM PST by Media Insurgent
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To: Centaur
"MA Dems....MADems? you may have coined a new one there...."

*snicker*

31 posted on 11/25/2002 1:57:22 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: Centaur
"MA Dems....MADems? you may have coined a new one there...."

*snicker*

32 posted on 11/25/2002 1:57:34 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
We can't really look at top-down solutions here, that will only help with retaining the Governorship, it's not helping down to the precinct level. The grassroots of the party is either rotted or non-existent and has to be wholly rejuvenated. Until that can be fixed, and new initiatives made to bring social conservative Democrats and mesh them with economic conservative Republicans, the party ain't going nowhere.
33 posted on 11/25/2002 2:02:17 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The debate: Should the party resolve that it will try to appeal to ''moderates'' and ''mainstream'' voters? Indignant liberals, including one gay and two African-American members, rose to strike those words, saying it would signal an abandonment of principles, a retreat to the political center, and might open the door wider for the fledgling Green Party. They prevailed. ''Moderates'' was deleted and ''mainstream'' became ''all voters.''

Wow. Great post. Bookmarked.

"To win elections, you can't win just with the communities of color or just the gay and lesbian community, but you can't win without them."

LOFL!!! Sounds like a real pickle.

"We will not be looking just to the right or just to the left. ... We'll look at our message, our messengers, and to whom we are sending the message..."

Translation: "We have to do a much better job of lying, and we need some real smooth liars."

34 posted on 11/25/2002 2:11:21 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: fieldmarshaldj
:"MA Dems....MADems? you may have coined a new one there...."

My relatives in Maine call people from Massachusetts "mass-holes".
Of course, Maine is no great shakes either.

35 posted on 11/25/2002 2:14:28 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Media Insurgent
"The biggest problem that the state GOP has here is that those Republican governors we keep electing, don't stick around long enough to build anything upon their success."

Very much true, but no one said it would be easy. It's practically to the point there as where the southern states were in the 1940s or 50s (minus the Governors).

"Weld never took the job seriously and now he's off in the private sector out of state."

But he sure as hell took seriously in driving conservatives (whom he hated more than Democrats) out of the party apparatus, inflicting more damage in his 6 years in office than the Dems did in 25 previous years. Mike Dukakis did more for the state GOP than Weld ever did. We can also thank Weld for helping reelect Ted Kennedy over Mitt Romney in '94 (he was a spotlight whore, didn't want it shifting to Mitt -- exactly the kind of person you DON'T want leading a party. We need team players !).

"Celucci left half-way through his term to become Bush's ambassador to Canada."

He didn't want to put in the hard work of party-building, either (especially seeing the legislative numbers sinking to unprecedented lows). It's unlikely he would've won an election outright had the Dems not put up that extremist zealot Harshbarger.

"Swift is an incompetent benchwarmer in way over her head."

She should've been elected to Congress over that Socialist John Olver, instead. She's also similarly done zilch for party-building and had petty vendettas like her predecessor Weld and would have no qualms endorsing Democrats in races where we could win.

"Romney looks like the kind of guy whose executive experince could really turn things around for the party. Unfortunately he also looks like the kind of guy who could be very appealing on the national scene as well, leaving us back at square one once he departs for greener pastures."

An accurate assessment. I'm not sure he realizes just how truly bad a shape the state party is in and how much he's going to enjoy working with a VERY hostile legislature that was counting on Shannon O'Brien to be sitting in the exec. This is why he would've been better off as a Senator serving in his 2nd term now (thanks again to Weld).

"The good news is, that even if Romney leaves, we should keep winning the governor's seat so long as the dems continue to run charisma-challenged party hacks like O'Brien."

Ah, but here's the bad news. Romney picked a HORRIBLE running mate. Kerry Healey is Jane Swift WITHOUT the political experience (she wasn't even capable of winning her own state rep. seat, unlike Swifty). Jim Rappaport would've been a smashing addition to the ticket, and he had the experience, the bucks, and the INTEREST in party building. Seeing Jim get the shaft has not led me to put a whole lot of faith in Romney... If Romney does leave for greener pastures, the Dems WILL crush Healey like an elephant on top of a paper cup, even with your hackiest-hack Dem opponent.

36 posted on 11/25/2002 2:19:17 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: Lancey Howard
"My relatives in Maine call people from Massachusetts "mass-holes". Of course, Maine is no great shakes either."

You are entering another dimension, a dimension not of sight and sound, but of the mind. You are entering....The Baldacci Zone...

*distant screams of horror*

37 posted on 11/25/2002 2:27:27 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
"Jim Rappaport would've been a smashing addition to the ticket"

I agree 100%. I voted for Rappaport in the primaries and was disappointed and a little shocked by his poor showing. Romney's championing of Healey/cold shoulder to Jim was surprisingly effective.

Healey doesn't show me much. She seems like the kind of bland patrician do-gooder who should be heading up some non-profit agency instead of running for elective office. Oh well, maybe at the very least she'll be able to avoid embarassing herself the way Swift always seemed to.

"If Romney does leave for greener pastures, the Dems WILL crush Healey like an elephant on top of a paper cup, even with your hackiest-hack Dem opponent."

So what you're saying is that will finally be Tom Birmingham's big chance?

38 posted on 11/25/2002 9:27:33 PM PST by Media Insurgent
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To: johnny7
"Catholics? HA! Rare breed up here... the old ones always vote dem. This state is run by Kennedy and the unions."

Thanks for your reply. I posited the idea that MA would vote more pro-life if the Catholic leadership became more orthodox. I infered that Cardinal Law would soon be replaced as the info of his corrupt leadership becomes public.

If I understand you properly you are saying that it won't make a difference. Basically there are only old Catholics who vote Dem. Younger Catholic people don't exist or if they do they ignore the tenents of their religion. If I am any near correct I am terribly depressed.

Godspeed, The Dilg



39 posted on 11/25/2002 10:42:09 PM PST by thedilg
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To: Media Insurgent
"I agree 100%. I voted for Rappaport in the primaries and was disappointed and a little shocked by his poor showing. Romney's championing of Healey/cold shoulder to Jim was surprisingly effective."

I was very shocked myself at that margin for Healey, though I guess the primary voters bought into the line that putting two rich white guys on the ticket might turn off people in the general. Apparently Mitt hasn't taken a look at the ENTIRE Congressional delegation lately.

"Healey doesn't show me much. She seems like the kind of bland patrician do-gooder who should be heading up some non-profit agency instead of running for elective office. Oh well, maybe at the very least she'll be able to avoid embarassing herself the way Swift always seemed to."

I wouldn't bet the farm on the latter. But, for heavens sake, Romney should've at least picked a running mate (if it wasn't to be Rappaport) who could at least win their own friggin' balliwick for a race as insignificant as State Rep !

"If Romney does leave for greener pastures, the Dems WILL crush Healey like an elephant on top of a paper cup, even with your hackiest-hack Dem opponent."

"So what you're saying is that will finally be Tom Birmingham's big chance?"

I'm kinda hoping for a comeback by John Silber. Now he would've been a GREAT Governor. Somebody who would've simulataneously pissed off most of his fellow Dems AND the RINOs. It doesn't get any better than that !

40 posted on 11/26/2002 9:49:27 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
If John Silber runs again, look for the Green party to get a record amount of the vote. They'd probably garner 50% or more in Cambridge and some other college towns.

Don't see it happening though. Unless Romney completely tanks, their next candidate will be a sacrificial lamb taken from the ranks of the hackmeisters. The decision process will go something like this:

DEM 1: "Romney looks tough to beat. Who we going to run this year?"

DEM 2: "Get Warren Tolman on the line! I don't think he's doing anything these days."

DEM1: "Good idea. And let's dust off that commerical where his wife calls him 'hot'. It'll help us win all those suburban women we thought would vote for O'Brien in '02!

Okay, maybe that's just a flight of fancy, but I can dream, can't I?
41 posted on 11/26/2002 10:11:54 AM PST by Media Insurgent
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To: Media Insurgent
Heh... Might go with Robert Reich... "The Socialist with the stature to lead Taxachusetts !"
42 posted on 11/26/2002 11:23:55 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
The problem with Reich is that he's actually done something outside of Massachusetts. (As dubious of an accomplishment as being in the Clinton administration might be.)

Dems in this state have a soft spot for provincial hacks. They'd take an assistant dog catcher from Lowell or the Barnstable County Cranberry Bog Commissioner over someone with national experience.
43 posted on 11/26/2002 11:54:42 AM PST by Media Insurgent
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To: Media Insurgent
Oh, you said "hack." I was thinking of a maniacal midget QUACK. :-)

If they do want to go with a hack, why not go with Stevie "Wonder" Grossman ?

44 posted on 11/26/2002 1:12:09 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: johnny7
I get so tired of having to correct people on this...Bush lost Oregon in 2000 by less than 7,000 votes and the State House is controlled by the GOP. The State Senate was also controlled by the GOP, but is currently split 15-15.

Oregon is about like the nation as a whole. Our congressional (House) delegation is 4-1 RATS because of gerrymandering.

45 posted on 11/26/2002 1:27:21 PM PST by B Knotts
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