Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Mass. GOP Senate Primary - Gabriel Gomez Receives National Press, Local Right-Wing Rants on Social Issues – The Perfect Candidate?
The MA Senate GOP Primary Candidates: Gomez, Sullivan, Winslow - image from Springfield Republican, MassLive
Massachusetts needs to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by John Kerry’s appointment as Secretary of State, a primary set for April 30th, with a general election June 25th, sees, what is referred to as a “crowded field” of Republican’s. The State GOP, aiming to be more grassroots, held a straw-poll at a nearby yacht club, which saw Dan Winslow, a State Representative, win the nod, followed by Gabriel Gomez, and in third, former U.S. Attorney (noted as: former George W. Bush official in referenced article). (The Hill Blog) Of course, straw polls, being what they are, are hardly indicative (i.e. Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann) of what may or may not take place in an actual GOP primary in the State of Massachusetts.
What has piqued this bloggers interest in this particular candidate are several items that have stood out over the past few weeks. First, the candidate himself: Gomez is a first generation American, Hispanic, a former Navy Seal, a businessman in Boston, and he is not a professional Politician (the only one if the field of 5 (combined Democrat and Republicans) in the mix). Secondly, the national media has picked up on Gomez, from the San Francisco Chronicle mentioned in notes on candidates yesterday, and now the Weekly Standard, a conservative publication who was one of the first to push for Scott Brown’s run is highlighting Gomez in multiple articles, including one comparing him to Scott Brown. Gomez is not a Scott Brown, as Brown had been involved in the MA State Senate, and Gomez, has not held an elected office. Further, his positions on social issues are, in a word, sane – He is personally pro-life, but is letting sleeping dogs lie with Roe vs. Wade, and he is not jumping on board the Anti-Gay Marriage platform. This has the rightwing in MA going someone ballistic, at Red Mass Group. Apparently, Gomez is smart enough to know that his position on either of these issues is a moot point, and if he should he change his position to fit that of the fringe- it is the kiss of death in MA politics, and most likely anywhere else in the Northeast. The Problem with values or issues based drum-bangers' is that they muddy the water – the fact is that a U.S. Senator will have no say in the fact that Massachusetts Law supports Gay Marriage, and will also have no say in overturning Roe vs. Wade. Those who use these issues, on both sides of the body politic, are doing so for personal gain only- and have no intention of solving the “problem” – evidence: Roe Vs. Wade was decided in 1973 (Cornell). Since that decision allowing abortions in all 50 states (prior to that it was a State Issue – whereby some states allowed, while others did not) the White House has been graced by both Republicans (notably, Reagan, Bush and Bush) and Democrats (Carter, Clinton, Obama), the House and Senate have changed party hands several times, and on more than one occasion, the Republicans had total control, so did the Democrats – yet – nothing changed, even under the optimum conditions for change to occur. Therefore this issue, and the Gay Marriage Issue, are personal choices, dictated by laws, which the value voter cannot (unless there is a shift towards a theocracy and that is not going to happen), cannot solve.
There is, of course, more criticism, but that is the way with primaries, example: Markey and Lynch, running on the Democrat Ticket are taking a few pot shots. (Or their supporters are which is more to the point.)
Gomez is not shy about reaching out to the growing Hispanic population in Massachusetts – who, as noted in the Weekly Standard piece, overwhelmingly voted for Elizabeth Warren over Scott Brown in the general election – 4 to 1. Although hi bi-lingual ability somehow irked the Boston Globe who’s opinion piece suggested that the tactic of using one’s ability to speak in Spanish, is somehow politically divisive! (Boston Globe – Americans Speak Every Language But only English Unites)
What this tells the casual observer is that the GOP has attracted a talented, patriotic conservative who is also from one of the much coveted voting blocs that is normally thought of as “belonging to the Democrat Party”, and, like Rubio, or Cruz, has given the GOP the nod over the DNC – beginning to dispel the myth that the Republican Party only attracts angry old white men. (Look at DNC Leadership and RNC Leadership – and note if there are any differences). He has irked the left, which has caused a position change to English only, he has irritated the rightwing, and he is getting national attention, which will translate into campaign funds. He is personable, he hit the ground running, and he appears to be able to go the distance. If, and the big if, the primary attracts independents that will switch affiliation and care enough to vote in the primary.
In a State that is dominated by Democrats, with a serious ground game (trolling for votes in nursing homes, and having polling stations conveniently parked at Senior Centers, with a 13 hour time frame to pull out an extra 30,000 voters), it is the candidate that can overcome the 36% Democrat Base, and the 10% of Independents that lean Democrat, to pull off a special election. The candidate that wins the GOP Primary must face that machine. As of now, it is difficult to say if this is even possible – Unless there is a candidate who is receiving national attention in a big way, brining in not only cash but ground support in order to get the message across, and not cave in to the right or the left of Massachusetts politics, but stand steady in the middle. If anyone truly believes that Pro-Life - Winslow, or U.S. Attorney under George W. Bush, Michael Sullivan can pull off a general after winning a primary, then they are, in this opinion, sadly mistaken. Granted, Gomez is untested, however, that adds, not detracts from his chances in a climate that is still anti-Bush – and growing more anti-Government by the day.
If the later does not occur, one can count on Markey or Lynch going to the Senate. (And in that Scenario, if one is a Democrat (not a Progressive) one might want to consider voting for Lynch. (Lynch is running as a populist, man of the people, and middle class, union guy – versus Markey who has been endorsed by Barney Frank.) Side note from historical perspective: Although Gomez identifies himself as a “New Republican” – he is actually a pre-1960’s Republican, the party of choice for Dr. Martin Luther King, and others who understood that those who initialized Emancipation were not Democrats.