Voting with My Feet in Massachusetts
One of the things I'll miss about Massachusetts is the revolving opportunity to vote against John Kerry every few years. For a while, of course, I had the privilege of voting against Ted Kennedy as well, and if I had lived a few towns to the south, I could have voted against Barney Frank, too.
There is something very satisfying about voting against extremely bad people. The rest of the country gets to see our liberal hacks only in the news. In Massachusetts, I proudly voted against them.
In this state, you'll quickly lose your mind if you start looking for candidates you actually like. On the rare occasions when Massachusetts elects a non-Democrat, such as Mitt Romney or Scott Brown, it is always Mitt Romney or Scott Brown. Massachusetts has an astonishing number of execrable politicians, and no good ones. Mitt Romney may or may not be a real conservative now, but he wasn't one back then. To the degree that he is now a conservative, it happened after he got out of Boston.
Scott Brown, of course, is the most liberal Republican in the Senate. Technically, I voted for him, but in my heart I was voting against Martha Coakley, his opponent. It was about 30 degrees that day, and raining hard. In an ordinary election, Scott Brown would not be worth the weather, but I would have rolled in pollen and walked through an African beehive to vote against Coakley. If you've never heard of her, you owe me a favor. Try to imagine Nancy Pelosi's spoiled little sister with a Boston accent. This time around, Brown is going against Elizabeth Warren. Personally, I think she is better than Coakley was, but that isn't saying much.
For decades, Massachusetts has hosted a disproportionately high number of nationally recognized liberal clowns. You could make a case that California has more recognizable loons, but even the unholy trinity of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Diane Feinstein could scarcely be worse than Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, and John F. Kerry. If California is worse, it's only because Kennedy is dead and Frank is retiring -- the most patriotic thing he's ever done. Remember also that California has six times more people from which to select its raging moonbats. Massachusetts is doing an astonishing thing: consistently choosing the nation's leading wackos, despite being so small. The state punches well above its weight.
But Massachusetts isn't limited to nationally known moonbats. It also hosts a wide range of locally known moonbats. The representative for the sixth district, where I lived, is a man named John F. Tierney. He isn't particularly noteworthy on a national scale -- just a dime-store leftist with no accomplishments to speak of and a D in front of his name. He looked like a good target for the Tea Party to knock out in 2010, and a good candidate named Bill Hudak made a run at it. You would think that the national mood in 2010 would have been enough to boost said Hudak.
You would think a major October surprise four weeks from the election might do the trick, too. On October 6, Tierney's wife was charged with, and pled guilty to, four counts of tax evasion for channeling over seven million dollars from an illegal gambling ring run by her fugitive brother in the Caribbean. That's a scandal that could damage a campaign, right?
Not here. Tierney, formerly a lawyer, had no idea that seven million dollars had passed through his house from an outlaw brother running an illegal gambling ring in the Caribbean to his wife, and then out the backdoor to his other brother-in-law and his cocaine addict stepson. No idea whatsoever -- just the sort of thing that could happen to any member of Congress from Massachusetts. He then proceeded to run away with the election, winning in a landslide by 14 percentage points. If the man is this clueless about his own household, how well do you think he understands his constituents?
Oh, but don't worry; justice was served. His wife was sentenced to jail for 30 days. Something stinks in the sixth district.
Of course, in Massachusetts, Tierney's 14-point landslide was actually quite close. A few miles south, Ed Markey has carried the gerrymandered 7th district for 18 straight elections. His closest call was 1994, when he squeaked through by a margin of 28 percentage points. In eight of his 18 campaigns, he has not even faced an opponent.
Markey is a man who should be more famous than he is. There is clear evidence that he does not even live in his own district (I don't blame him; its gone to hell since he took office), and his partisan demagoguery is right up there with Princess Nancy and his neighbor Barney Frank. For some reason, despite his best efforts, he hasn't quite hit the big time in the way they have. The national circuit of squealing hippies is just one or two notches above him. He has been striving for it for years, and he may get there now that Frank is leaving.
Right now, one of his better-known claims to fame is probably the presidential election of 2004, in which he voted to nullify all electoral votes in Ohio because he didn't like the results. He was first in line to take Kerry's Senate seat had Kerry become president, and he didn't appreciate the people of Ohio getting in his way.
That is how things work in Massachusetts.
Paul Revere rode through Markey's district in 1775 to warn the people that the tyrants were coming. If he were alive today, he'd be dismayed to see that they've proudly elected their own tyrant eighteen times in a row, twice as long as King George ruled them.
Above I mentioned that Markey's 7th district is gerrymandered. I'm referring to the ridiculous addition of Natick and Framingham, where his district pinches almost completely closed, then suddenly opens up a new arm, annexing both towns. But even Markey, with his 18 consecutive elections, is still a novice at the fine art of "district restructuring." His friend Barney Frank's fourth district connects Foxborough with Norfolk literally by the width of a single road, then connects Dover with Wellesley by a single road as well. On a map, Frank's district looks like three separate islands, entirely surrounded by other districts. It is not a coincidence that Frank is retiring the same year his district is finally being fixed, and it shouldn't be a surprise that he got away with it for so long, considering that his great forefather Elbridge Gerry, Mr. Gerrymander himself, invented his craft in Massachusetts.
Is there hope for Massachusetts? Barely. In 2010, while the rest of the country ran hard to the right, Massachusetts did not elect a single Republican into Congress. The state House of Representatives is 80% Democrat, and the Senate is 90%. Governor Deval Patrick, a liberal Democrat, whose speeches our president is known to plagiarize, won re-election by a comfortable margin in a three-way race against two other candidates who would qualify as liberal Democrats in any other state.
The only real hope for this state is the results of the 2010 census, which have forced the gerrymandered districts to straighten out. This makes Barney Frank's district more competitive, and has forced Markey into the fifth district, possibly giving him a tougher race. John Tierney's antics may also make things difficult for him.
Personally, I voted with my feet.
The author can be contacted at tsweidler at yahoo dot com.