My view, as well as those of Boston critics got more ammunition in yesterday’s Democratic primary to replace the late Senator Kennedy. It was an abortion-rights extremist, Martha Coakley, who brought home the nomination. Yet in spite of the historic nature of the election—this would, after all, be the first senator in the post-Kennedy era—less than 10 percent of eligible voters made it to the polls. Before you blame the weather, the skies were clear. This clearly suggests to me that the problem is not that the good people of Boston and the state overall are wild-eyed left-wingers. But rather, that it’s only the wild-eyed left-wingers that are getting active. Primary elections in Massachusetts have devolved into a debate amongst themselves.
This is the Democratic crisis in the nation at-large. In the big picture, the Republican Party has provided a temporary refuge for some of us, with a commitment to a strong national defense and the appointment of good judges to the courts. But we also know that there remains a divide between us on the GOP on core questions of economic values. So the alliance is temporary and uneasy. But it’s worse in Massachusetts, because the Republicans are no answer at all. Coakley’s opponent in the general election will be Scott Brown. He is good on defense issues, but shares Coakley’s commitment to legalized abortion. In this, Brown is in the recent Massachusetts Republican tradition of Bill Weld and Mitt Romney, who each won statewide elections.
Let’s be clear on one point—I would vote for Brown, because of his national security posture and he does come out against gay marriage. But I’m not going to pretend this is a great candidate, and I don’t intend to sit in judgment of the Massachusetts Catholics who may opt for Coakley. I’m convinced that would be the wrong move, but this is hardly a clear-cut contest. The Massachusetts GOP tradition—which includes Romney’s closing of medical centers that resulted in mentally ill people being on the street (my source here is a Bostonian who normally votes Republican by the way) is not going to solve the Bay State’s political crisis.
Getting the silent majority to vote its convictions is the answer. Just as the Boston Red Sox have had their good name tarred in recent years by an emerging class of fans that acts more like Yankee loyalists in Sox garb, the Democratic Party has had its good name tarred by radical left-wingers who are every bit as elitist as their Republican counterparts. It’s time for normal Democrats (and normal Sox fans for that matter) to stand up and reclaim what’s ours.