All politics is local

In the past few years partisan rancor has corroded O’Neill’s iron law of politics. Nothing has angered me more than the sight of
Mayor Giuliani campaigning for the man who has cut funds for New York
City and redistributed “homeland security” money to fire departments in
rural America. Despite bringing home the bacon, Daschle is
ousted from the Senate.

It’s time we go back to politics as usual.

As I wrote two days ago, voting isn’t the end but rather the beginning of a process. Now the real work begins.

Massachusetts just handed Mitt Romney the most embarrassing defeat
of his career. Outspending Democrats 2-1, and putting his personal
reputation and popularity on the line, Romney not only failed to win
Republican seats in the legislature, he lost 3 seats.

The following is the text of a letter I sent to our state
legislators, Senate President Robert Travaglini. I sent a similar letter to our representative Alice Wolf.

Dear Senate President Travaglini:

It was my pleasure and honor to cast my ballot for you yesterday,
and I am proud that so many of our fellow Massachusetts citizens
likewise voted for Democratic candidates for state office.

We citizens not only soundly rejected Bush, but also rebuffed
Romney’s anemic view of state government. Let us remember that Bush’s
brand of compassionate conservatism is a net gain for states like
Massachusetts, where we get back $.79 on the dollar of federal spending.
What does that mean? The more Bush cuts taxes, the more resources
Massachusetts has to invest in our own government. And I
believe we in Massachusetts can do great things in state government now
that Romney’s slash-and-burn campaign has been routed.

When faced with Bush’s refusal to fund stem-cell research,
California took matters into its own hands with a $3 billion bond
measure to invest in this vital technology. We in Massachusetts must adopt this can-do attitude to restore our Commonwealth to
world-class status.

Senate President Travaglini, you have a mandate from we the voters to lead the Senate:

  • We rejected Romney’s adoption of the national Republican politics of
    mean-spirited selfishness. Massachusetts is still a compassionate state
    that cares about our poor and working-class.
  • We rejected Bush’s ideology of tax cuts at all costs. We believe
    that fair taxation and responsive government are two sides of the same
    budget coin.
  • If
    the federal government won’t fund No Child Left Behind, we can make
    sure our kids get the education they need. If they cut Section 8, we
    can make the difference for housing our working class families. If Bush
    won’t consider alternative fuels, we can make Massachusetts the Texas
    of the world’s future energy supply. If the national Republicans want
    to promote states’ rights, who are state Democrats to argue?

To do these things, our state legislature must be focused and
determined. Never has the state been as unified as it is today. Do not
squander the opportunity to restore government revenues and the
greatness of our Commonwealth.

Kerry IS a wimp

As Cheney put it in his own nasty way, if Kerry can’t stand up to
Howard Dean, “how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaida?” For that
matter, how can we expect him to stand up to Karl Rove?

Why was the Kerry campaign not ready for this contingency in Ohio?

I’m listening
Seek and Destroy

Why were they not ready with the simple message, “Your vote doesn’t count until it’s counted”?

Why didn’t we already lay down a media ground war over the past four years to win the idea that every vote should be counted, regardless of whether it would affect the outcome,
on sheer principle? Isn’t it worth counting every ballot for the sake
of literally having your vote count? Do baseball games stop because
it’s “statisically impossible” to come back from a 30-0 deficit in the 9th inning? (I take back everything I said about Election 2000 griping, except for our inability to develop a counter-punch after 4 years of griping).

We should have been ready to present the case that not counting
votes is simply un-American. Just on principle. Everywhere. Regardless
of cost.

Without the popular vote, and in “war conditions,” the American
public has no stomach for uncertainty. But the Kerry campaign should
have been ready to settle their fears of “another Florida” yet still
proceed with some count.


I want the heads of Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton, and every Democratic pundit who claimed that “electability” was the key to victory this year.