Endorsements on Parade: Markey Your Ballot…
In less than three and a half years, Massachusetts has experienced no fewer than three US Senate elections. The first came about when Ted Kennedy died. The second was for a new term in his seat. Now we are the throws of the third brought on by the resignation of John Kerry to become Secretary of State.
We in Massachusetts do not have small Senators. The nation was born here. The commonwealth’s own governing documents predate the US Constitution. Men (and now women) of great stature have historically represented us. Kerry, too, was one of these Senators and, as we argued for the seat in contention last year, we must replace him with someone who can fit that role.
Congressman Ed Markey of Malden is that someone. An accomplished legislator, a man of conviction and, by many accounts, genuine, if moreso in person than on the stump, he should represent Massachusetts in the Senate.
Some, though hardly all of the criticisms of him and his campaign, are also unfair. Despite not running a real election in almost thirty years, he has done well on the campaign trail. Of course, in the realm of special Senate elections, his only comparator is Attorney General Martha Coakley. By that standard he has excelled, but that alone is not enough.
The campaign has been careful, cautious not to rock the boat and the natural political order in Massachusetts that favor Markey. Although this only makes sense, some of the energy and strategy of last year’s Senate race are absent. Of course, Elizabeth Warren’s race was a moment in time, but with staff that played roles in other dynamic races, a bit more pizzazz should not be a heavy lift.
The campaign’s faults notwithstanding, Markey is right on the issues, and just as importantly clear about them. One may fault him for absolutism on Social Security or the mortgage interest deduction, but you know where he stands. He shows the appropriate amount of concern for privacy in light of the recently revealed NSA programs, warning that we cannot be cavalier about our rights.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Markey’s candidacy is his dedication to the environment. In this moment, when catastrophic climate change threatens us, we need leaders in the Senate who possess both the knowledge and drive to address these matters.
By contrast, the Republican, Gabriel Gomez, calls himself a “Green Republican,” but there is more evidence he is referring to the color of money rather than the health of the planet. While we appreciate Gomez’s acknowledgement that science is not fraud, it is action not idle beliefs the environment needs.
On almost all other matters, the only one of Gomez’s convictions we can be certain of is that he is not a career politician and he took an oath to the Constitution when he was in service (incidentally the same Constitution mandates the same of all elected officeholders including Markey).
Between his bizarro letter to Governor Patrick urging his appointment to replace Kerry as interim senator to his mushy stands on countless other issues, there is no core to evaluate. When backed into a corner on an issue, we are left with some platitude about being a Navy SEAL. Thank you for your service Mr. Gomez, but it is patronizing to use that as a substitute for real answers to how you will serve your constituents.
“Give me a chance,” he says, after falsely describing Markey as ineffective and blaming him for the national debt (racked up at the most alarming paces under Republicans in Congress and the White House). He says only he can bring Democrats and Republicans together because he is a moderate.
Well, that does not tell us how he will bring them together instead just asking us to take a leap of faith. Indeed, history has already shown that a moderate Republican from Massachusetts, such as he was, could not bring his party into modernity and reason. The Scott Brown era was when Republican made a hairpin turn to the right. He lost his place as the filibuster-breaking 60th vote when the Republican minority grew, leaving Brown impotent and too often taking immoderate votes anyway.
Gomez will be just as limp, but from day one.
Gomez likes to snipe at Markey’s lengthy legislative career making not so subtle jabs at the home Markey and his wife share in Maryland when he is in Washington. Too many reps and senators in Washington know nothing of the matters upon which they legislate. We need less of that, not more vapid image-only elected officials.
It is Markey’s experience at writing legislation and not being a political movie star that makes him the more qualified candidate. He is right on the issues and clear on them. Markey for Senate this Tuesday, June 25.