NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 14, 2012

From anger to a plan for the Republican Party

Part 1 of 2

“There’s no hope.”

— Jerry

Williams, WRKO talk radio host

From 1989 to 1995, I spent two hours a week on Jerry Williams’ radio talk show, first with Howie Carr, then with Bob Katzen. It was fun until the last few months, when the above quote became Jerry’s mantra. It was really annoying to an optimistic activist like me.

I now realize our difference was due to his superior age and experience. He died in 2003, or I’d have called him election night and told him he was right.

Avi Nelson, still on WRKO on Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m., talked last weekend about the stages of electoral grief: “foreboding, denial (maybe Ohio called too soon, voter fraud in Florida), shock, depression, disgust, anger, leading to resolve or drop out.”

I started with heavy “foreboding,” therefore avoided too much “shock,” except for the congressional race. “Depression” isn’t in my DNA; I went straight to “disgust,” then “anger,” which lasted for three full days. It was focused on the Libertarian candidate Dan Fishman, who got 16,668 votes; Tisei lost to Tierney by 3,650 votes.

Now I seriously doubt that there are 16,000 Libertarians in the 6th Congressional District. Someone “offended” by Tisei’s position on social issues posted on a Facebook page that, “Maybe we social-conservatives deserve some credit for Tisei’s loss. Maybe that’s where the protest vote for Fishman came from.” No doubt. But I have to believe that most social conservatives, as well as most Libertarians, wouldn’t vote for a third-party candidate if it could mean re-electing John Tierney, which is what happened.

At least those foolish Libertarians who did vote for Fishman were voting for someone who shared their values, no matter how futile the campaign. The soc-cons who voted for Fishman re-elected Tierney, one of the biggest fiscal and social liberals in Congress. How dumb is that? Perhaps their motivation wasn’t so much ideological as bigoted against Tisei, who is not just in favor of gay marriage, but gay himself. So ideological prissiness, stupidity or bigotry: Take your pick, but you still can’t have reached the number 16,668.

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