NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 14, 2012

From anger to a plan for the Republican Party

(Continued)

Many of Fishman’s votes most likely came from NOTA voters. Massachusetts doesn’t offer the “none of the above” ballot choice, so Democrats who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Tierney, yet were uncomfortable voting Republican, chose the third name on the ballot, whoever he was. Casual independents who didn’t like the negative television ads, and couldn’t be bothered studying the differences between the two major-party candidates, went there, too. I’m convinced that a large majority of those 16,000 voters would have preferred Tisei, if they’d had to choose between two.

I’d asked Dan Fishman to please not risk re-electing Tierney; on election night, I was so disgusted that I vowed never to call myself a Libertarian again. Starting now, I’m just an independent who wants to save America but knows that spouting Libertarian platitudes and acting as if pragmatic voters don’t have “principles” isn’t going to accomplish anything.

Not that Tisei didn’t have other problems, as the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Massachusetts Teachers Association sent me 22 fliers associating reform-minded, pro-choice Tisei with the most radical members of the Republican Party and tea party.

A few days after the election, John Walsh, chairman of the Democratic Party, was asked by WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller what the Massachusetts Republicans did wrong. Walsh replied that they’re “jerks” and “pretty soon they’ll have to have candidates that don’t think rape is a good thing.”

This vicious “lies for silly women” strategy is what Republicans are up against: How can they win? A new push by a few Massachusetts social conservatives, to adopt the national Republican platform denying abortion even to save the life of the mother, isn’t going to help. I’m sure these fundamentalists won’t prevail, any more than fundamentalist Libertarians will ever win anything, but nevertheless, they make me angry.

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