When I called upon Republicans in the MA House of Representatives to start thinking about a post-Brad Jones GOP (& to act upon it), one person responded by stating that rank-and-file Republicans must like him as a leader otherwise he wouldn’t get re-elected. But that argument to me doesn’t mean anything. Fear can make people do things that are against their political principles (let alone the principles of their political party) – especially when they witness what happens to other members of their caucus who are perceived to lose favor with (or incur the envy of) Jones himself.
Take for example Jones’ decision to remove Shaunna O’Connell from the Ways & Means Committee & replace her with Matt Beaton. I’m sure Beaton is a nice guy but he comes from a district that’s considered “safe” for a Republican. O’Connell comes from the city of Taunton – not exactly a bastion of GOP strength. You’d think that a rising star like O’Connell would find a mentor in Jones. You’d think that he would keep her in a high profile position to give her the leverage she needs in a city like Taunton. You’d think that both Jones & O’Connell would work together on an urban strategy that is ESSENTIAL for the GOP’s long-term success. “Let’s win one for the Gipper,” you’d hope they’d cheer!
But then again I pinch myself & remember that it’s Brad Jones we’re talking about here. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the closet when it comes to Republican strategy in both its short term & long term forms. That lack of mentorship & support was demonstrated yet again when a study done by Leah Cole didn’t get passed in a conference committee report on the budget. If Jones wanted that study to get through, it would’ve gone through in a heartbeat.
But does Jones have the heart to assist his members? From what I’ve heard, Jones has been AWOL when it comes to attending the few available events for GOP state representative candidate Carol Claros as she runs for office.
Notice the pattern here? Jones appears to distance himself from strong, independent Republican women whose leadership qualities present a sharp contrast to the “lead-from-behind” boy’s club that best exemplifies the House Minority Leader’s office. That wasn’t always the case (Elizabeth Poirier was appointed by Jones to be Assistant House Minority Whip) so one has to wonder why Jones no longer cultivates women to hold positions of power within the House Minority Leader’s office. Well, maybe that’s the price a party pays when it allows its alleged leaders to enjoy automatic re-appointments when the record shows said leaders no longer merit their position (&, in fact, hurt the party the longer they cling to power). Jones is a relic of the past & should be placed in a GOP museum. We need new blood – ASAP!