This post is about the differences between Gabriel Gomez, Scott Brown, and Charlie Baker.
During the phase Gomez was defending his “Klan” remarks about Christopher Pinto and Rob Eno (we’ll call it “the morning” to distinguish it from “the afternoon,” where he apologized for language, not content) he suggested the problem was with activists questioning whether he, Charlie Baker, and Scott Brown were “real Republicans.”
He said “these are the kind of people that make the Republican Party hated in Massachusetts.” “Obviously they touched a chord with them because they know I’m right. […] These are the kind of people that call in, and they’re talking about how Scott Brown is a RINO, and then they’ll be talking about me” among other risible statements. Listen to the whole thing. Gomez of “the morning” is at least more sincere than Gomez of “the afternoon.”
The Globe’s Political Intelligence blog offered this paragraph:
“Gomez said Monday morning that his comment was not prompted by any one specific article or piece, but rather was a general response to Red Mass Group, as well as to activists questioning whether he, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker, and former US senator Scott Brown, were real Republicans.”
The problem here is that unlike Charlie Baker or Scott Brown, Gabriel Gomez has given lengthy interviews to the press attacking the party, its activists, and in the fallout of his remarks he tried to turn this into “moderate Republicans” and “99% of the party (pulled from his radio interview)” vs. conservative activists and talk-show callers.
Now I have disagreed with some of Scott Brown’s comments, especially ones he made on Bill O’Reilly’s program when he was guest hosting, which attacked the Tea Party. To my knowledge however, Scott Brown has never taken a personal effort to attack members of the Party itself and provide ammunition for our political opponents.
In a similar way, whatever the flaws of Charlie Baker’s 2010 campaign, since then I have seen him remain active in Republican circles, speaking at events, and building capital inside the party. He supported the Repeal the Gas Tax initiative and made a point of collecting signatures for it. Gomez was nowhere to be found. Scott Brown’s recent move to New Hampshire has been the subject of debate, but trusted sources have told me his personal reasons include taking care of a loved one. I take them at their word. I wish Scott Brown and his family God’s grace and protection as they care for those they love.
It should not surprise anyone politically active, but the world of conservatives is similar to the world of moderates in that many conservatives have serious points of disagreement within their own political spectrum. I, for example, have a fairly libertarian bent on my approach to many issues, but can’t consider myself primarily libertarian. My strongest preference is for the most socially conservative outcomes possible, specifically for a marriage policy built around the rights of children exercised by their parents, and an ethic of life that permeates our laws at every level.
In the same way as an attack on my beliefs is not an attack on all conservatives, Gomez, Brown, and Baker can’t all be stuffed into one “Republican moderate” box as if an attack on one is an attack on all. Gomez’s attempt to peddle this foolishness is simply an example of taking a human shield to deflect the backfire his statements caused.
Our candidates are the people who represent the party to the outside world. Charlie Baker has made clear over the last four years that he intends to work with activists of all stripes in Massachusetts, Scott Brown has made it clear that he is moving to another phase in his life, and Gabriel Gomez has made it clear he exists primarily to attack Republicans that don’t fit into his view of what a Republican should be, and that he fancies himself the avatar of What Most Massachusetts Republicans Think, at least when he is being honest. I sincerely hope this “New Kind of Republican” rhetoric gets exiled if this is its standard bearer. I like Republicans, moderate or conservative, that can at least acknowledge the value of my stances above and incorporate it into their understanding of Republicanism, to run as Republicans – no modifiers needed.
Not all Republican moderates are alike. And a SEAL should know that his team members don’t exist to block shots for him, especially not his own friendly fire.
~Brian Kennedy, Republican Activist