Deja-Vu All Over Again For Massachusetts Republican Party

Jim O’Sullivan of The Boston Globe could barely contain his sarcastic snark in the article he wrote about the Massachusetts Republican Party titled “The Republican Revolution Is Underway. Maybe.”

After enumerating the fallen condition of the state GOP, O’Sullivan informed his readership that help was on the way:

With financial backing from Christopher Egan, son of the late EMC founder and hefty Republican donor Dick Egan, (Rob Gray & Andrew Goodrich) are launching a super PAC and sister nonprofit focused on state lawmakers.

The five-year plan, operating with a planned cumulative budget of more than $4 million for the twin organizations, is to serve as a sort of clearinghouse of opposition research on Democratic lawmakers. For instance, under an entirely plausible scenario, if a Democratic state rep in a contestable district makes an asinine comment at a town meeting, the group, inventively titled Massachusetts Citizens for Jobs, is hoping to have a camera there to record it for posterity and political utility.

Modeled after national groups like American Bridge and America Rising (the next stage of evolution in campaign finance is to come up with better names), the group, which planned to formally file organization papers Thursday, will track votes, collect testimony, issue reports, send direct mail. All in the name of, as Goodrich puts it, “lifting the veil on Beacon Hill.” They’ve been making fund-raising visits to reliably Republican enclaves and plan “dispassionate” decisions about which districts to contest. Read: Worcester County, the South Shore, the Cape, and near the New Hampshire border.

This is the way parties are built – or, in this case, rebuilt. Most of it is far from sexy: long drives to boring meetings and longer hours trawling through tape. But if the Republican Party’s heart is to beat again in Massachusetts at any healthy frequency, the resuscitation is better coming from the bottom up, rather than the top down.

“It should make it more of a fair fight, anyway,” said Gray.

How does one react to this news beyond the automatic instinct to scream, “are you shitting me?”  

Maybe O’Sullivan left out – either by accident or design – other important elements of the announcement such as the development of a practical ideology, a blueprint that lays out specific ideas, strategies, & tactics on key public policy issues that would stand in sharp contrast to the ones promulgated by the Democrats. If that’s the case, then I’ll withhold final judgement on what Eagan, Gray, & Goodrich have proposed. Because if what the trio has offered is indeed the sum total of their proposal, it’s complete bullshit. It amounts to raising & wasting money stalking & staking out targeted Democrats in search of questionable “gotcha!” moments to be used as bludgeons in future campaigns. O’Sullivan himself (whether consciously or not) has already provided the REAL diagnosis for what ails the state GOP:

This is the challenge for modern-day Republicans in Massachusetts, who wax euphoric about decades-old glories but cannot articulate a blueprint for the next election: to surround themselves with nontraditional allies. Because the roster of traditional allies is awful thin around these parts.

There is no comprehensive rebuilding strategy to speak of. That the party has continued that way for nearly a decade is a class-action case of political malpractice.

Massachusetts allegedly has the smartest people in the country. The voters would LOVE to see some great policy ideas along with the nuts ‘n’ bolts blueprints on how said ideas will be implemented & how much it will either cost them or save them money. They aren’t interested in partisans making future political campaigns even nastier than they are right now; in fact, they may like alternatives such as Ranked Choice Voting which is used in Cambridge (MA).

This is deja-vu all over again (if not a Groundhog Day of Sisyphean proportions). No wonder our smart Bay State voters think of the GOP as the “stupid” party. Republicans not only do nothing to make said voters feel otherwise but double down on reinforcing its negative public image in the minds of the aforementioned voters.

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