Ed Lyons’ tome is worth reading, a reality check for the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party.” The “grassroots” won’t like what it says but it’s a lot closer to the facts on the ground. At its worst, Lyons’ piece is like a love letter to the Governor’s instincts but on several points it rings true. The right wing of the Mass GOP needs to wake up.
The party’s right flank has not come up with a formula that can consistently win the fickle independents in Massachusetts in statewide or even local seats that should lean GOP. (Most of the Bay State independents, despite the myth-making, do not lean rightward.)
So what does a state party do when it’s public face runs a centrist campaign and asks everyone to “put aside partisanship?” To so many Republicans who think activism is solely about partisanship, it would seem that Governor Baker had asked all of us to stop being Republicans.
But has he?
No. But what he is asking us to do is to think about how to be productive more than oppose the Democrats. We need more skills, policy ideas, and service; and far less outrage.
But what about activism?
Not everything we do should be something practical in the service of the Baker administration. After all, we have to solve party problems that Governor Baker does not need to.
But now that elections are over… [we need to] start thinking about what being Republican means to us, and everyone else in this state. (When Commonwealth Magazine calls Charlie Baker, “A Republican with a heart,” it’s time for the rest of us to talk honestly about why so much of the public thinks we’re heartless.)
To the MARA types: Charlie Baker’s popular, deal with it. Is he perfect? No.
Should he spend down some of that political capital on more right of center ideas? Probably.
But can he make government work? A lot better than his predecessors apparently. And the public knows it.