Vote for John Kerry in Lowell

(Awesome! - promoted by Bob)

Disclosure: From August 2007 through February 2008 I was a consultant on the Ed O’Reilly campaign.

Because Massachusetts consistently ranks last-but-one in the nation for contested elections, I decided to support Senator John Kerry’s challenger. But over the last few weeks I’ve experienced a profound reality check, and it has to do with the presidential election.  Hard as it is to believe here in Massachusetts, the next President of the United States could be John McCain.

What does this have to do with John Kerry? Well, I think that our rough’n'tumble, iconoclastic approach to politics in Massachusetts (a healthy thing, generally) tends to cloud an important fact: Our junior senator is a significant electoral asset to the Democratic party nationwide.  


Lately I’ve been casting my mind back to the last presidential election, when John Kerry was our party’s nominee. I wasn’t in a position to campaign for him out of state (where it mattered) because I had my own contest here at home. In September 2004, I won the Democratic primary for Governor’s Council in Western Massachusetts. After the primary, all of us on the Vickery team wanted to spread out and get to work in the swing states.  But we couldn’t. We had to fend off a general election challenger — from within our own party!

My general election opponent was an ex-Democrat running with the open support of several elected Democratic officials. And he had more money than we did. So in stead of campaigning in New Hampshire and further afield, we stayed in Western Mass.  We saw off the challenger, but at the same time we watched the Bush-Cheney gang secure another four years in the White House.  

Did the absence of a handful of Democratic activists from Western Mass lose us the 2004 presidential election?  Of course not.  But could we have made a small difference here and there? Maybe.  Could John Kerry make a difference here and there in November 2008?  The answer to that is clear; yes, beyond all reasonable doubt.

Bush, Cheney & McCain aren’t waiting for us.  The presidential election campaign does not start in September, after the Massachusetts Democratic primary.  It has already started.  And judging by past races, the outcome of the 2008 election may be decided between now and September.

So where do we want John Kerry to spend that time — here in Massachusetts, where his victory in a putative primary is all but a foregone conclusion, or in battleground states fighting to keep John McCain out of the White House and fighting to bring our troops home from Iraq?  I choose Option 2.

Reluctant as I am to part company with my friends in Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), I no longer see any legitimate purpose in forcing a contested senatorial primary. Nobody has any doubt that the winner of that primary would be John Kerry (and rightly so). So the question is not “why not just give the other guy a chance?” In fact, the question for progressives is this: How can we justify keeping John Kerry in Massachusetts in stead of letting him campaign nationwide for a Democratic presidential victory?

So if you’re thinking of using your vote at the Lowell convention to send John Kerry a message — that he needs to earn your support in stead of taking it for granted — please think again. Your message has already arrived. It’s been received, understood, and acted upon.  Now let’s get back together and win the fight that really matters; the fight for the White House.  

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80 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Thank you!

    • For almosttwenty odd years John kerry has a little to no constituents services. He has been the laughing stock of the democratic oarty in the last three years.

      Kerry has done zero as our senator----yet you don't want to give another guy a shot at the job.  This guy or anyone could do a better job than John Kerry.

      Pretty cavalier throwing your guy under the bus for the "greater good."  Real loyalty. Don't think for a second that John Kerry an not and will not recognize disloyalty.

      This is pretty hard to believe.

      • $quot;loyalty$quot; talk is nonsense

        All this sanctimonious "loyalty" talk is nonsense. Show me a person who supports a candidate out of "loyalty" alone, and I'll show you a person whose opinion I don't trust. Adults can change their minds about candidates. Yes, we should support candidates when we believe supporting them will increase the greater good, not because of any personal affection or feeling of loyalty to the individual. We're choosing a public official here, not rooting for a baseball team.

  2. Easy question

    How can we justify keeping John Kerry in Massachusetts in stead of letting him campaign nationwide for a Democratic presidential victory?

    He's our Senator up for re-election.  He owes us his time and attention.  Heck, he owes us his job.

    There will always be another election.  There will always be somebody or somebodies telling us to forsake our democracy for somebody else's benefit.  There will always be incumbent campaigns deploying bullies to threaten us if we make a candidate stay at home to answer for their records.  "Suck it up Massachusetts...you made a mistake electing Democrats, so be happy with the ones you have."

    If you don't like it, tough.  It's democracy.  It isn't just New Hampshire and Maine that should have a chance to really examine the people who want to represent it in the Senate -- it's Massachusetts, too. It isn't just Colorado and New Mexico who deserve a Senator who upholds the platform and ideals of the Democratic Party -- it's Massachusetts, too.  

    • When we have a Senator who does not uphold equal marriage...we don't have that.
    • When we have a Senator who spends money "left over" from his presidential run to campaign against a fellow Democrat...we don't have that.
    • When we have a Senator who needed years to see what so many of us saw from day one, that Iraq was a bad idea...we don't have that.
    • When we have a Senator who supports contravening the Constitution by thrusting federal regulations and bureaucracy into the most successful K-12 education system in the country...we have that.

    I'm tired of people trying to shut down political conversations, whether it is Hillary compared to Obama, or O'Reilly compared to Kerry.  

    We deserve democracy, too.  Debate the issues.  Respond to the questions.  Stand your ground and answer for your record.

    Earn your job, Senator Kerry.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • Sabutai

      You are right on many points.  As you know, I think we should be questioning John Kerry right now on any number of issues because he has turned a deaf ear on his constituents' input many, many times.  However, I'm not so sure choosing someone who has even more of a deaf ear is a great solution (despite campaign rhetoric).  Disclosure:  I also worked briefly on Ed's campaign and left in disgust over precisely that issue.  I'm not going to the convention because I can't bring myself to vote for either candidate.  It's my small protest and probably won't even be heard.  I briefly entertained the idea of helping Senator Kerry, but his answers to my questions quickly convinced me that it would be best to stay home.  Sometimes, you must read between the political lines.  This would be one of those times.  In the long run, the most important thing we can do is contribute time and energy on encouraging progressive ideas and local candidates to build up their resumes and go through the process.  In the short term, we can keep pushing issues in whatever ways are avalaible and try not to give up on hope.

      • please explain

        Thanks, lolorb. Could you explain the "more of a deaf ear" that you claim Ed O'Reilly has?

        • Ed O'Reilly has the gift of gab

          but when it comes down to it, he has little to no understanding or desire to understand issues important to progressives or necessary for being a Senator.  It's lip service.  There's no depth.  He was incapable of listening to the wise words of one of his dearest friends, his paid consultant or his volunteers.  That's not a good sign in someone who's running on a platform of being different and being willing to learn from constituents.  As I see it, there are two giant egos running for office.  

          • Can't agree

            My main issue of course is education.  When I asked O'Reilly about it recently, he picked apart No Child Left Behind, its weakness, its lack of constitutional rationale, and then as a bonus described pedagogical techniques such as multiple intelligences with great accuracy.  He later did the same about energy.

            O'Reilly may not be as well-versed as somebody with a large staff and a couple decades in the Senate, but he knows more than most freshmen Senators.

            sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
            • Thank the people

              who gave him the words.  As we both might agree, words don't mean true depth of comprehension.  They can be repeated for the purpose of staying in a campaign.  Vote your conscience is my suggestion.  But then again, do your research beforehand.

              • Please

                He used the term correctly and appropriately within the context of the conversation.  My conscience says that I should vote for somebody who is running in order to give Massachusetts a Senator that reflects its' values, not a Senator who spends his convention speech essentially pledging not to repeat the mistakes he made over the previous six years.

                I've had about two hours of conversation with O'Reilly since he started running, including today.  I've had a two-second handshake with John Kerry since he was elected.  I've done my research.  O'Reilly's a better candidate, and the Massachusetts machine that tried to shut him down today can stuff itself.

                sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
                • Unfortunately,

                  O'Reilly is a better candidate

                  is sadly, not true.  I'm not part of any machine.  I avoid a lot of what is considered "must do" in politics in this state.  When you have two people who have worked closely with a candidate explain that you should vote for someone else, it's really an indicator that you might want to evalaute the situation.  I'm behind you on all of your issues because I have progressive values.  Peter Vickery does as well.  

                  • With all due respect....

                    Lolorb, and I agree with you on nearly everything else, but I think as an American voter and being over the age of 21, I have the right to make the decision whether Mr. O'Reilly is a worthy candidate or not.  The schemes and machinations to keep this man off the ballot is what's not worthy of a people who believe in democracy.  I'm inclined to side with Sabutai on this one; Senator Kerry has spent piss little time in this state, and hasn't been doing the job he was elected to do.  We have in effect, been paying for two senators and getting only one.   The state deserves far better than the stale leavings of a failed presidential bid, not to mention something resembling constituent service coming out of his office.  

                    • I'd love to know...

                      How much Kerry spent per vote today.  Between the signs, buttons, tote bags, and t-shirts, it felt like the opening night of a PBS pledge drive.

                      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
              • Educational issues

                It's possible, too, that O'Reilly knows educational issues very well because his only elected office has been school committee. One would expect that he knows those issues better than questions of banking regulation, tax policy, or Russian relations.

    • Right you are Sabutai

      Kerry should "report for duty" right here in Massachusetts.

    • Dissatisfaction with Kerry + Praise for Kerry

      I share some complaints about Kerry:

      • The campaign funds thing from 2004 irks me.
      • His tendency toward an overly wonky speaking style, possibly appropriate for a legislator, is a political liability.
      • His position on Equal Marriage ("the country is not ready for it") sounds like the value-free, political adjusting that Republicans attack as a sign of waffling.
      • He should be excellent not sucky at constituent services. He has had enough time to practice.

      Against that are the following:

      • After November 2004, Kerry has been excellent on the Iraq War. He has pushed legislation. He campaigned hard for Lamont.
      • Kerry has also been putting pressure on Republicans with his "Roadblock Republicans" effort. We complain about the Senate. To his credit, this effort by Kerry can do some good.

      Finally, I have no patience with O'Reilly.

      • He'll say contradictory and even repugnant things to get at Kerry. His Swift Boat comments were not untypical. His fundraising appeal, which I quoted a couple weeks ago, accused Kerry of being overambitious -- and, in a fit of self-refutation, unwilling to fight for Ohio after the results were in.
      • His discussion of the FISA vote displays a misunderstanding of legislative process and a cartoonish view of leadership.
      • His experience is somewhat thin.

      From this, I conclude we have a flawed Senator who is performing excellent acts of contrition. In O'Reilly, we have someone who simply does not belong in the Senate. Full stop. If we're going to support a challenger, could it please be someone we want as a Senator? Until then, yes, Kerry is doing work that will advance our local values. Those require 60 votes for cloture in the Senate. Having Kerry working to get those votes in New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Minnesota, and North Carolina is worth more for Massachusetts even than the formal exercise of watching O'Reilly challenge him at debater tricks.  

      • Agreed.

        And this:

        In O'Reilly, we have someone who simply does not belong in the Senate. Full stop.

        Nails it.  O'Reilly's resume is paper thin.  (How 'bout a run for state-wide office, first?  Nothing in his private or electoral background suggests he is ready for the responsibilities of a U.S. senator.)  While I have issues with Kerry historically, I believe he's come a long way  and continues to improve.  O'Reilly, on the other hand, after having listened to him bloviate for over 90 min. one morning, is certainly not what I want in a U.S. senator, either now or ever.  

        • The O'Reilly Factor

          Gosh, what I am taking away from this comment is that Eddie O is  not even worthy of being on the ballot.  If that is truly the case, then why does it threaten the Kerry Korp so much?  JFK will have a cake walk in the primary whether O'Reilly is on the ballot or not.  Give the man his 15% and move on.  I say no harm done to the Democratic and democratic process.  

          • True enough.

            I'm a delegate tomorrow as a chair of a town delegation, and while I have always voted to allow someone on the ballot, I'm not voting for O'Reilly.  There will be plenty of people who will, I'm sure.  

            • huh

              I'm surprised that of all the candidates you've seen, O'Reilly would be the one you don't want on the ballot.  He's more qualified than Jon Bonifaz.  

              sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
              • I think Bonifaz

                had a better grasp of the issues and a more realistic appreciation of the job, candidly.  He struck me as qualified if inexperienced.  I can't say the same for O'Reilly.  

              • you lost me there

                You lost me there, sabutai. John Bonifaz is very qualified for Secretary of State position. He is a public-interest lawyer, an expert in electoral and constitutional law. and a recipient of the MacArthur "genius" award. If O'Reilly were indeed at least as qualified for Senator as Bonifaz was for Secretary, I would vote for Ed tomorrow in a heartbeat.

        • Compare

          Nails it.  O'Reilly's resume is paper thin.  (How 'bout a run for state-wide office, first?  Nothing in his private or electoral background suggests he is ready for the responsibilities of a U.S. senator.)

          At this point in his career, O'Reilly's had the same experience in political office that Senator Obama owned prior to his election to the Senate.  

          • Wrong

            Obama was a state Senator before he was elected to the US Senate.  O'Reilly's highest elected office to this point is City Councilor.

          • A better example

            would be Jim Ogonowski.  

            O'Reilly's even got a leg up on him too, at least he had the necessary signatures to get on the ballot.

  3. I'm confused

    You seem to be making the case why no one should challenge Kerry in the primary. I think it's debatable (both ways), but it's clear and you argue it well.

    However you then conclude that therefore no one should vote for any challenger in the primary. This is a non sequiter. O'Reilly is already on the ballot in September so the "damage," on your terms, is done. I think your argument is really directed at one person, Ed O'Reilly, who is the only one who could end his challenge.

    Furthermore, were O'Reilly to withdraw that challenge (not likely, but the logical conclusion of your argument), the general election would then begin immediately, as there is only one Republican on the primary ballot.

    So unless you think Kerry should blow that race off and head out to the swing states for Obama (and what kind of advice is that for a candidate?), O'Reilly's withdrawal would not resolve the need for Kerry to spend time here, running for reelection.

    If there is a moral, I think it is to avoid campaign strategies that rely on other people shutting up or shutting down. They won't anyway.

    My disclosure: I plan on voting for Kerry, I just have problems with your arguments for doing so.

    • $quot;O'Reilly is already on the ballot in September$quot;

      Is that true?  Doesn't he need 15% or whatever of the delegates at this weekend's convention to vote for him, in addition to his signatures?

  4. I'm surprised, Peter

    your contrived argument suggests you want to deny Mass Democrats a choice in September because you think the alternative will damage Obama's chances?

    I'll go out on a limb to say that Obama does not need Kerry stumping for him to win (one could argue that he would do better without him).

    I'll also go out on a limb and say that Mass Democrats do need their Senator here and talking to them about issues. The best way to do that is having a contested primary. Otherwise, Kerry will be indefinately stuck in the DC bubble due to his effectively life-time appointment.

    How undemocratic.  

  5. Doesn't fact of Republican Challenger undermine your arguement?

    As Sabutai pointed out...there is a Republican candidate that will require Kerry to stay closure to home and nit be able to help Obama like you suggest.  That fact totally undermines your point that an O'Rielly challenge will prevent Kerry from campaigning for Obama.

    Given that your main reason to giving Kerry a free-primary ride is moot, denying ballot access to someone who has already garnered 10,000 certified signitures is both unDemocratic and undemocratic.  

    And you are considered a "reformer"?

  6. 10,000 Democratic Signatures say

    a candidate has earned the right to be on the ballot. It is not an easy feat.

    BUT, a candidate also needs 15% of the convention delegates to approve a candidate's name being placed on the Democratic ballot.

    I think that any person who collects the required signatures should be on the ballot. For the convention delegates to be used to deny that person is not democratic to me. If an incumbent is doing a great job, they have no fear of an opponent.

    It smacks of inside baseball, closed shop and exclusivity....everything we deny being part of...

    As for the argument that Kerry deserves to have a free ride so he can travel the country campaigning for someone else...perhaps it would be better for kerry to see massachusetts first this summer...an opponent gives him a reason to stay in Massachusetts and get reacquainted with bay Stae friends who don't get to see much of him.

    • When signatures

      are collected by paying a firm to do so rather than relying on a support network, it usually means that a) there is insufficient support for running a campaign and b) the concept of being a candidate trumps the actual democratic process.  Should Dems support a vanity campaign in the name of democracy?  Doesn't that seem slightly hypocritical and harmful to actual progressive values?  Is that what politics should be about and what we should aspire to?  I'm not so sure.  

      • Kerry Factoid

        Many candidates today use paid help to collect signatures to ensure that those collected by volunteers won't come up short.

        One of the first canduidates I ever knew who did that was John F. Kerry who was then a candidate for Lt. Governor...he paid a small army of students $1 a signature to help put him over the line...many of those signature sheets were so suspect that his opponents considered challenging whole sheets at the time.

        Also, in that same year, Kerry barely squeeked by the 15% rule and he only achieved the 15% by cutting deals with candidates who got dropped...ironic that the same rule that almost eneded his political career, may now be the thing he uses to try to get a free ride this summer.

        History always comes full circle.

      • Is this true?

        I've heard the "paid signature gatherers" assertion a few times on here, but do we know this to be a fact?  

        I know for certain, in both my town and in my senatorial district, the people gathering signatures were regular volunteers that I've run into on other campaigns.  The guy who came to our DTC meeting was a local volunteer that I actually knew.

        There's a big leap from maybe paying a firm for signatures in corners of the state where he may not have much of a ground team to "a vanity campaign" that is "harmful to actual progressive values."

        • I guess you had

          to experience a few things to get it.  If we're going to have someone run on progressive values, it should be someone who understands them.

          • Come again?

            I guess you had to experience a few things to get it.

            I'm assuming that you mean experience with O'Reilly's campaign specifically and aren't so obnoxious as to be implying that you've "experienced a few things" that some of us haven't.

            Full disclosure: I am a DTC chair who also tried really hard to like Ed O'Reilly and met with him a few times, but decided he just wasn't ready for primetime.  I am going to vote for him tomorrow, primarily because I think he's earned a foot in door and Kerry has earned a foot in the pants over the Iraq vote, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to do in September.

            • Sorry, didn't think

              you would read that other than "experienced a few things in O'Reilly's campaign".  And your assessment on prime time is dead on accurate.  I cringe at the thought, and I'm not a Kerry fan by any means.  

    • MA delegates to the convention are elected democratically

      well, sort of.  They're caucused in*, and only by fellow Democrats from their town.

      So, if the delegates vote against Ed O, then isn't that democracy at work?

      * I have no idea what the ratio of delegates to "super delegates" is...

      • not necessarily

        1. About 300 are anointed on an add-on basis

        2. The delegates are individuals who are willing and able to spend hours of their time and a $75 fee to participate.

        3. What is so democratic about a slim minority of individuals dictating the choice-- in this case, Choice vs. No Choice- to the majority of rank-and-file Democrats.  

        • What is so democratic about a slim majority of individuals

          known as Congressmen dictating the laws -- to the majority of rank-and-file Democrats, Republicans, or third party goers?

          It's democratic because those who are doing the dictating were elected by their peers in a fair election.  That's what makes it democratic.

          • so why bother scheduling a primary vote in September?

            • Delegates serve to filter

              Getting signatures is one thing.  Having enough of a platform and a reputation to get 15% is another.  I suspect that Tom Delay could move to MA, register as a Dem, and pay someone go get his signatures.  That doesn't mean he belongs on the Dem primary ballot though, and the state convention wouldn't give him the 15% he'd need to get on the ballot as a Democrat.

              I'm not saying that EO'R is as deplorable as The Hammer, but extreme examples are often more clear.

              • I'm not sure i agree with this premise

                It's more likely that the 15% threshold would be used to squash candidates worthy of being on the ballot, imho, than filter those out who shouldn't be on it. Personally, if you can get the sigs, I think that's what entitles you to be on the ballot. Otherwise, this kind of a convention process can be used to squash debate.  

                • If you can get the sigs

                  you are entitled to be on the ballot -- but not as a Democrat.  Sure, the process can be used to squash debate, but convention delegates aren't exactly political insiders.  Hell, I'm a delegate and my "inside track" to the State House is that my neighbor works somewhere for the governor doing something or other.

                  There are plenty of delegates like me; delegates who couldn't name 5 of the 200 state sen/reps by face.  It doesn't seem to me that we're a type of population interested in playing inside baseball to keep primary challenges off.  You could argue we're all being manipulated, and you might be right, but somehow I doubt it.

                  • as a Democrat

                    I think one of the most important things my party can do is be democratic. I'm disturbed by the numbers of 'progressive' democrats who want to squash democracy lately - be it this case, or what's happened in Florida and Michigan. If we lose our roots, we'll do serious harm to our party, nullifying our ability to make this a true movement over the longterm.  

                    • You rock, Ryan!

                      If there were more people like you, this party would be truly democratic, of the people and by the people....instead of for the few, the select and the entitled.  This whole thing with John Kerry just stinks like week old mackerel.  

                    • But they're not related

                      this process has nothing to do with getting on the ballot.  It only has to do with having the honor and responsibility of having a D next to your name on the ballot.

                      That's not about democracy in the traditional sense at all.

                      What the Democrats do is have local elections in all 351 cities and towns, where local Democrats select representatives, by voting for them.  Then those representatives go to the convention and select which Senatorial candidates will represent Democrats on the ballot by voting for them.

                      So, we're not keeping anyone off the ballot, and we choose who will have a D next to his or her name by voting, where the voters campaigned and were elected by the Democrats of Massachusetts, in every city and town.  What's not small-d democratic about that?

        • You CHARGE people to go to your conventions???? Holy Moley, hey, ROB! BARNEY!! A new fundraising tool for Mass GOP!!

          • Fee waivers are available

            for delegates who cannot afford the fee.   All the delegate needs to do is fill out a form explaining why s/he can't pay the full price (or anything at all).

            When the Mass. Republican Party holds a statewide convention, they don't charge any fee to delegates?

            • They couldn't pay people to show up.

            • not true

              there's an income cutoff, ~ $12000, above which you pay to be a delegate or alternate. At that level, I'd guess the only people who qualify for a 'free' ticket are the homeless. Any working poor person earning above the limit must pay. We ran into this rule in my town this year.

              Having learned that the Republican party lets anyone who gets the required signatures be on the ballot, I'd have to say they are the party of inclusion in Massachusetts. That's an interesting wrinkle, isn't it?

              Looks to me like MA Dems use the same tactics the segregationists used down south to keep blacks off the ballot -- namely, various special hoops and obstacles set up by the party machinery, like convention quotas..... only up here, the obstacles are directed against anyone, white, black, yellow, brown, or red, who doesn't come up through the party machine.  

          • Yes we do

            One reason is that we have enough people willing to go that it's worthwhile.  You guys can barely get anyone to show up when it's free.

            sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • TNSTAAFC

            There's no such thing as a free convention.  Someone's paying for it.

  7. As a delegate and a gay person...

    ...why should I vote for John Kerry when he doesn't support marriage equality for gays and lesbians on the federal level?

    I worked for John Kerry when he ran for President, and I have always supported him in his Senate races.

    However, he--unlike Senator Kennedy--seems to think that he and his wife are "a little more equal" than my partner and I.  And I have a big problem with that.

  8. Thank you. n/t

  9. Where was Kerry?

    Your thesis sounds like it has a bit of truthiness.  It even tastes like it has some truthiness.  But, I have a simple question for you Peter:  Where was Senator John Kerry over the last year several years?  He was MIA in MA over the period between losing his presidential bid and now.  Sure he gave some lofty speechifying at a Faneuil Hall, but there are some very much better ways of connecting with your constituents.  We have 40 state senate districts, and there are 52 weeks in the year.  The good senator could have taken off 12 weekends and still made the rounds each and every year!

    Furthermore, Does Kerry need to be a U.S. Senator to be "a significant electoral asset to the Democratic party nationwide"?  Why not just give up the senate gig and go out on the asset road?  

  10. This is very surprising

    Was there any particular event that caused you to break from the O'Reilly campaign?  

    It would be more compelling to me if you explained why you now thought O'Reilly would make a bad senator, rather than telling me how Sen. Kerry deserves to not have any competition.  If this guy is going to end up being an embarrassment that we can avoid, I'd like to know that before tomorrow.

    • me too

      Curiously, Peter is still listed as an O'Reilly supporter on Facebook...

      And this from his blog, dated April 2008:

      Today Massachusetts is badly in need of both an effective opposition and some meaningful electoral competition.

      ...

      Massachusetts has a multi-party electorate, a two-party voting system, and a one-party government. The Republican Party has forfeited its role as the major opposition party. Like nature, genuine democracy abhors a vacuum. There will always be work for some progressives to do within the Democratic Party, but the time may be coming for other progressives to complement that work from the outside.

    • loyalty

      I agree with Sco and moreover....

      Isn't it reasonable to expect that if you work for a guy for a year, and it doesn't work out, you DON'T friggin punk him and support his opponent?  

  11. Several months ago it was fashionable

    to be against Kerry.   O'Reilly started out very negatively, which led me to  distrust his intentions from the beginning.   His brother seems like a nice guy but now it is crunch time.   Kerry's postion as chair of the Small Business Committee and the other seniority he has gathered over the past couple yrs are way too valuable to squander on a vanity candidacy.  BTW a lot of my friends disagree with me, but I am in the camp that does partially blame Nader for Bush 2000.  

  12. What about issues?

    Ed O'Reilly says he is more in line with the MA Democratic platform on issues than Kerry and my own research tends to bear this out.  For me, the fact that Mr. O'Reilly supports universal single-payer health care is a big plus.  The only issue-based comment I've seen on this thread was one about marriage equality.

    I also agree with the arguments about democracy and have made my feelings known by rating other comments on this thread.  Ed O'Reilly has sacraficed a lot of his time and probably his own money travelling the state in the past several months.  We should at least respect this effort with a spot on the ballot.

    • Isn't that like saying that marriage should also be put to a statewide vote?

      In the case of ballot amendments, there is a two-step process: (1) signatures, (2) approval by the legislature (twice, in Constitutional Convention).

      It seems to me the situation here is quite similar: both signatures and approval by the convention are required to put the question to the voters.

      I saw nothing improper when the state legislature exercised its prerogative and decided not to put the question of marriage equality to the voters despite the fact that a sufficient number of signatures had been collected.

      In the same way, if the Convention follows its own rules and O'Reilly doesn't get 15%, there is nothing undemocratic or wrong about not having him on the ballot, even though he got 10,000 signatures.

      Maybe, however, you think that the two issues -- one about civil rights, the other about political candidates -- are so different that the parallel is inaccurate. I'd be interested to know what folks think.  

      • I do see some difference.

        There would be a primary in September even if there were just one candidate and the law says it is the person who wins then who goes to the November ballot.  The election will happen anyway so we might as well make it worth having.  I also think people have a right to choose candidates, but not to mess with someone else's civil rights.

  13. I don't agree...

    that John Kerry campaigning for Obama will make a difference in the general election. While I respect your arguments, I just don't see a good reason for voting for Kerry at the convention and ending a challenge based upon his potential help to Obama. Past unsuccessful nominees are rarely called on to help a current nominee, especially one who is campaigning strongly on a change theme. After all, did Mike Dukakis stump around the country for Bill Clinton in 1992? Was he asked to? Even if Kerry wanted to go around the country for Obama, he would have plenty of time after the September primary, which is what the convention vote is about.

    Vote for John Kerry at the convention if you support his candidacy, and don't be afraid to vote for Ed O'Reilly if you support his.

  14. Keeping the Nation Safe?

    When George W. Bush moved Francis X. Taylor, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism from the start of the Bush administration to almost a year after 9-11 to be assistant secretary of state for diplmatic security, did Senate Foreign Relations Committee member John Kerry do enough?

    Didn't the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then the full Senate need to confirm an assistant secretary of state?

    What was John Kerry and his senior foreign policy adviser, Nancy Stetson, thinking of?

    Wasn't national security on their minds?

    Wouldn't it have been important to the nation to highlight this action of George W. Bush to illustrate the Bush administrations failures on national security?

    Wasn't Senate confirmed Coordinator for Counterterrorism Francis X. Taylor the right hand man of then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice?

    Weren't there indicators that George W. Bush was not keeping the national security in mind before he led us to war?

    Isn't Condelleeza Rice now Senate confirmed secretary of state?

    Was John Kerry asleep at the switch?

    How is Frank Taylor doing as worldwide security chief at General Electric doing after his stelllar goverment service?

  15. I was there

    As the initial treasurer for Ed O'Reilly's campaign committee, I was there from the start --  before Peter Vickery and before Lori (lolorb). I saw each of these two people up close. When each one of them took their leave, I kept my mouth shut and didn't spread criticism about their work (or lack thereof). I'm still going to keep my mouth shut. But I feel compelled to say that their postings here represent to me the worst of politics - ego games wrapped in the rhetoric of public service. I have come to expect this from the right-wing. Now I know it exists across the spectrum. Sad, sad. "Progressive" not.

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Wed 26 Apr 7:17 PM