MA-Sen sense and nonsense

Some sensible and some silly things have been said in the last 24 hours or so regarding our Senate race.  Let’s review a couple of them.

  • Dred Scott and Citizens United: As you probably know by now, Ed Markey issued a call to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision with a constitutional amendment.  Then he elaborated:

    And the Constitution must be amended. The Dred Scott decision had to be repealed – we have to repeal Citizens United.

    That was, IMHO, an unwise comparison. However much one may dislike the Citizens United case, it surely does not compare to a decision that allowed actual human beings to be treated as property, and that led to a civil war.  On the other hand, it’s also not as if Markey was apologizing for slavery or anything.  Seems to me that Reverend Talbert W. Swan II, the president of the Springfield NAACP who was part of a group of clergy who met with Markey earlier the same day, got it about right:

    “I don’t think I would have compared any Supreme Court decision to the Dred Scott decision that subjugated a whole race, but I do understand the parallel between the two cases,” Swan said. “The Dred Scott ruling denied rights to human beings and made them property. The Citizens United case took property and gave it human rights. I don’t think he had an ill intent making the comparison, but it’s an ill-timed statement, with it being black History Month. I think he should probably be more sensitive to the long-standing effect slavery has had on African Americans.”

    I don’t think Markey especially helped matters by issuing a follow-up statement declaring that “[t]he Supreme Court had the horrific judgment to issue the Dred Scott decision, and people rose up to challenge it. Today we’re faced with another egregious decision that needs overturning – Citizens United.” I mean, “people rose up to challenge” Dred Scott – yeah, there was a civil war. Is that really what Markey is calling for in light of Citizens United? Surely not. I don’t believe for a moment that that is what Markey meant, but he needs to realize that every little comment he makes from now until he wins or loses this race is going to be examined under a high-powered microscope in a way that he maybe is not accustomed to.

  • Scot Lehigh: Everyone’s favorite Globe pundit weighed in on Markey’s campaign today and gave it decidedly mixed reviews.  Some of what he said strikes me as fair; some, not so much.  Take this, for instance:

    Markey’s issues are pretty much standard progressive fare: Action on climate change. Tougher gun laws. Immigration reform, with a path to citizenship. Equal pay for women. Clean energy. Protecting abortion rights and the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. And passing a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

    No, I don’t think that’s fair. It’s true that most Democratic candidates at least pay lip service to climate change. But Markey is a genuine leader on that issue. He doesn’t just talk about it; he means it, and that’s pretty unusual among candidates running for statewide office anywhere. There’s a reason that folks whose top issue is climate change are so excited about the possibility of a Senator Markey.

    This, on the other hand, strikes me as closer to the mark:

    Markey is an accomplished, substantive, energetic congressman with a proven record of effectiveness. But at least in the early going, he’s running a careful, bland front-runner’s campaign for the US Senate.

    And if this report from NECN is correct, the slow start that I (among others) worried about may not have speeded up all that much:

    Markey dismissed the criticism, saying he has been out all over the state, including Brockton earlier Wednesday and a stop in Lowell later that same night.

    “Over the last several days, I’ve been in Lawrence and Lynn, in Beverly, in Somerville and I am going 24 hours a day, seven days a week and I will be throughout the whole course of this campaign,” Markey says.

    But these are mostly private gatherings of key supporters and donors – which are not announced to the public or the media.

    Am I panicked?  No.  But I continue to think that Markey has been oddly slow to introduce himself to the public.  He needs to forget the endorsements of John Kerry, Vicki Kennedy, and the DSCC (who was it, again, that cared about any of that?) and run like he’s losing.  A “front-runner strategy” is almost always a terrible idea, and this race is no exception.

  • Gomez hits the streets.  Republican hopeful Gabriel Gomez, like every other candidate, is in the midst of gathering the 10,000 signatures he needs to get on the ballot.  But he, along among the candidates (as far as I know), used his signature drive as an opportunity to make quite a charming video:Of course there’s not a word in there about what Gomez actually thinks about any issue, but that’s not the point – the point is to show him as a family man, a Navy SEAL, a guy who speaks fluent Spanish, a guy who is easy to talk to, a guy who enjoys pressing the flesh at Mul’s Diner, a guy who just knows he can “change Washington.”  Not all that many people will actually see this video (current views are under 7,000, according to YouTube), but I do think it’s pretty well done and gives us a clear look at the kind of campaign Gomez would like to run.  And don’t miss the pointed bit where he is actually shaking hands and getting signatures outside Fenway Park while talking about how cold it is.  No accident there, I’d say.


69 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. This is a great video, connects like the Lynch video

    Every day common person. Navy Seal, impressive. To be fair as I always am, Ed Markey did serve in the military, kudos for that as well.

    If Mr. Gomez will fight for and rescind the Markey trade deals of the 1990′s, I would need to look at him very closely. So far, I like what I see and hear.

  2. Question David...

    Isn’t it fair to compare Dred Scott and Citizen United because the only way either of them can be reversed is with a Constitutional Amendment? Sure a later court can reverse itself, but Dred Scott was effectively reversed with the passage of the 14th Amendment. It took more than 50 years for the court to reverse itself on “separate but equal” and we may have to wait that long for them to reverse Citizens United.

    I’m sure there were scores of decisions from the late 19 century rendered moot with the passage of the Progressive era Constitutional amendments. But–and here is where I’m looking to you for clarification–I can’t think of a singular case like Dred Scott or Citizens United that requires its own Amendment to reverse a specific court decision. If so, in that context, it is a very appropriate comparison.

    • In the technical sense you describe,

      yes, it’s true that both Dred Scott and Citizens United were constitutional decisions that can only be overturned either by the Supreme Court itself or by constitutional amendment. But that is true of every constitutional decision, so numerous Supreme Court decisions issued each year fall into that same category.

      There are at least four clear instances in which a constitutional amendment has actually been enacted to overrule a Supreme Court decision: the 11th (overruled Chisholm v. Georgia), 14th (overruled Dred Scott), 16th (overruled Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust), and 26th (overruled Oregon v. Mitchell).

      The problem with the comparison isn’t that it’s technically inaccurate. It’s that, as I posted above and on another thread, Dred Scott was a uniquely terrible decision that led to civil war, so it’s not a good idea to say or imply that Citizens United was just as bad.

      • There are many levels of the argument...

        …mine above in a very narrow technical sense. Your’s based on the consequences “one caused a civil war, the other created lots of annoying TV commercials” (my interpretation of your words, but I think in the spirit of your point).

        Another level is as from a mass communications point of view. How do you persuade the masses that we need a constitutional amendment. I doubt the rallying cry of, “Not since Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust have we seen such a egregious decision…” Every half-educated person in the US knows what “the Dred Scott decision” means…ie, a dumb SCOTUS decision. So at the level of persuading people that Citizens United was an historically bad decision, Dred Scott is a comparison that works for a wide audience. It may raise objections from true students of history, but it is a fair comparison for the 99%. Nor do I think this is demagoguery, because on a technical level, Citizens United and Dred Scott are among but a few court cases that needed an amendment to reverse.

        • stop making "technical" arguments.

          Who’s vote does that win? NO ONE.
          How does that persuade people? It doesn’t!

          While you could be talking about the arcane judicial intricacies of how they parallel to someone all they want, something that’s likely to put the average voter to sleep, you’re allowing Steve Lynch to try to turn citizens fing united into a Citizens United vs. Dred Scott thing — geared toward the very people (a majority of the population) who have no idea what Citizens United is, but certainly know what slavery was and would be loath to compare anything to it.

          I don’t quite like giving Lynch that weapon, particularly given the fact that Lynch has a fairly corporate-DC background and I’m sure corporations would just love to hand Lynch fistfuls of money if he can make his competition look bad for supporting the repeal of Citizens United.

          How insanely stupid are we? David is right. You just don’t make that comparison, whether or not there could be some sliver of truth to it or if you’re talking out of your ass. It doesn’t really matter. An election is not the time to be academic… it’s the time to go ask people for their votes, and make the case on what people actually care about.

          There are a few things in history in which you don’t compare anything else to unless it truly is the same thing. So, unless the Supreme Court issues a case legalizing slavery from now until the date of the election, find something better to do with your time… like talking about the actual issues you have with Steve Lynch’s positions, instead of feeding into the narrative of a silly-season story.

          RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 1:33 PM
          • To Ryan's Point

            When you have a lead you don’t give your opponent anything to work with. The Republicans are having fun framing Markey as “out of touch” based on both his comment and his defense of it.

            And Markey gave Lynch an opening to oppose Citizens United while claiming some moral high ground as well (from today’s Globe):

            “I don’t think it’s right to compare Citizens United to the Dred Scott decision,” Lynch said in a statement. “Dred Scott kept an entire race of people in bondage and perpetuated the horror of slavery in America. I’m not sure there are any ­Supreme Court decisions that rival Dred Scott in infamy.”

            Lynch said he also supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

            Ryan’s correct. Markey and Markey supporters should stop talking about this. It’s a tempest in a teapot unless you keep it alive.

          • Did you read my last paragraph of my comment?

            Frankly I think comparing the two cases is a great way to communicate to a broad section of people why we need a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizen United. Some people may not understand why and to point out it has been done with other blunderhead decisions like Dred Scott, people now have a frame of reference. So my real point is not academic, but tactical.

            No, granting corporate personhood is not as horrible as saying anyone on color will be a slave forever. But they are both pretty darn stupid and we NEED a constitutional amendment to reverse it. It’s been done in the past–such as the passing of the 14th Amendment that reversed the Dred Scott decision–and we need to do it today.

            What is arcane or offense about that?

            • oh dear god

              Frankly I think comparing the two cases is a great way to communicate to a broad section of people why we need a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizen United.

              No. Just no. If this is what you think passes for good strategy for overturning Citizens United, I really suggest leaving the grassroots stuff to other people and finding an organization working on it and give them money.

              Knocking on a door and asking them to please support the repeal of Citizens United because DRED SCOTT is a surefire way to ensure Citizens United goes no where.

              RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 9:16 PM
              • ...leaving grassroots stuff to other people...and just give money

                …because your so damn smart at it.

                Your just a pompous something or other who obviously thinks you have all the answers. Do you have a link that supports your arrogance?

                • I didn't say to leave the money with me

                  so not pompous.

                  I’m just someone with the sense to know that comparing Citizens United to Dred Scott will do Citizens United little better than someone trying to compare it to that Godwin’s Law-Breaking thing.

                  Let’s leave the distractions behind.

                  RyansTake   @   Sat 23 Feb 4:59 PM
              • And really...

                …this is a molehill of an issue. Sorry I even weighed in on it…for you to use such harsh and condensing rhetoric really shows what your character is all about. Do me a favor, just ignore anything I post or comment on and I’ll do the same to you.

                • Going forward, okay

                  but I wasn’t trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. I was trying to nip something in the bud.

                  There is a difference there, and that’s why my comments were a little more biting than they should have been. I’ll apologize for that, but not for making the case that I think you’re very wrong on your thesis.

                  What you were proposing — connecting these two separate issues as a “great way” to communicate to others — will absolutely be damaging to the cause of repealing Citizens United.

                  You have to understand how few people understand Citizens United and how easy it is for well-financed corporate organizations to take advantage of that.

                  They will use anything — anything — no matter how trivial it seems on the surface, to get their message across and somehow convince the public that Citizens United is pro-democracy or good for them or some other bullpucky.

                  That’s how those people operate and they’re very good at it. We don’t need to hand them anything. To beat them, we have to be about 100x more effective than they are, and we’re starting billions of dollars behind.

                  RyansTake   @   Sat 23 Feb 5:20 PM
                  • Actually...

                    …I for one have been very surprised at just how much passion has manifested popularly surrounding a case on as seemingly boring a subject as campaign finance. There have been countless resolutions calling for its reversal in various settings, and at least among average people who aren’t constantly looking for an excuse to be at each other’s throats the opposition even appears bipartisan.

  3. Dred Scott

    Many nonparallels, sure.

    But if you believe that Citizens United unjustly allows elites (largely white btw) to run things, to be an instrument of oppression by class or race, then perhaps not so far off the mark after all.

    If you believe that there are no issues of racial justice any more, thanks to the 14th amendment and the civil right movement, you may not feel that way, I suppose.

    It’s important to remember that at the time of Dred Scott not everyone was so revolted by slavery, even many of those who did not practice it. I hope in 100 years Citizens United WILL be recognized as being beyond the pale for a democratic society.

    I’m sure that someone who compared Dred Scott to, say, the issues that led to the Revolutionary War would have been met with similar responses as this. “Oh surely you exaggerate, surrah, for the Revolution was fought over fundamental questions of liberty.”

    • Look,

      Citizens United was in full force for this last election cycle. In that election, Obama won, as did Democrats around the country. Now, maybe the problem was that “elites” haven’t yet figured out how to use their new toy to oppress the rest of us, and we’ll all be under their thumb four years from now. Or maybe not.

      I stand by my position that a decision that said that black people aren’t people is worse than a decision that allowed unlimited independent expenditures in federal elections. Maybe that’s just me.

      • But corporate personhood and slavery are linked, David

        One is the notion that a person can be property, while the other is the notion that property can be a person. We should find both sides of that coin equally appalling!

        • different coins?

          Because I so fervently believe that people are not property- as does everyone here- I would not classify the two cases as being different sides of the same coin.

          Both cases are appalling, certainly, but Dred Scott is waaaay more so.

          I had the same reaction when well-meaning people with whom I generally otherwise agreed compared George Dubya Bush to Hitler.

        • linked or not

          keep making that connection and you’re handing Steven Lynch a great weapon against Markey on an issue that we don’t want to be allowed to be used as a weapon (supporting ending citizens united).

          Seriously, I can’t think of anything dumber to allow in elections. If supporting the repeal of Citizens United costs 1 person an election, the vast effort to repeal it will die in an instant.

          Stop this stupid Dred Scott comparison. Seriously. Find each side of the coin appalling all you want; there’s no reason on earth to find them appalling together.

          RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 1:21 PM
        • All due respect,

          I find the notion that a person is property much, much more appalling than the notion that a corporation has certain legal aspects of personhood such as being permitted to make unlimited independent expenditures on federal elections. I don’t particularly like the latter, but it’s not nearly as bad as the former.

      • Not equal morally

        but enough parallels to justify the comparison.

        I also hope you do not really believe that a rule that profoundly tilts the playing field is okay because, look, our folks won last time. If so you are the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly boiling water.

        PS: what’s the value of winning if mega-money frames the issues?

  4. biggest problem with Lehigh piece

    Ask, for example, what his preferred solution is to avoid the upcoming budget “sequester,” and Markey replies that the Republican stance “is a non-starter for negotiations.” But does he agree with fiscal experts who say that, in the longer term, entitlements will have to be trimmed?

    What “fiscal experts” is Lehigh talking about? Does he mean people like Pete Peterson, Erskine Bowles, and Alan Simpson? Is the Globe falling into the false narrative created by the Beltway “very serious people” that want to wreck our economy so they can line their pockets with more ill-gotten gains?

    It’s time for Ed Markey & Stephen Lynch to push against this false narrative of a “deficit crisis” and instead start talking about our jobs and wage crises. If more Americans are working in better paying jobs, the deficit will go down as we start receiving increased tax revenue. Our economy will grow as more Americans have more money to spend and invest. Let’s use this contested primary as a “bully pulpit” to promote traditional Democratic values of opportunity for all Americans, not just the wealthiest.

    The media narrative is going to be pushing horse race analysis, gaffes, feigned outrage from Republicans, and more drivel about “bipartisanship”. Let’s make them start talking about real issues that matter to real Americans, not just pundits and lobbyists.

  5. DC Will Hotwash Gomez

    If “the money” likes what they see, if they can work him into the rebranding effort they are now conjuring; then Gomez will be well funded.

    Dems would be unwise to bash this guy.

    Who is behind him?

    • he's backed by Romney's people

      Gomez’s FEC filing has a c/o address of Red Curve Solutions. Their team consists of a bunch of ex-Romney campaign staffers. He’s also got the backing of MA RNC members Ron Kaufman & Kerry Healey. His spokesman is former Romney staffer Lenny Alicvar.

      He also has a ton of money, here’s a Boston Globe article on his 6000+ sq. ft $2M mansion in Cohasset. His private equity firm Advent International purchased a large stake in Yoga apparel company Lululemon. After this purchase, the company shifted most of it’s production from N. America to sweatshops employing forced child labor in China and other developing nations.

  6. The Real Analogies

    The point is not that _Citizens United_ is the moral equivalent of the _Dred Scott_ decision.

    1. They were both Supreme Court constitutional cases that will, practically speaking, require an amendment to reverse.
    2. They were both wide, sweeping rulings, whose reach went well beyond the issues immediately pertaining to the case at bar. Typical Supreme Court rulings, even constitutional ones, rarely read like either of these decisions do.
    3. One case mistakes people for property; the other mistakes property for people.
    4. They are/were unpopular decisions, both with Congress and with the population as a whole, but Congress can do nothing about them (see #1.)

    • I won't say I disagree with you

      but still, you don’t make that kind of comparison. It’s too easy for other people to stir up crap over it. It’s like comparing things to that other horrible entire-race-destroying thing no one should compare anything else to; sometimes the comparisons may have some small sliver of a point in technicality, but only in idiocy will someone do it.

      (I refuse to trigger Godwin’s law! REFUSE! I hope that helps you understand my point.)

      RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 1:13 PM
    • To your four points:

      1. Yes, that is true. That is also true of every other constitutional decision issued by the Supreme Court, which happens dozens of time every year.

      2. If by “rarely” you mean once every hundred years, or even once every ten, I respectfully beg to differ. It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court often goes beyond the narrow confines of the case before it to issue a sweeping ruling, but it happens with some regularity.

      3. Yeah, that’s basically correct. I’d submit that the former is far worse.

      4. There are lots of unpopular Supreme Court decisions. Some have been vindicated by history, others not. So I don’t see how that advances the argument much.

      Again, I think it’s a mistake to pretend that Markey wasn’t at least implying that Citizens United is, if not the moral equivalent of Dred Scott, pretty darn close. Otherwise, why mention Dred Scott at all? It’s a rhetorical device. I understand it; I just think it’s a mistake for a variety of reasons.

      • No One's Heard of Pollock vs Farmer's Loan Trust.

        He could have gone with Lochner vs. New York. (Which, as it turns out, didn’t require an amendment to render useless as precedent, but there was no way to know that at the time, and even then it took a while.) Although I doubt many people would have heard of that either.

        Really, whatever.

        I know what Markey’s stand is. I’m pretty sure whoever wins the Republican nomination for this seat will feel like he owes his seat to unlimited corporate money, so he’ll be part of the problem, whoever he is. (I use “he” b/c I know of no women candidates on either side.)

        That leaves Stephen Lynch. Which side is he on?

        • Lynch made it clear he opposes Citizens United

          From today’s Globe:

          “I don’t think it’s right to compare Citizens United to the Dred Scott decision,” Lynch said in a statement. “Dred Scott kept an entire race of people in bondage and perpetuated the horror of slavery in America. I’m not sure there are any ­Supreme Court decisions that rival Dred Scott in infamy.”

          Lynch said he also supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

  7. Jesus...

    That 1%er Gomez character just may be able to out-Scott Brown Scott Brown. That was a fantastic, down-to-earth video. For the first time, I actually think I could be a little worried about him. I hope Markey is taking note… and really starts to get there.

    Events for top donors and area activists don’t count as ‘getting out.’ Contact with voters counts.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 1:10 PM
    • *and really starts to get out there.

      not ‘get there.’

      RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 1:14 PM
    • About the hand wringing

      I believe in full throttle grassroots campaigns, so I can appreciate the sentiment.

      But, consider …

      More than 70 supporters gathered Wednesday night in the second floor of The Old Court in downtown Lowell to meet and listen to Congressman Ed Markey who is now a candidate for US Senate. Many of the region’s most active volunteers in last year’s Elizabeth Warren campaign have already signed-on with Markey, giving him a big grassroots boost here in Greater Lowell. Despite blizzards and subzero windchill over the past three weeks, his supporters have collected more than 1500 signatures on nomination petitions mostly in Lowell and Chelmsford.

      I watched Markey enter the room, that night. He came up the stares, spent 3 minutes with the clutch waiting to schmozze. He then broke ranks, beelined to the far corner and shook every hand in the joint, front to back.

      After his remarks, he stayed and chatted with everyone and anyone that cared to talk. He was there a good 45 minutes to an hour after his comments. If there was 70 activists in the room, he stayed until there was about 20.He shook my hand twice, and I was off talking up Lowell muni elections, to the side. Markey worked that room.

      I’d say he has some work to do on his ‘delivery.’ But, the guy is sincere and earnest. By thaw, if he and his team are smart, he’ll be in top form on the stump.

      His best line in Lowell, was reported by a local journalist, Robert Mills:

      LOWELL — U.S. Rep. Ed Markey’s father grew up one of five children on the first floor of a triple-decker at 88 Phillips Street, in South Lawrence, and three years ago Markey returned and knocked on the door to see who was living in the place of his roots.

      Markey, D-Malden, told supporters and potential voters gathered at a campaign stop in the Old Court pub in downtown Lowell Wednesday night that he met a family of immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

      The accents were different, but the aspirations were the same,” he said.

      • I like him, I'm supporting him,

        but he has to do more than Martha Coakley. So far, I’m just not seeing it.

        This is a highly likable guy who can stand as a flag bearer for our causes, who can speak clearly and effectively for the things we care about. We’ve just got to get him out to do it.

        I’m not saying he’s not doing it at all, but he’s not doing it enough — and he’s got to be getting out there beyond crowds that enjoy roughly 50% membership to the state committee.

        This is unfortunately becoming a narrative… to the point where I’m worried that no matter how many hands he’s shaking outside of Fenway in the months before the election, people are going to still be talking about him not getting out there with the masses. He’s got to change that narrative now, before it sticks.

        RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 9:23 PM
  8. Comparing Citizens United to the Dred Scott Case proves one thing

    Ed Markey is not ready for the Big Leagues.

    He insulted all African Americans by equating the two cases, which is so ridiculous. Thank God Lynch spoke up before Markey embarrassed us all. Sort of like

    This reminds me of when PETA equated the treatment of animals used in medical testing or slaughter house to the treatment of slaves back in the day. This could very well be the iceberg that slowly sinks his campaign. Don’t believe me, see for yourself the reaction to PETA in California.

  9. Gutsy

    I’m with Markey and appreciate his courage and insight. This seems akin to the most conservative Black preachers huffing that marriage-equality folk were totally out of bounds comparing SSM rights to the 60s civil rights. Parallels are there; don’t smother the fumble.

    Markey’s analogy is apt and it’s great that he is not afraid to compare, contrast and offer progressive solutions to the big problems.

    • you mean we're having a guest

      the week of a show where we have a fundamental disagreement about something? Mike… we whiffed on this one! Sorry listeners :p


      RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 9:25 PM
  10. Scott Lehigh's comment about Progressive Issues

    In his column, Lehigh gives a menu of progressive issues that Markey favors. In your response, David, you say that’s unfair, because Markey is a leader on climate change. While you are correct, Ed Markey is not running his campaign on that basis. Like many veteran politicians, Ed Markey likes to give a long laundry list of accomplishments. He needs to focus on climate change. Just as Elizabeth Warren is known for fighting big banks, Ed Markey needs to focus on his career-long effort of fighting big oil. Unfortunately, Markey doesn’t have focus, and, as a result, doesn’t have a message.

    • Yeah,

      I think that’s by and large a fair criticism of Markey’s messaging thus far.

      • And, therefore,

        Markey’s comments about Citizens United and the Dred Scott decision are not just “unwise”, they are disastrous. He shouldn’t be talking about Citizens United at all. And, he certainly shouldn’t be talking about the Dred Scott decision. He should be talking about oil companies and climate change. For example, he should be saying that the solution to the sequestration involves eliminating subsidies to oil companies.

        If he doesn’t start showing any message discipline, he will lose.

        • But those are very much linked.

          Our policies so favor Big Oil in part because as an industry they dump so much money into influencing elections. Maybe he should do a better job making the connection, but eliminating subsidies will be much more difficult so long as Citizens United is the law of the land.

        • well,

          we haven’t reached disastrous yet — it’s early enough for Markey to be making a few mistakes and move on from them. Frankly, should he be learning them now, I’ll actually be glad it happened — better for this stuff to be smoothed over now than a few weeks before the election.

          You’re absolutely right on what he should be talking about, though. I hope his messaging people are reading the last 2-3 sentences you wrote, in particular. Just like Liz Warren effectively linked bad banking policy and their shenanigans to normal people’s wallets, Markey should connect those oil subsidies (and other truly disastrous budget expenses) to our budget problems.

          RyansTake   @   Sat 23 Feb 5:08 PM
          • Ryanstake- Oil subsidies are not busting the budget

            Oil companies receive $2.8 Billion in subsidies VS $90 billion given to the green energies like Sylondra. That is 50 years worth of tax breaks to companies, as I have inconviently demonstrated, use foreign parts and employees for manufacturing. Got to love how the problems with our $17 Trillion deficit lie with oil companies and the “rich”. Markey is a one note player, wouldn’t surprise me if he takes your advise. A retort by Lynch would simply be “your past votes destroyed 3 million good jobs already, you may as well complete the cycle and ruin what is left.

            • Disclosure?

              I’m getting the feeling the DfW is not your average troll.

              I just hope that when he is found out, he is on the GOP side.

              I’ve known some of the IBEW crew to go overboard. Please let it not be like that, again.

              • What do you mean on the GOP side?

                I don’t work or volunteer for Gomez or whoever the other guy is who is running on the Rep side. I do admit, Gomez interests me since David put up the video. I like he fresh cup of coffee at the beginning of his video. I start my day off exactly the same way. Markey comes across as a mimosa guy in the morning, I mean, that’s what I expect from elites who live in Chevy Chase, MD. Gomez I am sure is a free trader, so I’ll stick with Lynch for now.

                You want me to send David a picture of my car with a Lynch sticker? I won’t gather signatures for anyone, I would rather walk my German Shepherds.

              • Congresswoman Tsongas Crossed an IBEW picket line

                The campaign you linked to concerned Congresswoman Tsongas’ decision to cross an IBEW picket line. Labor folks tend to take their picket lines seriously.

                For the record I don’t remember DFW saying he was an IBEW member.

                • A Stretch and You May Know It

                  Local 103 priced themselves out of the Serono work. So, they decided to set up an “Information Picket.” Not all picket lines are the same Striker. A congresscritter has a lot of various interests, like promoting local business in developing industries.

                  I’ll spare you that particulars, which only make that Local look worse.

                  My point is, DfW isn’t your average Keyboard Krusader, imho. As a Lynch supporter of integrity, you may want to sort this out, if you can.

                  • Whoa John

                    I’m not buying into “pricing themselves out” of the Serono work. Any developer, GC or any company can make that claim – great tool for a race to the bottom. “Gee we’d hire you if you’d only take less pay and have fewer benefits”. So where does that stop?

                    I will grant you that IBEW 103 is aggressive about defending industry standards. In my book that’s a fight worth having especially when the country just voted in favor of the 99% (working poor, middle class and the such) over the 1% (in my mind that includes corporations like Serono).

                    At times elected officials do have to make decisions when faced with conflicts in their Districts. Congresswoman Tsongas made a decision and that decision has fallout. A number of unions, including mine, made our disappointment know at the time. We also supported her in future election cycles because one mistake doesn’t overshadow a career in our minds.

                    Whoa #2 – I appreciate your characterization as “a Lynch supporter of integrity”. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Congressman Markey and will make my case for Congressman Lynch in the primary without attacking Markey. Voting records and public statements are fair game to debate – the snarky personal attacks are the last resort of the lazy.

                    That said – sorry but not my responsibility to investigate every poster saying they support Lynch over Markey. I will post to correct or dispute DFW when I think he’s off-base (and I have the time or interest to do so) but truth be told I’m better off spending my time on the ground for my candidate.

                    I have appreciated those on BMG who have taken the time for constructive engagement on Lynch. Bodes well for the final election regardless of the Republican nominee.

                    • We're off the tracks

                      Local 103 went too far with Tsongas, and with Deval Patrick.

                      Bygones? It’s those sorts of shenanigans that put Union votes in GOP ballot boxes.

                      And, of course, you have no individual responsibility to police DfW. You didn’t have any individual responsibility to police Local 103, either.

                    • Off Track

                      Agreed we are going a bit far afield now.

                      Yet – IBEW 103 supported Governor Patrick in 2010 (in fact Labor’s major phonebank operation ran out of 103 on election day). And my Union strongly supports the Governor.

                      I’m not going to criticize how another Union implements strategy. We all have the same overall fight and our own ways of addressing those issues.

                      Finally, I totally agreed that DFW isn’t the average krusader. His post today on Congressman Markey’s residency show that.

            • There is no reason to believe

              anything this poster writes given his breezy relationship to truth — for which he still owes stomv money.

              • Kbusch- any reason not to believe Joe Moakley speaking about Ed Markey?

                “No living in mummy’s house anymore,” Moakley said. “That just doesn’t cut it with voters.”

                “Voters want a congressman who gets the same tax bills they do, a guy who feels the pinch when the MWRA’s water bills are skyrocketing,” continued Moakley, then the dean of the delegation.

                I just saw the picture of Markey’s home in Chevy Chase, MD. I though it was Romney’s home in CA. Man of the people, right Kbusch? I wonder what his carbon footprint is to power that mansion? Do you know or care what it looks like? Just-in-case, I will write my next post with a nice glossy picture of it, and next to it, a closed factory due to his trade votes. It will be dedicated to you and all the free traders here. Thanks for the inspiration, stay tuned.

  11. Citizens United vs. Dred Scott: class and race in America

    We have a history of focusing on racial history and racial disparities to the exclusion of any discussion of class in this country. Citizens United is, to some extent, the Dred Scott of class. True, it does not take the large majority of people and deny their legal personhood, but it does ensure that the small number of people with the most wealth can have a disproportionate effect on our democracy. This almost 200 years after the Jacksonians all but eliminated voting restrictions based on class.

    Yes, Obama and Democrats won in 2012. Do we think this will go on forever, with no election being tipped by unlimited corporate money?
    And don’t we have to acknowledge that virtually no candidate gets on the ballot without doing well in the money primary first, and that most nominees (even Democrats, Sen. Warren possibly excepted) are not that big a threat to the status quo?

    We have one party that wants to take us back to 1880, and the other that argues that some more austerity is called for, just less than the GOP wants. On issue after issue, there are few votes in DC for policies favored by the large majority of our people. Plenty of votes for policies favored by the Peterson crowd.

    • The point is, though,

      you don’t have to bring up Dred Scott to make this point:

      True, it does not take the large majority of people and deny their legal personhood, but it does ensure that the small number of people with the most wealth can have a disproportionate effect on our democracy.

      That point stands on its own. Dred Scott is a distraction from it.

      Remember, if you’re not on message, you’re off it. Any distraction takes away from the message.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 22 Feb 9:29 PM
  12. I'm not sweating this

    There’s a logic to the Scott/CU comparison. But from a rhetorical standpoint, it’s simply never a good idea to compare anything to slavery, Nazis, or the Holocaust. There’s an element of obscenity, of sheer horror to those things that simply put them in another class entirely in most people’s eyes. Their reaction to slavery is visceral, to CU, more or less intellectual. Tarantino does slavery; Moyers, CU. CU is controversial–many folks applaud it, whereas no one that I can recall defends DS.

    That should be the real distinction from any candidate’s perspective. They’re third rails, and not without reason.

    As for knocking on doors and making the comparison–it’s pretty doubtful I’ll knock on any doors and mention Citizens United. I’m pretty certain it’s not a leading issue here in my town. Though I’ve tried to make it one. I’m glad the Congressman is talking it up on the stump–it’s a great excite-the-base issue–but I’m not even sure what percentage of the population has any idea what Dred Scott was all about, much less CU.

    This will blow over. If anything, the statement placed CU on a level it may not merit (sheer unmitigated cap-E Evil), rather than in any wise trivializing DS. A candidate who lets fly with an unfortunate analogy but who has a strong record on civil rights is in better standing than one who decries the analogy but lacks the record. As the Globe reported on 2/21, “None of the pastors interviewed thought the comments would damage Markey significantly in the black community, however. They said black clergy are looking for candidates who can show a long-term commitment on significant issues, includ­ing incarceration rates for people of color, urban violence, and education.” THAT’s the candidate’s response if this comes up in interviews or debates–rather than explaining away the analogy, use it to your own advantage, as an entree to cataloging all that he has done on behalf of communities of color. Make the opponent sorry he asked.

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