Does Gabriel Gomez have any understanding of the job he seeks? (Updated)

The answer is no. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

(UPDATE: David S. Bernstein has revised the transcript of his exchange with Gomez, expanding on Gomez’s last answer.)

I was busy tonight at a big debate watch party and watching the Bruins’ dramatic double-overtime win, putting them up 3-0 on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, so I didn’t take any notes on tonight’s (last night’s?) first debate between Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez. But I had to pass on David Bernstein’s piece about it.

Bernstein found the debate pretty boring, and thought Gomez was much improved from his primary debate performance. I personally thought the debate was OK and found Gomez quite off-putting and condescending (à la Scott Brown in 2012), starting from his opening line: “After 37 years in D.C., welcome back to Boston.”

Bernstein’s view, which I share, was that Gomez stumbled badly on abortion, saying straight up that he would vote in favor of a Supreme Court Justice who’d overturn Roe v. Wade if that person “would uphold the Constitution, and was ethical.” I can imagine a Markey ad showing Gomez saying he’d vote to confirm such a judge. Let’s not forget that there are four votes to overturn Roe on the current Supreme Court.

Markey was strong here. “You don’t have a litmus test to keep judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade off the Supreme Court. Well, Ted Kennedy had a litmus test. John Kerry had a litmus test. Elizabeth Warren has a litmus test. And I have a litmus test.” Particularly amusing was that Gomez repeatedly protested that he does not, as a U.S. Senator, plan to “change any laws” relating to reproductive rights. Markey finally pointed out the obvious: If Gomez votes in favor of a judge who provides that fifth vote against Roe, that’s a big change in the law in this area.

Bernstein made this interesting point:

But it was particularly striking to me, because it was almost verbatim the exact same thing Mitt Romney said when running for governor in 2002 — personally pro-life; politically pro-choice; promise to never change the law in any way. Pro-choice Bay Staters never forgave themselves for falling for it then, so it seems like a really bad idea to invoke the memory, especially while admitting that you don’t mean it.

Bernstein also gave Gomez poor marks for repeating the bogus claim that Markey has been ineffective as a Congressman:

The other bad moment came when Gomez accused Markey of ineffectiveness, citing the bizarre fiction that Markey has not sponsored a bill that became law in the last 20 years. This is utter nonsense, but has been a regular talking point among Republicans in this race for several months now. Gomez lobbed it at Markey, who took it as an opportunity to start citing some of the legislation he has crafted that is now law. Gomez, as he is wont to do, dismissed this as some sort of “slick lawyerly” twisting of the truth on Markey’s part. Even if Gomez was technically correct — and he wasn’t — the audience got a chance to hear about some of Markey’s legislative accomplishments while Gomez looked like a big doofus.

Gomez reiterated, almost verbatim, his same lame talking points in a post-debate exchange with Bernstein that is well worth clicking through to read in full. Here’s a highlight, after Gomez said Markey’s legislation passing as part of a larger bill is a “lawyerly explanation” (the same line he used in his “pond scum” interview on May 23):

Bernstein: I don’t understand – can you explain why is that a “lawyerly explanation”?Gomez: Because you can sit there and you can co-sponsor a bill, and you can put your name at the end and all that, I’m just saying, he’s been down there for 40 years, he can come up with the double-speak and all that, he can defend himself. I tell you in the private sector somebody does that? They don’t get a raise, they don’t get a promotion. It’s as simple as that. That’s why we should have, if you don’t pass a budget you don’t get paid, down in Congress. You don’t do your job, you shouldn’t get paid.

Bernstein: So, then would you not allow a bill of yours to be folded into other legislation to become law?

Gomez: Of course I would. But the bottom line is that you need, he needs to speak for himself and talk about what he’s done in a leadership position, and what he can stand and sit there and say “this is my bill, right there.”

Of course, thanks to Gomez’s ineptitude Markey spent about 15% of the debate doing just that.

Gomez’s statements are pure gibberish that reflect an astonishing level of ignorance (real or feigned) of the legislative process for someone who hopes to be a U.S. Senator in three weeks. Does Gomez really find “the legislation Markey wrote was folded into a larger bill, which passed and was signed by the President to become law” a difficult concept to grasp? Scary.

More importantly: Does Massachusetts want a U.S. Senator who finds basic legislative procedure unduly complicated, and can’t see how a vote to confirm the fifth vote on the Supreme Court against Roe v. Wade might kinda be a big deal? I don’t think so.


26 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. So what you are saying is elections have no consequences

    If Republicans hold the majority in the Senate in 2015, and all of them take the Ed Markey approach, they can, and should reject any nominee to the SCOTUS who is pro-choice (assume all Rep’s are pro-life). You Fenway, on this blog, would raise Holy Hell, and you know it.

    On the abortion issue, Gomez came across as rationale, deferring to the duly elected POTUS in selecting the court nominee. Markey, the typical pol, would want a litmus test to the court.

    Also, if Roe is overturned, abortion would be left to the states, so stop scaring people.

    Overall, give a debate edge to the rookie over the old dog. Loved the line “Welcome back to Massachusetts”, 99% party vote line, and Gomez telling Markey that the economy may be good in Maryland, where Markey lives, but it is lousy in many places in MA. Wonder if Gomez read my post on “A tale of Two Homes”, I made the same point.

    Markey’s best moment was when he praised Gov. Romney and Romneycare.

    • But the Democrats did not do this

      There was not even talk of filibustering John Roberts, who was known to be antuchoice.

      Even with Alito, who was not just anti choice but way out of the mainstream in many ways, the Democrats would not rise to filibuster him – no matter how compelling the arguments of Kennedy and Kerry were. The fact that there were more than the needed 41 votes against him in the later vote showed that Democrats were not then the obstructionists that the Republicans are now.

      • Not to mention appeals court nominees

        As much as the Relublicans b’d and m’d about Bush not getting his appeals nominees confirmed he got twice the number that Obama did. The latest one to get denied confirmation was basically asked if she was a Democrat and got denied on that basis. For what it’s worth I agree with Russ Finegold about deference to Presidential cabinet and appellate choices. It’s difficult and different for SCOTUS since post-Bork nobody honestly answers any questions. As an aside I have been happily surprised by Kagan and Sotomoyor so far, a lot more civil libertarian than Breyer.

      • Karenc- ever hear of Miguel Estrada?????

        Born in Honduras, graduated from Columbia Univ (hi Bob) and Harvard Law, even was an editor of the Harvard Law Review (Hi Barack). So this intelligent man, was filibuster by the Dems, when he was nominated by Pres. W. in 2001-2002 to the D.C. Circuit. This the same court Obama was crying about his nominees being held up? Oh, the poor baby, payback is a u-know-what.

        After Bush fumigated the White House after the Clinton’s left, Bush renominated 40 Clinton appointees held up in comittee, to the various benches, as a sign of cooperation. Did Obama make such an adult gesture in 2009? How about now? Instead, we get a whining press conference a few days ago.

        Perfect reason why Gomez’s approach to judges is much better, country before party.

        • Bullshit

          Bush’s confirmation rate was way ahead of Obama’s. Only a few extreme picks like Estrada were filibustered. The extremists on the Supreme Court, sadly, were not. While Bush packed the courts, and particularly the D.C. Circuit with right-wingers, Obama names moderates and they’re filibustered without fail.

          Not to mention 16 Clinton nominees to U.S. Courts of Appeals were blocked by the GOP, just to have the spots filled by Bush appointees. One of them was Elena Kagan, whose spot on the D.C. Circuit instead went to…John Roberts.

          You are showing your true Tea Party colors more each day. Bush left the whole fucking world in need of fumigation.

          • Miguel Estrada is extreme?

            Extreme to whom? How? Extreme to people in Massachusetts? So the guy doesn’t get an up or down vote???? Lame……

            You know what I find extreme? The Kelo vs. City of New London case, where a majority (5-4) allowed local government to take private property owned by one private person, and transfered to another private person, for economic development (higher tax revenues really), using using the eminent domain clause. Any guess how the liberal justices voted?

            As Justice Thomas wrote so eloquently:

            “Allowing the government to take property solely for public purposes is bad enough, but extending the concept of public purpose to encompass any economically beneficial goal guarantees that these losses will fall disproportionately on poor communities. Those communities are
            not only systematically less likely to put their lands to the highest and best social use, but are also the least politically powerful.[8] ”

            So Fenway, who is for the poor now?

            • Not worth answering either

              He hasn’t done his homework on Estrada. Don’t do it for him.

              That Justice Thomas might on rare occasion make an appeal to the interests of the poor is as unremarkable.

            • Kelo vs. City of New London?

              Last time I checked Stevens, Kennedy and Souter were appointed by Republicans and voted in the majority.

              That means a majority of the majority were conservatives — but don’t let the facts get in the way of your hackery.

              So Fenway, who is for the poor now?

              Certainly not the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

              RyansTake   @   Fri 7 Jun 12:42 AM
              • Ryanstake- are you actually saying Souter and Stevens are conservative justices?

                Or b/c they were appointed by Republicans, that makes them so? I would suggest a better way to determine their philosophy is on their body of work, sitting on the bench, no? Oh, how did Breyer and Ginsburg vote on that case?

                Does anyone here agree with the liberal justices and Kennedy? Or do you live in Ryan’s world, and blame the “conservatives” Souter and Stevens?

                • Yes, they are conservative justices.

                  Just because they’re not batshit crazy like Scalia, Thomas or Alito, doesn’t mean they aren’t conservative.

                  I would suggest a better way to determine their philosophy is on their body of work, sitting on the bench, no?

                  I absolutely agree. Which is where I was speaking from. Kennedy, for example, is one of the ten most conservative justices in almost a century.

                  Souter may not be as conservative as conservatives hoped, but he’s certainly not any liberal. That’s for sure. The bigger reason why movement conservatives despise him is because on occasion he’s been a maverick and if there’s anything conservatives dislike more than liberals, it’s ‘traitors.’

                  One thing anyone ought to understand, but I’m sure will be difficult for you to grapple with, is the supreme court has generally become much more conservative than it was in the past. Even “liberals” on the supreme court are more conservative than liberals were. The whole entire court has moved toward the right.

                  Maybe that’s where you get your bizarre impression that Souter and Stevens aren’t conservative, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are.

                  RyansTake   @   Sat 8 Jun 3:04 AM
    • Which is why Ed Markey is the superior candidate

      Republican Senators have been taking this stance against choice for decades now. Your argument is precisely why Ed Markey, and not Gabriel Gomez, should be our next Senator.

      Your objection to a litmus test is hilarious. We are talking about the GOP here — what, precisely, do you call the Grover Norquist pledge? What I see when I watch this debate is a yet another generic twenty-first century Republican — a wealthy white man who lies out of all sides of his mouth (just as in the clip above), who claims to represent “working people” while exploiting all the benefits of his extreme private wealth, who cites his “business experience” in making making boatloads of personal cash in a private equity firm while simultaneously refusing to disclose ANY details of that experience, and who claims to be “independent” while taking money, campaign staff, and endorsements from right-wing GOP officials. A basic dictum of marketing strategy is to talk about your product’s flaws — its strengths speak for themselves. When you parrot Mr. Gomez’s snark that Ed Markey is the “typical pol”, you only confirm exactly how typically Republican Gabriel Gomez is trying to be.

      I liked him better when he was telling Deval Patrick how much he embraced Barack Obama and the Democratic agenda. Was he lying then or is he lying now?

      Gabriel Gomez (and you) are out of step with most Massachusetts voters. Ed Markey is the far more representative candidate.

      • So sorry Tom

        Hand slipped on the old iPhone, consider my accidental down rating the equivalent of two up ratings.

      • Tom- put the broad paintbrush down for a second

        You, somehow, when watching Gomez debate Mr. Ed., saw a rich white guy? That is interesting. Having only listened to the debate on the radio, here is what I saw, sort of speak.

        I listened to a role-model, someone who grew up speaking a English as a second language, but managed to live the American Dream (a Dem’s worse nightmare). An idealist, who thinks he can change the D.C. corruption, a bit naive in that, and someone who will never make a vote, that jeopardizes national security, and taught Mr. Ed a thing or two about Syria. I heard a guy like myself on some tough issues, not saying what many want to hear (it’s up to the doctor and the woman regarding abortion), when there really really is some gray area at some point. That tells me he is thinking….not a pol like Mr. Ed.

        • Not worth answering


        • Gomez is an idealist?

          Don’t you have to actually have ideas? As far as I can tell, he has none.

        • My paint brush is still loaded with Contragate cocaine running

          No “gray areas” about National Security Archive documents — abject silence from you.

          As I wrote above, the only candidate sounding like a “pol” is Mr. Gomez. How can you tell when he’s lying? His lips are moving.

          • Tom- if you bother to read North's notes

            The words “probably” and “potential” are in his notes, which are very difficult to read, I can barely make out his handwriting. So again, with that in mind, sounds like Col. North was writing down his hunches of what might be happening, not the drug kingpin you wish he was.

            If someday you are painting a fence or staining the outside of your home, let me know, I would not want the paint to get all over the your driveway, or the stain to get on your windows and trim.

            • The CIA admitted everything in the Kerry report in the 1990s

              to avoid another inquiry. (By the way, North lied under oath to Kerry – and was caught. One reason he was indicted. North, at minimum KNEW that cocaine was coming into the country and the CIA was hiding it.

              • Hi karenc- I don't believe Noth spent a day in prison...

                Oliver L. North was “Indicted March 16, 1988, on 16 felony counts. After standing trial on 12, North was convicted May 4, 1989 of three charges: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service.

                So of the 16, they got him on 3, which were the crap ones to begin with.

                I don’t mean for this post to turn into another discussion, my apologies to Fenway and the BMG owners. If you folks don’t hear from me, it’s b/c I was off topic and terminated….thanks Tom and Karen!

  2. "Does Gabriel Gomez have any understanding of the job he seeks?"


    • Nor does he understand advertising basics

      I was working this morning with the TV on as background noise, and heard Gomez’s ad:

      “Gabriel Gomez is a very bad man. He kills old people. He hates women. He even leaves the toilet seat up…”

      They say that sarcasm is lost on the youth (well I say that at least). I’d agree that it is lost on people who are not paying attention, too. Given the propensity of people to stop listening after they realize they don’t care, it seems to me that a whole bunch of people only hear “Gabriel Gomez is a very bad man.”
      Probably not the message a campaign wants to open an ad with.

  3. I thought Gomez came across as a bit of a punk.

    He kept hammering Markey for not authoring bills even after Markey very clearly corrected him on that point. We also could have made a drinking game out of “partisan politics ahead of the people” and “I have a unique perspective on this.” Markey had guts to say he would use a litmus test on judicial nominees regarding abortion rights. I personally would not and the politically safe thing is usually to deny using litmus tests.

    • Ed and abortion rights

      I really resent those who argue he voted the way he did to gt a 100% rating. Take the Laci Petersen law, I said I was in favor of it and disagreed with Ed on that issue. Come to find out, the law is so poorly written prosecutors in 18 states are prosecuting women under the law for getting abortions. Ed took a politically unpopular and hard to explain vote in favor of the interests of women. This is an issue he clearly cares about and has put a great deal
      of thought into, not a walking talking poll tested contradiction like Gomez.

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