The Massachusetts GOP held its convention yesterday, in which predictably, Charlie Baker got the nod for governor. However, internationally-notorious anti-gay bigot and “100% pro-Trump” pastor Scott Lively received 27% of the delegates. So, this guy will be on the ballot, hanging around until September’s primary. Trump state chair Geoff Diehl got the nod for Senate, so Trumpism is alive and well in the MA GOP.
Baker’s repudiation of Lively was apt:
“There’s no place and no point in public life — in any life — for a lot of the things Scott Lively says and believes, okay?” said Baker, with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at his side.
Baker’s acceptance remarks sounded fairly anodyne, even as he pointed up areas of supposed conservative agreement :
He reminded delegates that he backs the death penalty for those who kill police officers, he vetoed a huge legislative pay raise, and he opposed making Massachusetts a sanctuary state.
He highlighted his differences with Democrats over immigration issues, drug trafficking penalties, and taxes, and got the best applause of his speech.
“The short story on this one is they believe in a bigger, more intrusive, less accountable state government. We don’t,” Baker said of his Democratic foes. “We need a strong, united Republican Party to serve as a check on those Democrat majorities.”
The fact that Baker is perfectly willing to play ball with the inhuman, child-imprisoning, family-destroying ICE, is chilling — talk about normalization.
This rightward tendency within the GOP, even here in Massachusetts, is not naturally self-correcting. If anything, with the promised influx of Mercer dark money, far-right voices in our Commonwealth may well be emboldened this year. They’ll still probably lose, but it raises the stakes: If a Scott Brown/black swan situation emerges, the consequences are even more dire.
The Democratic convention will be June 2. It will likely be the Elizabeth Warren Show, given the state of the Governor’s race. (There’s another ordained minister in the governor’s race, by the way: Bob Massie.) If the GOP convention is sending some disturbing signals, that gives us an opportunity for a much more positive, inclusive, just, and forward-looking message.