Don’t you dare assume it can’t happen.
I could not believe that Frank Phillips of the Boston Globe dismissed the viciously antigay Scott Lively’s chances of an upset victory in the September 4 Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial primary by highlighting Lively’s lack of money. Does Phillips not recognize that people like Lively always manage to find a far-right billionaire or two to help them out?
Think about it. Just how passionate is Governor Charlie Baker’s support? If Baker were really as intensely popular as he’s often made out to be, Lively would have been crushed at the Massachusetts Republican Party convention, no? Doesn’t Lively’s performance over the weekend suggest that there is an undercurrent of right-wing anti-Baker sentiment Lively can tap into going into the gubernatorial primary?
The same folks who blithely assume Lively can’t pull off an upset (especially in a low-turnout primary) are the same folks who blithely assumed Donald Trump couldn’t win the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Anyone who assumes Lively can’t win in September assumes that the right-wing resentment that generated one million votes for Trump in Massachusetts in the 2016 presidential election can’t be ginned up again by Lively and his allies in 2018.
I fear that folks will let their guard down, take the summer off, and take it as a foregone conclusion that Baker will conquer Lively in the September GOP primary. Lively will organize his right-wing forces–forces comprised of people who strangely regard Baker as a de facto Democrat, and who hate him for it–to pull off an upset. If that prospect isn’t frightening enough, then think about this: if Lively does become the GOP nominee, what if, by some fluke, he actually becomes the next governor of Massachusetts?