So I posted a totally non-political post on Facebook about how much I suck at meeting people in bars, referencing the fact that I had recently met someone I was interested in until I realized she was associated with a deeply homophobic church. After a bit of back and forth with a friend who said maybe I should have tried to re-educate her, I mentioned that a “progressive” state rep candidate attends the same church. No names named, because I wasn’t trying to make it a political conversation. I was trying to make fun of myself. And suddenly I have Elugardo supporters ripping into me, because they just ASSUME this was about their candidate. It wasn’t, but her people’s assumption that it was speaks volumes, and now I am going to talk about her.
I think it comes from a guilty conscience. Deep down, everyone realizes that Jeff Sanchez is pretty progressive. Going by his current Progressive Massachusetts scorecard, only about 16% of the House is any better than him. Elugardo’s campaign isn’t about progress. It’s about some people having a tantrum and breaking stuff, because fighting “The Establishment” is fun even when “The Establishment” consists of smart, dedicated progressives doing the best they can. Maybe, if you’re really lucky, you can move the legislature marginally to the left by throwing out Sanchez, but I doubt it. Throwing out progressive champions like Sanchez (and Liz Malia, Byron Rushing, Dan Cullinane, etc.) just so you can embrace every untested newbie who sweet talks you a little bit, does not promote a more progressive legislature. The message it sends is that progressives are unreliable, disloyal allies. That you can work for years to help them achieve their most important goals, and they’ll throw you in the trash as soon as you have one disagreement. It’s what Trump does to his allies, and it’s why he can’t hire anyone competent. The message it sends to the remaining legislators is to stick with conservatives, because they are the only people who understand loyalty.
And I think the progressives supporting Elugardo know this. They know they should have vetted her more, and that it really is a deeply immoral decision to replace a solid, if imperfect, progressive with someone who says all the right things but then is active in a church that is working to tear those things down, and has no record to demonstrate she is capable of standing up against all the pressure she would face from them as a legislator. They know. They can’t not know. But it’s just so much FUN to “fight the power”, even when that means tearing down your own cause. So that guilty conscience comes rushing out, a confession offered at the slightest hint that I might be talking about their candidate.