By Lee Harrison, member Democratic State Committee
Back in 2010, when Tea Party Republican Senator Mitch McConnell declared, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he was essentially declaring unlimited war against the first African-American President of the United States. And to this day, even after President Obama decisively won a second term, Tea Party Republicans reject his Presidency and continue their scorched-earth tactics, no matter what the cost to nation.
The latest Tea Party Republican to lead the charge against Obama is Gabriel Gomez, the wealthy guy running against Democratic Congressman Ed Markey to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat. During last fall’s Presidential election Gomez was the spokesman for Opsec, a group of former Navy SEALs and intelligence officers who ran TV “Swiftboat” ads criticizing Obama’s handling of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now, that same group is asking for donations for Gomez, saying his victory would be “a devastating blow to Barack Obama’s agenda.”
Well, yes, it would because Gomez would nullify Elizabeth Warren’s votes as well as all the work we did to elect her. But, as Elizabeth’s big victory last fall proves, Massachusetts voters have learned a thing or two since Scott Brown caught lightning in a bottle back in 2010. For instance, Gomez, like Brown, is hoping his good looks and life story will blind voters to his conservatism and lack of substance on the issues. But that dog won’t hunt any more in Massachusetts. After voters saw Brown in action they rejected him, along with his truck and his barn jacket, for Elizabeth Warren, who really does represent the values and voters of our state. Voters determined rightly that Scott Brown was acting – and voting – like Kentucky’s third Senator. And Gabriel Gomez is just more of the same.
Not sure? Check out the “Issues” page on his website. Gomez either misrepresents the issues, shows a profound lack of knowledge and depth, or just offers right-wing platitudes.
Let’s start with “Washington, DC has a spending problem.” – This is simply not true. The deficit is fading – fast. According to economist Paul Krugman, “as a medium-term (meaning up to 10 years) [the deficit] issue has largely gone away.” The problem we have as a nation is not that government (state as well as federal) is spending too much, it’s that we’re not spending enough – on infrastructure, schools, etc – to make up for the lack of private-sector spending. Very simply, we can’t shrink our way to prosperity, but you won’t hear that from Mr. Gomez. Like Scott Brown before him, he reads from Mitch McConnell’s script.
Of course, the contrasts with Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren go even further. Unlike Gomez and Brown, both believe in investing in our future and promoting clean energy. While Gomez supports the Keystone XL pipeline, the dirtiest energy project in America, Ed and Elizabeth oppose it. And Ed has one of the strongest – and longest – pro-environment records in Congress. As Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look it up.” And you would also find that Ed Markey is 100% pro-choice, supports women’s access to free preventive health services, and equal pay for equal work. Gomez has no “women’s issues” page on his web site.
Oh yes, if you rely on Social Security and Medicare, don’t count on Gabriel Gomez for support, and don’t count on him for any specifics. “Political leaders in Washington should have the courage to commit to reforming these programs,” he says on his website. That’s Tea Party Republican code for cuts. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren don’t think it’s right to cut seniors’ benefits, and they don’t talk in code. In fact, Ed Markey’s website says outright that “he opposes any changes to Social Security that would reduce benefits for our nation’s seniors, including misguided proposals to raise the retirement age or reduce cost of living adjustments. And Ed will always fight against Republicans’ attempts to privatize Social Security.”
So, whom are you going to trust? A “one-percenter” who speaks in code and platitudes about critical issues and whosebackers promise he’ll cripple the President’s agenda, or someone who will join Elizabeth Warren to give Massachusetts the most formidable duo in the U.S. Senate? Vote Markey, help Warren … and yourself.