This weekend, Gracie’s ice cream store in Union Square, Somerville created a special “Green New Deal With It” mint-chip ice cream, in honor of Ed Markey — proceeds to Black Lives Matter Boston. There was a line … around … the block.
— Paul (@pawlbologna) July 19, 2020
And when a bunch of Broadway stars hitched their names to a Joe Kennedy III fundraiser, they probably thought it was a PR freebie. But … people complained! Turns out theater fans like Ed Markey!
Broadway Sings for Joe Kennedy III, the previously announced July 21 virtual fundraiser presented by Group5 Productions in conjunction with the Campaign for Kennedy from Massachusetts, has been postponed until further notice following the departure of several performers.
So, this is great. Pish-tush to all the talk about Ed Markey being “boring”, as some boring pundits had sniffed. He’s a cause, an icon. The yutes love him. I think Markey has been hip for a long time, and this kind of fandom is overdue for the writer of the Green New Deal and reams of powerful climate/environmental/consumer legislation over the years.
But yes indeed, he is an establishment Democrat. He’s been there since 1976. He plays nice with other establishment Dems in Massachusetts, and always has. You will not get drama from Ed; everyone is a potential ally, maybe not today, but tomorrow. He was (is?) friends with the Kennedy family. It’s fair to say he has become more progressive in recent years, but that’s also as our lived realities have become ever more precarious: The need for bigger and bolder interventions have become more apparent. Racial justice is central, finally, in the public consciousness. Pugnacious champions of the left like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren didn’t come out of nowhere. Having been ahead of the curve of a handful of issues for decades — nuclear weapons, climate change, consumer/tech issues — it’s pretty organic for Markey to be a progressive champion du jour. Why not?
I just hope it’s not missed that the Democratic Party in Massachusetts has room for that. Former party chair Phil Johnston was a Bernie delegate, after all. We’ve got everyone from Jim McGovern to Jamie Eldridge — who chafes with the party but is still hanging in there — to Ayanna Pressley and Mayor Joe Curtatone. We’ve had progressives in office and in apparatus roles, at every level, some for decades. I wish there were more; they’re slowly filtering into the House in increasing numbers. I wish we had a Speaker of the House like Ed Markey — a canny/visionary progressive who gets things done. We can dream.
Will this kind of pop enthusiasm translate into actual votes? I’m skeptical! In the end it didn’t work out for Bernie. That’s why we hit the phones.