I’ve learned a lot talking politics and friendly sparring with everyone here. I’m 15 years older than when I started writing her as a teenager and have come to learn from the wisdom of others here I once fiercely disagreed with. Pablo was right that ranked choice wouldn’t work here, I recently conceded and joined his effort to pass top 2 or top 4 primaries instead. Fred and Terry were right about Biden, I now don’t see how another Democrat could win. And Joel, Mark, and a lot of others were right about Baker. He’s a Republican who consistently puts the needs of business before the needs of people.
I’ll make a confession. I like Charlie Baker personally and find him to be an affable and inoffensive guy. I even voted for him before, and while I did not in 2018, I lost no sleep over his re-election like I would have had Trump gotten a second term. He’s a slow and steady guy who follows the public on any issue. When we like trans rights, so does he. When we like school funding, so does he. Yet when it comes to the three biggest challenges of our time he has fallen woefully short.
The pandemic, fighting climate change, and racial justice. He has fallen short on all 3. He values reopening businesses over safely reopening schools. Time and time again. He mismanaged the VA in Holyoke and Chelsea. If DCF deaths can be blamed on Deval, and they were and should have been, so should the VA deaths on Baker. Hospital surges are the worst they’ve been since March and our vaccine rollout is an appalling 36th best in the country, despite having one of them invented in our own backyard. He’s also ending the moratorium on evictions and doing nothing to stop small business closures and job losses all over the area. We are now staring down one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. West Virginia Republicans are looking more responsive than this Massachusetts one, vaccinating their people and urging more not less spending on helping them dig out of this. Meanwhile he vetoed already watered down police reform and climate change bills, which even the squishy House has found the backbone to override.
Mariano has surprisingly come out swinging on those issues and I hope we can find the common ground to unite Democrats and independents to change the ship. Democrats have to be smart about who we nominate like we did with Biden. I loved Bernie and Warren, but Biden and only Biden could get the job done. Similarly, while I love Maura and Ayanna, we need a Democrat who can appeal to the centrist independents who decide our statewide elections. While we love to send liberals to Washington, we like sending moderates to Beacon Hill.
Three moderates in the House fit the bill:
Seth Moulton is a decorated marine who has built a reputation as a maverick in national politics. He swung and missed on challenging Pelosi and running for president, but his North South rail link could finally become a reality under President Biden and is the exact kind of bold project we need to push in this state. Pushing new infrastructure to make this state climate resilient can also put people back to work and make the affordable suburbs more accessible to urban dwellers which will help to desegregate them.
Jake Auchincloss casts a similar profile with a focus on bringing Green Jobs and biotech to the South Coast. The former Newton city councilor won over Fall River and New Bedford while appealing to independents. Yes he backed Baker in the past, so did 60% of Bay state voters, which makes him an even better voice to argue the case against Baker today.
Lori Trahan. She’s won over one of the swingier districts in the country while focusing on job creation and bread and butter economics. She’s a moderate voice on defense and foreign policy who’s matches the profile of her Northern Middlesex based district, the Ohio of Massachusetts politics.
Can’t risk a house seat? Joe Kennedy can run and win this race. Yes he ran against Markey and burned some bridges, but he’s an economic progressive with the name recognition to become an immediate contender. He won the communities Gonzalez lost in his primary run against Markey and could win back the Biden/Markey suburbanites in a head to head against a Republican rather than a popular Democrat.
Time to play smart. Ayanna and Maura got Senate seats waiting for them in 4 and 6 years time. A progressive can win the Mayors office. It takes a moderate Democrat to win the Corner Office and we need to elect one.