Now is the time for all good men (& women) to come to the aid of their (Grand Old) party
Or put the dinosaur out of its misery and start a new party
The current embarrassing and messy Republican squabble over the State Committeewoman's seat on Cape Cod is, we fear, only the latest symptom of a terminal disease.
Ronald Reagan, author of the GOP 11th Commandment "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican", isn't just spinning in his grave, he's causing political earthquakes on Cape Cod.
What about Cynthia Stead?
For beginners, let's all admit that Cynthia Stead is a very nice woman. She has served her party with vigor and affection for many years. Her sin appears to be that she also blogs under an alias and her fellow Republicans are really very upset about that. We urged her two years ago to use her own name on her blog because her writing is excellent and was much needed by both her party and the public.
She demurred, and now she is being challenged by a very recent washashore, Renee Sherwood, who has lived on Cape Cod three years.
Think Gail Lese who was foisted on the Cape Cod voters by former governor Romney. That election cost his own party dearly and its legislature number fell to a new low and Republicans can no longer force a voice vote Beacon Hill unless they trade away whatever tiny clout they have left.
For all intents and purposes, there is no opposition party in state government. We are a one-party state like Soviet-era Russia and Nazi-era Germany.
What is the Cape's GOP hierarchy doing to amend this?
Having learned nothing from history, the county Republican hierarchy is now repeating the same strategy. Cynthia Stead's ouster from her seat as State Committeewoman here is being orchestrated by her own party bosses far more than by GOP upstarts Doug Bennett and Aaron Maloy who are themselves persona non grata with these same party bosses. MS Stea is also claim to blamed for the falling GOP numbers here.
And yes, Bennett is insistent and probably too Kennedy-looking for the old party dinosaurs, and yes, Maloy is gay and proud of it, like 15% or more of the cape's population today.
But in fact, these two men are both just what any political party must have to own the future, and the dinosaurs are doing all they can to drive them out.
It's easier owning the wreckage
As a political force with any clout, the GOP is finished in Massachusetts. A generation ago Democrats and Independents voted for Republicans like Frank Sargent, Elliot Richardson and Ed Brooke. They were fiscal conservatives and social liberals, and the Bay State loved them.
We desperately need a two-party state government, but the present Republican hierarchy is determined to own the wreckage of this once, great party rather than open their arms to the future and victory at the polls.
The final chapter in 2008
The Lower Cape Rep district has been Republican for eons. A couple elections ago GOP incumbent Shirley Gomes ran unopposed there. The party's final embarrassment will be when no one runs against the new incumbent Democrat Sarah Peake for that seat in '08.
That will set her up nicely to replace U.S. Congressman William Delahunt when he goes on to better things.
See Doug Bennett blog post which started the melee here.