Sunday, June 15, 2014

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Democrats Divided --- In Massachusetts?

Martha Coakley, who leads in all the public opinion polls
in the race for governor of Massachusetts, was soundly
defeated for party endorsement at the recent Bay State
Democratic convention by the state treasurer Steve
Grossman. To add political injury to insult, she barely got
more delegate votes than a third, first-time and unknown
candidate. It is unclear who will win the September primary,
Coakley or Grossman, although she must for now be the

Virtually all the candidates at the convention expressed
similar liberal views. Mr, Grossman, in fact, indicated his
support for single payer healthcare. Mrs. Coakley’s
problem with delegates stems from her upset defeat by
Republican Scott Brown in the U.S senate race in
Massachusetts in 2010.

I mention this not because Massachusetts will now elect
a Republican governor (although this most liberal state has
done so on numerous occasions), but because there will be
almost no mention of this in the Old (sometimes called the
Mainstream) Media. This fading media institution has been
too busy calling attention to the intraparty challenge to
Republican Thad Cochran in Mississippi, and to the intraparty
defeat of U.S. house Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia,
each at the hands of so-called “Tea Party” activists. The
motive of the Old Media establishment, a clear double
standard, is a desperate effort to reverse a coming electoral
disaster for the Democrats and the Obama administration this

I do not suggest that there is a liberal crisis in Massachusetts.
Delegate support for Mr. Grossman was a clear case of
activists' desire to put their strongest candidate on the ballot.
Massachusetts Democratic primary voters, in fact, might
disagree in September, and put Mrs. Coakley on the ballot.
What I do suggest is that Republican voters and activists
are doing the same thing as their Democratic counterparts
--- resisting on occasion conventional wisdom, polls, and
incumbency in favor of choices they the voters prefer.  (Yes,
immigration reform was the immediate issue in Virginia,
but the real underlying issue was that Mr. Cantor had “lost
touch” with his constituents.)

The fact that Republican primary voters have been choosing
incumbents and mainstream conservative candidates over
more radical and riskier candidates in most (but not all)
cases so far this year is the real story, notwithstanding the
“sensation” of Eric Cantor’s upset loss. “Tea Party”
supporters should feel good about their victories in
Mississippi and Virginia not because they now have
“momentum” or dominate their party, but because their
party is paying attention, and trying to include them. If Mr.

Cochran loses the run-off in Mississippi, his GOP replacement
will likely win the senate seat. The same is true for Mr. Brat,
the primary winner in Virginia. Either Mr. Grossman or
Mrs. Coakley will likely be the next governor of Massachusetts.

None of these outlier races, will mean much in the net outcome
in November. The real bottom line is that the Old Media will
continue to lose readers, viewers and listeners as its bias and
desperate efforts to rewrite history sink to new and
embarrassing lows.

Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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