The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tempest in a Teaparty

An icy block of arctic air has settled on top of our Valley.

All the snow makes a mess of everyone's floors, as demonstrated by the Haymarket Cafe.

Perhaps no modern Republican Governor of Massachusetts was more determined to revive the Republican Party in Massachusetts than William Weld (above). It was an admirable goal, since one party governance didn't work in the old Soviet Union, doesn't work today in North Korea and it certainly hasn't worked in Massachusetts, which is swamped by debt and facing even more ruinous losses once the Feds stop subsidizing Massachusetts' fiscally failing attempt to create a universal health care system.

Yet even Weld eventually threw up his hands in despair of reviving the GOP, famously describing the Massachusetts Republican Party as "a shoot-out in a rowboat," suggesting that if the party exerted half the energy it devotes to attacking fellow party members and directed that energy against the Democrats they would be far better off. Most Massachusetts Democrats are such easy targets, with rampant corruption and incompetence at every level, that only the Republican's self-sabotaging divisions can explain their failure.

How bad is the infighting? Frankly, I've known people who ran for office as Republicans in Western Mass who at the end of their losing race told me that their experiences left them feeling more hatred towards the Massachusetts Republican Party than for their Democrat opponent. In fact they claimed their Democrat opponent treated them with more respect. That may explain why there is such a constant stream of one hit wonders in the party, activists who make a big splash at first and then vanish, never to be heard from again.

The latest crop of masochists fighting to take on the thankless job of leading the party are David D'Arcangelo, a public relations man from Malden who wants to reform the party's image, businessman Richard Green, who believes the party should run on their principles, win or lose, and Kirsten Hughes, who wants the Mass Republicans to distance themselves from the national party in order to appeal to more moderates and liberals. Thus far Green is in the lead with 34 committed votes, and Hughes is second with 32. 41 votes are needed for a majority. D'Arcangelo has no committed votes, but may emerge as the compromise candidate should the Green/Hughes contest deadlock.

I've supported a number of Republican candidates over the years, not because of any great love for the Party of Lincoln but because I've thought any Republican would be a step up from the usually corrupt and/or incompetent incumbent Democrat they were running against. Many times my featherweight endorsement was the only public endorsement those GOPers received, although the Republicans have seldom praised me for my efforts on their behalf, as they usually find me too libertarian and too queer. That's okay, I take the Groucho Marx approach to partisan politics - I refuse to belong to any organization that would have me as a member.

Yet, somehow we have to restore a functioning two party democracy in Massachusetts, if only to keep the Democrats a little bit honest. Let's hope whoever the next chairman turns out to be that they can unite the party and then give the Democrats the electoral challengers they so richly deserve. The MassGOP State Committee Meeting and Election of Chairperson will be held at Verve Crowne Plaza, 1360 Worcester Street, Natick Mass (RT 9) on January 31st at 7pm. The public is invited to attend. Here's a video from a debate between the candidates for chairman held last week.

John was stoned when he made this.

Jorma in 1972.

Think how lucky I was to come of age as an artist in the Sixties when the art of the time was inextricably entwined with the evolving culture. The music, the graphic art, spoken work and literature was a touchstone for the times. I realize that it is a cheap shot to compare the musical scene of the Sixties and Seventies with today. What I perceive of today is such a soft target. The artists that become visible and pass for today’s mainstream are far more proficient as musicians, players and singers, whatever than we ever were and yet to what end? To me, the music was a means to convey a story. Now, not every story has to be War And Peace, sometimes it’s just Goldilocks And The Three Bears, but a good story is always a good story. On those rare occasions when I listen to mainstream ‘popular’ musicians, I find very few stories worth listening to and I’d like to think that it is not just because I’m an old coot. - Jorma Kaukonen, January 11, 2013.

Jorma today at age 72.


Randylou said...

Back in the mid-1990s, I was asked to attend a Republican party meeting in Worcester and consider a deeper involvement. Not ten seconds after the chairman struck the gavel to get things started did someone stand up and bitch about another member of the party. After about 45 minutes of this public infighting, they got down to business. I never returned.

Tim said...

Don't know if I ever thanked you for turning me on to "Quah," but that is a hell of a record, and my wife likes it too. When Jorma did "Stars in My Crown," I was picking that up immediately. Jorma looks really healthy. I wonder if he's still into speedskating? At 72I doubt it, but I've become an avid tennis player and my perceptions of how people are supposed to be acting at a certain age have changed.

Tom said...

The problem with the Massachusetts Republican party is the same as the national one, they can't decide whether they want to be a libertarian party of freedom and prosperity or a religious party pushing Christianity down everyone's throat.

I hope the GOP can get their act together, because the Democrats will take us into a financial collapse if they don't.

I love Quah. Jorma was a heroin addict at one point, but has settled into a healthy old age. May he live many more years.