Entries in MassPoliticsProfs by Erin O'Brien

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Geoff Diehl's first promise to Massachusetts residents is that he will not write a book.   He claims that by simply writing a book on economic instability Senator Warren provides reason to vote against her and place him in the U.S. Senate.  Diehl picked this line of critique as he knew it would land for many Massachusetts voters.  And the accuracy of that calculation reveals that anti-intellectualism and misogyny are alive and well in the Bay State.

Curt Schilling’s decision to run against Elizabeth Warren is akin to her demanding the ball in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. No experience and better options were on the mound. 

Ubiquitous furniture/jingle pushers "Bernie and Phyl’s" current promotion promises:  “If the National Voter turnout is 75% or greater for the 2016 United States of America Presidential Election on November 8th, 2016, you will receive your furniture for free!”

New Englanders, this bet is worse than the two major party candidates you have to choose from. 

Will Warren Be Enough?

Elizabeth Warren's speech wasn’t long. And she wasn't speaking as Hillary Clinton's running mate.  But Senator Warren made this much clear: Trump University cheats, Trump actively roots against the American middle class, aligns with Wall Street, deplores Mexicans, hates “others” and undermines/underpays small business workers … A man who must never be President of the United States. 

Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee.  On the one hand, to borrow loosely from Joe, it’s a really big, er, deal.  On the other hand, ambivalence reigns amongst Democrats and Secretary Clinton is deeply unpopular for a major party nominee.   The history of women in politics suggests it had to be this way.

Chris Christie and Charlie Baker face very similar political circumstances – Republican Governors in deeply blue Northeastern states.  Mitt Romney strongly considered Christie for his presidential ticket.  But when all three had to decide on a Donald Trump Presidency, at one of the last junctures where he can be derailed from the GOP nomination, only the Massachusetts men said “no.”  If Trump wins, Christie is culpable.  Governors Baker and Romney decided quite differently.

So, yes, the GOP needs more Baker and more Romney.  It needs more Massachusetts and far less Jersey. 

Iowa is unrepresentative of the United States and Iowa caucus goers are even more divorced from the American populace.  And that’s exactly why Iowa is actually representative of our unrepresentative American electoral politics.  Iowa is the American election process on speed -- if speed was made from ethanol.

John Henry just spent 217 million on David Price’s arm.  Surely, he has the money and mojo to demand those who deliver his prized paper enjoy basic labor protections. Fellow Boston Globe subscribers, guaranteeing this is the continuous coverage we actually need.   

Planned Parenthood protesters win not in changing women’s minds but in changing their calculus. Protesters inculcate fear and shame amongst women seeking to receive the healthcare that is their right. Protesters win even on days when they are not there by inculcating the mental anguish potential patients feel when thinking about their presence. They win by necessitating bulletproof glass and screenings for weapons upon to enter a healthcare clinic. They win by making the threat of violence a part of accessing women’s healthcare.

Last week did tell us quite a bit about Massachusetts’ political culture.  The Supreme Court’s healthcare and gay marriage decisions made many of us proud of the path our inclusive social policy paved. Medical marijuana, gambling, and on-line voter registration nonetheless showed the Bay State both policy leader and laggard, equal parts progressive and moralist, as well as more elitist than pluralist.  

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