In the second debate between Republican Gabriel Gomez and Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, two things were clear. One, Gomez isn't "too conservative." Second, Markey is clueless to think that he is some "Mitch McConnell clone." Yet, we're talking about Ed Markey here. On the budget, Markey had these words of wisdom last night: "it's really not math. It's just arithmetic." Then again, Gomez is no Ted Cruz.
As Rand Paul said after the 2012 election, Republicans need to be competitive everywhere. If you don't like Gomez, that's fine. It's unlikely he'll be given a chairmanship of a committee if Republicans retake the senate next year. Gomez isn't a conservative. He's another Scott Brown, which is the only type of Republican that can survive in Massachusetts. As much as I would like Gomez to be Ted Cruz, he's not. And if he was – we would be giving the seat on a platter to the Democrats.
During the debate, Joshua Miller and Martin Finucane of the Globe noted that Gomez:
...appeared to be appealing to those [independent] voters tonight by supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act, which calls for equal pay for women; by calling himself a “green Republican” and saying that “there are people in my party who deny science;” and by saying that he was “ashamed” that only a handful of Republicans voted for the Toomey-Manchin bill, which would have expanded background checks for gun buyers. Gomez also said he supported an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10 and expressed support for gay marriage.
Gomez was at times combative, starting off the debate with charges that Markey had raised a “fundamental question of character and trust” by attacking him in misleading campaign ads.
But Markey remained unruffled and pivoted quickly. Markey said he believed assault weapons and high-capacity weapons should be banned, while Gomez only favors expanded background checks.
“He takes the side of the NRA,” said Markey, noting that he wanted to fight to make “NRA” stand for Not Relevant Anymore.
Again, Markey is delusional if he thinks the NRA will disappear after their epic shutdown of gun control groups – post-Newtown – last Spring. Nonetheless, Gomez's positions will drive conservatives crazy. We're not for a national right to gay marriage, although I can stomach state-by-state initiatives on this issue, and conservative loathe gun control. As for the Paycheck Fairness Act, conservatives are for equal pay for equal work, but women – in recent years– have worked hard to virtually close the gap. It's near the point of erasure, so what's the need for more laws from Washington?
However, Bay State folks love this rhetoric. Gomez needs independents to win, and this is one way to capture them. He may lose on June 25, but at least he put up a fight for Kerry's seat. No, I'm not a soldier for the establishment. I'm a die-hard Tea Party conservative, but there comes a time when you may have to back the Republican, not the conservative, in order to combat the bigger threat: Barack Obama. Gomez winning on June 25 will move the GOP one seat closer to having all the gavels in their hands. They will be able to give the Obama agenda (2009-2015) a proper funeral.
Nonetheless, this sort of action should be given a proper name, like the Northeastern Protocol, and it shouldn't be executed often. Conservatives already have a hard enough time keeping squishes, like John McCain, accountable. We don't need anymore moderates making that task more difficult.