As if you couldn’t tell by the approximately one trillion phone calls and door knocks, it’s political season. It’s probably not a surprise to hear we at The Clam tend toward the lefty side of things, especially since the “Hey guys, how about a considered approach to market-based health care?” section of the GOP all suddenly melted down into a slag pile of crazy that has come to define the once reasonable opposition. (Don’t believe me? Go to the Gloucester GOP website where they tell you Martin Luther King- who campaigned for LBJ- was a Republican).
I’m a huge fan of fantasy worlds, I just like mine to involve dragons and hot zeppelin-pirate babes in leather corsets.
Speaking of fantasy worlds what the hell is going on with Seth Moulton? I always thought he was pretty cool, but did he suddenly decide to go all crazytown? I’ve met Tierney a bunch of times and yes, he’s a pure politician but Moulton is making him out to be Stalin’s evil twin. Get a grip, Moulton.
Clamtributor Josh Turiel, who besides being an actual politician, is also our Salem, Wrestling and Technology correspondent wrote something pretty great on FaceBook about the Moulton/Tierney deal, so here it is:
And now, in time for the weekend, my take on the MA-6 congressional race (picking my head up from a busy morning of work, despite being home):
The TL:DR version – yes, I’m again voting for John Tierney for Congress.
Now, the reason why…
I’ve been in politics for a little over 3 years, from when I first pulled papers to run until today. I’ve had dealings with Tierney and his staff. All have been helpful, professional, and able to work to resolve problems that constituents have had. And more importantly happy to work. I know he’s been able to help many of my colleagues as well. I know that the popular yardstick that is used against him is “how many bills has he passed?” Well, that doesn’t matter too much. We don’t elect Congressmen to pass bills. We elect them to serve their district and the interests of the 600k+ people in it. I’d also like to point out that the minority doesn’t pass bills anymore. Once upon a time bills were filed and passed on a shifting coalition that had shared interests across party lines. Those days, sadly, are gone. Tierney is a partisan member of the minority party. If you want someone who will pass bills, you can either elect Republicans or you can elect more Democrats. Both options appeal to some of my friends and readers. But replacing an 18-year Congressman who remains effective on behalf of his district is not going to help our district any.
That said, let me speak to the leading opponent. When Seth Moulton first talked about running for Congress 2 years ago (as an independent) he was interesting. And when he announced that he would run this time, and run as a Democrat, I said to myself “Nice. Young guy, just came back home, and is positioning himself to be “the guy who replaces the guy”. I expected he’d run a strong, positive campaign and position himself to be the eventual replacement – whether it’s in another term or so or if Tierney loses the Tisei rematch.
That wasn’t what we got, though. Moulton went on the attack from the beginning and has been relentlessly negative throughout. He’s routinely spread BS (missing 300 votes? Sure, but that actually means that over 18 years he’s made about 98% of all possible votes – which is pretty damn good attendance). This week, finally, a Tierney mailer went on the attack back at him (and it’s also distorted, as most attacks are) and Moulton’s whine in response was just sad.
I also have vivid memories of early candidate Moulton and his appearance before the SSU Democrats this past winter. In his speech, he kept hitting on the theme that when he served in Iraq, Congress let the troops down. So one attendee (I won’t name him here even though most of you know the story and who the person was) called him out on it politely and said “How did Congressman Tierney let the troops down? It was a Republican-led Congress, Tierney personally voted against the Iraq War, and then voted in favor of every appropriation that was requested for the military.”
Moulton was visibly red-faced and angry when he engaged and got into the attendee’s face stating “they should have done more!”. It wasn’t a confrontational question, folks. You should be able to handle it better.
That all said, I’ve had non-business conversations plenty of times over the last few years with Tierney (and his wife as well). Yes, he’s a pol. He’s also a person who I’m pretty comfortable around, and I can talk to him about non-business things and not feel like I need to run for the exits. I’m not going to get into Patrice’s brothers. We all know that tale, and it’s been in courts and in the Ethics Committee already.
The bottom line for me is that I believe that John Tierney remains effective in the job of representing us in Congress, and I think he deserves to continue doing so. Until this election began to play out I had believed that Seth Moulton might turn out to be a worthy successor down the road an election or two. I no longer believe that.
Thanks, Josh. We’re going to have more on the election once we get past the primary. Oh, and we’re disabling the comments for political stuff. I know that seems “anti freedom” or whatever, but I’ll be honest here: I really don’t want to have a discussion, I want to give a point of view. It may not be one you believe, care about or respect, but it is a point of view.
A bunch of people yelling shit at each other doesn’t help people create informed viewpoints. And I have always said that I would burn the comments section to the ground before letting it get like the fever swamps that are the other Cape Ann comment sections, save Joey C who wisely approves his comments. So, if you want to yell at people go to Cape Ann Online or something. What we have here today is a reasonable opinion from a knowledgable person and we want it to stand alone.
Suck it, Internet.