POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

Give Me Back My Republicans!

by David Trumbull

December 1, 2006

In the 762nd year from the founding of Rome --the year 9 according to our reckoning-- General Quintilius Varus lead three Roman legions into battle in the forests of Germany. None returned. Those three Roman legions were annihilated -- killed to the last man. It is reported that the emperor, Caesar Augustus, upon hearing of the disaster, wandered through his palace knocking his head against the door-posts, and crying out, "Quintilius Varus! Give me back my legions!"

I know how he felt. Since Mitt Romney was elected governor of our Commonwealth four years ago, we have lost over 31,000 of Republican Party registration. That's the equivalent of almost six Imperial legions! Republicans in the General Court under Romney have dropped to an historic low number. In 2007 there will be no Republican holding a statewide constitutional office, or serving as member of the executive council, or in the Massachusetts delegation to the U.S. congress.

Now we know --it was just recently reported in the daily papers-- that Mr. Romney's Commonwealth PAC (Political Action Committee) gave out $187,000 to candidates for U.S. house and senate from 31 states, but nothing to Republican candidates for federal office from Massachusetts. Seems his "Commonwealth" PAC applied to only the commonwealths of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

And there are some conservatives, nationally, touting Romney in 2008 for President. Perhaps he's brainwashed then into believing that he will not leave the national GOP in the mess he has allowed to fester at the Massachusetts GOP. Let's ponder what a Romney presidential campaign might look like. As a 50 -state strategy, where would Romney put his federal PAC money? The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, perhaps? What about Puerto Rico and American Samoa? They have non-voting delegates in Congress, don't they? Are they commonwealths?

In his stump speeches to date, Romney has used Massachusetts as a source of derision and jokes. Perhaps now he'll move to someplace he likes better. On the way out you'd think he'd at least return those 31,000 Republican voters we entrusted to his care. When he doesn't, just remember, "Don't blame me, I voted for Jim Rappaport for Lieutenant Governor in 2002."