POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

The One and Only

by David Trumbull

June 15, 2007

In the mail a few days ago arrived the absentee ballot for this month’s special election to fill a state senate vacancy. One name on the ballot stood out—it was the only name.

So this is what the Republican Party has come to in Massachusetts. They don’t even put a name on the ballot. Is there a Republican party in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Republican State Committee still exists. But it is so inactive that they no longer even bother to fill a vacancy when a member resigns. As of June 13 the latest news item on their website is an announcement of a “Key Club” reception on June 4th. Seems that for $5,000 per couple we could have met a U.S. Senator from Idaho, the unfortunately named Mike Crapo. Former Bay State Congressman Peter Torkildsen was there also. He shares the name of 1960s American pop musician with a fake English accent, Peter Tork (real name Thorkelson), of The Monkees.

The Massachusetts Republican Assembly was established a few years back as a prod to the do-nothing state committee. Now that small gathering of day-dream believers boasts as its latest accomplishment a survey of 2006 candidates for state office. The Boston Republican City Committee’s latest “news” is their notice of a June 2004 meeting.

The Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans boldly announced on December 11, 2006, that, “more than three dozen Republican activists gathered yesterday in a hotel conference room to resuscitate their political party.” Six months later and that is still the latest news item on the MFYR website. Forget resuscitation. Reviving this corpse requires resurrection from the dead. And one is reminded of Martha’s remark in the fourth Gospel, “Lord, by this time he stinketh.”

Speaking of which. That stinker Romney has yet to make good on the 31,000 Republican registrations he lost us during his absentee administration. I wrote of that back in December in the Post-Gazette column “Give Me Back My Republicans!” I knew, naturally, that I was not the only one unhappy with the destruction that Romney wrought on the party in this state. But it was a shock to read in the news that former governor Cellucci passed over Romney to support Rudy Giuliani for president. Is it so bad as that? A Yankees fan is preferable to a former Republican governor of Massachusetts!