By Chris Horton
[Governor] Deval Patrick is no longer a suitable leader for the common people of Massachusetts, no matter where he came from. The people are done with waiting for change and listening to excuses why the promises that were made can’t be kept. They won’t vote for him, and we will only destroy our own credibility with them by working for him. Appeals to all Democrats to stick together around Patrick are utterly misplaced in the context of the Convention and the Primary election because what is at issue is whether he is appropriate as leader of the Commonwealth’s Democrats. Which he is not.
The heavy-handed tactics of his supporters to intimidate anyone who might go against him at the convention even before there was any opposition inside the Democratic Party – which I saw first hand – are an indication that he’s running scared.
If Patrick wins the Primary, then the Republicans will take him down hard in November, and take a lot of good progressive legislators down with him – and we will be helpless to stop it. And the outcome will be devastating. Patrick and the Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives and Cahill will all agree that the State’s crisis is due to the unions, and that the solution is to end collective bargaining so that the public workers can share in the pain. The Green Party will be ignored. And then the Republicans will have a four-year mandate to try to finish destroying the unions – half the base of the Democratic Party.
For those who say it won’t be so bad to have a Republican win, that we’ve been here before and we survived it, think again. This is not the 80’s or the 90’s, and it is not the Republican Party of William Weld or even of Mitt Romney. They are the Party of the Tea-baggers now, and we will be dealing with hard-right National Republican money, organizers and strategists, shameless people who rule by sowing division, discord and hate. The Mass. Democratic Party is ripe for the plucking, and the Coakley-Brown debacle was just the beginning, unless … unless Grace Ross’ campaign takes fire.
Only Grace, of the candidates for governor, has the possibility of mobilizing the people for the real fight back against the corporatist takeover which we urgently need. Patrick’s campaign has no such possibility.
[Recently] Patrick didn’t show up at the AFL-CIO Leadership Conference, citing the Police Union protests and calling them a picket line which he was too good a Democrat to cross. The reality is that he knew that if he did show up he would have been jeered off the stage. Grace Ross, however, spoke and brought the delegates to their feet, cheering and chanting. The unions are no longer able to swing elections, true, but the progressives need to be with them, and the Democrats can’t win without them.
Folks, we have one good candidate in this [gubernatorial] race, Grace, who speaks for the people, who can generate the excitement and enthusiasm that can rally us to stop the Republicans. All clear-thinking progressives need to rally to her campaign. This is our moment to take back the half-dead corpse of the Democratic Party and rebuild it from the ground up as our party, a genuinely democratic Democratic Party. This is our moment to elect a government that will lead us in our struggles and represent us, build our unity and get us working with each other to survive this depression.
We may not get this chance again. We have to grab ahold of it and take it, now.
¡Si Se Puede! Yes We Can!